The extremely popular St Coca’s 5km road race took place last Friday night 30th June in Kilcock, Co Kildare.  This race always proves a big hit with a fast course that has an overall downhill aspect of 9 metres.  This race is usually stacked with fast 5km runners.  The warm up was telling.  Lots and lots of serious looking athletes with impressive warm up routines.  My warm up consisted of a few handy kilometres followed by a number of strides on the St Coca’s 100m track.  I’ll try and look the part I thought as I did my strides on a track that resembled Grafton St 2 days before Christmas.

The race starts on the road just outside the athletic club.  Like the race itself, getting into position was a competitive business.  I’m never sure what to say when a stranger in a running singlet accidently drips sweat on you two mins before the off.  Anyway.  Thankfully the sound of the gun came quickly and we were off.  There was a few Croke Park type shoulders in the opening moments.  Andrew Brett was almost jostled off the start mat, but thankfully manage to activate his chip and recover (not coming in last place like Emmett did that time)

For all the above, this is a well organised race.  I soon settled into my first km and found a bit of road to run on.  I was a bit concerned my first km split was a little fast for a man of my ability (3.45) but I kept moving.  My second split was then 3.42 but I felt OK.  I thought to myself there are only 3 to go so just keep the head down and plough on.  I was heartened to see a number of Sportsworld jerseys all around me – it gave me something to aim at and focus on.  Paul Hamilton, Adam Furlong, Anthony Gillen, Ronan Masterson, Rossi Faulkner were all in close attendance.

The latter part of this race is a treat – there is some gentle downhill and the last 200m is on a narrow house lined street which really lends itself to building atmosphere with the smattering of supporters who came out to brave the rainy weather conditions.

I managed to keep my splits steady and finished with a 3.48, 3.44 and 3.44 for a grand total of 18.43.  Happy to be back in the 18s.  Its been a while.

Unsurprisingly, there were plenty of fast Sportsworld times but special mention to Maria Jones (17.03) and Aoife Carroll (17.54).  The sky is the limit ladies and the Summer is long.  Andrew Brett led home the male contingent despite being under the weather and taking a near hiding on the start line.  Well done Andrew (16.22)

Full results are below.  Well done to all who participated on a wintry night.  The 2024 of this race is highly recommended.

St Coca’s results