Report by Phil Kilgannon
Photos from St James Hospital Facebook Page: Click here
Sportsworld results below
Raised on songs and stories, heroes of renown
The passing tales and glories that once was Dublin Town
The hallowed halls and houses, the haunting childrens rhymes
That once was Dublin City in the rare ould times
Ring a ring a rosey, as the light declines
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times
(Pete St. John.)
This Liberties 6k has become a bit of a favourite of mine and always brings to mind the old Dublin City Rambler’s/ Dubliner’s tune, evoking the spirit of some of the most authentic pockets of real Dublin on the Western edge of our fair city.
The race is hosted in the spectacular grounds of IMMA, which has recently hosted the might of Faithless, Elbow, Blur and the Great Leonard Cohen, but to name a few. A stone’s throw across the road is Kilmainham Gaol where the leaders of the Rising were ruthlessly executed a century ago for lighting the fire that later led to independence. Their memory and legacy is intrinsic to the city, but particularly here and now in this year of reflection and commemoration.
Before entering the race, I actually had the good fortune of receiving an entry from one Eoin O’Brien Esquire. Rumour has it that on the track last Saturday there was a collective gasp as the ‘Bekele of Balally’ pulled up with a calf strain. I queried him the following day at Longditude suspecting that he must have had an axe to grind, to exert such a strain. Indeed after a couple of glasses of prosseco he admitted to wanting to “put Jim Browne back in his box”. Inheriting the entry would of course entail submitting a piece of prose depicting events of the night. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Prosseco’s and 99’s the week before
I haven’t been able to race much of late due to a conundrum of aductor/calf strains that can arise at any given moment. This has substantially curtailed my ability to train, though building fitness at a glacial pace appears to offer some promise of progress. And so it was time to resurrect the racing vest, which sat bundled in a corner, BHAA number still pinned to it from the RTE race in early May. Setting the violin aside a race such as this is effectively a conveniently timed pace run to incorporate into the training plan. It’d be nice to get the weekly mileage up to 50 miles a week again, but for now it was time to race. In the words of the immortal Madness; One Step Beyond …
This race strangely doesn’t get a huge turnout and similarly the club didn’t have a huge representation, though we had a high calibre of ladies participating. Meeting Anna and Maura before the race, the latter appeared excited about the possibility of seeing ‘gurriers’ on the course. I’m not sure if this was an anthropological curiosity or perhaps some form of pokemon hunt. The cheeky chaps never fail to entertain in fairness though and there’s always a bit of banter on the way around. And so the grand depart…
We exited the back of IMMA and meandered along Francis and Thomas St. up through Pimlico and past Sean Dempsey’s House. I’d a good number in and around me to keep a steady pace. Up front David a Flynn, a fine young runner on scholarship in the University of Arkansas had the race to himself.
After that there was a decent plot unfolding. Donal Foley of Raheny who I’ve duelled with on a few occasions was best of the rest and far stronger than I today. Caroline Crowley, our European Cross Country medallist was in hot pursuit of him. Her Crusaders team mate Orla Drumm was in a group with a myself, a Donore guy and another fella, but she pushed on in the second half, despite a head wind.
My breathing wasn’t great as has been the case in training, but I held my ground with the two lads as we pushed past the Coombe and on towards Inchicore approaching the penultimate kilometre. An intriguing race was emerging up ahead as Orla tracked Caroline and Donal drifted back to Caroline. In the heal of the hunt, Donal pushed on when the pressure was applied and Caroline did likewise.
Orla drifted back a little coming within view as we opened up along the canal. Orla remained strong though past St. James’s entrance, turning right onto South Circular. Approaching the magnificent entrance to IMMA and one of the great finishing straights in any race, I found myself in sixth place.
The finishing straight
I was just off fifth and even had fourth within view. I’d always back myself in this situation normally, but was running on empty at this point. With no reserves of energy from which to summon a burst for the line, I had to accept that this was mission accomplished for today. Instinct prompted a harmless incursion on the shoulder of the fella ahead but he surged again and all that was left to do was push though the line to nip the clock at 20.30, before it rolled another jot.
Race Reporter Phil Finishing 6th!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the results, though I saw Stephanie, Anna, Maura and Claire Rowley on my way out chatting over spirited efforts as the evening light declined. There were another couple of club singlets floating around and I apologise for the lack of information as my google search for results was in vain.
To conclude, a satisfactory day at the office, given where the fitness is at and a step in the right direction. I’d need to chip 10-15 seconds a kilometre off at this point, which is considerable, though with mileage manageable. Admittedly preparations at Longitude on Sunday were less than ideal, but in the words of another force of nature born 100 years ago, Roald Dahl:
“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men”.
Sportsworld Results – 864 finishers
1st David Flynn 00:18:20
3rd Caroline Crowley 00:20:04
6th Phil Kilgannon 00:20:29
42nd Stephanie Bergin 00:24:22
135 Maura Ginty 00:27:41
136 Anna Delaney 00:27:41
139 Claire Rowley 00:27:31
152 Grainne Dilleen 00:27:46
153 Katie Nugent 00:28:10
156 Grainne Lynch 00:27:58
223 Sarah Lavan 00:29:33
313 Audrai O’Driscoll 00:31:25