A damp wet morning gave way to a sunny afternoon as pupils from the local primary schools set off for Kilkenny Castle Park.
Schools from across the city and environs made their way to the Castle grounds for the annual cross-country challenge.
From 12.15pm hundreds of fourth, fifth and sixth class boys and girls descended on the Park. From then, until their departure at 2.15pm, the hill in the park was a multicoloured sea of happy cheering students.
As they cheered on their schoolmates in each successive race the noise created would have drowned out a low flying jet!
And the running was exciting. Each race followed a similar pattern. Starting with a sprint from a massed line-up, the runners soon stretched in a continuous line as they made their way around the course and ended with another sprint to the finish.
For some, the sprint at the finish was to score for the school team and win that coveted medal. For others it was to win the bragging rights of getting home before a rival, but all was in great fun, with the excitement of the races enjoyed by runners and supporters alike.
The competition was keen throughout but when the points were calculated it was St Canice’s Co-ed who, not for the first time, were the dominant performers taking all three shields.
Finishing with 20pts St Canice’s took the Girls’ Shield ahead of St John of God (16pts) and Gael Scoil Osraí (13pts). In the competition for the Boys’ Shield St Canice’s were in rare form, amassing 22pts as the Shield returned to the Granges Road. Gael Scoil Osraí were second on 12pts with Kilkenny School Project a close third on nine points.
Speaking at the presentation of prizes, race co-ordinator Sean Lynch complimented all who took part. There was special thanks for The Friends of KCH, Members of F4L Kilkenny and Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership, who helped in course construction and scoring the results. The OPW were praised for making the Park available to the community.
When the running was over May Hutt, representing Kilkenny City Harriers, presented the medals to individual winners and team managers. Jackie Kealy, St Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union, presented the shields.
Girls’ fourth class: 1 Caoimhe Carroll, St Canice’s Co-ed; 2 Rose Kelly, Gael Scoil Osraí; 3 Amy Clifford, St Canice’s.
Girls’ fifth class: 1 Emma Manogue, Gael Scoil Osraí; 2 Keara Ryan, Clara; 3 Emma Shortall, Presentation.
Girls’ sixth class: 1 Jennifer Leahy, St John of God; 2 Megan Harding Owens, St Canice’s; 3 Abigail Senan, Kilkenny School Project.
Boys’ fourth class: 1 Jack Aylmer, Gael Scoil Osraí; 2 Ned Langton, Clara; 3 Sam Owyele, St Patrick’s de La Salle.
Boys’ fifth class: 1 Ruairi O’Connor, St Canice’s; 2 Eoghan O’Neill, St Canice’s; 3 Robert Kelly, Gael Scoil Osraí.
Boys’ sixth class: 1 Gavin Manning, Kilkenny School Project; 2 Tristan Roche, Gael Scoil Osraí; 3 Owen Dalton, St Canice’s.
Girls’ schools: Fourth class - 1 St Canice’s Co-ed, 2 St John of God, 3 Gael Scoil Osraí. Fifth class - 1 Gael Scoil Osraí, 2 St Canice’s, 3 Clara.
Sixth class - 1 St Canice’s Co-ed, 2 St John of God, 3 Kilkenny School Project.
Boys’ schools: Fourth class - 1 Gael Scoil Osraí, 2 St Canice’s, 3 Clara. Fifth class - 1 St Canice’s Co-ed, 2 Kilkenny School Project, 3 St Canice’s Co-ed.
Sixth class - 1 St Canice’s Co-ed, 2 Christian Brothers, 3 Gael Scoil Osraí.