Saturday morning of a Bank Holiday weekend, the logical mind suggests a sleep in followed by a leisurely breakfast but instead I find myself heading off to the RTE BHAA 5 miler.
Race headquarters is the RTE Sports & Social Club and as with all BHAA races it is excellently organised with the race entries taken quickly and efficiently .They are plenty of familiar faces milling around with an excellent turnout from Sportsworld .
They are perfect conditions for a fast time – flat course, nice weather and stiff competition.
We were on our way at 11.00 am sharp starting on the shabby and run down Ailesbury Road. It is a four and a bit lap course that takes us around D4, through the grounds of RTE and passed the set of Fair City. The great thing about a lap course is the spectators get to see the race at its various stages. The downside is they get to see your discomfort and pain increase exponentially with each lap.
Soon the modest dwellings, Carrickstown and everything else blur into the background as we grind out the laps in the hope of achieving a fast time and of course beating our usual adversaries. (or should I say friends, club mates and other runners of the same standard) . I more or less achieve my target time but let’s just say my adversaries leave me in their wake.
First Sportsworld person home is Paul O Connell ( 12th overall) followed by Joe Byrne who beats his training partner Martin Keenan by one second with both just failing to break the 30 minute barrier by the slimmest of margins. Other standout performers are Ray Carpenter and Marie Fingleton and all the Sportsworld runners seemed happy with their times and effort.
After the race the majority of us retire to the RTE Sports and Social Club for the traditional BHAA post-race refreshments and a chat.
Special mention must go to Mr Brendan Early who finished the race in 59 minutes. A modest time except for the extraordinary fact that he ran in the over 85 category. What an inspiration and may we all have his ability, energy and motivation to do the same at his age.
Race Report By Jim Browne