Ann Marie, race reporter Maria and Mary coming back to themselves after a feed  of chocolate

A few of us from the Club decided it would be a good idea to sign up for a run before the Christmas. The Aware Christmas run is in its 13th year and promised to be suitably festive to get us in the Christmas spirit and with the Sportworld Christmas party on that evening, that extra mince pie would be well earned! There was a 5km or a 10km option but as I had been doing a lot of Parkruns, I decided it was time to start doing some longer runs, so the 10km it was.

The morning started out promising as the weather was fine and crisp, but by the time we had parked and found the “village” at the start line,the rain had arrived. The bag drop was more like a people drop but with 10 minutes to go, we decided it was time we at least attempt a warm-up and brave the cold and rain. As luck would have it the rain cleared and we made our way to the start. After what seemed to be ages hanging around, we started. Ann-Marie and I decided to stick together for a while and despite getting swept away initially and starting out with a bit of a sprint, we settled into our race pace. Alison found us at the 1km mark. There was a nice buzz, with lots of Santa costumes, jingle bells and of course purple Santa hats. Cadbury’s who were one of the main sponsors were handing them out along with lots of chocolate bars and hot chocolate. I was afraid I’d have to ditch mine halfway around but it managed to stay on my head for the whole race. It provided just the right amount of warmth.

The race consisted of 2 laps, beginning on Chesterfield Avenue between Furze Road and the Phoenix Monument. The finish line was on Furze Road.We got around the first 5km pretty easily making light work of the hill. We were worried about the next lap when the 5km runners would have just started.We had to negotiate a lot of walkers at the start of the next lap, but by the 7km mark we felt energised by the fresh legs of the 5km runners around us and we were beginning to look forward to the hot chocolate at the end, despite round 2 of the hill to come. At the top of the hill, we had 8km done and were on the home sketch. Allison decided to stretch her legs and made a move for home. I decided to wait until 1km to start my sprint for home. I found my target in an army cadet in full military uniform and rucksack and set off in pursuit. Having made light work of catching him, the finish line still seemed along way off. Had I gone too soon! As I crossed the finish line, Ann Marie had timed her sprint finish better and caught me.

We made our way towards the hot chocolate to see who we could find for a photo. We meet Mary and Maria in the queue. Mary was delighted with her run. She was agonising outside of the 50 minute mark, but with a flatter course and no wind, we all felt she would easily be breaking that time soon. Helen,who had booked an early appointment in the hairdresser for the Christmas party had zoomed around the course. Clearly a tip for future races – added time pressure. There was the usual chatter of who else from the club was there and of course excitement was beginning to build about the Christmas party.

Mary, Ann-Marie and I enjoyed our Coffee and scone at the visitors centre, happy to have gotten up and out on a Saturday morning and looking forward to that extra hard earned mince pie.

Sportsworld participants:

Karl Shevlin

Eoin O’Brien

Mary Colclough

Maria Finnegan

Helen McGrath

Alison Mackey

Ann-Marie Clyne

Meadbh Keane

Maria Varley

Well done to Naoise Waldron and Katie Nugent on their excellent times and places in the 5k. 

PlaceNameNet TimeCat
13Naoise WALDRON00:21:18F (3)
16Katie NUGENT00:21:47F (4)
Katie and friend after the 5k