The MSD 4-mile road race took place in ideal warm conditions on St Stephen’s Day and it was brilliant to see 508 athletes competing, just shy of the record entry of 526 athletes set in 2016.
After, the initial charge a group of six began to set the pace as they reached the 1km and that group included William Hughes of Thurles Crokes, Paul Moloney of Mallow Ad, Kevin Moore of Dundrum AC and the three Kilkenny City Harriers athletes, Eoin Everard, Toss Hayes and the eventual winner, Brian Maher. The pace was fast and soon gaps began to appear in the leading group. As the leaders reached the 3k mark the pace was set by the three Kilkenny City Harriers athletes with Kevin Moore in close attention. Then on the return journey home, Brian Maher went to the front with about 2k to go and began to increase the pace that soon saw him and Toss Hayes draw clear, then inside the final 400m Brian increased the pace again and held on to win a brilliant race in 19 mins 1 secs with Toss Hayes 2nd in 19 mins 7 secs, brilliant running, Then we had Eoin Everard making it a 1-2-3 for Kilkenny when finishing 3rd in 19 mins 23 secs with Kevin Moore positing a PB for four miles when finishing 4th in 19 mins 29 secs and Paul Moloney of Mallow AC was 5th in 20 mins 1 sec, brilliant racing on an ideal day for running. This was Brian’s 5th time winning this race and he has always been a great supporter of this event down through the years, His previous wins were in 2004 (19 mins 31 secs), 2006 (18 mins 54 secs), 2007 (19 mins 4 secs) and 2015 (19 mins 3 secs), brilliant achievements.
The master Men award winners were 1st over 40 Kieran McKeon Watergrasshill AC 20:49, 2nd over 40 Niall O Riordan of An Bru Ac 21:11, 1st over 45 Paudie O Keeffe Clonmel 23:18, 2nd over 45 Patrick Butler Burham Joggers 23:29, 1st over 50 Tom Blackburn Mooreabbey Milers AC 22:46, 2nd over 50 Fintan Rice Fethard AC 23:59, 1st over 55 Willie o Donoghue Mooreabbey Milers AC 23:15, 2nd over 55 Michael Moore Dundrum AC 25:32, 1st over 60 Neilius Ahearne Midleton AC 25:31, 1st over 65 Matt Alexander Coolquill AC 27:33, 1st over 70 Noel Howley Clonmel AC 31:53, 1st over 75 Myles McHugh Clonmel AC 36:24 and the top two Junior men were Jake Bagge Ferrybank AC 21:45 and Gavin English Clonmel AC 23:04.
The women’s race was also very competitive and here we had Siobhan O Doherty of Borrisokane also running very well when winning in 22 mins 31secs, a great start to married life. Then we had Sorcha Moloney of Ballyroan AC finishing 2nd in 23 mins 12 secs with Sally Forristal of St Joseph’s 3rd in 23 mins 41 secs and Linda Grogan Dundrum AC 4th in 24 mins 13 secs and Claire O Brien of Watergrasshill AC 5th in 24 mins 27 secs great running. Siobhan is also a great supporter of this race over the years and this year’s win was her 7th success having won it also in 2006 (23 mins), 2008 (22 mins 56 secs), 2011 (22 mins 55 secs), 2013 (21 mins 50 secs), 2014 in (22 mins 17 secs), 2015 in (22 mins 14 secs).
The Master Women awards were as follows: 1st over 35 Kealey Tideswell Clonmel AC 25:33, 2nd over 35 Karen Coughlan Dundrum AC 27:15, 1st over 40 Suzanne Shine Clonmel AC 26:56, 2nd over 40 Marie O Shea Mooreabbey Milers AC 27:13, 1st over 45 Angela McCann Clonmel AC 25:26, 2nd over 45 Siobhan McHugh Clonmel AC 26:07, 1st over 50 Denise Compton Dundrum AC 27:53, 2nd over 50 Anna Byrne Clonmel AC 29:16, 1st over 55 Anne Cronin Carrick on Suir AC 35:30, 1st over 60 Bernie Hopkins Clonmel AC and the top two Junior women were Ellei Mai Gartland Clonmel Boxing Club 28:59 and Roise Flaherty Clonmel AC 31:34.
At the Presentation of Prizes, Club Chairman, Tony McCarthy thanked everyone who helped to make this event such a brilliant success