Ballydrain Weekly Report, Marathon Success for William

(William Brown 1st place at EAMS marathon) By Claire Ingram

The Run in the Dark 5k and 10k event was held at Stormont Estate on Wednesday 13th November.  This annual event raises money for the Mark Pollock Trust and nearly 1000 people took part over the 2 events.  The course takes in the Avenue at Stormont so gives athletes a hilly challenge!  The 10k event was won by Noel McNeilly (Roadrunners AC) in 35:50 and 1st female was Aine Hughes (AL Goodbody) in 41:23.  Five members from Ballydrain took part in the mid-week event, Amanda Perry was first home for Ballydrain and came first in the F45 age category.  Violet Davidson also had a successful evening coming 1st in the F75 age category.

EAMS held a special mid-week marathon challenge this Wednesday past.  MCI president Dave Brady’s Flake Marathon was a trail event in Woodburn forest near Carrickfergus.  The 7 looped course was held on a bright but very cold day and it was here that Dave completed his 899th marathon!  Two Ballydrain athletes and regulars at EAMS events took on the challenge.  The unstoppable William Brown won the marathon event in a fantastic time of 3hr28 minutes – this comes 2 weeks after running a sub 3hr marathon at Dublin!   Colin Campbell who reported having a “hard day at the office” with this event, completed the course in 5hr 27 minutes.  Well done to both men.

The second race of the popular Born2run winter forest series took place at Drum Manor Forest Park Cookstown on Saturday 16th November.  The scenic 10k race follows the forest trails of the park through mixed woodlands, the Japanese garden and the arboretum.  The 10k race was won by Colin Heron in 35:01 and Julie Murphy in 42:16. Three members from Ballydrain completed the event –  Denise Davidson (56:44) Jill Burgees (56:37) and Anne McClurg (55:19).

The annual 26extreme Tollymore trail events took place on Saturday 16th November.  The challenging events took place in Tollymore forest park and included an Ultra Marathon (40miles), marathon, half marathon and 10k.  The course contains a number of intensive climbs which athletes complete over 3 loops for the Ultra, 2 for the marathon and 1 for the half marathon.  The 10k encompassed part of the route and was no less hilly.  The Ultra marathon was won by Kenny Holdsworth in 5hrs 11 minutes, the marathon was won by Chris Denton in 3hrs 1 minute and the half marathon was won by Adam Speer in 1hr 24 minutes.

Ladies Captain Claire Ingram 2nd place at Tollymore 10k

3 Ballydrain members took on the daunting challenge of the marathon.  William Brown, on his second marathon this week, completed this course in a fantastic time of 3hr 31 minutes to finish in 9th place.  2nd home for Ballydrain was Craig Bradley, fresh from his Dublin success, finished in 12th position in 3hrs 38 minutes.  3rd home for Ballydrain was Simon Moffett, another seasoned marathoner who completed this challenging course in a very commendable time of 4hrs 27 minutes.  2 members competed in the half marathon event, Holly Hunniford in 1hr59minutes and Debbie Mingout in 2hrs 4 minutes – well done ladies!  Ladies captain Claire Ingram competed in the 10k event and took 2nd place in the ladies race in 43 minutes and was 5th place overall.

On Saturday 16th November the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country was held in Aintree on the famous Grand National race course!  It was a successful day for the Northern Ireland team.  Mark McKinstry retained his title in the M35 event and the M35 team finished 3rd overall.  Eamon White came 2nd in the M50 event with the NI team finishing first overall in this age category and Terry Eakin finished first in the M70 event.  For the ladies, the W35 team of Gemma McDonald, Amy Bullman and Natalie Hall placed 3rd  overall and the in W75 event, Bridgid Quinn finished 1st place.  Ballydrain were very proud to have 3 of their athletes travelling to compete in the event and represent NI – Amanda Perry in the F45, Denise Logue in the F40 and Debbie Matchett in the F50. The ladies reported that conditions were perfect for racing and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Debbie Matchett, Denise Logue, Amanda Perry at the British and Irish Masters