The Leinster Indoor Senior Championships took place in Athlone Institute of Technology on March 25th. This was a welcome return for the championships, which were not possible in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions, since the 2020 edition which was held in the National Sports Campus. I Competed in the 3000m both this year and in 2020.

This was my second time running in AIT: the first time being in January 2017 when I competed in a 1500m there. The facilities at AIT are fantastic – as well as the great track there is a dedicated warm up area for strides etc. upstairs, overlooking the track. There was a good crowd of spectators for the busy day of field and track events from the 60m up to the 3000m.

A brief look at the start list, in advance, told me that I would be out of my depth vis-à-vis a number of athletes in the race but there was a few I was confident of beating/close to eg. Michael Comer from Celbridge – In the 2020 race I ran 10:06 with him close by in 10:09.

Anyway I have been running well recently, having 4:50 for the mile in the recent NIA Live meet, and I was aiming for circa 9:45 – this equated to 39 secs average for the 15 laps. It is a lot of laps and I prefer not to wear a watch when running in circles on a track so I decided just to have a glance on the timer, when going past the start line. The race started at a strong pace, and having left the superior athletes to do their thing, I initially stayed with Micheal Comer, and another athlete from St. Senans in the hope of having some company for at least part of the race. However looking at the timer, after 2 laps, showed me that I was going too slow for my above target so I took the decision to leave the other two and just focus on my pace per lap. So I ended up running most of the race myself save lapping a couple of athletes as well as being lapped myself – I was only lapped once by the best athletes: The race was won in a speedy 8:39 by Rathfarnham’s David Scanlon who has been a consistent top 10 performer in the Dublin Senior XC over the years.

I managed to run a consistent pace and just about went under my target time by finishing in 9:44 – a 22 second improvement on this race 2 years ago.

As you know I have been working from home in Tipperary since Covid and I am still based there for the time being and train with some local athletes primarily on the track in Moyne. So given my current circumstances I have made the difficult to transfer from Sportsworld to my local club Moycarkey Coolcroo AC effective 1st April.

I have been with Sportsworld since the start of 2014, shortly after moving to Dublin, and I initially just intended to train for the 2014 Dublin marathon and then go back playing soccer which was my main sport at the time. But I enjoyed being part of the club so much athletics became my main sport and I have competed with the club in road, track, XC as well as going to the club trip to Lanzarote twice in 2016 and 2018. Special thanks to Emily and Myles for their help and guidance – they are also great at organising teams for XC races etc. all over the country and I enjoyed competing with Sportsworld the last few years in these races even though I haven’t been at training. Without sounding like a drawn out Oscars speech I’d also like to mention Michael Cunningham and Paul Duffy who do so much for the club. I have made so many great friends in the club and I hope we can keep in touch. If I move back to Dublin, part/full-time I will definitely re-join Sportsworld. In the meantime I’m sure I’ll see some of you at races and other events. Thanks again, Conor