The Clonmel Athletic Club 4 Mile Road Race took place in good conditions on St Stephen's Day when 227 athletes competed over what is a relatively flat course. This race has always proved very popular among local and other athletes from near and beyond. This year also saw a good entry from many of the newcomers from our 4K series and looking at the results they all performed very well, keep up the training.
The race itself started like a sprint with a strong charge over the initial 400m and then a group started to dictate the pace that included Shane Mullaney (Thurles Crokes), Jason Fahy (Olympic Harriers, Clare), Sandis Bralitis (West Waterford) a former winner and the eventual winner Alan O'Shea (Bantry). Once Alan moved into the lead there was going to be only one winner as he put in a series of 4 mins 43 secs pace miles to reach halfway in 9 mins 27 secs. At this stage he was well clear and he kept this pace going all the way to win very convincingly in 19 mins 1 sec, a brilliant performance when one considers that he ran 19 mins 41 secs over this course last February.
Sandis Bralitis of West Waterford also ran very well when finishing 2nd in 19 mins 14 secs. Jason Fahy of Olympic Harriers Clare ran a great race when finishing 3rd in 19 mins 26 secs with Sean Tobin of Clonmel Athletic Club running the proverbial blinder to finish 4th in 19 mins 57 secs, brilliant running by the 17 year old athlete, to win the Junior men's prize. Patrick Hogan of Ferrybank, the current Munster Intermediate Cross Country Champions was 5th in 20 mins 1 secs with Dwayne Farrell of Tinryland finishing 5th Senior man in 20 mins 21 secs.
John Downes of Donore Harriers won the 0/40 award in 20 mins 23 secs with Pat O'Sullivan of Carrick on Suir 2nd in 21 mins 18 secs. Michael Moore of Dundrum won the 0/45 award in 22 mins 44 secs with Dick O'Gorman (Clonmel AC) 2nd in 23 mins 43 secs. Jim McCormack of Ballynonty (25 mins 12 secs) and PJ Holmes of Dundrum (26 mins 8 secs were 1st and 2nd 0/50 respectively. Matt Alexander (Coolquill) won the 0/55 award in 24 mins 16 secs with Leslie Smyth of Coolquill 2nd in 25 mins 9 secs. Joe Grinsell of Clonmel AC won the 0/60 award in 29 mins 24 secs, TJ O'Loughlin of Clonmel AC won the 0/65 award in 29 mins 32 secs while Pierce Purcell of Clonmel AC won the 0/70 award in 39 mins 10 secs. In the Junior men's race Sean Tobin was 1st in 19 mins 57secs, a course record. Michael Carey and James Murphy both of Clonmel Ac were 2nd (23 mins 5 secs) and 3rd (23 mins 30 secs) respectively and these two athletes should also be very pleased with these performances.
In the Ladies race we had a right tussle between Angela McCann of the local club and Deirdre Doyle of Tinryland with Deirdre pulling clear over the final stages to win in 22 mins 49 secs with Angela a further 6 secs adrift, Aine Roche (Clonmel AC) was 3rd Senior Lady in 25 mins 45 secs with Pamela Lynch of Clonmel AC finishing 4th in 26 mins 26 secs. Catherine Rice of Clonmel AC 5th Senior Lady in 27 mins 20 secs.
The Ladies 0/40 award was won by Annette Morrissey of Clonmel AC in 30 mins 14 secs with Miriam O'Gorman of Clonmel AC 2nd in 31 mins 43 secs. Julie Tideswell of Clonmel AC won the Ladies 0/45 award in 30 mins 54 secs with Anne Cronin of Carrick on Suir 2nd in 31 mins 38 secs. Marian O'Neill of Clonmel AC won the Ladies 0/50 award in 30 mins 1 sec. Bernie Sexton of Carrick on Suir won the Master Ladies 0/55 in 34 mins 42 secs. In the Junior Ladies race the winner was Mary Ellen Doyle of Gowran in 27 mins 7 secs with Aibhe Carroll of Templemore 2nd in 27 mins 42 secs, while making her debut for the local club a winning one was Caoibhe McCann who ran very well when finishing 3rd in 35 mins 41 secs.
The Club would like to thank the Gardai for their assistance in ensuring the event was well marshalled and supervised. The Club would also like to thank the South Tipperary Vocational Committee for the use of their fine facilities at the VEC School, the Mall. The Club would also like to thank the many stewards who marshaled the course and thanks to all the ladies who helped at the entries, taking results and looking after the post race refreshments.