Frank Duffy 10 – Race Report thanks to Enda McMorrow

August 24th 2013 was just another Saturday for most people, albeit a very nice calm balmy day weatherwise with none of the excessive heat that we had lately. However for a couple of thousand of us that were running the series 10 race it was anything but calm as we prepared ourselves for the challenge and pain that ten miles up and down the hills of the phoenix park would set us.

As one approached the starting area, one was met by a virtual sea of sportsworld race singlets, much to Mick Dowling’s delight I am sure. Has there ever been as many of our runners at a race before I wondered. Conditions were such that fast times seemed assured for the elite runners (and so indeed it proved later as the first 3 home were all under 50 mins) – However for us mere mortals (or at least for this mere mortal), what it meant was that we were likely to survive the race in one piece. Our elite runners lined up at the front ready for the off, limbering their finely tuned muscles and focusing their mind on the race ahead. Meanwhile back in the ‘mere mortal’ section, paul was running circles (literally) around us, Killian was arriving with only two minutes to spare and Conor was doing whatever it is Conor does at the start of the race. My mind was focused on whether I should use Usain Bolt tactics (start fast) or Mo Farah tactics (start at the back and then gradually reel them all in) – I decided on the later but accidentally found myself doing the former.

Then we were off and thankfully the first couple of miles were easy enough but my mistaken tactics backfired as Conor went past me, closely followed by an impressive Ellen – Conor looked back and I attempted to say I was going to ‘run like Mo’ but he seemed to think I was saying ‘you are going too slow’ and sped away from me ignoring my desperate attempts to show what I meant via hand gestures in the shape of an M. The miles to Mile 7 passed easy enough and the course was forgiving to that point as I settled into running alongside my brother Killian – Meanwhile further ahead Stephen and Ronan were in the throes of what would end up been a ding dong battle to the end and all of the other Sportsworld runners were going well as well.
Meanwhile at the front Phil and Paul Duffy were running almost side by side closely followed by Gavin, Paul O’Connell and Damian whilst in the ladies section Orna, Catriona, Ruth, Maura and Stephanie were all going well.

Then it all changed as we reached mile 7 and suddenly we were faced by what seemed like a full mile of a hill – now the pain set in and we all wished that we had remembered to do some ‘real’ training for this race (As an aside, I reckon that the number of miles I have run since the start of the year is equivalent to just one month’s miles of the elite marathon mission group in the club – a sobering thought) – 8-9 proved a little easier, helped in no small way by the encouraging shouts of support from Emily and Myles, but as we got to mile 9 there was more of those damn hills awaiting us.

Meanwhile back at the front of the race at mile 9 or so, Phil made his break and managed to pull away from Paul D to eventually finish in a very impressive 53:46 and 15th place. In the ladies race Orna was to finish up as the first of our athletes home in a speedy 64:32. It was to prove to be a very productive day for both elite teams with 5 men under 60 minutes and 6 women under 70 minutes as follows :

Men :
Phil 53:46 – 15th
Paul D 54:04 – 18th
Gavin 54:43 – 21st
Paul O’C 55:33 – 28th
Damian 57:07 – 41st

Ladies :
Orna 64:32 – 14th
Catriona 65:02 – 15th
Ruth 66:20 – 20th
Maura 66:28 – 21st
Stephanie 67:57 – 22nd
Niamh 69:07 – 34th

Back in the mid pack area of the race, ‘little victories’ were happening as Stephen got the better, just, of Ronan and Conor had the temerity to beat both of the McMorrows in one swoop. Paul also ran well to finish just behind Conor and Ray had a good day at the office too. Fine runs were had by an array of club runners too numerous to mention unfortunately but other ones to come to my mind include those of the ever steady Ann Higgins and the still ever improving Ellen.

Full results at

Looking forward to next year’s version of this race already !
Enda McMorrow