If you read the end of year message from club chairperson Michael Cunningham last week you will have heard how Sportsworld Running Club continued to go from strength to strength in 2018. Where else could you go four days a week and meet such a friendly and passionate bunch?
We now have almost 250 paid members and a succession of hard working committees throughout the year. The amount of race reports from 2018 alone is testament to the great sense of community that exists in the club. There was so many great moment training and racing during the year that we felt a short recap was in order.
If you have finished reading this weeks email, already been running and are looking for something to watch over Christmas. The Barkley Marathons documentaryon Netflix, should provide some running inspiration, featuring Eoin Keith from the club. It’s a great watch.
2018 arrived with the Tom Brennan 5k kicking off the New Year in a windy Phoenix Park. Over 700 participants signed up for this well regarded race. The race always attracts a solid field looking to start the year off on the right foot. We had almost 20 runners taking part. They all look like they had a good time, apart from Gareth.
Next up was the Dublin Masters in Raheny. A tough ask after all the December excesses. The Club put in a fantastic effort with male athlete of the year Karol Cronin finishing a magnificent third place overall. There was also team gold for the O35 ladies, silver for the O50 and a bunch of individual medals.
Only a week later was the cross country in Dunboyne. Not an easy race, in a muddy farmers field with many holes which made it even more difficult. Moreover, the cold weather and wind made it more challenging! Travelling with Michael means you get to put up the Gazebo and a few rookies were caught out on this occasion. We had quite the medal haul to weigh us down on the way home with Enda Kerin and Kate Kelly being the standouts.
Too many medals to mention everyone, so read the race report.
One of the best road races in the calendar the Raheny 5 closed out the month. The massive Sportsworld crew of nearly 50 runners seemed to have had a successful day out. By my count we had 7 men coming home under 30 minutes, led by Michael in 28.21. In the women’s race, Maria Jones, Catherine Bambrick and Ciara Brady finished in 18th, 20th & 26th places respectively. Lots of happy faces afterwards seemed to confirm that we had lots of runners pleased with their times and their chocolate haul.
A few less races in February but one that will surely go down in infamy. February 11th was D-Day, the last cross country race of the year. The National Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Clarinbridge, County Galway, West of Ireland. Kate Kelly in her race report spoke of the snow, sleet and freezing temperatures with a heavy heart and dread in her veins. It was the most gruelling course imaginable with hills and muck up to the shins.
A lot of things were going through the mind of the runners, not leastof which was “what am I doing in here in the middle of a freezing cold quagmire on a Sunday afternoon in East Galway”. With encouragement from the sideline and pure determination our Intermediate and Masters women managed to secure National silver despite loosing a shoe or two. They surely set the bar high for the class of 2019. The counselling sessions after Clarinbridge set the club coffers back a few years.
The next race was Leinster Indoor Championships. It was held in the National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown which is just a fantastic facility to have on our doorstep. Catherine Mulleady (who is actually 26 Nigel tells me) secured a silver in F35 category and Derek Saville ran a blisteringly fast 56 seconds over two laps to take gold in the M40. Michael Cunningham and Maria Jones also put in a good showing and narrowly missed out on the medals. For those that want to try indoors check out the indoor series.
Did somebody say the cross country season was over?
Michael and Catherine were back in the National Masters in March. Unfortunately Derek Saville and Martin Keenan who have a lot of indoor track experience were out injured and Gareth was thinking of filing his emigration papers in America. So it was left to Catherine Eliott Mulleady and Michael to fly the flag for Sportsworld. Neither of them had ran in Athlone or done the National Masters before but there was nothing to loose. They both gave it all they had and finished just outside the medals.
Michael a great man to always try something new summed up the Indoors in his race report. Indoor track is similar to outdoor track but it has it differences. Its definitely different to marathon training or cross country so if you like running you should give it a go. There are loads of masters runners in the club who have a real shot at getting National medals.
Thanks again to Sports Psychologist Colm Murphy for a really interesting talk in March which was attended by over 60 club members in Bushy Park.
With many still attending therapy after their exploits in Clarinbridge 7 weeks earlier it was time for the now annual Dublin 10 mile road race incorporating the Leinster Championships in St Annes Park Raheny. Excellent performances from Sinead Tangey, Eileen Rowland and Karol Cronin yielded individual medals in their respective categories. Our overall strength in depth however resulted in 3 teams winning medals. Karol was already building up the medal count.
Shay ran the epic looking Marathon des sables.
Eoin O’Brien took on the 2018 Rome Marathon to mark the 10th anniversary of his first ever marathon in Rome. Travel George had his own hashtag blowing up on social, and Michael Cunningham was sending Eoin advice on how to complete a race you haven’t trained for. He ran 4.01.
Adelie, Emmet, Gerard and Paul Hamilton took to the streets of Paris for the 26.2 miles and Adelie showed the lads a thing or two running 3.23. Emmet has a seemingly love / hate relationship with the distance but I’m sure we will toe the line at some stage in 2019 again.
Andrea and Margaret aka the Cork contingent were in Madrid to get langers, I mean run the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon. Although the race report didn’t contain any evidence of them actually running they evidently enjoyed the Spanish wines, and did run well. Later in the month there was a strong Sportsworld group for the Rock and Roll Madrid Marathon and Half. Race writer Enda nails it when he says that planning to run a marathon is like life, ‘anything can happen’. Enda ran a good 2.57. In the Half Marathon Packie became the first Sportsworld runner to ever officially get lost in a well marshalled half marathon. Mr Enright managed to take a wrong turn and complete most of the full Marathon before realising his wrongs.
The rain was still pouring for National 10k in the Phoenix park. First home for the women was Sinead Tagney in a brilliant time of 38:46, followed by Ciara Brady and Maria Jones. Together they claimed the bronze medal in the Senior Womens behind DSD and Galway City Harriers. First home for the men was Karol Cronin, followed by Phil Kilgannon and Karl Chatterton resulting in them winning bronze in the M35 category. Eileen Rowland also ran brilliantly to win bronze medal in her age category
The Boston Marathon is famous for many reasons. It’s the oldest annual marathon in the world. It was set up due to the success of the marathon event in the first modern Olympics in 1896. The day is called ‘Marathon Monday’ by the locals. Running legend Katherine Switzer of course who secretly entered and completed the race in 1967 demonstrating that women could in fact physically run the marathon. Then there is infamous heartbreak hill. This year the conditions were bad, biblical level bad. It was the coldest running of the marathon on record and the slowest winning times since the 70s. A huge number of the Elites had dropped out and many people were treated for hypothermia and hospitalised. Gavin, Kevin and Diarmuid ran themselves and the club proud in horrendous conditions. Gavin ran 2.45 and was first home.
With all the marathons and trips to Madrid their were weaker teams than usual for the national road relays. The road relays took place on April 23rd in their regular home around the roads of Raheny in Dublin. The sun peered in and out throughout the day with gusty winds curtailing fast times but that didn’t prevent some really great racing. The course is 50 meters beyond a mile in Raheny and involves tapping your teammate’s hand. No medals this year but some great running.
The Terenure 5 mile was the highlight of the month and possibly the year. A demonstration in race organisation perfection. So many individual stories in the race report so take another read of the race report and all the pics.
On a bank holiday in May you have two choices. Go to Tallaght for the 5K or go to Gowran for the 6K. Up in Tallaght Conor Mcarthy lead the teams home in an impressive 17.09 whilst in Gowran Maria Jones lead the ladies team to gold. Maria also took the silver medal herself in the women’s race. Also in Gowran, trump supporter Gavin Finley finished a superb 5th place in the Masters men.
Barretstown is a charity does not need a huge introduction – the work they do with sick children and for bereaved families is well known. Top lad Emmet Wardell ran a 40K to raise funds in May. At the same time the graded track races were gettting underway with some top debuts in the summer sun. Val, Irene, Carmel, Bronwyn and Olive represented!
Only one word can adequately describe the Great Limerick Run of 2018. Hot. Maybe two words… very hot! Temperatures hit 20 degrees on the streets of Limerick on Sunday 6th May 2018. Granted not quite Marathon Des Sables…but it felt pretty close! ‘Strategy’ quickly evaporated in the heat… There was good group from the club but the star of the day was former Sporstworld superstar Shona Keane who came home first in the women’s race in 3 hours, on the button.
To finish out the month was the ever popular Wicklow relay. I don’t think anyone got lost this year but there is meant to be 8 on a team?
In June we had a glut of meet the runner articles Olive Fogarty, Maria Jones , Eoin Keith and Noel Tobin. You have plenty of time to read up on a few people over Christmas. We also had the fastest 10K road race going and a huge amount of personal bests in Dunsaughlin.
Maria Jones has her 5 minutes of fame selling out every copy of the Irish Runner as June / July cover star after a chance encounter with legend Frank Greally after her victory at the Irish Runner 5k. It was pure right class, which in Tipp speak means it was really really good meeting Frank.
June Bank Holiday can only mean one thing. Forty-odd thousand women descend on the streets of Dublin to take part in the world’s largest female-only sporting event of its kind-The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon. It was this event some 35 years ago that prompted Emily to start Sportsworld running club so obviously the club holds a strong tradition of taking part in this amazing day out year after year. Yes this is a big race day but more importantly it’s a day when charities are the big winner. So with this in mind, this year the ladies in the club got together to run for charity swapping their usual red and white for the PWSAI logo singlet’s. Sinead was first home in a super speedy 37 minutes. Well done to all.
In the same month Eoin and Conor ran in Tullaroan, somewhere outside Dublin on a tough half marathon course. Meanwhile in Cork a massive bunch ran the half marathon and marathon relays. One race I need to add on my bucket list. Ever improving Mark Hogan was the first Sportsworld man home in a time of 1.19. He was followed closely by Martin Doyle in 1.20, who not only managed a PB for his half but within that also achieved a PB for his 10k. I think we all need to start eating more Mars bars! After the race the clouds lifted to make way for a beautiful sunny afternoon…perfect weather for a beer garden some might say!
The Trinity track races took place and Eoin O’Brien did not regain his grade D 1200M title despite the presence of his rival big Jim. In the Leinster Masters track Gareth and Martin were collecting medals like magpies.
Trail racing high in The Alps, beneath Mont Blanc looks awesome. Liam Lenehan spoke about his appreciation for the support of Myles and Emily and all at bushy park for getting him to the start for the Marathon (23km Cross) du Mont Blanc, Chamonix in France. Special mention for the Sportsworld IMRA gang who run up and down the Wicklow hills and Mount Leinster in training. Liam finished in a very respectable 4h:04.
Other races over the month included Naoise and Sibéal running impressively in the beautiful Snowdonia half. The Liberties fun run where Gareth beat Karol for the first time eve on the roads and the three musketeers Johny, Jose and Mark went to the majestic Bere island. Put that one on your bucket list folks. Finally a load of Sportsworld’s finest ran the Irish runner 10 mile on a touch hilly course.
On Sunday, the 6th annual ‘Rock and Roll’ Dublin half marathon took place. It also doubled as the AAI national half marathon championships. This year saw a change to the regular route to allow the Phoenix Park be prepared for the visit of Pope Francis at the end of the month. There were mixed feelings about the changes, mostly due to the inclusion of some of the steepest hills in Dublin! Runners really enjoyed the day and whilst the course was one of the tougher half marathons, it was scenic at times and having the new start finish are at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham was a plus.
As the bell rang to signify the last lap of the 1500M in Tullamore there was a great atmosphere around the place. Gareth ended up disappointed not be the national champion but he was gold medal or bust, a silver is a nice perk. Michael and Martin also put in great performances in their respective races. Michael has a new lease of life on the track these days.
Oh the Green and Red of Mayo
I can see it still
It’s soft and craggy bogland
It’s tall majestic hills
Where the ocean kisses Ireland
And the waves carress it’s shore
Oh the feeling that came over Maura Ginty as she ran 69:19 for 10 miles
To stay forever more in the record books
Maura also ran the Chareleville Half with the best race report writer in the club Deirdre O’Connell. Deirdre loved Maura’s attitude on race day, her goodwill and her drive to improve, boosted everyone enjoyment of the day. Here they are, seemingly joined at the hip, with even Rob Heffernan unable to come between them. Gareth ran but was unable to keep up with Ginty.
Next up were the Sportsworld track championships. This normally marks the end of the track season. The honours for the Sportsworld Track Championships 2018 in the 400m team relay event were:
1st Place: Andrew Brett, Jessica Kennedy, Liam Lenehan, Andrew Brett (ran two legs)
2nd Place: Gareth Murran, Noel Lyneham, Stephanie Bergin, Mark Heffernan.
3rd Place: Will Martin Smith, Donal Brennan, Ian Harrison, Val Power.
In the individual 1500m Maria Jones return from injury to claim victory and Gareth just held of Karol to claim his 3rd title.
Last but not least in September was the Berlin marathon. The first big marathon of the season, and all that hard work. Tom, Paul, Diarmuid and Martin all wrote about their experiences in the heat of Berlin. They all ran really well on a very warm day. Martin first home in a new PB of 2.51. Amazingly Martin and tom went on to run Dublin also. This was Paul’s second marathon of the year.
It was a fantastic night at The Alex Hotel for the club 35th! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the music, delicious food and the preparation put in by the four organisers. Trojan work done by the organising committee, Catherine Mulleady, Gemma White Maria Jones and Sinead Tangney. Best dance moves of the night went to Paul O’Connell for his unforgettable rendition of Riverdance. There is a video doing the rounds. The amazing cake was baked by Sibeal and Naoise Waldron.
About 20 Sportsworlders travelled to Poland in October for the Krakow half marathon. Brainchild of Ellen Lavin, the trip pulled together a fairly diverse group of runners ranging from those completing their first ever half marathon, to those casually slotting it into their preparations for the Dublin City Marathon and a few who were just along for the cheering.
October means a number of things in Sportsworld. It hearlds the start of the winter sessions for all. It’s the culmination of marathon training for some. And it also means Cross Country. A large group ran the season opener which was the Dublin Novice race in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday, October 7. The women’s team were 3rd and men 5th.
6 of Sportsworld finest ran the Galway Bay Half and as Van Morrison said in that fabulous voice; “There’ll be days like this” First home was Andrea in a solid 1.32 along the prom. It was cold and dry for the Rathfarnham 5K. The perfect morning for a race and we even saw the return of fan favourite Denis McCaul. First home for the guys for Karol and Noreen for the gals.
Later in the month Helen Brouder and Karol Cronin ran impressively in the Autumn Open. Top master Phil ran well to come in second on the team.
The course at the Navan Sports and Adventure Centre for the Leinster Novice was fast considering the hills and hairpins. The surface is on the fairways of a golf course which make for a lovely forgiving smooth run. The dry weather of recent months meant the going was nice and firm. The route of the Leinster Novice happened to be the same as the National Novice on the 16th of December so those who ran had a distinct advantage going to Nationals.
The finale to a hard summers training and coaching for many was the DCM 2018. on a perfect day for running there was great performances all round. The support from club members and friends was such a rush around Terenue. It made the running seem effortless. As we turned onto Templeogue road the shouts for Sportsworld rang out on both sides of the road. At Terenure cross roads it seemed as though the whole of the club had come out to watch. A great day and night was had to celebrate. Why is it I can never remember going to the black door the next day?
The highlights in November were the National senior cross country which had reduced numbers due to the massive contingent in Lanzarote. Our teams ran well against very tough competition. Now people know why I go to Lanzarote every year, to avoid this race. The Leinster Senior was a more approachable affair in Adamstown
For those that like a nice clean road like myself, Run the line seemed like as much craic as being electrocuted, but each to their own and a big group from the club ran the tough race. Run the line is an annual event organised by Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue. It is a fundraising event and all the entry fee goes towards the great work that the organisation does.
Lanzarote rounded out the month with 4 days of running, eating, lounging and living ones best life. It was great getting to know some people better this year including most improved athlete Stephen O’Donnell and silent disco maestro Mark Hogan. We had the craic all week.
We all love a bit of cake and no so than on December 4th when the annual bake sales raised over €1100 for Alzimers Ireland.
The Christmas party was a superb night that ended in the early hours for many. Good fun was had as can be seen from the smiles.
Other highlights of the month were the Dublin Intermediate which was won in style by most improved female of the year Lisa Madden, with young gun Ciara Brady finishing an impressive 3rd. The ladies took the gold home and look chuffed with their medal haul. Great running by the lads also who took 4th team and came just short of the medals.
December all ended back in Navan on a very wet and windy day. The teams did well against some top competition at the National Novice and you can read the report in this weeks email.
News also broke that the Dublin marathon is sold out and one Karol Cronin has thrown his name into the ring, lovely jubbly.
Get setting those 2019 running resolutions.