Grand Prix Series Round 4 Thursday the 20th of May – Report

Alan Smeaton’s glory in yellow proved to be short-lived after round 4 of the 2004 Grand Prix Series as he found himself the victim of a smash & grab perpetrated by Colm Hickey.

The rain of earlier in the day had well cleared to leave a fresh evening in the grounds of Malahide Castle for the 2½ mile path/trail race generously sponsored by Eugene McCarrick.

This race is one of three open handicap races on the calendar. There was a particularly good turnout of some thirty-five athletes and before the athletes were sent on their way. Alan Smeaton was then presented with the yellow jersey as the leader of the Series coming into this Round before first man off, Tom Flood, was sent on his way by the race starter.

The course is most interesting and features a mixture of smooth tarmacadam, gravel, dirt trails and sections through the trees around the perimeter of the castle grounds.

The athletes were sent on their way in groups according to the handicap allocated, the theory being that the field ought to come together for the final 200m or so run in.

The theory however was blown apart by reason of Ken O’Gorman catching everyone, not least the handicapper, by surprise and coming home almost 1 minute ahead of Series new-comer Dave Brady followed in third place by Stephen Byrne and then a collection of athletes all finishing fairly close to one-another including a number of ties on the line for position.

Fastest man of the night was Noel Cullen who scorched around the course in 12:41. Second fastest was Barry Ryan in 13:07 and third fastest was Brendan Buck in 13:22.

By reason of Alan Smeaton’s failure to score a single point on the night and Colm Hickey, winner of Round 3, scoring 9 points, Colm snatches the yellow jersey by a slim half point from Alan, thereby becoming the new Series leader and he will wear the coveted yellow jersey in Round 5, the 4 Mile Grass Race also to be held at Malahide Castle at 8.00p.m.on the 3rd of June, sponsored by Tom Flood.

Thanks to the people who officiated, in particular Eddie, who despite injury has turned up to help out at every race to date.

Finally, to raise funds for prizes, a quiz night will be held in the club bar on a date to be announced either in June or July. All participants in the series are expected to attend & bring a friend, work colleague or two. Full details to follow.