As the wind and rain swept across the track at the Morton Stadium on Thursday the 16th of September, the hardy Grand Prix athletes huddled together in the club-house waiting for some divine intervention.
Club vice captain, Eugene Coppinger, assured us that the rain would be well stopped in time for the eight o’clock start and indeed also promised that we would enjoy a dry warm-up. The sceptics were wrong as Eugene was right with the torrents of rain stopping at precisely 7.30 p.m., just in time for warm-up.
Unfortunately, however, Eugene could do little about the prevailing winds although they had eased somewhat by the time the race started.
The now eager athletes, looked forward to twenty-five laps of the track for the club 10,000 metre championship for the Bonass Trophy, incorporating round eleven of the 2004 Grand Prix Series. For the night in question there was a very good turnout of some twenty-five athletes, as well as (thankfully) a fair smattering of officials.
As the race commenced, David Brennan quickly hit the front followed by Eugene Coppinger and Tom Monks. These three displayed their dominance and began to open a gap on fourth place Noel Guiden. These four became somewhat strung out. Further down the field there were a number of intriguing battles. Of considerable importance was the battle between yellow jersey wearer Stephen Byrne and former wearer, Colin Hickey. These two remained joined by glue throughout the course of the race, although Colin did open a gap at one stage of twenty or so yards which was then closed by Stephen who began opening a similar gap. There was an intriguing battle between Ladies Captain, Mags Greenan and Colm Doran and also further back, the battling Pats (Bonass and Healy) andDave Brady.
The usual sub-plot of the battling Devitt’s was also engaging, round eleven featured not only the battle between brothers Pat and Seamus but also featured Pat’s son, Brian.
Up front as the race leader David Brennan reeled off the laps, Eugene Coppinger running an almost perfectly judged race began his relentless pursuit, slowly but surely chipping seconds off the deficit on each succeeding lap. As these two lapped the entire field save for third placed Tom Monks, the gap closed and coming into the final two laps it looks as if David would be overhauled, however, David displaying his customary kick pulled away on the final lap to hold off Eugene and win by an eight second margin. Tom Monks remained in third place thus filling the top three in the club championship.
In the Grand Prix Series as the results were processed it revealed that our guest in the Series, Dave Brady, had beaten the bunch to take 20 points with Noel Guiden second and Ray McConville third.
Afterwards in the club bar president Maurice Ahern thanked the race sponsor Pat Bonass and gave a brief history of the Bonass Trophy. The race officials were also thanked and at this stage Pat presented the prizes to the winners, Dave Brennan having been earlier called away on State business had already been presented with his trophy in the salubrious surroundings of the ‘gents’ dressing room.
Thanks to all who took part and in particular the officials who braved the wet and windy conditions and also of course Mr. Bonass for his sponsorship and enthusiasm.