Been to them, done them, this is the t-shirt!
No showers, changing area, refreshments, physio or mothering provided – Just a Race
At a meeting of Senior Athletes in February, it was generally agreed that we could all do with a few more races. Evening races are popular all over the country, from Cork’s BHAA races, to West Waterford near legendary series to Clonliffe Harriers’ series in Dublin. We felt it was time to try this out in County Galway. Thus the May 5KM series was born.
It was decided from the start that this series was more about participation than real competition. The 5km distance shouldn’t intimidate anyone, so we attracted many joggers and walkers, along with regular club runners. It was pretty low profile, and “no frills”, so we could find our feet, but you’ll hear more about this series next year.
4 races were held, starting in Athenry, followed by Craughwell, Tuam and Galway City, each hosted and organised by the respective clubs.
The first race on May 9th got us off to a great start. We weren’t sure what to expect, maybe 40 runners, we figured, but the good weather brought the crowds out and over 80 runners toed the line. The tight “out-and-back” course at Ballydavid meant we used a lead bicycle instead of the usual Garda car.
Given the speed that Conor Maloney lead out the first race, it’s a good thing that Seb Locteau, our cyclist is an international class triathlete. For the record, up and coming star Jason Broderick was first across that line that evening.
So it all went well. It was a great evening to be out and about, and it gave a lot of people an appetite for mid-week-evening racing.
Onwards to Tuam, where we ran a shortened version of the course you can enjoy during the 8km race in January. One of the top road runners in the country, Robert Malseed of Clonliffe Harriers was first across the line this time, but this correspondent had the pleasure of pipping Gary Doherty in a sprint finish.
The following week we hit Craughwell, and had the pleasure of holding up the N6 [well I enjoyed it!] for a few minutes at the start of what was a tough but enjoyable course. Those of us who had taken part in Craughwell ACs 10km series had the edge of experience on the course here. Ruaidhri Geraghty of GCH took the honours here.
The series was wrapped up in Danagn on May 30th. On a course familiar to both cross country sloggers and dog walkers. Gary Doherty had his revenge when beating me to the line. Word of the series had spread by now and Dermot Galvin of St Johns AC in Clare was first home in a field of more than 100 runners.
Afterwards we retired to Kelehans for refreshments. T-shirts for those who completed the full series were awarded as well as a slew of spot prizes.
At a wrap up meeting it was agreed that the series would go ahead next year. We may even get ambitious and expand it. Keep an eye on our website www.athenryac.com and local press.