Monday 17th October
Exchanging the road running shoes for spikes, our members abandoned the concrete, tarmac and potholes for the mud, grass and rabbit-holes of Hayes farm in Conna for the Cork County Novices and Masters Cross-Country Championships. It was a most successful day for Midleton AC with Anna Doris leading our ladies team home to take silver. Narrowly pipped by a very strong UCC team , Anna was joined on the second tier of the podium by Maggie Chojan, Orlaith Farmer and Susan Delaney with Mary O’Keeffe and Catherine O’Carroll also finishing strongly. Club captain Sally Drennan was forced out of the race through injury but was delighted with the performance of her team. Our men too were a source of delight with Neilus Aherne(yet again) taking first place 0-55 and Stanislaw Byczec third 0-50. John Hennessy and Deaglán Ó Dorgáin led the boys home over the gruelling 6k course with solid running also from Adam Duchnicz, John O’Connell , Conor McGrath, John Carey, Simon Thompson and Kevin O’Reilly. On a not unrelated tangent, John O’Connell was running a week after winning his first triathlon event. Speaking of triathlons and all things endurance leads us neatly to that Everest of the race calendar for so many of our athletes.
Yes, it is that time of year again when the truly masochistic among us suspend common sense and embark on the ultimate running challenge that is the Dublin City Marathon. A quick head-count by this column identifies twenty-eight club members who will take to the line in Kildare St at 10am on the 31st. Many are seasoned marathoners with the crater-sized welts, black toe-nails and exaggerated nipples (don’t ask..it’s a man thing) which they display on request as badges of honour (especially in the Maple at closing time on the night of the event).
This year however sees several marathon virgins amongst our members. Sinéad Ivers, Sinéad Buckley, Susan Buckley, Helen Gliroy, Sinead Kevaney, Bernie Twomey, Colette Barry, Mary O’Mahony, Marian Carroll and Barry Aherne all hope to hit the finish line in or around the 4:00/4:30hr mark. Margaret Jones has already a 3:56 on her marathon CV which she clocked in Cork earlier this year. Margaret hopes to shave a few minutes off that in the Big Smoke. Trish Murphy too hopes to benefit from her experience in Cork and is expecting a strong run. Darragh Canavan in his first attempt at the 26.2 miler is hoping to break 3hours as is Shane Cooney who sees 2:50 as a distinct possibility. Shane is already part of that elite sub-3hr fraternity. Fergal O’Meara was disappointed with his 3:23 in Rotterdam in April but is confident of securing a sub 3:10 or better for yet another 2011 PB. Breda Cahill, who must rank as the most improved female athlete this season hopes to shatter her previous best of 3:33. Claire Fitzgerald and last year’s female athlete of the year Deirdre Aherne have accumulated hundreds of training miles over the past few months and both will be looking forward to hitting the tape in or around 3:30. Mark Walsh will run his third marathon and is optimistic that his 8min/mile training will see him break the 3:30. Simon Thompson takes on his second marathon and will be hoping to finish under 3:40 while Peter Gunning will be hoping for a similar performance to his last year’s 3:26 as he goes to the marathon line for the eighth occasion. Rosarii Griffin is running the event for her Action Lesotho charity. Having worked in Lesotho, Rosarii is running Dublin as a means of raising both money and awareness to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lesotho. Check out www.actionlesotho.ie for further details. Mary B Walsh will run her ninth marathon in the company of first-timer Noreen Emerson. Adam Duchnicz broke 3:20 in Rotterdam and after an excellent season is more than capable of nearing or even dipping the 3 hour mark. Denis Kelleher also goes to the line on the 31st as will Mary Toher both of whom can legitimately lay claim to the crown of our club’s most experienced marathoners. The final salute however must go to former club captain, the inspirational Danny McCarthy. For the past four months Danny and Joan’s house on Chestnut Avenue has been the Sunday morning rendez-vous for the seasoned and virgin marathoner alike. At the five, ten and fifteen mile marks on the training route, bottles of water appear oasis-like thanks to Danny’s meticulous planning. Moreover, many is the athlete who has benefitted from Danny’s chaperoning as the wall kicks in on Foster’s Avenue. Marathon number 16 beckons for Danny, we wish him and all our team the very best on the day. We look forward to checking out your wounds in The Maple...
Training continues on Monday at 6pm in Midleton College and on Wednesdays in the Community Centre 6pm beginners, 7pm the rest.
Until next time... keep running!