The annual ‘Streets of Wicklow’ organised by Inbhear Dee AC, has been taking place in Wicklow Town on St. Stephens Day for over 10 years and has become quite the featured event, what better way to run off the Christmas Day indulgences than a festive family 5 km fun run, walk or crawl. with a 1 mile race for the younger athletes.
This year had over 500 participants with all ages, and abilities taking part making for a fun day out, whilst raising much needed funds for Inbhaer Dee Athletics Club. With good representation from a lot of the Wicklow clubs – Kilcoole, Parnell, Ashford and Greystones to name a few, and a wider presents from some Dublin clubs – Rathfarnham, Sportsworld, Crusaders and Bros Pearse; this was a well supported event. on a bright sunny Wednesday morning.
This was my 6th time to run the race and 2nd outing on the new course which was introduced in 2016. I have a good record in the race with a win in 2015, 2nd in 2017 and a few 4th place finishes.
This year I was in good company with Phil,Gavin and Conor Kenny running alongside. The course is not super fast with hills, twists and turns but I always seem to run well.
It was clear standing on the start line this year that a top 3 was going to be challenging. To name but a few there was Hiko Tonosa, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Emmett Dunleavy and Sean Hehir standing on the startline. There was prizes for top men and women so I decided to go out hard and hang in for as long as possible.
The first kilometre of the race is up the main hill in Wicklow town. Its a tough climb but you hit a sharp downhill just as you are reaching breaking point. The next section is flat along the port. When I hit the 2K marker I was on 3.03 kilometres and starting to feel that pace was a bit too hot. I wasn’t going to last another 3K at this tempo.
At that point in the race I was in 8th. I decided to slow things down to a more manageable 3.10-3.12 pace and try to catch the lads in front running a more steady pace. The next section is quite picturesque along the sea front. The surfaces are good but I’m always left wondering what must the average beach goer be thinking as 500 grunting runners fly by.
As luck would have it I was in 6th but seriously struggling as the 4K marker approached. I completely missed it during the race but I remembered roughly where it is from previous years. It comes at a point in the race where you have just 200 meters of small climb to go before a fast downhill finish. When I finally caught a glimpse of the finish with 500M to go (picture below) I could see the 5th place runner and clock in front and knew that I was going to have to sprint to get under 16 minutes and to stand a chance at that 5th place prize. I finished in 15.57 and from the finish line video just ran out of road, finishing in 6th place. It has been a while since I went sub 16 minutes and I was 15 seconds faster than last year. A good sign and nice to pick up an age group prize.
Gavin was fast finishing just behind with Phil a short bit further back. Conor Kenny was next home for Sportsworld. A superb race as always. My fastest 5K of the year. Looking forward to having a crack at a PB in 2019. A heavy month of training starting to pay dividends.
The mens race was won comfortably by Hiko and local international lady Emma O’BRIEN.
Gareth Murran 15.57 (2nd in age group)
Gavin Finlay 16.17 (3rd in age group)
Phil Kilgannon 16.59 (1st in age group)
Conor Kenny 23.44 (4th in age group)