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Comber 10K

13/07/2016

At 4am, Saturday 2nd July the early morning alarm rang out in the homes of Joasia Zakrzewski, Dougie Brown, Anne Macfarlane, Sean McGleenan and Hazel Smyth, some of us wondering who's idea was this?  

At 4am, Saturday 2nd July the early morning alarm rang out in the homes of Joasia Zakrzewski, Dougie Brown, Anne Macfarlane, Sean McGleenan and Hazel Smyth, some of us wondering who's idea was this?  Well, they embraced the early start and made their way west to Cairnryan to catch the boat to Northern Ireland in order to compete in Ballydrain Harriers annual 10k road race.

Hazel's dad Eddie Smyth was a member of Ballydrain Harriers in the 1970's, competing both at club and international level and for his two daughters along with friends from Dumfries Running Club to support this event made it a special day for Eddie. 

Five DRC members enjoyed the trip to Hazel's home in Dromara were they fuelled up on homemade baking, Jo enjoying the chocolate cake as pre race food, this appears to be the secret!  Thereafter they made there way to Comber for race preparations.

The race route consisted of two laps around the town of Comber, a course that was spectator friendly however the Scottish weather followed, which brought high winds and heavy rain.  Not to be defeated the mood was heightened at registration by the extreme cake spread that was awaiting at the finish. 

At 2pm the race started, 500 runners taking to the streets of Comber.  Jo lined up as pre race favourite after a local website namely 'nirunning' blew her cover outlining their high expectations of her.  The pressure was on but Jo didn't disappoint and produced an impressive piece of running, leading the ladies race from gun to tape with no sign of fatigue from her 54.2 mile ultra the previous week.  Jo finished in first place in a time of 36.53 minutes and 24th overall, a quality performance again from Jo.

Hazel settled into the race and was concentrating on producing an even paced race as of late this has proved difficult.  Hazel delivered a solid performance and an even paced race throughout finishing in 42.28, 10th female and 84th overall.  Hazel's running form is returning slowly and she is looking forward to returning to her previous best in the near future. 

Anne Macfarlane has been performing well at the club sessions and was keen to prove her fitness at Comber.  This she did deliver, knocking merely two minutes from her personal best and achieving a time of 46.03, 3rd female in her category and 145th overall. Hard work and dedication pays off and a performance Anne should be very proud of, well done. 

Sean McGleenan also a regular at the track sessions, coached by Dougie Brown also ran a superb race.  Sean achieved a personal best performance weeks prior to Comber, however the weather prevented Sean from a repeat experience.  A battle with the wind and ran Sean produced a solid piece of running, finishing in 56.16 minutes, 18th in a competitive category and 321 overall. 

DRC members continued to enjoy the Northern Irish hospitality whereby their Road trip continued into Belfast where they enjoyed a few pints, good Ulster food before returning to the boat for the journey home.

Hazel would like to thank Jo, Anne, Sean and Dougie for supporting this event, also for the craic, it was mighty.

Hazel Smyth

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