There’s little to no road racing taking place around the country but there have remained opportunities to race either in the mountains with IMRA or on the track in the graded events staged by Dublin Athletics.
Last week, the 3rd and final series of graded track and field events for 2020 took place in Tallaght and was principally focused on 400m and 5000m races. We had several athletes compete in the various races on offer and we also had one clubmate in one of the three field events of the evening, the shot put. Jonny Bell won the 7.26kg category with a throw of 11.75m. Then we had runners in 5 of the 400m races. Matthew Behan and Fearghal O’Hare took part in the A1 event, finishing respectively 3rd and 5th, split by Lee Byrne of Rathfarnham. The race was won by Paul Murphy of Ferrybank in 48.79, with Matt running 50.51 and Fearghal, 51.91. Hugo Magee ran in the 8-strong field in the AB1 race, placing 2nd in 50.53, whilst Finn Boyle won his B1 race with 7 competitors in 54.74. Max McCormack of the junior section of the club ran well enough to have probably run in the A1 race (as indeed could Hugo) when he won the C1 event in 51.76. He was followed by Tom Kelly who placed 3rd in 55.26. Some names for the future! Finally, Paul Kelly earned himself a PB with a time of 66.83 and 7th place in the C2 race.
There were 4 graded 5000m races and we had athletes in each of them. Aine Crotty marked her run in the ABC1 women’s race with a PB time of 20:20.53 and 9th place, whilst Adam Flanagan was delighted to get back to competitive running in the men’s BC1 event. He also placed 9th in a field of 19, running 16:55.01. Luke Davis and Brendan Glynn competed in the CD1 event, with Luke taking 8th place in a field of 24 in 18:12.05 and Brendan coming home in 22nd in 21:25.37. Finally, in a star-studded A1 field and a race won by Sean Tobin in 13:53.65, ahead of DSD’s Sean O’Donnell (14:16.36), Kilkenny’s Eoin Everard (14:28.78), Raheny’s Mick Clohisey (14:33.30), preparing himself for the elite running of the London marathon in early October, and Brian Maher of Kilkenny (14:34.69), Brian O’Kelly took 15th place in 15:13.78, a couple of places ahead of Tallaght’s Tomas Fitzpatrick (15:20.29). The quality field involved 20 runners. It is worth mentioning that Brian Maher's time was a new O/40 national record, to add to his other achievements, holding O/40 records for the half marathon, 10k and 5k road races.
There were 3 races in the mountains on which to report. The first took place on Wednesday and involved a wiggly out-and-back route around Prince William’s Seat in Co. Wicklow. The race was 8.4k in length with a climb of some 364m on moderate terrain. It was won by Jason Kehoe in a time of 36:47. Jason and his wife Anne are expecting their second child in a few weeks and so Jason is trying to get in as much racing as he can before his parental duties climb (and loss of sleep!) and it is clearly paying off as he is in winning form. Warren Swords kept in touch with the first three athletes on and off for good parts of the race, finally settling for 4th place in 37:51, just behind Karol Cronin of Sportsworld (36:55) who crossed the finishing line only 8 seconds behind Jason, and Paul Stephenson of Rathfarnham (3rd in 37:15). There were 103 runners in the race.
The second race took place on Saturday morning in Drumgoff in Co. Wicklow. The single loop race required runners to climb some 650m and compete over a distance of about 14.5k on moderate terrain. It was won by John Bell in 1:27:16, with Warren getting on to the podium in 3rd place. He found it the hardest race that he has participated in recently given that it was also a really warm day. Warren’s time was 1:32:24. In the 48-strong field Gavan Doherty also made a welcome return to racing following injury. Gavan placed 46th in 2:33:02.
The 3rd race took place on Sunday around St. John's Hill, Kilbrannish in Co. Carlow. We had one competitor in the race which was won by Tom Lupton of TT Racers in 53:24. Paul O'Meara joined 34 other competitors, crossing the finish line after 10.6km and a climb of 368m in 7th place and a time of 61:01. In foggy conditions Paul described the event as a great mix of technical forest trails, open mountain and fire road.
Lastly, not to forget Leo Lundy who added a 50k virtual challenge to his racing activity this month. After more than 35 days of continuous virtual racing, Leo placed 8th in his final event.