Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Parkland to the Promised Land

Multi tasking is usually associated with the mundane but the exact opposite proved to be the case for one club member last Saturday. Graham Byrne completed the Dublin half marathon that morning and with just enough time to arrive home, dust himself down and don his uniform he walked on to the film set of the Shawshank Redemption.  Graham has the part of one of the guards in the film and with preparations for the local community fundraiser well underway each film is now at the filming stage. Graham was one of a number of club representatives at the Dublin half marathon. The race this year used Newbridge House and Demesne in Donabate as its headquarters and the decision to move the race from its spiritual home in the Phoenix Park to the much less accessible Newbridge house backfired and the race was left in a logistical quandary with a number of the approximately 9,000 race entrants unable to make the start line, despite the race commencement being delayed until after 10am.

Elsewhere there was a fantastic performance from Paddy Lennon who chipped a cool six minutes off his previous best in a time of 1 hour and 44 minutes. Anita Carolan was making her debut as a race pacer and brought the sub two hours 30 minutes runners home within their target time. Anita had Ray Cassin, who is an experienced pacer over the distance to help get the athletes around. Multi tasking was not confined to Graham Byrne with Anne Hamilton running back to back races on the same day with a strong performance in the Dublin half marathon race followed up with an even better one in the evening Blackrock AC 4 mile race, bringing her mileage for the day to an impressive 17.1 not out. Lorna Fields and Susan Durnin are both having excellent seasons and both ran very strong races.

September, sunshine and Star of the Sea could only mean one thing as far as athletics was concerned and that was the start of the cross country season. The star of the sea is the season opener in this discipline and always attracts large crowds and competitive fields. Having not competed at cross country for a number of seasons Duleek AC made a return to action as four of the clubs juveniles took part. Nessa Rohan put in a gritty performance to come home an excellent sixth place in the girls under 9 race. Nicole Hoey demonstrated similar levels of determination and perseverance as she ground out an equally impressive seventh place in the girls under 11 event with Ruby Hartford just as impressive in the same race. Evan Hoey was flying the flag for the clubs boys as he ran a strong race in the under 10 event. These performances augur well for the upcoming Meath Championships which are just around the corner.

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