Race Report by Sandra Gowran

Photos and video by Gareth Murran. For for photo gallery: Click here

About 6 weeks ago Sportsworld was asked to host the last Meet & Train cross-county race of the year – we willingly agreed and set about to get the necessary permission from the Parks Department of the County Council.
Race reporter Sandra….before she decided to race
Having only received official confirmation from South Dublin CC that we could hold the race in Tymon with less than a week to race day a trusty team of Sportsworld Committee members got together to plan for the race; if our racing standards ever drop there’s a definite business possibility for lastminuteraces.com such was the standard of organisation of today’s race.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
A big shout-out to all those who helped in organising – Aileen Melody and Breda Brown for getting all the paperwork in order; Dave Clarke for ensuring that we had loadsa tea and biscuits, etc for the post-race chat; Michael Cunningham, Eoin O’Brien, Catherine Muleady, Adrian Lanigan, Paul Duffy and others who set out the course; Emily Dowling for organising for the use of Faugh’s GAA Club and only setting off the alarm once to my two times this morning! Gareth Murran for the amazing photos and video. Thanks to everyone else who turned up early clad in the red and white of Sportsworld to help out.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
It was a glorious morning, more like a day in early May than December and the underfoot conditions were equally as welcoming.
Yours truly rocked up to help with the hosting of the race without any intentions of racing – in fact I said several times that I wasn’t racing, it went something like this:
Sportsworld Member at the start of the M&T season: Sandra are you doing the M&T?
Me: Probably not
Sportsworld Member about 6 weeks to today’s race: Sandra, are you racing?
Me: I don’t think so
Sportsworld Member about 2 weeks to today’s race: Sandra, are you racing?
Me: No, definitely not.
Sportsworld Member about 2 days to today’s race: Sandra, are you racing?
Me: Absolutely not, I have a litany of excuses that I could give but really I just don’t want to!
Emily less than 60 secs before the starting whistle this morning: Sandra, are you racing?
Me: Ah sure feck it, I will!
What is it they say about a woman’s prerogative to change her mind?!
Anyway just before my change of mind I had controversially set my Santa hat on the top of a course stake to mark the finish – that it was at the brow of a hill is where the controversy arises as it seems Eoin O’Brien had not long before told everyone that the finish was ‘lovely and flat’ – the course was a bit short so I lengthened the finish to bring us closer to the 2 mile mark – not my fault there just happened to be a hill there!
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
So, back to me changing my mind – I arrived at the start line just to witness the girls in the front row chomping at the bit like greyhounds ready for the off – I tucked in close to the rear happy not to be attempting to catch the hare today, and we were off.
It’s been so long since I ran a M&T race that I had forgotten just how ‘low pressure’ they can be – there were loads of women around me which allowed me to work my way through a little as we tackled ‘the hill’ (it was a slope really) for the first time. The race was well dotted with Sportsworld supporters and stewards who offered great encouragement – most even recognised me despite the fact that shame of all shames, I wasn’t wearing my Club singlet (hence my punishment in writing the race report!).
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
There was a lovely steep downhill in the second field and only one wet and mucky patch for about 50 metres, before we knew it we were back to the beginning of the second lap. There was a great number from Sportsworld Racing – many who had recently completed the 4 day La Santa Challenge series (there was also  a good few absent due to the excesses of Christmas – we’ll say no more) and there were some great performances and markers set for the rest of the season.

Before I knew it I was entering the final field and the finish was in sight – one last effort up the slope/hill and I had completed my first M&T race in about 13 years (yes, 13!) and joined my club mates in the post-race glow analysis – it was at this point that I learned that Maria Jones was just pipped at the line for 1st place – the controversy being had I not lengthened the finish she may have held onto 1st place, however had I continued on up the hill/slope to get to 2 miles exactly (yes the race was still a little short!) the outcome- well we’ll never know – Maria will just have to have another go next time.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
Well done to all my club mates on racing, cheering, organising, photography, videoing, pouring, sharing, etc. Wishing you all a lovely holiday season with loved ones and a wonderfully rewarding and enjoyable 2017 running and racing with Sportsworld Running Club.
P.s. there are two morals to this story – 1. Always pack your club singlet even if you have absolutely no intention of racing, ever (otherwise you’ll end up doing the race report) and 2. Be emphatic – just say ‘No’ and stick to it (….unless of course there’s the potential to get an endorphin hit and then it’s perfectly reasonable to say Yes…..!)
The New Meet & Train Trophies