28 November, 2009<B>Cormac O' Ceallaigh writes</B>
The Corrig race this year was a real treat,the weather was just perfect a welcome change from the mist,misery of last year.The big emphasis on car pooling and parking seems to have worked wonders , far from discouraging folk from coming it has had the opposite effect with a record number of 197 (100 more than last year) runners turning out.
The highly efficient registration system now in place thanks to Graham and Jane is working so well and helps to streamline and ensure everyone is accounted for.The start of the race was on flat forest track , perhaps greater distance before the climb up the ride would have helped spread the field out further.The run up the ride required total commitment between bits of stick and branch jutting out and deep ruts.This was a good opportunity to secure a good place as passing out was difficult.As the race turned through the forest the field was well stretched.Coming out of the forest was open mountain side and the first real opportunity to pass fellow runners out, the race dipped down and then up to the top of Corrig which afford one magnificent views of the surrounding countryside .The return seemed a lot shorter and again having a longer finish on the forest track would of been welcome and provide assistance for the sprinters to pick up a few places!.The finish has become very advanced and sophisticated , whats next...champion chips timers for the running shoes!
Paul Nolan had a convincing win with 41 seconds clear of his nearest rival , Eoin Keith, with Peter O'Farrel used his insider information on the course routing to secure a solid third.
In the women's race, serial winner Beth McClusky was playing photographer (and produced some dramatic shots from the summit) so Laura McGinley seized the opportunity for her first win of the year. Behind her Hazel Thompson, Roisin McDonnell and Una May sped down the forest ride in that order but in the short sprint the order reversed as Rosin(first F40) burst past Hazel and Una powered past both of them.Bob Lawlor took his normal M40 victory ,
Jane Porter was first F50 and Bruce Shenker finally got the better of Graham in the M50. Maura Higgins was first F60 and Sean Lambe showed good form with victory in M60 and Mike Gomm took his normal honors in M70.
The course overall was fast and perhaps short in part.Full marks to the course marker for plotting what was undoubtly an excellent course with plenty of variety over the terrain to suit climbers,sprinters and...grafters.
<B>Paul Nolan writes</B>
Standing on the start line eying the opposition. Relieved that tonight we are racing for the win rather than second place. Warnings ring out to the Naas AC boys to take it handy seem to be heeded as we do as Joe instructs and GO to the best of our abilities.
My pre-race plan to take it as it comes until Seahan goes to the winds in the dash for a good position in the wheel ruts. Apologies to the early starting Maura for the unseemly barging. Good hard pace to the forest where
that most welcome sound arrives... No foot falls, no heavy breathing. Silence, a gap has opened, game on.
Through the twisting forest, this is fun. Out of the trees, cross the fence resisting the incredible urge to sneak a quick glance over the shoulder. Don't want to know, don't want to give any signs to the group just behind.
Up to Seahan, this hurts. My arms are hanging off with the efforts of swinging them to keep the momentum going.
Trig point, press the stopwatch 6:46. Can't resist the glance now to see what's happening behind, lots and not very far away. Onward, Seefingan in the distance initially mistaken for Corrig looking wonderful, this is a
magnificent evening and a brilliant course. But there's still a race to win. Weeeeee down Seahan, great stuff, dry too. Quick burst to haul up Corrig. There's Beth, and a camera, try to look good for the photo. Quick hello, press the stop watch 10:49, turn to see a sight. 190 runners in a line heading straight for me, think I'd rather go to Seefingan.
Down, down, down then Up, Up, Up. A hill is a hill and this is the third one tonight. I'm in trouble. Racing against the line, arms now fine but stomach is objecting. This could turn into a nasty blow up. There's Gavan
and another camera, bugger to looking good I'm hurting. The noise of my breathing is alarming to me. Mercilessly the ground eases a bit, the danger passes. Another press of the watch 15:55.
Fun time begins. Hammer down the heather. I train on this stuff a lot but it's still great to race in it on a Wednesday night. Into the trees for the twisting and turning, I'm a kid again. Then with an audience down the wheel
ruts and track to press the watch for the last time. I like this course, maybe next time we can go to Seefingan