Published in Reports on 20th March 2006
Well It was either this or the Parade. Alan Burke's Race Report; Tubbercurry 10km 2006
On St. Patrick's Day, the options I had were to stand around in the bitter cold in Athenry and watch a parade of snotty kids and Agricultural machinery, sometimes all at once, or hit the N17 north to Tubbercurry for a 10km road race. Myself and Johnny O'Connor met Andy Talbot at Claregalway and after a bit of confusion [Andy's new vehicle was in the wrong Car Park], we hit north for Tubbercurry.
Quiet road and dry weather got us there in plenty of time, so there was a bit of sitting around in Killoran's [a step back in time, as they say themselves], before a few hardy souls showed up. I had the great pleasure of hearing people praise this very website from the far side of the room while waiting around. Fame at last!
We finally got around to running a bit of a warm-up, but unless you ran 4 minute miles, it was really only a cool-even-further-down. The start was delayed by 15 minutes causing frantic redonning of clothing for prevent frostbite. And eventually they let us off.
A lap around the town saw Conor Maloney of GCH lead them off, but Craughwell's Mike Tobin wasn't far from the business end of things. Lucy Brennan of Sligo had already a hold of the Women's race by the 1km mark as we headed uphill, out the countryside after the first short lap downtown.
There was a 2km gentle climb that strung out the field, and I found myself running alone for much of the next 5km. A small group had formed including Tom Hunt, Johnny O' Connor and Brege McHale. I toyed briefly with the idea of reeling them in and hanging on but I had more pressing thoughts: Could the cold weather cause any damage to any future parental ambitions that I might have? Time will tell, I suppose.
The person handing out water at the half-way mark had [in the interests of their own safety, given the weather, no doubt] abandonded their post and left cups of water on a chair. By the time I had got there I was left to pick up a plastic cup of ice and suck on it to try and retreive some moisture... I think I'd read about Tom Crean trying something similar [or was it MacGuyver...].
At about the 6km mark I was passed by two runners [ How are ye Ollie and David], whom I later find out were 'unaffiliated'. This bugs me. I wear a proper running vest. Surely T-shirt wearing wannabees should be traling in my dust? Maybe I should do some more mileage. James Lundon swears by it, but Mike Tobin scoffs at the idea. Who knows?
As this stage I could still see Johnny and Tom Hunt running side by side, having dropped Breege McHale and closing down on Andy.
With about 2km to go, I stepped up the pace a little and tried to reel in the two who had overtaken me, and I really let rip for the last km, all downhill into town, running it in about 3 mins even to finish in 40:07. I was happy enough with that, given the conditions and lack of mileage in preparation. I didn't catch the lads, they has 15 secs on me in fariness to them.
Andy held off both Johnny and Tom, who lost out to Johnny in a sprint finish, Ming you it took a PB from Johnny with 39:16 to do that. Mike tobin's 37:12 was good enough for 15th, while Conor Maloney managed 34:34 for 4th behind Mayo's John Byrne, winner in 33:02 who outsprinted Sligo's Gary Higgins to win, ahead of Paul Ward.
Lucy Brennan picked up the Women's prize with 37:12, with Breege McHale second. Noreen McManamon was third ahead of GCH's Michelle Lynch who ran a fantastic 41:51. Bernie Kelly struggled with a hamstring injury and finished someway off her best with 49:24.
There was plenty of Tea and Sandwiches after the 'how cold can we get' run down. I picked up a spot prize [ along with nearly every entrant in fairness]. It will have to do untill I find that extremely-low-key event that I can win!
Next Stop Maam Cross and The Connemara Half Marathon. My Goal of Sub 1:30 are looking shaky!
Did I mention it was cold?