By Tim Murphy
Wednesday 10 June 2022
Distance: 8.31k Climb: 312m Terrain: Forest Trail, Fire Road
Participants: Franscina Casella; Deirdre McGing; Olive Fogarty; Jose Chapa; Tim Murphy
This was all about the team…the weather… the views… the mint lemonade…and the failure
to take home the booze and choccies.
Just 3 minutes and 24 seconds separated the 5 Sportsworlder’s on this beautiful, non-
technical, course. Jose, having had his arm twisted, to run the final Wicklow Way relay leg
last month, led the Sportsworlder’s from start to finish, in his first IMRA non-relay event.
Jose took it all in his stride. This man does not do panic (unless he is in the sea and the water is very very cold). There is no truth in the rumour that he paid Karol Cronin not to race this one. Sportsworld gold for Jose .
Olive went off at a cracking pace, as she, Franscina, Deirdre and Tim kept exchanging places. Olive is rapidly getting faster. Her mountain debut was 10 weeks ago. She has come from 171% of winner’s time to 152%; from 20 th lady home to 15 th ; and from 6 th in her age category to a superb 3 rd . At this rate, she will be soon trying to emulate Eileen Rowland and Liam Lenehan with the Age Category victories.
Deirdre took a slightly more relaxed start of this race. Deirdre has become a regular on the
IMRA scene, with 6 races in the last 10 weeks… on top of her half-marathons and other
races . Deirdre’s steady performance knocked 39 seconds off her prior year time. Deirdre is competing strongly in two of the IMRA leagues. In the Leinster League, after 6 of 13 races (best 7 placings count), Deirdre sits in 9 th place… and is the leading ‘young wan’. Sinead Staunton is currently holding the top spot in the Leinster League.
Today’s race was a different league – the Trail League. This consists of three races (all 3 to
count). These have less of a climb and are less ‘technical’ and are a brilliant introduction to
trail running. Deirdre is in a fabulous 4 th position, after 2 races. The final trail run of this
season race is Wed July 6. A mere 118m climb over 7.48k. Go Deirdre!
It was Franscina who led the tightly-bunched Sportsworld ladies home, with a strong second half of the race to finish 13 th lady home – just 38 seconds off a Top 10 spot, in just her second IMRA race. Way to go Franscina!.
Speaking of a strong second half – Tim finally warmed up and began to accelerate after an extremely slow start on the initial long hill. At various points throughout the race, he was with Olive, Deirdre, and Franscina. At some point, about 5k, Tim decided to see if he had another gear. He thought he had left Olive, Fran and Deirdre behind… but not a bit of it… he would look around and Fran would be right there… into the final 2k, and another gear was needed. The guy that Tim had a dramatic sprint finish with last week conceded defeat with1.2k to go. Tim (that’s me ) pushed on for the final k. Tim finished just behind Jose… and then Franscina, Olive, and Deirdre in double-quick succession.
A great race. Sambos, apples and fizzy drinks (and water) at the finish line. Rapid-fire prize-givings. The draaaama of an alcohol-laden raffle. Jose had number 320. 319…322…321 got called. This drama nearly eclipsed the race, but not quite… roll on the next one… and happy running to all.