Report by Jim Browne

Photos by Breda Browne, Joe Byrne and from Gowran AC Facebook Album: Click Here

Most runners have races that automatically go into their race diary and the Leinster Novice and Masters Road is one of those races for me. I am not quite too sure why as any race that is scheduled for a bank holiday Monday is never conducive to letting the ‘hair down’ on the Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend . Maybe it has got something to do with me being follicaly challenged???


Race reporter Jim in action Monday

Gowran is a small quaint village situated in the home of hurling in County Kilkenny and is a quick 75 minute drive from Dublin. The Men Master’s Race is a 6k and is unusual in that it is a 4 lap course around the village starting and finishing between the community hall and the graveyard!!.The standard of the race is quite high and the entrants are almost exclusively club runners.

gowan kilkenny

An elite crew (in my world anyway) of Damien Kelly, Joe Byrne, Noel Tobin and myself made up the Sportsworld’s Master’s team and after a quick two lap team warm up followed by the obligatory strides we were ready to go.


As always (due to a downhill start) the race goes off at a very fast pace and this year was no different. However as I had raced the Tallaght 5k the previous day ( I really need a social life) I made a concerted effort to go off conservatively and hold something in reserve for later in the race . Not the worst decision in the world as the normal difficult climb after taking a left in the village was accompanied this year with a very strong and cold headwind. Bloody hell it was hard work and only the silent cursing to myself and the sight of Joe Byrne in the distance kept me going.

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Once the first lap was completed it really was in the words of Grouche Marks ‘déjà vu all over again’ as we faced the same pain (I mean lap) another 3 times. That said that 1500m is a short lap and it was a case of knuckling down and I think I actually picked up the pace for the last 400m of the last lap to finish reasonably strongly.

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Damien Kelly had an outstanding race winning bronze in the Over 40 division and also a Silver as a scoring member of the Dublin team. His lovely daughter and biggest fan, Isobel was beaming with pride as her father collected his medals. Joe Byrne also had a super race just missing out an age group medal. Noel and I were happy with our efforts (Noel had also raced in Tallaght the previous day) and we finished 6th and 5th respectively in the Over 50 division.


After a cup of tea and the prize giving in the community hall, it was back to Dublin to let my limited hair down in the limited time that was left of the Bank Holiday.

P.S Normally Sportsworld would have had teams competing in the novice men, novice women and masters’ women but due to a combination of events we didn’t field a team in any of those categories this year. The club has numerous team and individual medals from these races and hopefully next year we will be back to full teams in all four.