Runners get ready for the start of the Streets of Kilkenny 5K PICTURE: PAT MOORE
A record entry of almost 1,000 people participated in the 2019 Streets of Kilkenny on what was a perfect night for running in the Marble City.
Record numbers took to the streets of Kilkenny for the second round of the Kia Race Series, with runners flocking from all over the country to the event - some for the fun, some chasing that elusive PB, but all to support Kilkenny City Harriers, who reaped the benefits with a record entry to the race.
The race was right in the melting pot, as Hiko Tanosa (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Eric Keogh (Donore Harriers) and local athlete Thos Hayes (KCH) went gung ho, chasing the winning prize and also the €500 course record bonus, kindly sponsored by Kia Ireland. In the end, after an exhilarating race, it was Tanosa who broke clear with 500m to go and win in a time of 14:15, smashing the race record in the process.
"It was a fantastic race," said Tanosa, who was delighted with the result. "There were great crowds, great organisation and great competition. I am very happy with the win."
If the men's race was close, the women's was even closer again. An epic battle around the streets of the famous city between Sinead O Connor (Leevale) and previous winner Siobhan O'Doherty (Borrisokane AC) was only settled in the last 20 metres, with O’Connor finishing strongest to win by a second in a course record of 16:48. Portlaoise’s Mary Mulhare took a fine third.
"That was some race," beamed O'Connor. "Well done to Siobhan, we pushed each other all the way and I’m so happy to get the win”
Some 760 participants crossed the finish line, and without the work of KCH, the Gardai, Council and many volunteers, the event could not be the success that it was. This year's race also saw drastically reduced plastic consumption at the finish line, with Pop Up Races, in conjunction with Refill Ireland, providing the water in reusable cups at the finish line. This saved upwards of 3,000 single use plastic bottles at the event.
The Kia Race series moves to Enfield in May for the lightning fast Bob Heffernan 5k. Details of the series, as well as series standings, can be found on www.popupraces.ie . Now in its second year, the series aims to increase entries at club races around the country, as well as increasing competition and improving times at the elite end of the fields. The overall male and female winners at the end of the Series will drive away in a brand new Kia Sonic (which they have use of for 12 months).
Make sure to check out the Kilkenny People and The Kilkenny Reporter next week for more pictures from the event. Full results of the Streets of Kilkenny 5K can be found on www.popupraces.ie