The Athletics Ireland National 10km Road Race Championships returned to the Phoenix Park last Saturday 9th of April. The event held in conjunction with the Great Ireland Run took place on a newly designed course. Starting on Chesterfield Avenue...
The Athletics Ireland National 10km Road Race Championships returned to the Phoenix Park last Saturday 9th of April. The event held in conjunction with the Great Ireland Run took place on a newly designed course. Starting on Chesterfield Avenue, the circuit was described as testing and not for the faint hearted. It included plenty of climbs such as the infamous S-bends, Glen road and a climb out of the Furry Glen before a straight finish up Furze road. Racing conditions were ideal, clear blue skies and crisp spring air greeted the 12 Wicklow athletes and the 1300 other participants that lined up on the Chesterfield Avenue start line.
The championship proved to be a really successful outing for the county with a number of individuals and teams taking the honours. Slí Cualann’s silver medal triumph in the overall women’s team competition was the first celebration of the day. Comprised of Sheila O’Byrne, Catherine O’Connor and Donna Quinn, all three ladies had strong performances individually and when the points tallied up their individual strength produced silver success. Sheila led the team home finishing 4th lady overall in a time of 36.07. Catherine O’Connor was the second athlete to score clocking a new 10km personal best of 37.35. Catherine doubled up on silverware this weekend as she also finished 2nd in her F45 category. Donna Quinn was the final member that sealed that silver medal, romping home in 40.24, claiming an individual bronze in her F40 category also.
There was further reason for Wicklow celebration in the mens’ race with both Slí Cualann athletes Desie Shorten and William Belton taking silverware home for placing in their respective categories. Desie cruised home in a swift 40.37 to take gold in the M65, 40 seconds clear of any of his competitors. William finished in 47.12 to take silver in his M70 age group.
The cool, clear and calm weather conditions inspired some other top class performances. Alan Duffy was the first Wicklow athlete across the line. Alan has consistently been holding his good form on the roads recently, this week he clocked a new PB of 33.35 placing 16th overall. Bray Runners AC athlete Neil Felton put in a strong performance finishing in an impressive 40.42. Debbie Griffin ran a new personal best time by over a minute, crossing the line in 43.47. Despite recovering from recent illness, Hannah Nolan had a strong run to finish in 46.39. Following close behind, Sharon Wheeler recorded a new PB time of 46.49. Both Slí Cualann ladies Michelle Killeen White and Emer Conroy took part in their first 10km race. Both ladies had very positive runs with Michelle finishing in 48.49 and Emer in 53.17. St Benedict’s Danny Green ran 51.21. Mary Hickey running a solid performance in 57.37. Overall, it was a great day for Wicklow athletics. A day which included a national silver team medal, four masters’ individual medals and a number of personal bests.