Close-run race ends on a high for ladies
WHILE most people were celebrating Easter Sunday by putting their feet up and munching on their favourite chocolate egg, some of Drogheda and District’s finest were in action at the Fr Murphy 10k road race in Athboy, County Meath.
A new course which took the runners over a very testing hilly section, and a stiff breeze meant that the runners were in for a hard day at the office.
With more than 300 runners taking part in this very popular local event, the medals weren’t going to come easy, but Nuala Reilly’s pre-race pep talk had the girls primed to deliver a good performance.
Once the gun went, Drogheda & District’s quartet of Michelle Hughes, Suzanne MCCabe, Martina O’Connor Dyas and Nuala Reilly quickly settled into a steady pace and tried to shelter from the wind as best as possible.
The next six miles were all about hard, sustained running as each member tried to pick off their rivals in the battle for team honours.
Michelle Hughes produced the goods when it mattered and was the club’s first finisher in 62nd place in a solid 43.32 which earned her a second in category prize.
Not far behind in 69th place was Nuala Reilly who pushed hard to cross the line in a fine 44.55 which ensured she won her category.
As with most team events, it’s not so much about the first two finishers but rather how well your third and fourth finishers score that determines your success on the day.
Martina O’Connor Dyas really pulled it out of the bag by running a fabulous new PB by 57 seconds of 48.48 and finished third in her category.
Fourth finisher Suzanne McCabe was on a mission to crack the 50-minute mark and once she turned the final corner and caught sight of the finishing clock she knew it was going to be close.
Tired legs are often inspired with a new PB at stake and McCabe delivered a sprint finish that would put many a greyhound to shame. Alas for McCabe the clock showed 50.01 as she dipped across the line - so near and yet so far!
Nevertheless, Drogheda & District ladies were rewarded for their hard work and good performances by finishing second in the ladies team event to a strong winning team from Trim AC.
Zoe Shannon was perhaps the happiest of the D&D runners on the day and couldn’t stop smiling as she finally cracked the onehour mark when running a new PB of 59.41.
For the male competitors, Colm Reilly, who’s coming into good form, ran a strong race right from the gun and finished 23rd in a new best time of 38.23, great running given the nature of the course. Jacker Reilly secured a third in category prize when finishing 58th overall in 43.20.
A little further from home, three members were taking part in last weekend’s Ballybunion Half Marathon.
Popular club member Deirdre McFerran ran a very solid first attempt at this 13.1-mile distance and finished third in her category with a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes. Also running was Mary Toner who ran 2.16 with no real distress.
In the shorter 10k event Mary McDonnell finished second in her category when running 49.53.
Last Saturday’s Oldbridge Parkrun tempted some members to test themselves against this rather challenging 5k course.
Cillian Dyas was D&D’s first finisher in 9th place as he raced round the course in an impressive 19.36.
Bryan Harvey ran well to finish 13th in 20.17 and has recovered well from his recent half Marathon in Berlin, and Tony Corcoran aaalso ran well to run 22.38 for the course.
First of the club’s lady finishers was Sinead McGuinness who ran a new PB of 26.20, with Natalie Doyle Bradley further back in 33.36. Also running were Donal Branigan, Mike Staunton and Mary Mulligan.