On a pleasant Autumn Saturday, at the usual start line for Malahide Castle GP races, 40+ runners started the 10 mile Club Championship Race. Before Starting it was highlighted that this was actually the last time the race would be run on this exact course; the Malahide Cricket Club will be extending it’s grounds to make “the first international standard cricket ground in the country with a capacity of 12,000″….I am sure we can make the necessary adjustments and we wish them well in their endeavours!
The penultimate race in the Grand Prix season saw a lot of runners carrying penalties from races they had scored well in earlier in the season – there were 15 runners with penalties weighing them own before the Ahern 10 mile. So this, along with some of the “Marathon Men” using the 10 miles as part of a longer training run in the lead up to the Dublin in a few weeks, meant it was never going to be easy to predict quite who was doing well or not as regards GP standings went!
As predicted the usual suspects set the early pace – with Green points men Ernie, Philip, and the Marathon men all setting off at a scorching pace. As the race was 4 laps of the castle it was interesting from a spectator point of view to see who and where runners would emerge from the trees after each lap. As far as Grand Prix leader board was set up; before Saturday, Colm Doran was top dog on 169pts, but was being closely followed by Ernie(165) and Paddy Tuite(159) – Paddy still having to complete 10 races as well! Colm did not finish the 4 laps and as such did not score, that left the door open for Paddy and Ernie and potentially others to close the gap. They duly obliged, with Ernie coming home a clear first place in a time of 58mins31secs and also scored 28pts! Paddy also had a strong run, despite having a penalty to contend with, and managed to score 16 points. This enabled Ernie to drop a low score of 7 points picked up earlier in the year and thus have a net gain of 21points. The new standings are below, but Ernie now has a 9 point lead over Paddy who in turn is now ahead of Colm by a further 6 pts. Colm now has to be careful Philip O’Doherty doesn’t steal third place from him!… both Colm and Ernie have Penalties to contend with for the last race…. exciting times!
So Philip did not manage to retain the club championship 10 mile for a third year running, Ernie Ramsey is this years champion. Elsewhere in the field we had a number of strong runs from the “Marathon Men”, with a flourish of finishers in the 62/63 minute mark – a testament to a good training group there! Slightly ahead of their training partners were Conor Delaney(59:05) and Mark Bermingham(60:20) who took the other two podium places. A very strong performance from the Clonliffe ladies also, who although had run in separate pairings through out the race, managed to finish together, with Marie ,Maura, Joyce and Emma all finishing withing 30 seconds of each other, in that order. Emma claiming a falling “Tree” had put her off her stride early on in the race, and as such was carrying a further handicap to regain her composure!
The days GP winner was however the real “Marathon Man”, Dave Brady. Dave who was not using the run as part of a training run, and did not have a handicap appeared to be moving at his usual cruising speed, but beat his forecasted time by 3mins 42 secs! Latching on to Colm Breen in the last lap may have proved the incentive he needed. Presentations will be on the GP Presentation Night.
Thanks to our race sponsor Maurice Ahern and to Shay Byrne for helping with officiating, and a big thank you to Eugene for the water station and assisting with the time keeping also!