Report by Conor Kenny
Photos by Carmek Dolan
You don’t win a Blueberry Muffin Yankee Candle without feeling invincible and maybe that you were simply born to run 2 races in 2 days.
Race reporter Conor in action
Fresh from a fast run in the Tallaght 5K, Valerie Power was persuaded by the newly formed ‘Bank Holiday Sportsworld Team’ to run another 5K some 24 hours later after winning such an emotional spot prize. Her cohorts for this celebratory ‘lap of honour’ included new club signing and emerging track specialist Big Tall John, Speedy Sandra Kelly, Singalong Derrick Long, Claire ‘not ‘Clare’ from Mayo, Mz Blueberry Muffin and this writer.
We assembled in the bejewelled Spawell car park fresh with the whiff of burning doughnut rubber, and trundled up to registration at Templeogue Football Club. It was interesting to say the least. Clearly The Premiership was casting a long arm into the minds of The Hoops Glitterati. There were more pearl white SUV’s than you’ve seen before. The air was thick with hairspray, men’s hairspray and the whiff of aftershave was strong. Amidst the glamour, we handed over our entry fee.
As soon as we were outside, a photographer instantly started snapping wildly. We looked so uncool he clearly thought we were famous. He asked us who we were “Sportsworld” we said proudly. His jaw dropped and he went “uhhhhh”.
Derrick Singalong Long insisted we warm up on the race lap. Enroute, who did we run into but the very cool Carmel Dolan and her beautiful daughter, Lucy, who became our Number 1 fans. Out of the blue (and woods) came a perfectly timed Dave Clarke. Enough time to encourage us, but not enough to change and run. “It’s all about timing” he said.
At the start, a man in the baggiest shorts, the whitest socks and the big beany hat was getting much attention. The Daily Echo Hack was back. Guilt had obviously got to him after his earlier “uhhhhh”. Without much ado, he pushed us into the bosom of this unknown man. Like good kids, we put our arms around one another and our new found friend. “Who is he?” asked one of our number “Damian Duff” came an eavesdropping scowling reply from a chorus of 3 junior Hoops players disgusted at our ignorance.
Back to the run. “Now, just to say it again. It’s a run. It’s a Bank Holiday run, it’s not a race” said one of The Bank Holiday Team. Another chorus of “Agreed”
We were off and the westerly wind put paid (thankfully) to any hope of fast times. Oh yes, sure, we weren’t ‘racing’ but the voices in the head said “Oh yes you are”.
We huffed and puffed and maybe 4 seconds separated us all at halfway. This was the downhill bit and the author was running shoulder to shoulder with The Blueberry Queen. It was later that it occurred to him that he was being used as a windbreaker (but you don’t become a Blueberry Queen without serious race craft). We were shifting and ahead of us on the narrow path, were 4 aspiring Premier League Juniors. We were closing but they were all abreast.
Just then, Susan Walsh, best known for her fantastic race commentaries, appeared and said to Val “You are first Lady”
Well, if that didn’t up the ante with just over a mile to go?
The 4 juniors were now a problem. With Chariots of Fire in our ears, yours truly let a roar at the 4 buffered beauties “Leading Lady Coming Through”. They scattered and, as a thank you apology, I said “Nice aftershave” We didn’t quite get their response but we didn’t wait either. Val was now running in slow motion with gazelle like strides, slow soft looks and hair flowing in calming wave like movements. Even her occasional wink was in slow mo too.
Up the long drag to the finish and The Leading Lady was accelerating. The author made the ultimate sacrifice with a mere 400 to go and, selflessly denying himself said “You go, you go. It’s ok, leave me”. It was noble but Big John thought it was a signal. Derrick Singalong did too and ruthlessly passed us all.
As Val collected her 1st prize, a signed Shamrock Rovers jersey, we quickly realised that Claire Rowley was 2nd Lady who got a pair of football boots for her trouble with Sandra Kelly claiming 3rd spot and a free coffee in the café. As for the 3 wise men? They were …. Happy.
Back to the Spawell for coffee and cake and a closer look at our new shiny medals. The Blueberry Queen had a lightbulb moment in the afterglow of an historic win.
Said Her Majesty “Let’s dash into town” We looked surprised and awaited her perfect punchline “Let’s dash into town and sell all our medals in Cash for Gold”. That said it all about the ethos of The Bank Holiday Sportsworld Team
It was a good to be a runner and an even better day to have 3 Ladies doing a 1-2-3.
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