The 9th promotion of the Boston Scientific half marathon took place last Sunday with a record entry of 1000 athletes. Early morning weather conditions were very wet and windy as the many volunteers made sure that everything was in place for this major promotion. From early morning participants began arriving at the race headquarters at LIT to collect their Race numbers and T Shirts and in the space of 2 hours we processed over 600 entries, which was a very good testament to how well everyone helped to make this event such a success.
By race time, 10am, the weather had improved greatly, and the athletes had a fresh breeze in their face as they assembled at the Start on the Bypass. The race was started by Kieran Dunne of Boston Scientific who said that Boston Scientific were delighted to be part of this very successful event and he wished all the athletes the very best of luck. The race started and soon our own Kevin Maunsell set the pace and he was determined to re write the course record for this event, which he himself set in 2015 when he won in 68 mins 25 secs. He set a strong pace that had him well clear of the chasing pace well inside the first mile. He maintained this strong pace by clocking just over 5 minutes a mile to the 2-mile mark, he then increased the pace over the next four miles to reach the 6-mile mark in 30 mins 11 secs having ran a 4 minute 54 second mile for mile 6. He continued this relentless pace over the 2nd half of the race to come home a very convincing and popular winner in 67 mins 14 secs, fantastic running by a talented athlete and he received a fantastic reception as he entered the LIT grounds, brilliant running. We then had William Stephens of Coolquill AC, a great supporter of this race., also running a fantastic race when finishing 2nd in 71 mins 47 secs and improving greatly on last year’s run of 72 mins 9 secs. Then we had John Shine of Leevale AC also running very well when finishing 3rd in 73 mins 11 secs with the St Finbarr’s AC duo of Rory O Sullivan and Jeremy O Donovan finishing 4th in 74 mins and 5th in 74 mins 8 secs respectively. The Master Men’s awards were won by the following athletes: Ken Maher Kilkenny City Harriers 1st over 40 in 80:21 with Nigel O Flaherty Clonmel AC 2nd in 82:48, Joe Cunningham St Finbarr’s AC 1st over 45 in 75:35 with Joe Kelleher St Finbarr’s AC 2nd in 78:22, Kev Devine St Finbarr’s Ac was 1st over 50 in 79:39 with Pat O Connor of Eagle AC 2nd in 82:13, Ambrose Heagney of Ennis Track Club was 1st over 55 in 91:57 with Michael Moore of Dundrum AC 2nd in 92:08, James O Sullivan of Tipperary Town was 1st over 60 in 95:49 with Sean Whelan of Ennis Track Club winning the over 65 award in 104:21, great performances.
The women’s race was also very competitive. Here we also had a very popular winner with Linda Grogan of Dundrum AC running a brilliant race to win in 88 mins 27 secs, Linda is a great supporter of this race. Then we had Jacqueline O Connor of Serpentine AC finishing 2nd in 89 mins 42 secs with Joan Ennis of Grange Fermoy AC finishing 3rd in 90:24. Becky Coughlan of Ennis Track Club was 4th in 91:39 with Grainne O Callaghan of North Cork Ac 5th in 93:02. The Master Women’s awards were won by the following athletes: Pauline Grainger of Leevale AC was 1st over 35 in 94:20 with Jannet Farrell of Callan 2nd in 97:52, Ellen Hanley of Grange Fermoy Ac was 1st over 40 in 93:18 with Maire O Shea of Mooreabbey Milers Ac 2nd in 95:16, Siobhan McHugh of Clonmel Ac was 1st over 45 in 97:43 with Josephine Kelleher of Donoughmore Ac 2nd in 99:02, Orla O Rourke of Ballymore Cobh AC was 1st over 50 in 93:25 with Geraldine O Shea St Finbarr’s AC 2nd in 99:29, Martha McNamara of Midleton AC was 1st over 55 in 114:18 with Franny Younghusband of Nenagh 1st over 60 in 137:01, great performances all round.
The prizes were presented by Peter Kiely of Boston Scientific who also took part in the event and he thanked everyone involved for promoting a fantastic event, it was brilliant to take part in such a well organised event and brilliant to see a new course record set in the process. He also paid a great tribute to the organising committee, chaired by Conor Fleming, who predicted that there would be 1000 entrants for the 2018 event when the event was launched last March, and it was brilliant to see this event grow in stature over the past nine years with 314 athletes finishing in the 2010 event, fantastic achievement by everyone involved. The Club Chairman, Conor Fleming, thanked our many volunteers for their trojan work over the past few days to make this our most successful event to date. He thanked our other sponsors like Glanbia, Tipperary Water and Powerade. He also thanked the Gardai, the Civil Defence, LIT, Clonmel Og GAA and Clonmel Celtic FC, South Tipp Physio, Clonmel Waste and the local Authority for all their help. He thanked our many members and friends who provided a fantastic spread of Post-Race refreshments and it was great that we were able to share some of it with Cuan Saor women’s refuge and the Old Folks in Morton street.