So, we’re on the eve of a slight opening up of our local borders! As this is being written, we are one day away from breaking out of our 5k limit which will enable many of us, who have up to now been confined to roads and paths of tarmac and concrete along with the grass of small local parks, to spread our wings and perhaps even seek out some mountain trails.
In the meantime, until we can congregate together for organised training, our virtual challenges continue. The most recent involved an individual predictive 3k time trial followed by team event, measuring nearly 8k, allowing runners collectively to run as fast as they could over either a mile or 3k.
The first of the two challenges concluded on Easter Saturday, before the chocolate egg demolition to which all were entitled, and involved 24 Crusaders, all running on feel and not taking even a sideways glance at their Garmins. With such constraints, it has been remarkable how close runners have been getting to their predicted times. Indeed our 3 podium places went to runners who were within 2 seconds of what they had predicted and in each case they ran slightly faster. Conditions helped and we were blessed with fairly benign weather for the first part of the Easter break. The joint winners, with only a 1 second difference in their times, were Lisa Shine and Amy Roe. Lisa predicted 17:45 for the 3k challenge and ran 17:44, whilst Amy ran 14:44, having hoped to run 14:45. Lorraine Fitzsimons was her usual predictable self, with a 2 second gap, running 17:50, having predicted 17:52. Super running by all. Honourable mentions should also go to Kenan Furlong and Brendan Glynn. Kenan had hoped to run 10:59, but in the event was a creditable 5 seconds out with 11:04, whilst Brendan finished his attempt in 13:07, having predicted 13:01, a difference of 6 seconds. The fastest runners, among the 24 who took part, were led home among the women by Aoife Quigley (11:49), Kate O’Malley (11:51) and Gill Earley (12:00), whilst for the men the leaders were Michael Fitzsimons (10:43), Dee Lawlor (10:46) and Kenan with his 11:04. Finally, it would be remiss not to mention that Eileen Glynn recorded a super 14:47 PB for her 3k, having expected not to break 15 minutes (15:15).
Following the predictive event, this week’s challenge, with teams of mixed ability but as balanced as possible, involved 30 runners. So we assembled 10 teams of 3, with one runner in each team to run 1 mile and the remaining 2 runners to complete a 3k run. This time, all were allowed to watch their pace as they ran and the winning team would be the fastest team. The 3 teams that came out on top all had their strongest runners attempting the longer distance, the spread between these podium teams being only 37 seconds.
The winners, team 3, comprising Lisa Shine, who ran the mile in 6:49, Ollie McGrath and Brendan Glynn who ran the 3k, respectively, in 10:59 and 12:55, ran the combined 7.61k total in 30:43. They were followed by team 5 with Mairead Cashman (mile in 8:59), Orla Drumm (3k in 10:43) and Kevin Kavanagh (3k in 11:27) for a combined result of 31:09, just 26 seconds behind, and by team 8 with Lorraine Fitzsimons (mile in 9:24), Dee Lawlor (3k in 10:38) and Kate O’Malley (3k in 11:18) who were a further 11 seconds back in 31:20. An honourable mention should go to the team in 4th place, team 7, who recorded a collective time of 31:45, just over 1 minute behind the overall winner. Team 7 comprised Amy Roe (mile in 7:29), Margaret Foley (3k in 12:50) and Eddie Nugent (3k in 11:26).
The total spread between the 9 teams was about 4.5 minutes, with the first seven teams being separated by only about 3 minutes.
The fastest individuals completing the 3k legs were Orla Drumm (10:43), Kate O'Malley (11:18), Gill Earley (12:05), ladies captain Rebecca Fleming (12:45), Dee Lawlor (10:38), Kenan Furlong (with a lockdown PB of 10:58) and Ollie McGrath (10:59). For the mile leg, the fastest times were recorded by Aoife Quigley (6:04), Diarmuid Byrne (6:34), Olwyn Dunne (6:48) and Lisa Shine (6:49).
Olwyn and Lisa ran their 1 mile legs on the Saturday morning of the challenge in a crowded Kilbogget Park (the Kilbogget Chapter as it’s now known) with other members of the Shine family (Mairin, Fiona and Anna, celebrating her birthday), Orlaith de Burca and Tanja Narancic, Tanja coming back from injury. The challenge was supported by James Cottle who enjoyed seeing Olwyn, Lisa and Fiona to their successful finishes as part of an otherwise much needed highly sociable (but appropriately socially distanced) sunny but chilly Saturday morning run.
As many of you will now know, this coming week’s challenge is a 1 mile time trial for all, and the results will help us to select teams for the following week’s virtual version of the National Road Relays which will involve other clubs competing against our teams of 3 (each running 1 mile, 2 mile and 1 mile) in the event. We will be able to contribute as many teams of 3 as we can, each runner choosing his or her own flat course, in each of the usual categories, men’s and women’s senior, O/35 and O/50 age groups. This should be great fun and we hope to have as many runners as possible taking part in an event to be hosted by Crusaders.