Last Tuesday the club enjoyed a night of 3k and 1500m races between members on the track and they were just great fun, with several of our clubmates recording PBs on the night.
Then, on Friday evening we had at least 5 Crusaders take part in the Pop Up Races-organised Day of Irish PBs 2020 held in Leixlip on the Le Cheile track there, a familiar venue for the club where we have helped out at the IMC meets in the recent past. This is not the first time such an event has been held at this particular track, but it is the first such track event in the area this year, apart from the graded races a couple of weeks back in Santry.
Just as with recent Crusaders races on the track, the format for the evening consisted of 7 x 5k mixed races of differing standards, with the first race being for those wanting to run a sub-30 and the last being open to those with the likelihood of finishing sub-16 minutes. There was also a mile race in the middle, but we didn’t have any competitors in that event.
David Carter ran in the 4th race, for those looking to run sub-19 minutes and, in his first ever track race, Dave placed 8th in a field of 29 and a super time of 18:54. Then, in the next race, for those looking to run sub-18, Luke Davis finished strongly to place 6th in 17:51, with Alan Sheehy, in his first race since the Streets of Galway last year and celebrating his birthday to boot, crossing the line in 8th place in a highly creditable 18:03. The field measured 23 runners. In the 34-strong sub-17 minutes 6th race, Jim Stagg ran 16:49 for 12th place, finishing just behind Donore’s Ide Nic Dhomhnaill (16:46) with Una Britton of Kilcoole slightly further back in 16:58. Finally, in the last race of the evening, which was won by Evan Fitzgerald of Clonmel AC in 15:12, Michael Kiely acquitted himself well once again with an excellent finishing time of 15:32 for 5th place in the 22-strong field. Followers of international athlete, Ann-Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny, will be interested to learn that she ran in the same event, finishing in 15:50.
On the same evening, down in Cork, Leevale hosted a series of track and field events with members of other clubs participating. Shane Collins continued to demonstrate his excellent form, running in the 3k, where, in a field of 23 athletes, he placed 11th in 9:04, behind race winner David McGlynn of Waterford AC who ran 8:35.
On Saturday morning Ferrybank in Co. Waterford organised a series of road races between the club and United Striders of New Ross, Co. Wexford. Dee Ni Chearbhaill and her husband Sean Murphy of USAC who trains with us, ran in respectively the 5k and 4 mile events, with Dee placing 3rd as a guest runner for USAC in 21:06 on a reasonably flat looped course of 4 laps on an industrial estate south of the city. Meanwhile, Sean ran on the same course for his 4 mile event. Despite heavy legs, he ran well enough to finish in 15th place in 24:22 and both runners helped USAC win the inter club competition.
Finally, we have at least one preliminary report from the mountains. On Saturday morning Jason Kehoe and Becky Quinn ran in what would normally be a leg of the Irish Mountain Championships. However, the championships have been cancelled this year and so this was just a one-off race. Nevertheless, it attracted a quality field of approx 100 runners. The race in Co Tipperary, taking place on an out-and-back course over the summits of Galtybeg and Cush (twice) and turning for home at the top of Galtymore, measured at least 13k with an aggregate climb of some 1,340m on open mountain terrain. We don’t yet have all the details but it’s possible that Becky came second in the women's race, and if so, likely in any event winning her age category. The report will be updated as results appear.
Jason started in a group of about 7 runners competing for podium spots in the race and found himself in 3rd place ascending Cush for the first time, behind international runners, Killian Mooney and Ian Conroy. However, he was able to take Ian on the first descent and never looked back. Killian, on the other hand, proved elusive, and demonstrated some skill on the following two descents. Nevertheless, Jason was able to maintain his position about 200m behind Killian going up the last climb, holding on for the last push to the finish. So, Killian Mooney took 1st place in just over 1:24, (outside Jason’s course record of 1:21:40 set in 2017) with Jason in 2nd for 1:27:30, followed by Brian Furey in 3rd a few minutes further back. There was also an IMRA race on Forth Mountain in Co. Wexford on Sunday, but it wasn’t clear at time of going to print if any Crusaders took part. The report will be updated, if so.