A nice medal haul in the National T&F Championships and a welcome return to local road and mountain racing
The highlight of this weekend has been the National Senior Track and Field Championships, held over 3 days in the Morton Stadium in Santry. Conditions were windy, but otherwise dry and cool.
On Day 1 we witnessed several track heats with finals to take place over the weekend. Andrew Mellon ran in a field of 7 runners in heat 3 of the men’s 400m, placing 2nd in 47.68 behind GCH’s Robert McDonnell who ran 47.61. Andrew went through to Saturday’s final as a fastest qualifier. In heat 1 of the men’s 800m, Fearghal O’Hare found himself among some heavy hitters and, despite running a solid 1:53.74, placed 6th in the heat out of 10 and unfortunately missed out on qualifying. On the other hand, Mary Horgan ran in heat 1 of the women’s 800m in a field of 7 athletes, placing 2nd in 2:11.72 and qualified for the following day’s final. A Crusader was in one field final on the first day. Killian Barry placed 4th in a field of 8 in the 7.26kg Hammer with a throw of 52.77m.
Day 2 saw Rhianna McCarthy running in heat 2 of the women’s 100m, where she placed 5th in a field of 8 in a time of 12.36. Unfortunately, it was not enough to qualify. However, she did get some compensation later in the day in the women’s 4x100m relay.
Colin Quirke, once again, distinguished himself with taking the national title in the men’s 2kg discus. His 3rd throw of 54.84m was the winning distance. Having said that, all of his successful throws would have put him on the podium. Phillipa Conway placed 7th in a field of 11 in the women’s discus with a throw of 32.24m behind the winning effort of 53.73m.
Another winner on the day was Adam McMullen, regaining his title after conceding it last year when coming back from injury. Mind you, it was touch and go at the end. Adam’s leap of 7.48m looked to have won the competition coming into the 6th and final round. However, the penultimate jumper, just before Adam’s last attempt, recorded 7.50m and Adam’s winning effort on his last jump was only 1cm further with 7.51m. A great competition in windy conditions!
Going into Saturday’s final as a fastest loser and being put into lane 1, Andrew Mellon put in a sterling effort to finish 5th in the men’s 400m in a time of 47.75, behind winner GCH’s Cillin Greene in a photo finish with Chris O’Donnell. Greene ran 46.38 and O’Donnell ran 46.43, with the impressive 18-year old Robert McDonnell taking the bronze in 47.19. It’s possible that Greene and O’Donnell will end up in the mixed 4x400m squad in Tokyo as a result.
Both 800m finals were exciting. Mary Horgan ran for Crusaders in the women’s final. In a field of 11 athletes with a super finish by Louise Shanahan (2:03.62) holding off Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (2:03.84), Mary found herself in no man’s land behind a group of 6 athletes going through 600m but pushed on relentlessly and held her 7th place with yet another PB effort, this time breaking 2:08 for the first time (2:07.84).
Finally, on the second day, the club was rewarded with a silver medal in the women’s 4x100m relay. 3 teams contested the race which was won by DSD in 47.57. The Crusaders team of Alix Hughes, Ciara Barry, Roisin Dobey and Rhianna McCarthy did the club proud by finishing ahead of the Donore team with a great time of 49.83, Donore running 52.60.
On Day 3 we had participants in 3 events. Matt Behan went again against his older rival, Gerard O’Donnell, and had to settle for the silver medal in the men’s 110mH. O’Donnell ran 14.04, with Matt recording 14.20. Both runners were well clear of the field. Valentinos Goularas also ran in the final but pulled up before the finish after hitting the penultimate hurdle. In heat 2 of the men’s 200m, Conall Gallagher placed 4th in 23.21 with only the winner of the heat to qualify.
Finally, in the last event of the meet, our men’s 4x400m team was up against teams from Mayo AC, Emerald AC and the Irish U20 squad. Our team of James Woods, Max Doyle, Fearghal O’Hare and anchor Matt Behan acquitted themselves well, placing 3rd overall in 3:29.52, well ahead of Mayo and just behind race winners, the U20 squad (3:23.05) who narrowly defeated Emerald AC (3:23.45). Crusaders found themselves in 3rd position from early on, but it was a solid effort from the squad, who likely collected the silver medal in the club championships.
Very many congratulations to all!
Staying with track and field, the 2nd graded meet took place on Wednesday evening, again at Tallaght stadium and the events on offer were the 200m, 800m, 3000m and shot put. We had competitors in all of them.
In the women’s 200m grade B1 race, Roisin Dobey enjoyed a close finish to place 2nd in a time of 27.046, with the winner running 26.787. In 5th place came multi-eventer Alix Hughes who ran 29.133. Alix went on to compete in the 6kg shot put where she placed 2nd of 6 competitors with a throw of 9.19m, the winner from Lucan throwing 9.41m. The women’s 200m grade C2, with 5 participants, was won by Emily Lyne in a time of 27.58. Finally, in the same distance men’s grade AB1, Peter Murphy secured 1st place in a dead heat with Zak Higgins of Donore. Both recorded a time of 23.036 ahead of 4 other runners.
The 800m events proved to be the most popular among Crusaders. All in all, we had no fewer than 10 clubmates take part. First up was Fiona Shine in the women’s grade AB1, where she placed 8th in a time of 2:32.315. In the women’s C1, Léa Braud had an exciting finish with Edel McNamara of DCH to place joint second out of 7 runners in a time of 2:29.54, followed closely by Rachael Yorke in 4th place with a time of 2:29.92. The winner from Donore recorded 2:27.20. In winning the grade C2 race, Sarah Lyons recorded a PB of 2:31.402, ahead of Ciara Lynch in 2nd place and in her first 800m with 2:34.84 and 6 other athletes. Finally, in the women’s 800m events, Kathryn Sweeney placed 3rd in the grade C3 race in a field of 7 runners. Kathryn’s time was 2:37.966. 4 Crusaders took part in the men’s 800m events. In the grade C1, Henry Griffin was just able to hold off a runner from Lucan Harriers in placing 4th in a field of 8. Henry’s time was 2:14.470, ahead of the 5th placed runner with 2:14.475. The winner recorded 2:08.583. We had runners in both D grade races. In the D1 event Alan Kavanagh took 4th place in 2:44.80 ahead of Paul Kelly in 9th place in 3:35.60, whilst in the D2 race, Brendan Glynn ran 2:39.426 for 4th place in a 7-man field.
Just 3 of our club-mates took part in the 3000m races. The women’s ABC1 event was unsurprisingly dominated by Maria McCambridge in her first competitive outing in a while. Maria finished almost 14 seconds ahead of the field in a time of 10:06.122. Isabelle Cairns placed 12th in 12:00.07. Finally, in the men’s C2 race with its 8-strong field, Frank Hague took 5th spot in 10:26.36, followed by Eddie Nugent who ran 10:35.67 for 7th place. Full results can be found here: https://graded.dublinathletics.com/results.php
Some of us were so lucky to be able to enter the Kilcock 5k road race, organised by St. Coca’s AC in Kildare, on Friday evening. The field was restricted to 200 (in fact 202 finished the race), but apparently 2,000 people tried to enter it when registration opened and it sold out within three and a half minutes. Several of us had been able to pre-enter along with other club runners, which was why there was such a significant presence of club runners in the race, many of them elite. Indeed, it was quite a nerve-wracking experience at the start line. Not only were we guinea pigs for the return of mass participation races, but we were just fearful of being left behind by such a potentially fast group of runners. The reward for entry was a superbly-organised event in perfect running conditions, cool with a little breeze. We even dodged the rain that Dublin experienced. The race has always had a great reputation, but, even with such a small field, it will be remembered this year for the concentration of elite runners. It was won overall by Evan Fitzgerald from Clonmel in a time of 14:53 and the women’s race was won by Lizzie Lee in a PB time for her of 15:53. Amazingly, Maria McCambridge turned out to run, 2 days after her triumph in the graded meet, to take 2nd place in 17:05, and with Noreen Brouder taking third place (17:09) just behind, the women’s podium was filled with runners over 40. The strength of the field, on what is a fast course, with a small hill at about 3k (clearly evident in the splits of virtually every runner), was demonstrated by the fact that 70 athletes broke 17 minutes and 150 broke 20 minutes. Really impressive.
We had 4 Crusaders lucky enough to take part and experience their first road race in a good while. Ciarain Kelly ran a PB time of 16:17 for 37th place, followed by Adrienne Jordan who placed 113th overall and 16th female finisher (in a field of 66 women in total) and 7th F40 in 18:27. James Cottle was next, running a relatively decent 19:39 as a 65-year-old for 144th place and winning the O/60 age category. Finally, Miriam Logan incredibly knocked 80 seconds off her 5k PB, coming home in a time of 21:06 for 171st spot overall (41st female finisher). Hopefully, other race organisers will have seen how successful the event was and be encouraged to open up more opportunities for competitive road running going forward soon. Members might be interested to hear that the first road race had taken place the previous weekend, a half marathon in Curagha in County Meath, featuring an invitational field of 34 runners, including United Striders’ Sean Murphy who trains with us. Sean came home in 7th place in a great time of 1:25:32 as he prepares for the London Marathon in October. The winner was MRR and Bohermeen’s Ronan Wogan in 1:16:40.
It has been great to see a return of mountain racing in the past two weeks and the local events have generated much interest among several of our members. Each IMRA race has been limited to fields of a maximum of 150 runners and we have managed to have at least 7 athletes in two of the 3 races that feature this week.
The first race around Belmont and Little Sugar Loaf in Wicklow was held a couple of weeks back in ideal conditions. The 8.62k race itself took place on an out-and-back course involving a 3k loop around the mountain and a climb of 360m. As such, it took place on a mix of forest trail and open mountain, relatively moderate in difficulty. There were 130 finishers, led home by UCD’s Ruairi Long in 39:43. Warren Swords took a creditable 3rd place just behind and was the first M40 home in 43:01. Slightly further back came Brendan Murphy in 6th place (44:30), followed by Donatas Jocius (14th in 48:29). Brian McGuckin placed 2nd in his M50 age category taking 32nd place in 53:04 and he was followed not too far behind by Michael Maughan who ran 53:45 for 36th place and 3rd in his M45 age category. The group was completed by Emily Glen who placed 95th overall and 14th of the 28 women who ran in 65:55, followed by Kate Murray (111th and 22nd) in 72:18 and Gavan Doherty (126th) in 87:20.
A week later the IMRA circus moved to Scarr near Lough Dan in Co. Wicklow for a 10k race, involving a looped course with a climb of 450m on difficult terrain in misty conditions at the top. 7 Crusaders took part in the race, with 2 podium finishes. Peter Roche (unaffiliated) led the 135-strong field home in 46:59, with DSD’s Grace O’Rourke winning the women’s race (22nd overall in 54:34). Once again, Warren Swords distinguished himself with a podium place, this week improving to second spot, and again 1st M40, in a time 47:21. Next to feature was John McAuley who took 20th place in 54:17, followed by Becky Quinn who placed 23rd overall, 2nd female finisher and 1st F45, in 54:50. It was good to see Raghnall O’Donoghue racing again (although he did run in a short course race with his daughter Ellie around Prince William’s Seat the previous weekend). Raghnall placed 28th in this race with a time of 55:35. Brian McGuckin was next in 41st position, 2nd M50 once again, in 57:20, followed once again by Michael Maughan, not too far behind in 60:23 for 53rd place. Gavan Doherty ran 73:31 for 110th place.
The latest event took place this Sunday, again down in Wicklow, this time an out-and-back to the summit of Sorrell Hill, a total distance of 9.45k with a 392m climb over moderate terrain. Only 95 runners took to the course, among them 3 Crusaders. In misty conditions again, John McAuley ploughed through the field and placed 6th and 3rd M40 in 49:06, some 6 minutes behind the race winner. Just behind John came Donatas Jocius who placed 7th in 49:37. Finally, Michael Maughan ran 59:26 for 37th place and 3rd M45.
Lastly, parkruns have now returned to Northern Ireland and we had participants in two of them on Saturday. Kathryn Sweeney ran in Omagh, where, in a field of 119 runners, she placed 11th overall and 2nd female finisher in 20:35, her best time for that course, whilst in Queen’s Belfast, Steven Walker placed 16th in a field of 167 and a time of 20:46.
A late addition to the report: Luke Davis reported that he ran a 5k TT organised on Greystones track at the weekend and recorded an excellent time of 17:48.
If we have missed any results, please let us know so that the report can be updated.
St. Coca’s AC Kilcock 5k (202)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Chiptime
1 Evan Fitzgerald 1 00:14:53
27 Lizzie Lee 1 00:15:53 (PB)
Crusaders AC runners
37 Ciarain Kelly 00:16:17 (PB)
113 Adrienne Jordan 00:18:27 (16)
144 James Cottle 00:19:39
171 Miriam Logan 00:21:06 (PB) (41)
Full results here: https://www.myrunresults.com/events/st_cocas_ac_5k_road_race/4113/results
Belmont - Little Sugar Loaf (IMRA race) (130)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Ruairi Long 1 00:39:43
47 Aideen Burke 1 00:56:04
Crusaders AC runners
3 Warren Swords 00:43:01
6 Brendan Murphy 00:44:30
14 Donatas Jocius 00:48:29
32 Brian McGuckin 00:53:04
36 Michael Maughan 00:53:45
95 Emily Glen 01:05:55 (14)
111 Kate Murray 01:12:18 (22)
126 Gavan Doherty 01:27:20
Full results here: https://www.imra.ie/events/results/id/2044
Scarr (IMRA race) (135)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Peter Roche 1 00:46:59
22 Grace O’Rourke 1 00:54:34
Crusaders AC runners
2 Warren Swords 00:47:21
20 John McAuley 00:54:17
23 Becky Quinn 00:54:50 (2)
28 Raghnall O’Donoghue 00:55:35
41 Brian McGuckin 00:57:20
53 Michael Maughan 01:00:23
110 Gavan Doherty 01:13:31
Full results here: https://www.imra.ie/events/results/id/2048
Sorrell Hill (IMRA race) (955)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Edward O’Connor 1 00:42:51
11 Rosy Temple 1 00:50:53
Crusaders AC runners
6 John McAuley 00:49:06
7 Donatas Jocius 00:49:37
37 Michael Maughan 01:00:23
110 Gavan Doherty 59:26
Full results here: https://www.imra.ie/events/results/id/2049