The national road relays took place last Sunday afternoon around the streets of Raheny. This is always one of the most enjoyable days in the championship racing calendar with a great buzz for athletes and supporters alike. You get amazing support as the race is run as 1-mile loops. The format is 121 for Masters and Seniors Women’s races and the Senior Men is 2132. This report from the sidelines by Garerth Murran.

For the attentive amongst you, a delayed 2021 road relays only took place in October with reduced numbers but I’m happy to report that this year we had a full complement of teams for both senior and masters. The weather always seems to be good for this one and 2022 was no exception. A sunny but windy day greeted the teams in Raheny and we had some incredible runs from our athletes.

First up were the Master’s women and representing the parish were Maria Jones, Noreen Brouder and Aoife Brady.  As you will no doubt know by now the ladies stormed to victory. They say talent wins races, but teamwork and intelligence win championships. All 3 of the ladies are excellent runners and ran to their strengths. An incredible achievement. The rumour is they’ll all be running senior next year.

1 Maria Jones 05:20
2 Noreen Brouder 11:07
3 Aoife O’Leary 05:28

Next to go were the Master’s men. Paul O’Beirne running his first road relays ran well, explaining afterwards that he didn’t know what to do. He executed a good race plan and should be delighted with the run. Karol was with me at a wedding until the early hours the night before so had his work cut out for him on the 2 competitive mile leg. Gavin was up last and gave it a good effort in the graveyard shift. I would have loved to be out there myself, having missed it for the first time in 7 years. The lads finished a solid 10th. Not bad for a mostly M40 bunch.

1 Paul O’Beirne 05:09
2 Karoldavid Cronin 10:39
3 Gavin Finley 05:17

The penultimate race was the senior women. I was busy serenading the Master’s Women women on their victory when Lisa Madden was spotted 50 meters ahead of the rest of the field, approaching the halfway point. I questioned if she had false started and had not heard the callback. My next thought was ‘oh she’s done it now, she’s lost her way and will be drowning in lactic any second’ incredibly Lisa kept the lead and ran the 3rd fastest time of the day. What a run by a talented runner, watch this space! Next up was Ciara Brady who had to face Sarah Healy. Ciara has run some great marathons of late and is not at her full race fitness put in a great shift. Lastly from Mayo was Maura Ginty to finish it off nicely. Maura would be better known as a 5K or 10K runner.  A very fast race with 2 middle distance UCD teams and a super-strong Rathfarnham.

1 Lisa Madden 05:10
2 Ciara Brady 12:16
3 Maura Ginty 06:07

Lastly, we had the senior men. An impossible uphill task awaited them. This race involved a glute numbing 3-mile leg.  Michael started things off with a good run in the 2 mile but next up was Conor Keating who ran a massive PB of 4:53 to add to his recent 15:59 5K. A great testament to the effort put in over the past year Conor. Well deserved, he looked like one of the milers on the day. Next, we had Sadanand covering 3 miles, a very tough gig as by this point the race leaders are starting to lap teams.. lapping only happens in the Senior men because of the extra distance. lastly we had Conor Mc Carthy to finish it out with a run that as almost identical to Micahel. Well done lads.

1 Michael Cunningham 11:32
2 Conor Ketting 04:53
3 Sadanand Magee 17:03
4 Conor Mc Carthy 11:29

Well done to every taking part and thanks to all of the supporters. I for one am looking forward to when Lisa and Conor line up for the Masters in a wee few years.  Not too long to go now, folks.

Full results available on AAI