On St Stephen’s Day Clonmel Athletic Club promoted a very successful 4 Mile Road Race. Conditions were mild with the athletes having to contend with a strong wind on the return journey. Still these conditions didn’t deter a record entry of 434 athletes participating over what is a relatively flat course. We have used this course since 2008 while the race itself was first promoted in 1988. Indeed looking at that race in 1988, where we had 87 athletes competing, we had eleven of them still competing last week and they were Martin Farrell (Thurles Crokes), Myles McHugh, Tommy Cahill, Jim Fleming (West Waterford), T J O’Loughlin, Ned O’Brien, Cyril Darmody, John Laste, Denis Conway, Tom Hally and Pierce Purcell, all Clonmel athletes except those mentioned. Looking at last year’s results we had 58 athletes running faster than their performances last year, see this and more info on www.clonmelac.com.
The pace was fast from the start with David McCarthy (West Waterford) setting the pace along with Alan O’Shea (Bantry) last year’s winner and Sergio Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers). They set a very strong pace going through the first mile in 4 mins 30 secs and 2 miles in 9 mins 17 secs. Then as the athletes came out onto the Waterford Road at Bulmers Roundabout, David made his winning move and put in a very strong surge that saw him go clear of Sergio with Alan in close attention. David kept this strong pace going reaching three miles in 14 mins 17 secs and came home a very worthy and convincing winner in 18 mins 58 secs, brilliant performance against a very strong headwind. He just missed out on setting a new course record as Sandis Bralitis (West Waterford) ran 18 mins 54 secs in 2008 to win this race. Sergio ran very well to finish 2nd in 19 mins 28 secs with Alan O’Shea 3rd in 19 mins 52 secs. Sean Tobin of the local Club ran a brilliant race when finishing 4th overall in 19 mins 59 secs to win the Junior Men’s award, brilliant performance by the 17-year-old.
Philip Harty (Donore Harriers) was 5th in 20 mins 2 secs with Dzintars Klava (West Waterford) 6th in 20 mins 47 secs. Kenny Curran (Ballynonty) won the 0/40 award in 22 mins 41 secs with Ken Maher (Kilkenny) 2nd 23 mins 57 secs and Conor Fleming (Clonmel) 3rd 24 mins 6 secs. The 0/45 award was won by Mick Traynor (Raheny Shamrocks) in 21 mins 43 secs with Derek Nolan 2nd in 23 mins 9 secs. Michael Moore (Dundrum) won the 0/50 award in 22 mins 46 secs. The 0/55 award was won by Matt Alexander (Coolquill) in 24 mins 31 secs. The 0/60, 0/65 and 0/70 awards were respectively won by Joe Grinsell 29 mins 39 secs, T J O’Loughlin 31 mins 17 secs and Pierce Purcell 39 mins 36 secs, all members of the local Club. The first 3 junior men were 1st Sean Tobin (Clonmel) 19 mins 59 secs, 2nd Michael Carey (Clonmel) 21 mins 29 secs and 3rd Darren Dunne (Nenagh Olympic) 21 mins 53 secs.
The Ladies race was also very competitive with only a second separating 1st and 2nd. Here we had a brilliant race between Siobhan O’Doherty (Borrisokane) and Laura Behan (KCK). It was very close to the finishing line that Siobhan edged clear but she was pushed all the way by Laura with Siobhan winning in 22 mins 55 secs with Laura a second behind her, great performances. This performance by Siobhan put her 3rd in the all time list behind course record holder Deirdre Doyle (Tinryland who ran 22 mins 49 secs in 2010 and Angela McCann.
European Half Marathon 0/40 Champion, Angela McCann (Clonmel) ran a great race when finishing 3rd in 23 mins 33 secs. 4th was Lorraine McCarthy (Ferrybank) 23 mins 53 secs with Dymphna Ryan (Dundrum) 5th in 24 mins 3 secs. Corina Walsh (West Waterford) won the 0/35 ladies award in 23 mins 45 secs with Kate Wall (Clonmel) 2nd in 27 mins 33 secs, Regina Byrne (West Waterford) 3rd in 27 mins 51 secs and Nicola Maunsell (Clonmel) 4th in 27 mins 54 secs. Miriam O’Gorman (Clonmel) won the 0/40 award in 30 mins 18 secs. Mary Moloney (Thurles Crokes) won the 0/45 award in 29 mins 13 secs with Eileen Hynes (Clonmel) winning the 0/50 award in 30 mins 23 secs.
The Junior Ladies race was won by Serena Moloney (Thurles Crokes) in 27:46 with Cliona Doyle (Clonmel) 2nd in 30:13 and Aoife Laste (Clonmel) 3rd in 31:09.
Club Chairman, Albert Doyle, thanked everyone who helped to make this year’s race such a brilliant success, especially the Gardai and Civil Defence as well as the many Club Stewards. He also thanked the South Tipperary Vocational Committee for the use of their fine facilities at the Mall. He thanked the Ladies committee who looked after the post race refreshments for all their hard work in looking after such a crowd.