Alan Burke's race report.

Waterford Crystal 10 mile road race Dungarvan: 5th Feb 2006

After getting a notion to do all of the Munster 10 mile classics, I thought I had fallen at the first hurdle when I ended up in Austria instead of Mallow.

Luckily for me, while I was practicing my big Airs, 360s and tailspins on a snowboard, the guards in Mallow did me favour and cancelled the race on the line due to heavy fog [thanks lads!].

So it was off to Dungarvan. I managed to secure a lift from Bernie Kelly of GCH, so I didn't have to endure 4 hours of driving just to get there. After a brief and interesting tour of Clonmel, we finally pulled into Dungarvan to find the venue had slightly changed. The local soccer club were actually using their own venue so registration was held in a disused car showroom. An ideal venue as it happens.

We met Tommy Joe Whyte from Tuam who had travelled across from Killarney and he made up the Galway representation. A brief warm up and onto the start line, joined by a healthy 400 plus strong crowd.

I was determined to start off easy, and run even 7:00 splits for my first long run since the Dublin Marathon in October. I ran the first mile with Ollie Gallagher from Kilmurray Ibrikane, who was on the comeback after injury, and as the timekeeper on the mark shouted out 7:15 for the first mile, I pushed on and said good luck to Ollie. I started reeling in all the people who had misjudged pace and ran 7:00 for the second mile, better stuff.

I was about to hit the three mile marker when I approached someone who looked remarkably like Bernie Kelly. Bernie had left myself and Ollie at the start line and slinked back into the crowd before the start, so I was sure it couldn't be her.

But no, Bernie had hit out at a blistering pace and was suffering for it now [Get a watch bernie!!]

And I ploughed on, reeling in people until about the 4 mile mark where I was back on pace. The course was nice clean country roads, with no serious hills. I passed half way , about 10 seconds inside my 35 min pace so things were going well. At about the 7 mile mark, I fell in with a group of 2 others, a local and a woman from England. We stuck together until about mile 9, exchanging a few words and keeping a good pace.

There was a slight hill just after the 9 mile marker and I started reeling in the runners just in front of me: They didn't fancy the hill, but it suited me grand and I tore away to the finish line, running the last mile in about 6:30 to finish in 69:13.

I was very happy with that but would hope to beak my PB in Ballycotton with a bit more training.

The lady from England actually won her Category, F40. Amn't I mighty, out-sprinting a 40 year old woman...

Tommy Joe missed out on breaking the hour by 40 seconds, still great running though, but the Galway contingent's superstar was Bernie Kelly who recovered after the sprint start to finish in 75:02, and winning the F45 prize. She picked up a nice Waterford Glass clock for her efforts.

After a feed of Sandwiches and lashings of Tea we hit the road.

Next time out at 10 miles is Ballycotton. With 4200 confirmed entrants, I'm planning to camp out at the start line in order to get a good start!

See you there!