Race Report by Will Greensmyth

Photos sourced on the Waterford AC Facebook page: Gallery


Will clearly thinking about having to write a race report after

Our esteemed editor has kindly requested/bullied that I provide a few paragraphs on this race which took place on Saturday, 9 January. So here’s the latest RRR (Regional Race Report).

This race was initially scheduled for the start of December but was postponed due to Storm Desmond. As such, it became less of a “round out the year” race as opposed to “oh look how much I’ve overindulged over Christmas” race.


I knew from such wise and learned gents as Eoin O’Brien, Conor Kenny and Joe Byrne that this was a well organised race and so it turned out to be. The race is organised by the trojan volunteers of Waterford AC. If there’s one consistent theme in all the race reports, it is that club races are always infinitely better than “for profit” races. This was no different. The race HQ at WIT Sports Campus brought back memories of the National Novice XC in 2013 (humbly recounted in vivid and glorious detail here: http://sportsworldrun.wpengine.com/news/national-novice-2013/) and served as the start and finish of the race.


Confession: I don’t know one end of Waterford City from the other.

In my adult life, I’ve only been to Waterford for cross country races.

Prior to that, as a gasún, there was a school tour in fourth class where a busload of us from Limerick City went down to Tramore. Lord of the Flies hadn’t a patch on us.


The Tramore school tour adventure

While I’m usually all about the route, I hadn’t the foggiest where we were being sent – there was an industrial estate, and we passed the fire station and a couple of car dealerships. We didn’t go into the city centre itself but kind of skirted around the countryside and back along the ring road. As such, ignorance was bliss. A grand crisp morning, plenty of fellow runners around the same pace as myself.


That changed however when we got to 9.5 miles, and we returned to the ring road to be faced by a hill that was over a mile long. As the kids might say… #banter. That was a kick in the stones and served as a break on the relative comfort of the run to then. I had decided to start slightly ahead of the 1’30” pacers and try to keep ahead of them. The pacers and their damned balloons passed me on this mountain, but to be fair to the pacers, once we crested this peak and the one after that, and indeed the one after that, the lads were really encouraging in driving people on to get around in under the 90 minutes. I was happy to turn back into the campus and see the clock just ticking over 1.28. A good morning’s work for the first week of January and hopefully I’ll go a bit quicker along the banks of the Vltava River in Prague in April.


The postrace goodie bag included the famous WAC wooly hat which I will be sporting to all Tuesday evening sessions until the weather improves. Worth the entry fee alone.


As one would expect from a race run by a proper running club, there was a mountain of food afterwards – including more chocolate chip cookies than Willy Wonka himself could imagine and an opportunity to try a famous Waterford Blaaaaaaaaaaaaa. The soft filled rolls are a Waterford institution and were a right post-race treat. Far nicer in any event than what we Limerickians might offer as some traditional Limerick treat, namely a feed of “packet and tripe”. For the uninitiated, tripe is the lining of the cow’s stomach and packet is a sort of pigs blood pudding. It is very easily digested. Apparently, packet and tripe should only be eaten if the letter “r” appears in the spelling of the month.


Anyway, I digress.

The men’s race was won by Mick Clohessy of Raheny in a splendid 1’04” followed home by Mark Hanrahan of Leevale in 1’05. The ladies race was won by Clare McCarthy of Leevale in 1’16 with occasional Sportsworld Saturday training guest attendee Siobhan O’Doherty in second in 1’18.


Aside from myself, other Sportsworld runners to tog out included Joe Haugh who ran a great pb of 1’34 showing the consistent strides he has made since joining the club, Stephen Willoughby who ran a steady 1’41 in his first long race returning from a chest infection. Emma Barry who was in flying form nailing a pb of 1’51 and will be one to watch for 2016.


Catherine Gilmore not far behind running a steady 1’55. Well done to all four after an early start leaving Dublin at the crack of dawn to make the 10am startline.