Race report and photos by Jim Browne
Photos by Jim Browne and Siobhan Clarke
Bambi fails to show.
The much awaited rematch between Eoin (Bambi) O Brien and I was set for the BHAA Trinity Track Races on the 13th of June (well much awaited by Eoin and I and pretty much nobody else). After 12 months of ‘thrash talking’ by Bambi and the calm and dignified response that is expected of all great BHAA Grade 10 -14 runner ( us Munster boys do our talking on the field) the scene was set for the much anticipated re-match .
Disaster struck for me on Sunday morning as I pulled up an hour into my long run with severe knee pain and had to walk/limp home. With it being a mere 3 days to the showdown, drastic action had to be taken and an urgent appointment was sought and got with a Physio on Monday morning. After an extensive examination, the Physio’s face told me that he did not have good news. ‘I’m sorry Mr Browne but no running for at least three months’. ‘THREE MONTHS’ I screamed ‘but I have to race Bambi in 3 days’. ‘Do whatever it takes to get me on the start line ‘was my order to the physio and he reluctantly agreed to give me a couple of cortisone injections into the knee and he also strapped it heavily.
As a footnote he also suggested that I should seek psychiatric help regarding my comment about racing a fictional character from a Disney movie.
The injury was not ideal preparation for the race but at least I was going to make it to the start line and so what if I limped around the track and was humiliated by Bambi, at least I had honoured my commitment to face him down in a rematch. Hence imagine my horror when my phone beeps on Tuesday night. ‘Sorry Jim I can’t make it tomorrow night as I am just after getting free tickets to a Daniel O Donnell concert’, and some rubbish about see you next year.
After dealing with the injury and the Bambi no show I was determined to enjoy the evening and in fairness it is difficult not to enjoy these two races which this year were an 800m and a 2000m. It was a lovely June evening and the grass track was looking resplendent against the backdrop of the Trinity buildings. The camaraderie amongst the runners was great and you get to run two track races against runners of your own ability. Please ignore any suggestions from Bambi O’Brien and Denis (they graded me wrongly) McCaul that the gradings of runners is questionable (see race report from last year: Click here).
Race reporter Jim Browne waiting for Bambi
There was a good turn out from Sportsworld with Eileen Rowland, Audrey O Driscoll, Peter Knaggs, Liam Lenihan, Noel Lynam ( more about this fast finisher later) Adrian Langan and myself all going to the line in our respective races.
Eileen and Audrey were first up in the 800m and both ran very well. Next up were the Kilkenny boys Adrian and Liam and I think both were still trying to come to terms to Kilkenny’s loss to Wexford on Sunday. Don’t worry lads being a back door county isn’t too bad as us Limerick people know only too well.
Adrian blasted off and was quickly in the lead with Liam being more cautious and settling into a more conservative pace. Adrian made the running for about 500m but then did a Jim Browne special and imploded and began to struggle. Meanwhile Liam was working himself through the field and was catching Adrian. However Adrian held off Liam and both had given a good account of themselves in what was their first ever 800m race.
Next up was Peter, Noel and myself. The pace at the start of the 800m is always a shock to the system and after a 100m I found myself last of the 14 runners . However I was feeling comfortable and began to work through the field and by 500m I had gotten myself into 3rd. I felt I was closing in on 2nd but unfortunately by 650m I had no further acceleration and two young lads (well relatively young) went flying by me on the home straight.
Noel finished was just behind me with Peter just a few seconds behind him. Seemingly Noel finished Usain Bolt like and stormed up the home straight and little did I know I was to learn all about Noel’s finishing speed in the 2000m.
I think all of us really enjoyed the 800m and were looking forwarded to the 2000m. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere as we watched the higher graded 800m races and soon it was time to warm up for the 2000m.
First up for Sportsworld was Audrey and she gave a very good account of herself in what is a challenging distance on a track.
Next up were the ‘Back Door Boys’ Liam and Adrian. Adrian ran brilliantly and was involved in one of the best finishes of the evening. Adrian got into an early lead and this time there was no implosion as he held off all comers until about 150m to go. A fast finishing competitor went by him with 120m to go and Adrian look dead in the water. However Adrian responded with typical Kilkenny grit and came back at his competitor on the home straight. For a moment it looked like Adrian had him but the other runner (probably a Davie Fitz inspired, Wexford Man) responded again and just edged Adrian out on the finish line.
Next up were Peter, Noel and myself. Again I went out fairly conservatively and worked myself through the field. At 1000m I had gotten myself into third and was feeling relatively comfortable. It felt like I was making headway on second but then one of the guys that went past me in the 800m went flying by me at about 1400m. I tried to hang on for dear life but there was no catching him. At a 150m to go I glanced over my shoulder and I was well clear of 5th place.
I put the head down and pushed as hard as I could up the home straight and was happy enough with my 4th place. Unfortunately Noel (fast finish) Lynam had other ideas and just as I was about to go over the line, he nipped in front of me. Where he came from I don’t know as he was at least 40m behind me with 150m to go. Mr Fast Finish is a possible new adversary and I look forward to a rematch. Unlike others, I am sure he won’t let a Daniel O Donnell concert get in his way of his commitments.
Overall it was a great evening racing and next year I think as a club we should try to get as many runners out as possible. Joking aside the grading of the runners is excellent and you really get to run against runners of your own ability on a lovely grass track at a famous Univirsity.The BHAA has food organised in the Pavilion Bar directly after the race and you can also enjoy a beer. What more could you ask for?
In the interest of fairness, I may have taken some liberties with the truth in the first couple of paragraphs of this report. The following is what actually happened.
- I got some discomfort in my knee during my long run on Sunday. Definitely no severe pain or limping home.
- There was no visit to the Physio or cortisone injections. I did a bit of stretching of my quad and I was grand the following day.
- Eoin didn’t go to a Daniel O Donnell concert but an Aerosmith concert.
- Unfortunately the bit about Usain Bolt (I mean Noel Lynam) is true.
Ah well never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Results from the night: https://bhaa.ie/trinity-track-results-2017/