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On a perfect sunday morning for running, the Handicap chase concluded in great fashion.  It was a day dominated by late arrivals to the series.  In her first race, Fidelma Healy-Eames ran a great race to exceed her handicap predictions by 14 minutes - coming home in 70:35.  Among the ladies, Fidelma was followed home by GCH's Bernie Kelly (45:58) and Craughwell's Dervilla Darcy (54:32).

In a genuinely great performance, Diarmuid Quill managed to shatter his previous PB by two minutes to come home in 45:09 as first man home - excellent running from him.  In a day of PB's, a fit-looking James Lundon edged closer to his dream target in a cracking time of 40:23.  Great running from James and given the tough nature of the Craughwell course, there is no doubt in my mind that he will shave those 24 seconds off with ease in more forgiving terrain.  Owen Curren was third man home in a smashing time for him of 39:03 - again his best of the series, a full 1:30 faster than his first Craughwell race.  Another great run worth mentioning was Wally Walsh's - he set a new PB for himself of 39:25 and was rightly thrilled with this.

The race for fastest runner was the highlight of this event, with Michael Tobin, Mick Rice and Darragh O'Brien all vying for the prize.  Michael Tobin had the fastest time up to this week.  They started together, and Michael and Darragh soon pulled away from Mick.  However, you discount the Athenry man at your peril and sure enough after 3k Mick caught up and maintained a pace that was too tough for the two lads.  He came home as fastest runner in 36:25 - a new course record, and the perpetual cup couldn't have a more worthy first name on it.  Michael was second fastest in 36:46 - equalling the PB he set in Athenry late last year - a fantastic run given his injuries and the time he has had available to train.  Darragh also broke 37 minutes for the second time in his life.  Well done all.

 

Race TimeBibNameAvg Pace/KClock Start
01:10:3547Fidelma Healy-Eames00:07:0300:06:00
00:45:0948Diarmuid Quill00:04:3100:41:40
00:45:584Bernie Kelly00:04:3600:42:00
00:40:2335James Lundon00:04:0200:47:40
00:54:3243Dervilla Darcy00:05:2700:34:00
00:49:4246Valerie Fogarty00:04:5800:39:20
00:39:0333Owen Curren00:03:5400:50:20
00:39:258Wally Walsh00:03:5700:50:00
00:36:2541Mick Rice00:03:3900:53:00
00:41:4717Gerry Fahey00:04:1100:47:40
00:36:462Michael Tobin00:03:4100:53:00
00:48:1026John Raftery00:04:4900:41:40
00:36:5710Darragh O'Brien00:03:4200:53:00
00:43:4731Philip Magnier00:04:2300:46:20
00:43:1523Tony Nevin00:04:2000:47:00
00:48:4518Tony Fitzpatrick00:04:5200:42:00
00:51:0339Noel Craughwell00:05:0600:40:00
00:43:5840Liam Nolan00:04:2400:47:20
00:52:0722Tony O'Callaghan00:05:1300:40:40

As this was the last race, the league is now completed and we had a very pleasent prize-giving and sandwich eating session in the hall afterwards.  The roll of honour is as follows:

Male Overall
1. Noel Gormon
2. Liam Nolan
3. Noel Craughwell

Female Overall
1. Val Fogarty
2. Dervilla Darcy
3. Bernie Kelly [GCH]

Fastest Runner - Perpetual Cup
1. Mick Rice [Athenry AC]

The prizes were presented by Galway Bay FM's Mary Porter, thanks Mary for doing the honours.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who showed up and helped - especially the "What's yer number?" race officials,  Shauna and Andrea who did such an excellent job of getting numbers from exhausted athletes through the weeks.  Also thanks to Orla and Julie the photographers and Rosie/Mary for helping out with the catering on Sunday.

Pictures are in the gallery.

As an after-thought the chart below shows the general level of improvement over the series.  As you can see the lines generally drift downwards, showing that most people managed to really increase their fitness in the 6 week period.  The average time taken for people to run the 10k reduced by 1:30 which is a really big improvement.  Well done all - you can feel proud of the achievement - keep it up and we look forward to seeing how much you have improved by next years series.

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Saturday the 23rd. .