A NUMBER of Kilkenny athletes flocked to the Phoenix Park to compete in The Great Ireland Run, which was held in conjunction with the National AAI 10K Road Championships, on Sunday.
Running in glorious sunshine, Tommy Evans (Gowran AC) led the local charge when he finished in 11th position. Tommy’s gun to tape time was an excellent 31.17 - an excellent performance, given the high quality international field. Tommy finished fourth in the National Championships, crossing the line some 30 seconds off third place.
David McPherson (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH) ran an excellent race. His time of 33.19 saw him finish in 34th position. Gowran duo Simon Dwyer (35.51) and Lyndon Barcoe (39.09) also put in strong performances while in the women’s race Miriam Dillon (Castlecomer AC) ran very well to finish in a time of 46.47.
This year’s mile challenge for Transition Year students in the city schools saw more than 400 young runners rise to the challenge and score a high success rate. Of all the runners, 96% of those who competed completed the mile inside the time allowed – 11 minutes for girls and nine minutes 30 seconds for boys.
This annual event, called The Sean Byrne Memorial Mile, is organised by KCH in honour of Sean Byrne, one of the founder members of the club.
While the majority of participants are not athletes the event has developed a competitive edge over recent years, with the front runners from each school vying to win the shields. Conor Mahon (St Kieran’s College), completing the mile in 5.27, was the fastest over the distance this year. He set the pace for his school team to win The Boys Shield this year.
Megan Morrissey (Presentation, Loughboy), was the fastest of the girls with an excellent time of 5.42. However, it was the Kilkenny College girls, with a combined team score of 41 minutes 40 seconds, who took home The Girls
Kilkenny College student Sophie Parkinson has been able to reflect on a successful year on the athletics field. Parkinson won the Leinster under-18 shot-put, taking gold in Nenagh with a new personal best of 11.28 metres. The Gowran athlete was one of three from each province to make it through to the All-Ireland final at Magherafelt. She came second, securing the silver medal with another personal best of 11.34m.
As well as winning a medal in the under-18 category Parkinson, a Transition Year student, also competed in the senior (over-20) Ulster Championship at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. She came first up North, bringing home a gold medal.
Track and Field
The dates have been announced for this year’s Kilkenny Track & Field Championships. The championships, which will be held in Scanlon Park, start on Sunday May 1. Day two of the championships will be held a week later, on May 8, with further rounds on May 20 and May 27. The final round will be followed by the Leinster Track & Field- Championships, which will be held in Tullamore on May 28 and 29.
Sunday: AAI Road Relays, Raheny.
Easter Monday: St Senan’s Open T&F, Kilmacow 1pm.
Monday, May 2: Leinster Road Novice and Masters, Gowran 12 noon.