Saturday was sheer madness. Gale force winds and driving rain were all in the mix for the Frank Duffy 10 mile race in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning, part of the Dublin Race Series and including the County Dublin 10 mile championships. Add to that a change in the course from previous years, to include the Acres Road running into the wind, taking the Snake in the opposite direction from normal and losing a lot of the downhill on Chesterfield Avenue and we are talking a serious challenge. It was not meant to be a day for PBs, but surprisingly there were a few, more likely a reflection of increased fitness and endurance and previously soft PBs than an improvement in the course!
The race started at 10, but most runners were on site by 9 am and huddling under trees with scant protection from the continuous heavy downpour we had to experience. Some had had the presence of mind to bring bin liners to try to keep dry and warm, but most of us just had to grin and bear it. The warm up was a relief, but then we all cooled down dramatically, left to shiver at the start line, begging the organisers to start on time and for the most part the race did. As we set off, one’s feet felt extremely heavy and in racing flats every bump in the road could be felt through the sodden socks and water-filled runners. The rain abated about two miles in as we came over the Snake and up to the Wellesley monument, but the wind was ferocious most of the way round and one had the sense that it was more times in one’s face than behind. Coming to the 8th mile past the Papal Cross the wind seemed to gather strength and runners had to lower their heads to find a way to pierce through it. By contrast the traditional finish up the Upper Glen Road and onto Furze Road seemed like an old friend, except that the finishing line seemed to be nowhere in sight. It was only as runners crossed the timing strips that it became apparent that there was no longer any gantry, the strong winds having forced the race organisers to take it down.
Because of the weather the field was dramatically reduced. More than 6,000 runners had registered for the race, but under 4,000 started it, a greater than average attrition (usually one can expect 12-13% not to turn up…this was closer to 33%). Amazingly, though, Crusaders are made of stern stuff and we actually were able to field at least 52 participants on the day, with more than 30 completing the course under 80 minutes.
In the men’s race there were some excellent runs from the likes of Ciaran Diviney who led us all home. Ciaran ran 57:31 to place 22nd; he was 3rd in his age category and silver medal winner in the Dublin championships for his age group. Ian Kinsella was next in 67th (1:00:55), followed by Michael O’Conor (83rd in 1:02:02). Running his first 10 miler, Michael Wycherley also was able to make a top 100 spot, placing 99th in 1:02:02 and he based it on having been pulled round by Joe Walsh who probably PB’d in making 1:02:28 (102nd). The men's O/35 team of Ciaran, Michael Wycherley and Joe took silver in the Dublin championships. James Moran (110th in 1:02:46) and Will Owens (139th in 1:03:44) were next and they were followed by NY marathon-bound Joe McDermott who is flying right now, recording his second PB in as many weeks, coming home in 1:04:13 (155th).
Behind Eddie Nugent (210th in 1:06:13) came Colm Kernan who ran an impressively steady race (237th in 1:06:40), followed by Diarmuid Byrne (246th in a PB of 1:06:44) in similar fashion. Other racers to break 70 minutes were Eugene McDonough (253rd in 1:07:08), Paul Dempsey (260th in 1:07:08), Karl Walsh who took James Cottle in the last 100m (282nd in 1:07:59), James Cottle (283rd in 1:08:21) and Dave Tuohy who had a great run to finish in 1:08:40 (299th). Newcomer Sean Smith, who is training for the Dublin marathon, just missed out with a run of 1:10:06 (360th), although it was a 4 minute PB improvement all the same. Despite having an extremely tough race, having had a nightmare journey from France via London to make the race on time, and possibly because of the stress finding himself confronting continuous nausea from about 3 miles in and having to stop at least twice in the last two miles to deal with it, James was able to place 2nd in his age category and also earn a gold medal in the Dublin championships. It is also confirmed that the O/50 team of James, Denis Murphy (604th in 1:14:36) and Robbie Moore (621st in 1:14:41) bagged Dublin bronze behind Rathfarnham WSAC and Raheny. There were other great performances amongst the men too numerous to mention and hats off to Pat Quill (455th in 1:12:14) who was suffering mightily but who managed to finish the race only a short while after his recent ultra marathon.
18 Cru women took part in the race and they were led home by Edwina Quinlan (714th overall, 86th woman, in 1:13:54), who is training for the Dublin marathon. Edwina was followed by Emma O’Mahony, likewise in marathon training (860th overall, 116th woman, in 1:18:03), another marathoner Maria Pertl (1031st overall, 165th woman, in a PB time of 1:19:50), Ailis Fagan (1,072nd overall, 177th woman, in 1:20:10), Darina Scully (1145th overall, 193rd woman, in 1:21:31) and marathoner Fiona Bane (1255th overall, 193rd woman, in 1:21:31). Top 500 female places also went to Olwyn Dunne (1374th overall, 270th woman in a training run time of 1:24:06), Kris Ryan (back from her travels to record 1451st overall, 295th woman, in 1:24:40), Ciara Lehane and Maria Kennedy (both training for the marathon) (respectively, 1515th overall, 313th woman, in 1:23:33 and 1767th, 407th woman, in 1:26:25), Nina Hurley (1786th overall, 412th woman, in 1:26:34), Celine Bonce, another marathoner in training (1865th overall, 451st woman, in 1:27:16), followed by Niamh Quinn (1869th overall, 453rd woman, in 1:27:15). Mention should also be made of Carina Davidson who drew the race announcer’s unwanted attention just before the race started as she climbed over the fencing: 'And the technical lads are just going to roll up to the start line now. Oh no wait, here's girl in a pink tee shirt running up with a race number on, 3971, that's... Carina Davidson from Crusaders. The last person to start the Frank Duffy 10 mile will be Carina... who’s hopping the fence onto the race route. The fence is there to stop people doing exactly what you've just done Carina... Don't make that face at me.' In fact, she may well have been the last to the start line but Carina finished well up the field in 2,566th place overall (774th woman home) in a PB time of 1:36:34.
The Crusaders in the race also really appreciated the support out there from fellow members which was as usual well-placed and helpful! The goodie bag at the end was well-received as, not only did it include the purple souvenir tee shirt from the race, but also a nice warm blue race series beanie…essential on such a challenging day!
The second major event of the weekend for the club was the National Masters Track and Field championships held in Tullamore on Sunday. We had at least 8 competitors in the track races, some of whom competed in multiple events. Bob Lyne, for example, took part in the M45 5Km walk finishing in 2nd place in 39:43:83 and then placing 5th in the 100m in 13:91. John O’Loughlin took silver in the same 100m event in 12:55, following it up with another national silver in the 200m in 25:79 and an 8th place finish in the 400m in 60:08. Paul Francis took silver in the M50 100m in 12:92 and followed it up with gold and the national title in the 400m in 58:45. Geraldine Clements also ran in 2 events, finishing in bronze position in the W45 800m in a PB time of 2:43:72 and then taking silver in the 1500m in 5:38:77. Brian Carroll placed 7th in the M35 800m in 2:10:11, followed by Alan Sheehy who took 8th spot in a PB time of 2:11:41, whilst Jim O’Callaghan finished in 7th place in the M70 100m in 20:21. Finally, Simon Everard, who, like Alan in the 800m, has been making great strides this season in the 400m, is our new national champion in the M35 category for the 400m, finishing in a PB time of 53:93.
Also on Sunday Leo Lundy competed in the “Not the Rio Marathon” Marathon. This had great potential as it was due to start and finish in the Velodrome in the Olympic Park in London’s East End and at the finish it was possible watch the real Rio marathon on a big screen in the Velodrome. There were a lot of issues, however, and it was a bit of a disappointment for Leo. He also ran with a sore back (after a furniture-moving incident) and had to walk the last 10k. About 270 took part and Leo’s 4:34 was a mid-pack result.
On Saturday, the parkruns suffered from the same weather conditions as the Frank Duffy and the numbers reflected this. Marlay had only 242 runners, Anthony O’Reilly among them, and he came home in 9th place in a time of 19:40. Before his exploit in Tullamore on Sunday, Brian Carroll was down in Cork at the oddly-named (at some point in history was it misspelt?) Castle Demense parkrun, finishing in 14th position in a time of 25:43 among a field of 32 runners. Sharon Woods continues to take on the challenge of St. Anne’s, placing 42nd overall (7th woman) out of a 8th total field of 140 participants, whilst Kate Murray also ran in Cork, at Bere Island, placing 20th out of a field of 63 (and 8th woman) in a time of 25:24. Mairin and Fiona Shine took on Cabinteely. In a total field of only58 runners, Mairin took the bragging rights, placing 32nd overall (8th woman finisher) in a time of 27:19, whilst Fiona placed 38th (12th woman) in 27:57. Finally, Brian O’Kelly was a first finisher in a small field of 18 in Hartsown, coming home in 16:53.
Frank Duffy 10 mile race Overall Place Name Cat. Place Chiptime 1 Freddie Sittuk 1 00:52:37 34 Gladys Ganiel 1 00:59:04 Crusaders AC runners 22 Ciaran Diviney 00:57:31 67 Ian Kinsella 01:00:55 83 Michael O’Conor 01:02:02 99 Michael Wycherley 01:02:28 (PB) 102 Joe Walsh 01:02:37 (PB) 110 James Moran 01:02:46 139 Will Owens 01:03:44 155 Joe McDermott 01:04:13 (PB) 210 Eddie Nugent 01:06:13 237 Colm Kernan 01:06:40 246 Diarmuid Byrne 01:06:44 (PB) 253 Eugene McDonough 01:07:08 260 Paul Dempsey 01:07:18 282 Karl Walsh 01:07:59 283 James Cottle 01:08:21 299 Dave Tuohy 01:08:40 360 Sean Smith 01:10:06 (PB) 417 Jason Crosbie 01:10:49 425 Simon Kenny 01:11:26 430 Mike Stewart 01:11:07 434 Tomas Dunne 01:11:22 455 Pat Quill 01:12:14 560 David Heneghan 01:13:08 588 Anthony Owens 01:14:22 598 Matthew Cranley 01:14:44 604 Denis Murphy 01:14:36 621 Robbie Moore 01:14:41 626 Kevin Lynch 01:13:56 714 Edwina Quinlan 01:13:54 753 Tony Hackett 01:16:28 840 Niall Morris 01:17:01 860 Emma O’Mahony 01:18:03 1031 Maria Pertl 01:19:50 (PB) 1072 Ailis Fagan 01:20:10 1145 Darina Scully 01:21:31 1255 Fiona Bane 01:22:17 1295 Donal Foley 01:22:01 1374 Olwyn Dunne 01:24:06 1451 Kris Ryan 01:24:40 1515 Ciara Lehane 01:23:33 1767 Maria Kennedy 01:26:25 1786 Nina Hurley 01:26:34 1865 Celine Bonce 01:27:16 1869 Niamh Quinn 01:27:15 1921 Francis Furey 01:27:55 2171 Susanne English 01:30:04 2281 Richard Harpur 01:32:49 2391 Joe O’Reilly 01:32:57 2566 Carina Davidson 01:36:34 (PB) 2948 Aisling O’Connor 01:39:07 3020 Dearbhla Hynes 01:40:10 3233 Alexandra Guglielmi 01:42:59 Full results here: http://tdleventservices.co.uk/race-results.php