The Spring is here and with that comes, what is regarded by many as first official 10k ‘road race of the season’, the ever popular and always growing, Jimmys 10k in Downpatrick.
As the first race of the Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2017, Jimmys is notorious as being the opportunity to see exactly where you are after a long winters training, setting a bench mark for the 2017 road running calendar. Aside from one hill early on in the race the route is considered as fast and flat and as a capacity crowd of over 1000 took to the start line, 24 Murlough runners had toed the line in search of a good run.
Club run “Wintervals” sessions have ensured that runners didn’t shy away from training over the Winter and have already produced personal bests at Half Marathon distance so far this year and on Sunday Personal Bests continued to roll in.
It was two personal bests, in two weeks, over two distances for Declan McCormick, Hugh Oram and Clare Murnin who all dug deep and emptied the tank to claim their well deserved times.
Fionnuala Simons and Michael Grant also bagged their new 10k pbs with 49.52 and 50.43 respectfully. With Judith Robinson knocking a staggering 4 minutes off her pb to come in ar 51.47. With a sneeky pb from Laura Lynch knocking 4 seconds off her pb to see 53.18 as she accompanied her ‘soon to be new MAC member’ friend to a 9 minute pb.
Alan Johnson was first MAC home with an impressive 36.25, it must have been the sacrafice of missing the group photo to warm up that allowed him to earn his rightful place as leading MAC on road.
He was soon followed by Hugh and Declan with their pb performances of 41.26 and 41.48. Both men are unaware of where such performances are coming from with Declan convinced its the power of MAC that is bringing out the best in him, whilst Hugh is questioning the fact that he has taken over somebody elses body.
Sean Looby held onto his pace well (crooked neck and all) to come in under 45 with Sean Armstrong, Dave Fulcher and Michael Power (who thankfully left the Mexicans behind today) hot on his heels. Anne McCormick claimed first MAC lady home in a comfortable 49.11 even after a glass or 2 of vino to settle the nerve the night before.
There were 10 MAC runners to make it home under the hour with notable impressive performances from Hazel and her daughter Megan in the Relay with a team effort of 57.19. Hazel completed the full distance collecting Megan enroute. The encouragement and support in the final stretch from mum meant Megan kept putting one foot in front of the other right to the last corner to bring them in at 57.19.
A return to racing from John McVeigh in his first race since October saw him cross the line in 53.14. He has been spotted a number of times on the lake lately, im going to have to charge him soon to deal with the erosion he is causing on my lake path! Myles McCartan also made his long awaited return to running, using the race as a benchmark for him to work on. But by far the most smiley MAC out on course today.
Joe McMahon kept spirits high throughout the race even though he had a technical issues with his watch at the start resorting to old fashioned…just keep running to see on the results a fabulous 51.55.
Gavin McNeill cracked a smile for the camera near the end which let’s face it with a sub 52 minute performance I can still only imagine how much he wanted to probably hit me to shut up rather than smile!
Tony Nellis saw a Jimmys PB to prove he is moving and improving always with 54.30 showing clearly on the results.
Paula McKibbin decided turning 50 wasnt the end of the world and instead was an oppertuinity to go out and show the world what shes got. With a great run earning her 58.22 shows someone like me in my early 30s…there us hope I might actually get faster…someday.
Clare Murnin continued her strong form with husband Eddie sacrificing his own race to pace and encourage her to reach her full potential in at a 1.01. It has probably been very quiet the past few weeks in the Murnin household with Eddies loss of voice so i am sure the hand gestures of ‘come on da feck’ where a plenty throughout the race. Ann McAlarney joined them claiming she was struggling to keep up but she kept it strong to cross the line with them.
Sinead Mulholland concluding the race for Team MAC with a strong finish did highlight it was a 7 minute personal worse. However just fresh from injury and still smiling a plenty towards the end I have no doubt that she will come back stronger.