William Stafford completed a memorable double to claim the Club 10,000M Championship in horrendous conditions at the Morton Stadium last night.
William had already taken the Club 5000M Championship on the 14th of July. The organisers ploy of switching the date of the 10,000 from mid-September to late July to avail of better weather backfired badly as the smallish field lined up on torrential rain and to compound matters a cold wind down the back straight.
Nineteen athletes set off on the 25 lap race. An immediate lead group of Ronan Hartnett, William Stafford, Dave Brennan and Tom Monks took to the fore, these four athletes were still together as they hit the halfway mark at about 17:40, the lead trio began to pull away as Tom Monks tailed off. As they hit the final four laps Ronan Harnett hit the front, however clearly he was feeling the pressure and with three to go Dave Brennan took over withWilliam Stafford sticking to him like plaster as they quickly opened a gap on Ronan leaving him in the bronze medal position.
On the second last lap Stafford made his move to pull away and record victory in 35:32 by a ten second margin from Dave Brennan with Ronan Hartnett third on 35:54.
Aisling Coppinger was the lady’s 10,000M champion, finishing in 43:11.
The full result of the championship was:
1. W. Stafford 35:32; 2. D. Brennan 35:42; 3. R. Hartnett 35:54; 4. T. Monks 36:07; 5. M. McCronin 37:55; 6. P. O’Doherty 38:32; 7. J. Walsh 38:45; 8. B. Buck 39:35; 9. C. Doran 39:57; 10. P. Devitt 40:53; 11. Shay Byrne 40:57; 12. M. Scully 41:56; 13. P. Bonass 42:52; 14. A. Coppinger 43:11; 15. D. Brady 44:42; 16. P. Healy 46:30; 17. T. Kiernan 46:34.
In the Grand Prix race held in conjunction with the Club Championship, as a result of the horrendous conditions only two athletes managed to run faster than their allocated handicap. Shay Byrne after a tremendous run claimed the 20 points for 1st having beaten the handicapper by -53 seconds from Tom Monks on –24 seconds and Aisling Coppinger 3rd on +30 seconds.
The 20 points propelled Shay Byrne back into the yellow jersey where he leads on 93 points from Stephen Byrne, away on holiday duties, on 82.5.
The unofficial result of the Grand Prix race was:
1. Shay Byrne –53; 2. Tom Monks –24; 3. Aisling Coppinger +30; 4. Pat Devitt +50 / Dave Brady +50 (tie); 6. Ronan Harnett +1:09; 7. Tony Kiernan +1:14; 8. Pat Bonass +1:21; 9. Dave Brennan +1:47; 10. Michael Scully +1:50; 11. Maurice McCronin +1:52; 12. William Stafford +2:22; 13.Brendan Buck +2:33; 14. Colm Doran +3:06; 15. Jeremy Walsh +3:11; 16. Philip O’Doherty +3:12; 17. Pat Healy +4:15.
The next Grand Prix Race is Round 10 in the Stadium, 800M on Thursday the 25th of August.