The Club travelled to Moyne today for the County Novice Women and Men Road Championships with two very good squads. Conditions were dry with athletes having to contend with a cold swirling wind. In the women’s 3k race we had eight athletes competing and it was great to see all of them running so well. The race started and soon a group of athletes went to the front that included Ann Marie Boland and as the race progressed this group opened up a good lead on the chasing pack. As the race entered the final 800m the battle for the Bronze medal was between Anne Marie and Angela Fogarty of Moyne with Ann Marie pushing the pace, this strong running by Ann Marie saw her open a slight lead with 400m to go as they entered the Moyne AC complex and once on the tartan track she increased the pace over the closing stages to win the Bronze medal convincingly in 11 mins 20 secs. This was a super run by Ann Marie and a major improvement on her 7th place last year. At this stage we had two more athletes on the Track and both of them were running very well with Ali O Connor making her Championship debut for the Club running a brilliant race when finishing 7th in 11 mins 43 secs. Then we had Suzanne Shine also running a blinder when finishing 9th in 11 mins 53 secs. These three athletes combined very well to win the inter Club title and the gold medals, a feat last achieved in 2013 when our winning team consisted of Johanna Lacy who won the race, Suzanne Shine and Edel Roche. Back to the race we also had very good performances from Michelle Doherty 14th in 12 mins 19 secs, Sancha Quigley 18th in 12 mins 54 secs, Sareen Walsh 20th in 13 mins 12 secs, Marian Flaherty 21st in 13 mins 22 secs and Jacqui Walsh, making her Championship debut for the Club in 15 mins 43 secs.
In the Men’s race we had a squad of ten athletes taking part. Here we had two athletes in the breakaway group as the race came into the village of Moyne, at the 1k mark, with Joey Feery and Conor Ryan, who was making his debut in this event, setting the pace. As the race progressed the pace was increased and soon Joey found himself in a battle for the Bronze medal. With 2k to go Joey increased the pace and moved into 3rd spot and he kept that tempo going and entering the Moyne AC complex he had a good lead. He held on to win the Bronze medal in 20 mins 25 secs. This was a very good performance by Joey and a marked improvement on last year’s run over the same course when he finished 9th. Conor Ryan also ran a very good race when finishing 6th in 21 mins 9 secs and he will improve as the season progresses. Hot on his heels in 7th place was Nigel O Flaherty who should be very pleased with his performance when finishing in 21 mins 16 secs. Then we had Anthony Bowen also running a very good race when finishing strongly in 9th place in 21 mins 29 secs. This quartet of Joey, Conor, Nigel and Anthony combined very well to win the Gold medals and retain the Cup and achieve a three in a row, a first by any Club in the County since Athletics Ireland was formed in 2000, brilliant. Nigel O Flaherty becomes the first athlete in the County to be on three winning Club teams that achieved a three in a row in this Championship event. For the record our winning team in 2016 was Michael Carey, Nigel O Flaherty, Mark Darmody and Jimmy Boland. Last year the team consisted of Jimmy Boland, Joey Feery, Anthony Bowen and Nigel Flaherty. Back to the race and we also saw very good performances from athletes like Conor Fleming 20th in 22 mins 22 secs, Brian Carroll 27th in 22 mins 57 secs, Anthony Feery, making his Senior debut for the Club 35th in 23 mins 38 secs, Vincent McHugh 51st in 26 mins 26 secs, Pat Walsh, making his debut at these Championships 55th in 27 mins 3 secs and Donal Casey 56th in 27 mins 31 secs. Once again, congrats to all our members who ran so well today in Moyne, great to see all the training paying off, augurs well for the rest of the year. Thanks also to Susan Laste for all the photographs, they say it all.