Close-run race ends on a high for ladies

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT -

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.

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