Davis leads the pack in ‘Killylane Klassic’ championship race

Some of the East Coast AC members who took on the 'Christmas Cracker'.  INLT 53-685-CON
Some of the East Coast AC members who took on the 'Christmas Cracker'. INLT 53-685-CON

The Christmas period has been a busy time for East Coast Athletic Club, with members taking part in a wide range of events across the province and beyond.

On Boxing Day, athletes were in action in what was Race 5 of the popular Club Championship Challenge Series. The event was titled ‘Killylane Klassic’, a five-mile course in and around Ballyboley Forest starting and finishing at Killylane Reservoir.

After the enjoyable and competitive junior race, which saw Rhys McManus and Hannah Clements lead their respective categories home, the senior athletes took to the start line for a mass start.

The ever-improving Chris Davis was first to complete the undulating course, speeding down the hill to the finish in a time of 30:44 (1st place).

Also on Boxing Day, BARF (Belfast Association of Rock Climbers and Fell Runners) held their annual Turkey Trot, a 5.75 mile course including 424m of ascent in the Mourne Mountains.

Despite the poor weather conditions, there were several top performances, including East Coast AC’s Matthew Hewitt. Matthew claimed an impressive 6th place in a time of 47:47.

On Saturday, over 350 teams descended on Castlewellan for the 31st annual running of the Castlewellan Christmas Cracker, which was hosted by Newcastle AC.

East Coast AC had no less than 22 members out competing in the tough but enjoyable event. First home for the club was Justin Maxwell who was paired with Paul Hutchinson; Justin and Paul recorded a finish time of 1:01:53 taking 19th place overall and 5th place in their category.

On Christmas morning, Brian Maltman travelled to Belfast for the Belfast Victoria parkrun event. Brian joined over 150 others at the popular parkrun and ran well to secure 52nd place in a time of 22:49.

On Saturday, members took part in Larne and Newport (Wales) parkrun. In Newport, Sally McKeown claimed 50th placed lady in a new personal best time of 30:37.

Closer to home at the Larne parkrun, Chris Davis led the way once again for East Coast AC with a 22:03 clocking to secure 4th place.

Chris was followed by fellow member, Paul Clements who finished in 5th place in 23:05.