Last Sunday, I was back on familiar grounds, as my husband Stephen and I arrived in Dunboyne to take part in the Dunboyne 4 Mile. Yep, I shuddered as we passed by the dreaded Cow Park, the scene of many a muddy battle against the elements during the cross-country season. But yesterday, we were greeted by a lovely blue sky and some heart-warming sunshineWould you believe that this was the 49th edition of this race? The organization is superb: plenty of car park spaces, toilets at the registration hall and the start of the race (it’s all in the little details), a nice t-shirt, pacers and last but not least a tub of flaxseeds/chia seeds for everyone in the audience – I know, right? And the atmosphere is very friendly and uplifting.

Having retrieved my number, I noticed that I was just ahead of Peter Somba from Dunboyne AC at the T-shirt table! For a fleeting moment, I did think that this could be a sign of great things for me on the day… However, it has to be said that after that, he was pretty much ahead of me all the way to the finish line.

About 600 runners toed the line for the 3 pm start. The course is really varied and interesting, and part of it winds its way through the countryside. It has roughly the shape of an 8, and we got to pass by the heart of the village twice, where small crowds were encouraging us all.

Not only did Peter Somba manage to stay ahead of me, but he actually won the race… He was followed by Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC), William Maunsell (Clonmel AC) and Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF AC). It must have been a very exciting finish as there was only a couple of seconds between the first 3.

As we were making our way back to the registration hall surrounded by runners and supporters in high spirits, we heard some traditional Irish music through the PA system, and as we stepped in, there was an actual trad band playing away, while tea/coffee and lots of homemade goodies were served… We were truly impressed.

We’ll be back for the 50th edition.

PS: A word of warning to all of you wearing your singlets at a race… You may be lulled into a false sense of security, but beware, the rule seems to have changed, at least that’s what “Shady Mikey” has led me to believe… Nobody is safe from writing a race report… OK, I had no photographic evidence, but I swear I was wearing my singlet… (written by Niamh Cunningham)

                                          Niamh Cunningham (may not be a recent photo)


Noel Tobin 24’35’’, second in his age category!

Helen Brouder 24’48’’

Laurence Delair 35’26’’