Brian Maher celebrates at the finish line Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Another rainy day, another race - but this was no ordinary race!
The Great Ireland Run grabbed the headlines as the 10km event took over the Phoenix Park in Dublin on Sunday.
The event, which incorporated the National 10km Road Championships, saw more than 10,000 elite runners, fun runners and walkers of all abilities gather for the 16th staging of this fantastic event, one of the biggest of its kind on the running calendar.
It was a great weekend for Brian Maher (Kilkenny City Harriers - KCH) who won his first national 10km title in a time of 30.20. He was narrowly beaten for the overall title by Oliver Lockley of the Isle of Man, who won by two seconds in 30.18. Mick Clohisey of Raheny was third in 30.22.
Starting with the elite runners, Brian was right up with the leading group from the gun. By the halfway stage he was part of a group of six runners that had a slight lead over the rest of the field.
With 2km remaining in the race, William Maunsell of Clonmel dropped slightly off the pace, leaving five runners to battle for victory.
Brian placed himself in the shadow of his fellow Irish team-mates Mick Clohisey and Siergiu Ciobanu, with Lockley and Jack Grey of Birmingham close by.
For the final kilometre it was a head-to-head battle between these five athletes. In the end, Oliver Lockley managed to shake off a fast-finishing Maher in the last 100m to win the race.
Kilkenny had several other athletes taking part. Thomas Hayes (KCH) had a superb race to finish 13th in a time of 31 minutes and 39 seconds. Castlecomer’s James Kelly, who has been having a fantastic 2018 season so far, finished 31st overall in a time of 33.32 and 21st in the National 10km Championships.
Kilkenny results, National 10km: 2 Brian Maher (KCH), 30.20; 13 Thomas Hayes (KCH), 31.39; 31 James Kelly (Castlecomer), 33.22 (21st Irish 10km); 68 Paddy O’Keeffe (Gowran), 35.30, 94 Dean Rowe (Gowran), 36.06.
Women’s over-60: 10 Patsy Foskin (St Senan’s), 56.54.
Track and Field
With the college year drawing to a close and exams fast approaching, Kilkenny’s third level students took some time away from the text books to travel to Belfast for the Irish University Track and Field Championships.
Representing their respective universities and colleges, the county’s athletes turned in some fine performances.
With an increased number of national elite 400m runners coming from Kilkenny it was no surprise that the ladies 400m produced a one-two for Kilkenny athletes. Cliodhna Manning (KCH), representing DCU, finished first in 54.24 while St Joseph’s Sophie Becker, also representing DCU, was second in 54.61.
These two athletes battled together all the way, with the slightly more experience Manning digging deep in the last 50m to clinch the victory. The duo were also part of the DCU team who won the 4x400m relay.
Cliodhna’s brother Jack Manning (KCH), also representing DCU, was on the boys 4x400m relay team who took gold in their event.
Shannen Dawkins (St Joseph’s) had a welcome return to athletics after injury prevented her from taking part in the indoors this year. Representing UCC, Shannen finished second in the 400m hurdles event, pushing the pace all of the way. With some more training sessions under her belt, her progress can only be positive for this season.
Callan Byrne (KCH) was part of the IT Carlow team that finished second in the 4x100m relay.
KCH had two bronze medal athletes in Brendan Hyland and Nicholas Dunphy. Brendan, competing in the javelin, threw 51m to take third spot with Nicholas finishing third in the race-walking event.
Other athletes from the county to take part over the two day event were Sarah Lawlor (St Joseph’s) in the combined events, Callan Byrne (KCH) in the 100m, Rory Lodge (KCH) in the 800m and Tom O’Keeffe (KCH), who competed in the 5,000m.
Kilkenny County Board held an excellent throws coaching session at Scanlon Park on Sunday. Athletes from St Senan’s, Gowran and Brow Rangers attended the event, which was held under the guidance of Joe and Murty Kelly of Brow Rangers.
Ireland has had an excellent reputation internationally in the throwing events, particularly in the hammer. With county athletes winning national medals in this event last year, it is hoped that the county can bring more youngsters to podium level for 2018.
The Co Board thanked both Joe and Murty for their time and their excellent coaching expertise.
St Senan’s Open
A new date has been announced for the St Senan’s AC Open Track and Field championships.
Now in its 41st year the annual event, which attracts athletes from all over Ireland, will take over Kilmacow this Sunday. Predictions are for dry and sunny conditions, a welcome change from the initial date of Easter Monday, when wet weather forced the postponement of the competition.
The programme caters for athletes from age eight to masters, with plenty of events to test athletes ahead of the forthcoming county championships. Sponsored by the Bell Corporation, the games feature sprints, middle distance, walks, jumping and throwing events.
Sunday’s programme is:
Girls’ U-8 80m; Girls’ U-9 80m; Girls’ U-10 80m, 300m; Girls’ U-11 80m, 300m; Girls’ U-12 80m, 700m, Long Jump; Girls’ U-13 100m, 700m, High Jump, Shot; Girls’ U-14 100m, 700m, Long Jump; Girls’ U-15 100m, 700m, 1,500m Walk, Shot; Girls’ U-16 100m, 700m, High Jump, Long Jump; Girls’ U-17 100m, 700m, Shot; Girls’ U-19 2,000m Walk; Juniors 100m, 400m, 1,500m, Long Jump.
Boys’ U-8 80m; Boys’ U-9 80m; Boys’ U-10 80m, 300m; Boys’ U-11 80m, 300m; Boys’ U-12 80m, 700m, Shot; Boys’ U-13 100m, 700m, High Jump, Long Jump; Boys’ U-14 100m, 700m, Shot; Boys’ U-15 100m, 700m, 1,500m Walk, Long Jump, Javelin; Boys’ U-16 100m, 700m, High Jump, Shot; Boys’ U-17 100m, 700m; Boys’ U-19 2,000m Walk; Juniors 100m, 400m, 3,000m, Long Jump.
Athletes in the under-13, 14 and 15 categories are eligible for the under-15 walks. Athletes at under-16, 17, 18 and 19 are eligible for the under-19 walks.
There will be 4x200m relay races for girls and boys at under-10, 12, 14 and 16 grades.
There will be senior races for men (3,000m) and women (1,500m), with prizes for the first three individuals and the first two vets (one prize per athlete). Senior entry fee is €5.
Enquiries to Bill Lacey, tel 086-8100299. Admission on the day is €3 per adult, €3 per juvenile.
The KCH senior men’s team will travel to Raheny with unfinished business in mind when they compete at the National Road Relays on Sunday.
The team finished third at the event in 2016, a result they repeated in 2017. However, with national senior 10k champion Brian Maher in form and strong support from Eoin Everard, James Ledingham and Thos Hayes this could be the year they fare even better, but they will be up against it when taking on defending champions and hosts Raheny Shamrocks and Donore Harriers, the most obvious threats to their national title dream.
This year’s event will see the Harriers enter two teams for the first time. A second KCH squad are looking forward to testing their mettle at national senior level as they hope to crack the top 10 on the day.
April 22 - St Senan’s AC Open Track and Field, Kilmacow 1pm.
May 6 - County Track & Field Championships, Kilkenny 11am.
May 13 - County Track & Field Championships, Kilkenny 11am.
May 19 - Leinster Combined Events, Kilkenny.
May 20 - Leinster Relays, Enniscorthy.