On the 21st of August the 10th Round of the 2003 Grand Prix Series took place in Morton Stadium, the race being run in conjunction with the Club 10,000M Championship for the Bonass Trophy. Pat Bonass commenced sponsorship of the Club 10,000M Championship and presented the Bonass Trophy back in 1986.
The race over the last number of years had been run in September, this years change of date however did not have the desired effect weather-wise in that there was a strong head wind down the home straight which the 24 athletes lining up could look forward to enjoying over each of the twenty five laps.
As the race got underway Noel Cullen, not competing in the Grand Prix Series, immediately went into the lead accompanied by Colm Coyne, unfortunately Colm’s challenge did not last long as he was forced to retire from the race very early on. Noel kept up his relentless pace and was already lapping slower runners by his fifth lap. Further back a duel was developing between David Brennan and William Stafford. Initially William held the advantage, however David managed to turn the tables on him and pull out a substantial gap.
Further down the field Declan Murray was having a superb race as indeed was Richard Connolly, fresh from his 1500M Masters Gold. At the finish Noel Cullen led the field home in a very sprightly 32:04. David Brennan was 2nd in 35:02 with William Stafford in third in 35:19.
As Noel Cullen is not a competitor in the Grand Prix Series the fastest points bonus on offer went to David Brennan.
The handicapper had once again done a superb job and when the results were fed into the computer it was revealed that Richard Connolly was first in the handicap to claim the twenty points on offer and more importantly, to regain the yellow jersey from Dylan Ahern. This was Dylan’s last race in the Series as he departs to Australia for a year or so.
Second in the handicap was our guest Shay Byrne of Raheny, our own Frank Devitt in third.
Afterwards, Pat Bonass presented the Bonass Trophy and his prize to the winner of the Club Championship Noel Cullen, as well as prizes in the Grand Prix Series. The Club itself sponsored the first three prizes in the Club Championship.
Richard Connolly has taken over the yellow jersey again however he is closely followed by David Brennan, the new Series favourite (some may say) and yet to play his joker. Dylan Ahern is now in 3rd place.
Round 11 is incorporating the Ahern Cup for the 10 Mile Championship taking place at Malahide Castle at 11.30 on Saturday the 27th of September.
Click to see RACE RESULTS