Runners cut a Dash on St Patrick’s Weekend

THE annual St Patrick’s 5km Dash brought runners from across the region to Kilkenny over the long weekend.

THE annual St Patrick’s 5km Dash brought runners from across the region to Kilkenny over the long weekend.

More than 250 athletes of all abilities lined up for the fun run on Sunday. The tough course took the field from Scanlon Park down the Bennettsbridge Road for a lap of the Castle Park. From there it was back out to Scanlon Park, with the somewhat daunting Black Quarry to be negotiated en route. Clonmel athlete Kevin Maunsell ran a great race, setting the pace from the off on his way to completing the course in 16 minutes 22 seconds. He was followed home by William Maunsell in 17.08 with Shane Mullaney (Thurles Crokes) in third place. Paul Deegan (Gowran) and Paul Cody (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH) battled it out for the honour of being the first Kilkenny athlete home. The duo reached the top of the Black Quarry together, but Cody proved the stronger on the run in and finished in fourth place just ahead of Deegan.

There was better fortune for Kilkenny in the women’s race, where the county had a 1-2-3 finish. First home was Maria Griffin (St Joseph’s), who finished well up the field in 14th position and a time of 20.11. Not far behind Maria was the ever-improving Caoilte Malone (KCH), while Ciara Martin (KCH) was the third woman finisher.

Gowran athlete Cormac Buggy ran really well to finish first in the juvenile boys’ section, crossing the line in a time of 19.04 and ninth overall. First home in the juvenile girls’ section was Anna Sheehan (KCH) fresh from her successful sixth place finish in the All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country finals.

The event, which was held in ideal sunny conditions, was largely about participation and raising funds for charity. All the participants had their own achievement goals and 253 happy finishers were recorded as having completed the course. Full results, including chip times and average speeds along with race pictures, are available from www.kilkennyathletics.net

Prize-winners were: Senior Men - 1 Kevin Maunsell, Clonmel; 2 William Maunsell, Clonmel; 3 Shane Mullaney, Thurles Crokes. Senior Women - 1 Maria Griffin, St Joseph’s; 2 Caoilte Malone, KCH; 3 Ciara Martin, KCH. Juvenile Boys - 1 Cormac Buggy, Gowran; 2 Craig Byrne, KCH; 3 Peter Lynch, KCH. Juvenile Girls - 1 Anna Sheehan, KCH; 2 Annie O’Connor, KCH; 3 Hannah Scott, KCH.

Elsewhere on the streets of Ireland Thos Hayes (KCH) had a great run in the St Patrick’s Day Portlaoise 5k road race. Hayes finished second behind Michael Mulhaire with Tommy Evans (Gowran) in third place.

Youth Run/Walk

Ossory Youth, in association with Gowran Athletic Club, are hosting a 5km fun run/walk in celebration of youth. The event will be held in the Castle Park, Kilkenny on Sunday, April 22 at 11am.

This is the final event in a series of introductory runs/walks that Gowran AC will host for the second year, catering for walkers and beginner runners. The series starts with a 2km event on Sunday, April 1. It will be followed by the 3km run/walk on Sunday, April 15 and finishes with 5km on Sunday April 22, allowing people who are new to running to build towards the longer distance.

Registration will be available on the day outside the Castle Gates from 10am. The cost for entry is E5 for adults, E3 teenagers and E1 for under-12s. Children and buggies are welcome and there are t-shirts for those that complete the series.

Further information is available from Martina Maher, Ossory Youth, tel 056-7761200 or John Lennon, Gowran AC.

Coaching

Athletics Ireland will hold an assistant coach course in Kilkenny shortly. The course will be held in Kilmacow on April 12 and 26, running from 5.45 to 10pm each night in the Community Hall. Course fee is E60.

Further info is available from Athletics Ireland regional development officer Colin Byrne, tel 087-0632326 or email colinbyrne@athleticsireland.ie

Fixtures

March 25/26: National Juvenile Indoor Championships, Nenagh.

March 31/April 1: National Juvenile Indoor Championships, Nenagh.

April 1: Ossory Youth Gowran AC Run Walk series.

April 9: St Senan’s AC Open Track and Field, Kilmacow Sports Complex.