One hundred and fifty-nine athletes took to the streets of Fethard for the 13th edition of the Walls of Fethard 4 mile road race on May 29. With an entry almost double that of 2012, coupled with a new course and a new Race HQ, the evening was always going to be a bit of a adventure. The sun was shining bright and with a large crowd gathered a carnival like atmosphere was in the air with folk treated to on-street music on the bank corner of Main Street. After a short delay to cater for the large crowd the action got underway. It was great to see a 30 plus entry headed by Fintan Rice from the host club, again demonstrating the growing popularity of the sport and the good work that has been done locally since the dark cold nights of last autumn.
The new route was chosen with the town’s scenic beauty in mind and with many witnessing some of the landmarks for the first time, it got a massive ‘thumbs up’ from some of the counties finest athletes, with Jesuit’s Walk in particular coming in for praise as one of the town’s hidden gems.
The race itself was a good one for ‘girl power’ with Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane AC taking the overall win, just holding on from the fast finishing Shane Mullaney of Thurles Crokes who denied Fintan Rice of Fethard AC victory in the last 100 meters of the men’s race. Fintan’s efforts fell agonisingly just short in his bid to become the first Fethard winner of the event, with 10 seconds covering the first four across the finishing line. County Champion, Dympna Ryan of Dundrum AC was runner up in the ladies race ahead of local resident, Claire Annan of Carrick AC, in third. There was many other category winners on the night with Michael Moclair 12th man taking first local man and Aine Doocey 9th lady taking first local woman. Jennifer Rice and Judy Doyle, Fethard AC, took wins in the Juniors and Over 55 Ladies sections and Paddy Shelley, Ballynonty AC, taking the Over 65 men’s award. Cahir Physiotherapy provided post race rubdowns while refreshments and prizegiving took place in The Convent Community Hall which also came in for praise from everybody in attendance.
Club chairperson Miceál McCormack thanked the large crowd for there support, Clonacody House Accommodation for coming on-board as title sponsors and Paraic McCormack for promoting the event and securing sponsorship of the many other prizes up for grabs on the night, as well as our club ladies for catering.
The club would like to thank Dr Carmel Condon, the Gardai, South Tipperary County Council, the Convent Community Centre, Niall O’Sullivan of Clonmel AC and the many steward including the crew from Tipperary Raceway for showing goodwill in the Community and making this all possible. A full list of our sponsors will be posted on Fethard.com and on our Facebook page asap and we would encourage the support of those who support us.