The picturesque grounds of the historic Maynooth University were once again host to the Irish University Association’s road relay championships. This is a competition in which the best of the domestic talent around the country do battle running laps of a circuit which is a little over 1 mile. The weather was bright and the colours couldn’t have looked more autumnal. For full results, check out here or the fairly ancient looking but absolutely amazing iuaa.org!
The men’s race featured no less than 41 teams and consisted of 5 legs of distances 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles and 1 mile. Craughwell AC’s Kyle Moorhead led things off the University of Galway “A” team, with Kyle’s clubmate Patrick Noonan also taking the first mile for the UoG “B” team. The first leg is actually closer to 1900m and Kyle and Patrick both ran very strongly to finish close together in 4th and 5th place respectively. Their UoG teammates Oisin Murray (2 miles), Luke Johnston (3 miles) and Donal Farren (2 miles) all ran well but 3rd was out of sight when Craughwell AC’s Oisin Davis took on the anchor leg of 1 mile. Oisin ran strongly to complete the final leg the second fastest in the field and slightly close the gap on those ahead of him.
The UoG time of 44:36 would have taken Bronze last year and most years, but the standard was sky-high and no metal on this occasion, but a very valliant attempt by the lads!
The winning UCD team has to go down as one of the strongest ever fielded – almost everyone on the team has a european medal in his locker, including two professional runners. The only athlete without a european medal has a 3:44 1500m pb so not exactly a slouch!
The women’s race was for legs of 1 mile, 2 mile, 2 mile and 1 mile. The University of Limerick teams had a very Craughwell Complexion with half of the A and B teams coming from the village!! Sinead Gaffney took on the first leg for the A team.
Sinead had been sick recently but is a University of Limerick Athletics “GOAT” so wasn’t going to miss the event! Sinead ran strongly to hand-off in 7th place. They lost positions over the next two legs and Helena O’Keeffe of Craughwell had a lot to do taking on the final leg. Helena ran fantastically to finish 5th fastest in her leg and drag the team back into seventh from the 26 teams.
Caron Ryan led things off for the B team, finishing close behind Sinead in 9th place. Emily Miskella ran well in the 3rd leg over 2 miles – the longest Craughwell run of the day. Emily ran strongly all the way and in the end the B team finished in a very respectable 15th.