Grand Prix 3000m – Club Atmosphere Alive and on Track

A wonderful Club night took place in conjunction with Round 2 of the Grand Prix ’04 Series on Thursday the 15th of April.

In addition to the 29 participants in the Series who were taking part in the 3000m track race there were twenty one additional Club members taking part in that nights race.

Quite literally the full spectrum was catered for: Juveniles, Juniors, Seniors and Masters.

The field was split into two races.

Twenty athletes toed the line for race 1, Brendan Buck leading the field on the first lap with a very fast pace, sub 70 second first lap. Brendan held the lead until 800M when he was overtaken by Lotfi Dridi and guest Gerry Hickson. Further down the field Noel Cullen, getting back into shape, was running a steady race as was Barry Ryan and on the comeback trail Tom Monks.

Race 1 was ultimately led home by Lotfi in a fast 09:16 with Gerry Hickson ten seconds in arrears and Paddy Berrigan a further ten seconds in arrears.

The first lady home was Frances Nic Reamoinn in 10:34 with Mags Greenan in 10:47, second lady.

Five minutes later race 2 commenced, the field featured a dozen or so of the Club’s juvenile athletes under the watchful eye of their coach Ronan Mulvanny. Some thirty one athletes took the start spreading right across the track leading to the wonderful spectacle of a mass of athletes taking the first bend, the age range in this race was extraordinary, from age 14 or 15 to age 65+.

A super four way battle developed up front between the not so juvenile Eugene McCarrick, another Clonliffe new boy, Fergal Curtin and two of our younger members Mark McDonald and Dara Boylan. Going into the final lap Eugene led however with 300 to go Fergal sprinted past him on the outside and on the final run-in Eugene was also caught by both Mark and Dara.

Fergal Curtin was the winner in 10:28.

First lady in race 2 was Christine Kineally in 11:07 with Emma Cooper second lady in 11:31.

In the Grand Prix Series, which is of course run on a handicap basis, the winner of the handicap and the 20 points on offer was Dylan Ahern, with Seán Pendersecond and Alan Graham third.

In 11th place was Jimmy Bennett scoring 10 points to add to the 18 points he scored in Round 1, thereby making him the first yellow jersey wearer (proper) of the ’04 Series.

In the green jersey competition (for fastest athlete overall) Gerry Hickson now leads on nineteen points.

Round 3 is a new race on the calendar, the Santry Demesne Mile, which will take place on Thursday the 6th of May, which is also the 50th anniversary of the first sub 4 Minute Mile, and will take place in the park at the rear of the Stadium at 8.00 p.m.