Report by Gareth Murran
The National Road relays took place today in Raheny. This is one of my favorite races of the year. Since I began running with the club in 2009 I have run all but one of the road relays. In previous years, I ran the 1-mile leg which I honestly prefer but in recent years as more of our Senior runners moved into the Master’s category I’ve been running the two miles. This year was my first as an over 35 Maters runner and I was delighted to be back doing the mile.
With no Masters Women team today it was the Master’s men up first at 2.30 PM. This race is a 1-2-1 lap format with Gareth (00:04:46), Karol (00:10:08) and Derek (00:04:59). I wasn’t sure how this was going to go after being on holiday for 10 days. After throwing a few elbows to secure a good start as the gun went I found myself in the lead, maintaining that for the first 400 meters or so. I then got a little worried that I was going too fast and slowed a small bit, allowing a couple of the Raheny runners to pass me.
The key thing about the lap is that the second half is easier than the first as it’s mostly downhill. When we turned the corner I quickly came to Myles and Paul who were shouting to give it everything. It was then that I realized that I was coating a little and dug in a bit more. I managed to get back into second with 200M to go and maintained that until the handover with Karol. Karol had to run the 2 miles and did an excellent job after running a sub 55 minute 10 mile only last weekend. Karol handed over to Derek in 3rd spot and Derek, also just back from holiday ran a fantastic anchor leg to bring the team home in 3rd and secure a national bronze. It was a great all-round team effort with fantastic support on the course from those that came to watch and those that were running the seniors.
In the same race, we had 2 more Sportsworld teams with Martin Keenan (00:05:16), Phil Kilgannon (00:10:37), Wesley Harrison (00:05:18) running a very solid 13th place. In the over 50 categories we had a 5th place from Jim Browne (00:05:41), Anthony Gillen (00:12:00) and Declan Brady
The senior’s women were up next with Catherine (05:36), Sinead (00:11:34) and Helen (00:05:24) all putting in some excellent performances. The girls ran 1-2-1 and most of the team being relatively inexperienced they are sure to move from 9th to top 5 next year. A great achievement in such a high-class field.
Last up was the senior men with Karl (00:10:43), Mark (00:05:22), Conor(00:16:37) and Stephen (00:10:58) facing the toughest challenge with 27 teams to compete against. The lads all ran well. With none of the team having previously having run the event they finished a very respectable 21st in a field of internationals and sub 4-minute milers.
Thanks to everyone who was not running that came out to support and particularly Emily and Myles for their much-appreciated advice and coaching. The graded meets starts on Wednesday so the track / road racing season is well and truly underway.