So close for Craughwell and Galway in all-Ireland Novice

So close for Craughwell and Galway in all-Ireland Novice


Ballyhaise, Cavan 2008.  I think it was about the toughest surface I have ever run on.  Worse than the infamous "Dartfield" of last year.  In Dartfield it was just sloppy mud we had to contend with – in Ballyhaise it was bitterly cold and this had frozen a crust on top of much of the mud.  The mud itself had a stick gluey texture that sapped the wind out of you as you plopped and dragged yourself through it. 

There were 3 particularly bad patches and on each of the 5 laps of the 6k course I tried different approaches to get through them but there was no easy way.  Some people had the knack of it however.   This is the Senior mens view – Mike will do a write up on the brave Juvenilles later.  Read on for the full report.

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The club were led home by  Martin Corcoran in an 18th place finish which was an unbelievable achievement.  The man is 46 years old and he finished hot on the heels of great young runners like Dermot McDermot from Sligo AC – a sub 2 minute 800m man and I think a sub 4 minute 1500 as well.   That was savage running Martin – very well done on another day you would definitely have gotten the "award" for Craughwell's Man of the Match.  I tried to stick with Martin and even passed him on the second lap but each time we came to the muddy slop-pits my strength left me and he pulled away another 10 yards. The man is made of iron.

I finished 30 seconds back from Martin and as I came into the finishing straight, I could hear Johnny Lane powering towards me so even though I didn't feel like it I picked it up to just hold him off.  We finished in 29th and 30th positions respectively and given another 100 yards the order would certainly have been reversed.  I thought I ran bad at this stage because I had felt so miserable throughout the race, but now looking a the results I realise that I actually ran well – just Johnny and Martin ran out of their skins.  Improvements come slowly in running and Johnny has taken a big leap in form with this performance.  He told me after that he went through the sticky mud on his toes and if god forbid I ever face similar conditions that's what I'll try the next time because he moved up from 47th position to 30th in the last two laps, while at the same time I was slipping from 20th to 29th position.  

Despite not getting much training in since the marathon with injury, and getting notice of the race late,  Tony Nevin played a stormer to finish well and run strongly throughout.  The club finished a superb 7th of 17 – ahead of great clubs like Sligo A.C., Rathfarnham, Raheny, Leevale and just behind Clonliffe harriers.  Well done all.

The intercounty View
The class Galway performance of the day was from Matt Lockett who stole through the field and powered home to a fantastic individual bronze.  Great running Matt.  Helped by Matts great run, Galway were also agonisingly close to a medal.   Rob Staunton and Darragh O'Brien made up the Galway team and did very well in such tough conditions.  It really was a course that either suited you or not.


Man of the match:  Johnny Lane


Master of mud

With Matt and Martin in such great form, there was a lot of competion for best individual performance among the Galway contingent, but for my money the popular Johnny made the biggest step-up in class on Sunday.  Put it this way: if we had another Johnny Lane, or even someone within 7 places of him then we would have taken Interclub Bronze and Intercounty Silver!  Well done Johnny and watch out for him to take this form onto the roads in 2009!

Click Here for full results.

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