Weekly Report 29 Oct – 4 Nov 2018

By Andrew Tees

On Saturday, the 84th running of the McConnell Shield cross-country race took place in Sixmilewater Park in Ballyclare. Underfoot conditions could not have been better with firm grass and no mud making a welcome change to previous years’ sloppy conditions. As the race is not part of the Ulster XC League series, there were no club points on offer and it was only Chris Woods and Andrew Tees who toed the line for OAC. Chris was there to compete in the Masters XC series, Andrew didn’t really know why he was there, “for fun?”, possibly.
Andrew and Chris finished the 5 lap, 5 mile course in 30.16 and 36.12 respectively.
It seems unlikely that a Belfast running club would have more athletes running in the New York City Marathon than in the Dublin City Marathon. How that comes to pass is anyone’s guess, but that’s how it was in 2018, with 3 Orangegrovers Brian Todd, Michael O’Donoghue and Danny Bradley making the trip across to The Big Apple.
In another seemingly unlikely scenario, this was to be a first marathon for Brian Todd. One might have assumed that among his years of running and his many successes, that he might have tackled a marathon, but no, maybe he just has (or had) more sense! Brian had put in the miles in training and managed to handle the increased load that comes with a marathon program without getting (too) injured. The training clearly paid off as he crossed the line in an excellent time of 3:47.
For Michael O’Donoghue, this was his first marathon in a month (which is a long time without a marathon in the land of MOD). Did he train for it? Maybe, maybe not, but Michael is always running and always racing. He has been looking strong at recent cross-country outings, and a finishing time of 3:37 is testament to this.
Danny was looking to bounce back after disappointment at Belfast Marathon earlier in the year, and he improved considerably by finishing with an impressive 3:28 in New York.
Well done to all three and hopefully they have a well deserved post-marathon break in NYC.
Closer to home, the Decathlon 10K took place around Belfast Harbour Estate on Sunday morning. There were a number of Orangegrovers running and also many helping out with the marshalling of the event. Paul Tyro finished in 8th place with a superb 36.56, and Des Fahy also sneaked under 40 minutes with an impressive 39.42. Well done to all who ran, and thanks to all of those who volunteered their time to help out with marshalling. Apologies for not including all club results but the published results do not include club name. The race was won by VPAC runner John Craig in 32.45 and first lady was Mary Slocum in 42.49.
The consolidated club report for Parkrun activity can be found here: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/…