Just a brief report this week to let everyone know that the first steps towards getting back to proper racing on the road have been taken this weekend.
Readers may point out that there may well have been unrecorded races taking place over the past weeks (unknown to your correspondent), but it is probably fair to say that numbers would have been low.
Some of you will be aware that there was a 10k time trial in mid June in the Phoenix Park in which John Mulvihill ran a PB of 32:26 and Kieran Little ran 32:55, both impressive times, and then at the beginning of July we had three runners take part in a small 5k race on the racing circuit of Mondello Park (almost like a road race perhaps!). Among a modest field of fewer than 30 runners, Peter O’Toole, placed 3rd in a time of 16:43 to DSD’s Paul O’Donnell (14:40) and he was followed by Joe Dunne who placed 18th in 21:36, with Olwyn Dunne coming across the line in 22:00, placing 3rd female finisher and 21st overall behind Meghan Ryan of DSD in 16:57 who placed 4th overall.
Then, on Sunday, a slightly bigger field took to the slightly undulating roads around Fermoy in Co. Cork to run an Invitational 4 mile race based on the annual Bob Burke Memorial event celebrating its 60th anniversary, using the same looped route. It was a quality field and we were lucky to have Shane Collins, who currently resides in the rebel county, represent the club in the race. Judging from his Strava account and a recent Crusader virtual challenge, Shane is in excellent form at the moment and showed it in his result on Sunday. The winner of the race was Kilkenny’s Eoin Everard in a time of 19:05 which was a course record. Only 2 seconds behind came his clubmate, the ageless Brian Maher, in 19:07, with third place, in 19:08, going to Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers. It was an exciting finish after Eoin and Brian battled it out for most of the race. Shane came across the line in 18th place in a great time for the distance of 20:28, taking some decent scalps in the process and demonstrating fine sprinting at the end. There were 68 runners in the mixed race, with the women’s event winner being Aoife Cooke who placed 39th overall also in a course record time of 21:52. The event was organized by Grange-Fermoy AC and judging from the social media commentary that followed, by all accounts it was a brilliant event.
Let’s just hope that such green shoots will encourage more side by side road racing to come over the Summer.
There may well have been a couple of events in Donegal over the weekend, but unlikely to have had any Crusader participation. However, please let the club know if you have competed recently in any such events that we might have missed or are looking forward to any coming up shortly. We’d love to record them. For the time being such events are likely to be outside Dublin, where it would appear to be much harder to control numbers.
We cannot let the report go without paying tribute and thanks to Mike McGovern and Susan Walsh and their band of volunteers for inter alia organizing our recent Tuesday track sessions but also the 5k track racing we undertook recently for the Docklands Virtual 5k and then this evening’s night of 3K and 1500m intra-club races. Several of the participants in tonight's races have put up their times on Strava and they are looking impressive. We responded with gusto! The demand for racing is clearly there and is so much appreciated by those of us who take part. We will be so well prepared for late Summer and early Autumn racing.