The Sportsworld ‘Meet & Train’ ladies were back in action again last Sunday, and we had a new recruit. Namely, Atiyah. When looking up this unique name, the dictionary informs me that it means ‘gift’, ‘modest’, ‘caring’, ‘beautiful in appearance’, ‘always cares for others’. Hhhmmmm, interesting. The weather forecasters had warned us that this “beautiful” stormy presence would be making herself felt during the weekend, and we ‘Meet and Train’ ladies, and all the supporters on the day, certainly felt her colder and perhaps less “caring” side! It was bitterly cold!

The ‘Meet and Train’ race series is a brilliant opportunity for all female runners to meet in a friendly, less pressured race environment. There is a light-hearted rivalry between clubs. Of course we all want to do well, and we enter each race hoping to do really well, but I think the focus really is on taking part, being part of a team and of course, getting to enjoy the chat, tea and gorgeous cakes and biscuits afterwards! The hosting club also have a raffle where all runners race numbers are randomly selected and the lucky winners receive books, running gear and all sorts of gizmos and gadgets.

So, to the race itself. All ‘Meet and Train’ races are two miles long. Sunday was the second in a series of four races. Sportsworld are currently holding second position in the club charts. Crusaders Athletic Club hosted this race. The two mile course consisted of a figure eight like route in Irishtown, with beautiful views of Sandymount beach to distract us from Atiyah’s brisk wind and cutting cold temperature! We all got off to a flying start with the winner of this race setting a very fast pace from beginning to end. We had such wonderful support throughout.

Okay, maybe not quite that many. But we did have the ever supportive and super encouraging Emily and Myles cheering us on, along with Olive, David and Padraic. Thank you!

Once we got to the finish line and cheered on all the runners as they made their way to race completion/body-numbness/near collapse……..we gathered our belongings and made our way to the ‘Star of the Sea’ National school, where a banquet of cakes, biscuits and hot teas and coffees were laid out. Atiyah was a distant memory. Well not quite. Being soaked through and wearing wet runners was a pointed reminder that our stormy friend hadn’t quite left us!

By 11.30am, the race was over and we could return home with a perk in our step having completed our second ‘Meet and Train’ race in rather testing conditions! All runners had really strong performances and Sportsworld continue to be a leading club in the ratings. It must be said that the club Christmas party was the night before in a local Indian restaurant……there is a lot to be said for a Tikka Masala pre-race!

Congrats to Sportsworld on yet another fine racing day! Our next ‘Meet and Train’ day out is on January 19th, hosted by ‘Brothers Pearse’ followed by the fourth and final race of the series in Abbotstown on February 9th.

We might even find a singlet for Atiyah. Judging by her strength and gritty display last weekend, she could be quite the asset on the racing circuit!

Some snaps from the day!