Sun 24 Oct 2010 – 23:27
Saturday saw the NCR trio of Don Travers, Johnny Gregg and Don Harte take 1st 2nd and 3rd with the NCR ladies Cheril Linden and Jenny Lavery taking 1st and 3rd in their respective race at the Annual HAND Run for Autism half marathon event from Newtownhamilton to Lissummon. The event which has continually grown saw large numbers turn out from all over Ireland with athletes from local clubs turned out in force with a great response in numbers from our very own NCR. This year athletes of all abilities had the option of a 10mile race, half marathon or to partake in the 10mile walk which was no less daunting!
This year’s revised route took runners from the start line at St Michaels School out of Newtownhamilton on the Armagh Road, turning right onto the School Road returning participants into the town where they were turned through the Square up towards the Market and heading out the Markethill Road turning down Hawthorne Lane before exiting Newtownhamilton by the Newry Road.
As runners turned onto the Ballymoyer Road they followed the rise and fall of the road all the way into Whitecross, and for those who hadn’t enough of hills by the time they got to the village, they were presented with a gradual climb as they headed towards Kingsmills and at the 9mile marker the road climbed constantly as you turned onto the Drumnahunshin Road where until approximately the 10.5mile mark it looked as if it was just hill after hill!
Runners got some light relief as the route crossed the main Newry to Armagh Road but this downhill was short lived as the route turned onto the Brown Moss Road where the road sharply climbed as competitors edged closer to the finish line, and not be out done the Lesh Road offered a series of daunting hills were upon approach of the final climb and bend they were greeted with some witty banter by the MC for the day and a welcoming committee cheering all on at finish line.
Despite the weather forecast predicting heavy rain the event itself passed off in the autumn sunshine with the rain coming mid afternoon by which time the most of the walkers and runners alike where being treated to refreshments in Lissummon Community Centre, where the organisers along with the many stewards and helpers relaxed in the knowledge that yet again all their tremendous work and effort had resulted in a great day being had by all, most notably being Sean Quinn who as well as organising also managed to compete in the 10mile race.