A Chairde,
This was a Ràs not a race, so there was plenty of caint agus craic down in UCD last Saturday morning as a 15 strong Sportsworld gang were pressed into action by Brian Byrne. Brian gives acres of his time to UCD VO, UCD Volunteers Overseas and has participated in and led voluntary work teams to Tanzania so we were all pleased to support the fundraising event.

As races go, Ràs UCD has a lovely atmosphere about it which is why I return to it regularly. As is always the way in ‘Collidge’, the build up for the 11am start was chilled and the c.300 racers were on their way at 10.59! The race route is a nice combination of the roads at the Clonskeagh end of the campus and a 1k paved section underneath the concourse canopy and around The Science Block. It is generally flat so conducive to good times. Being cheered across the finish line As Gaelige is a novelty and of course the great facilities of the UCD Sports Centre pre and post race are a real plus.

While I was enjoying the tea and sambos afterwards, which were more than up to scratch, I looked around for Emmet and Mark to find them at the top of the queue for their free massages being provided by the UCD physio dept. Those boys are always on the inside track!
Sportsworld members shone brightly on the day to nab some nice prizes (Brian, don’t forget my M sized jersey!) – Karol ran a super race to finish third overall with Phil, Brian and Conor in the top twelve. Ronan posted a cracking time to take third in the MU50’s. 

There were other great performances and PB’s throughout our club contingent, yours truly and Johnny Dwyer, my metre by metre running buddy, amongst them. We were clapping each other on the back post race even if Jose’s GPS was suggesting 5k might have been more than just a couple of metres beyond the finish gantry.  We reckoned Jose’s battery was low on juice or else he had run through and not run around the Science Block like the rest of us! Either way, race organiser Brian was happy to confirm that the University’s best mathematicians, himself included, were well capable of accurately measuring out a 5k route.

Myles was more present than ever through the race. With his renowned nose for the best vantage point to encourage his charges, he stationed himself at the cross of the skewed figure of 8, two lap route. From there he didn’t need to budge an inch to urge us on four times through the 5k, and crucially with 250m to go. Thanks Myles.

An interesting footnote – the race starter on the day and prize presenter was Brian Mullins, famous Dublin footballer and Head of Sport in UCD. Our fantastic race host Brian let it slip high up on The Wicklow Way the next morning that he was named after his dad’s footballing icon!
Put Ràs UCD in your diary for next year.
Go n-éirí an bother leat!

Results Karol Cronin (3rd and 1st MU40) – 15:27
Phil Kilgannon (7th and 1st MU50) – 16:31
Brian Byrne (10th and 3rd MU40)  – 16:47
Conor Mccarthy  – 16:52
Ronan Masterson (3rd MU50) – 17.18
Colum Roche – 18.56
Emmet Wardell – 18:59
Liam Lenehan (2nd M50) – 19:18
Johnny Dwyer – 19:22
Jose Chapa – 19:40
Mark Heffernan – 20:04
Lorna Quinn – 21:20
Tim Murphy – 22.:12
Conor Kenny – 23:07
Sandra Kelly – 23:39