Tuesday was a real Summer's day, at last, with sun and warm temperatures. Five minutes before the race start, things looked iffy with dark clouds overhead and a few drops of moisture, or was that warm-up sweat? But the rain held off and a great crowd again (598 finishers, up on Loughrea) surged along the main street in Craughwell at 8pm. Aren't people very accomodating to runners?, having said which, many of the townspeople probably had a family member running.
I doubt that we've had a better weather for any race in 2013 and people certainly took advantage. Lyall Guiney had a great 17:02, with Ray Somers and Darragh McShane only a second apart on 17:15 and 17:16, chip time. Mairead Blake almost did as well as Martin in wiping a huge chunk off her previous best with 22:12. Marie Finn had a PB too on 26:56.
Martin Keane and Bridget Kissane resumed their friendly rivalry over the series with Martin taking the honours this week after conceding a higher placement last week to Bridget. There is talk of the rivalry being our equivalence to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but now we have to decide which is which...
Jacqueline Hayes also registered a PB on 23:29, while Martin Moloney cunningly tracked some old dog of a runner for pacing purposes to take 46 seconds off his previous time with 23:04. Pat McDonagh and Sinead Foran sliced a few minutes/ seconds off their PBs with times circa 19:30.
In summary, Athenry had 15 finishers under 20 minutes, 33 in the 20 - 25 min. bracket, and 30 in the 25 min +: a total of 78 finishers, brilliant.
Lots of smiling faces at the finish line then, on an evening when it was good to be running along the country lanes of Galway among friends.
Results at http://redtagtiming.com/.