Wednesday, 23rd June, marked the second event in the Dublin Graded Series for 2021 and it was great to see a few more faces take to the start line in the Sportsworld gear. Despite the enthusiasm for track racing, no-one put up their hands to write a race report so it falls to me again.
First event on the track was the 200m and Sportsworld was represented by Caroline & Edel who both put in solid performances in their races. Despite nerves around how to use the blocks, both shot off as soon as the gun went. Word has it that Caroline is now second in the Sportsworld records and Edel is third.
There was a quick turnaround after the 200m before the 800m kicked off. It really was a case of blink and you’d miss the start as the gun was almost silent. The event was slightly less organised than the first meeting two weeks ago. At one point they were looking for people to go to the start line but the names they were calling out were already racing down the home straight. Despite all of this, myself and Katie got ourselves ready to take part in the C2 race. I’ll admit I was a bit more nervous about this race than I was two weeks ago for the 1500m. I think the general confusion before starting the race had me a little rattled but as soon as the gun went, all was forgotten. Katie had the good sense to get close to the front from the start and she held that position all the way round. I started in lane 1 so I just held my own and let people go in front of me. It was a tough race and I could only admire Katie from afar as she ran a really strong race, finishing in 2:38. Despite being further down the field (and running with laces open on both feet) I was thrilled with my 2:47 time, taking 20 seconds off the time I ran at the same event in 2019. That’s the joy of the graded meets. It’s easy to be distracted by who else is in the race but sometimes you get the most satisfaction from simply racing against yourself.
Caroline Conway, fresh from the 200m, was up in the third C race. She took off at lightning speed and a few of us were worried that she didn’t realise it was an 800m race. Not a bother on her though. She took to the front and remained a good distance ahead until the final 100 metres when a Liffey Valley athlete came charging through. There was a fantastic battle between them with Caroline ultimately having the strength to hold off her challenger.
In the men’s 800m, all three Sportsworld athletes competed against each other. They pushed each other hard throughout with Declan coming through the first 400m in first position. Anthony and Martin took off on the second lap, with Martin coming through to win the race strongly. Anthony ran a very solid race to finish second. After a very quick first 400m, it was hard going in the second lap but Declan maintained form and finished well.
After a quick cool down, it was back to the track to support the men in the 3000m. Timothy & Michael were up first. As always, Timothy ran hard, and finished in a great time of 10:20. Michael ran a very steady race and looked like he might catch Timothy on the last lap but Timothy wasn’t having any of that and found an extra gear to finish ahead of him.
In the next race, Trevor & Brian both put in good individual performances. All of the 3000m ended up being quite strung out with many participants having to run on their own. No easy feat considering the distance so well done to all who slogged it out.
Finally, Conor Keating made the trip up from Tipp to compete in the D race. Again, it was a tough race with Conor running on his own for most of it but that didn’t deter him and he pushed on right to the end, hopefully making the long trip worthwhile.
And so ended another great evening at Tallaght Athletics Club. Thankfully, the weather Gods played their part and conditions were perfect for track racing. It was great to have Emily in attendance cheering us on for the 800m races and as always it was great to see the familiar face of Myles ringing the bell.
Hopefully we will see the same numbers (or maybe more) of Sportsworld runners at the next race.
Caroline Conway – 29.4
Edel Keenehan – 30.406
Caroline Conway – 2.29.262
Katie Nugent – 2.38.92
Deirdre McGing – 2.47.697
Martin Keenan – 2.28.827
Anthony Gillen – 2.34.211
Declan Brady – 2.40.194
Timothy Morahan – 10.20.25
Michael Cunningham – 10.22.14
Trevor Sweeney – 10.30.97
Brian Conway – 11.28.97
Conor Keating – 12.02.51