28 November, 2009Glorious sunshine provided the backdrop to the sixth instalment of the 2006 Arup Leinster League. The 1.5km jog to the start from the car park provided a good warm up prior to the race. This, no doubt, contributed to the slight delay at the start, but no seemed to mind as it gave us all a chance to admire the views of Three Rock, Dublin Bay, the Sugerloaf and beyond.
The race itself is a real rollercoaster ride. It starts up a gentle slope to the old chimney before going down a narrow path at the side of the trees. You then take a right hand turn into the trees, running up and down some more gentle slopes before going up the only real climb to the top of Carrickgolligan. The narrow path here meant this climb was done at a walk for most, as passing was very difficult. When you got to the bottom of Carrickgolligan, there was some more up and down paths until you arrived back at the chimney. From here, it was a nice run downhill back past the start were Zoe was acting as photographer for the night.
From the start, you ran down the road to the car park were the finish line was. But you were not finished yet! There was still a loop of the forest ? all on nice runable ground. After a fairly even start, the loop goes on a short uphill and then goes down again through the trees. At the bottom, there is a sharp turn to the right which a few runners ahead of me missed. This was despite Alan?s clear message at the start NOT to cross any tape and to follow the flags! I didn?t mind, as it gave me the opportunity to gain a couple of places. From here, it was mainly uphill on a winding path through the trees. The finish line appears quite abruptly at the end, which meant there was not too many sprint finishes.
Winner on the night was Eoin Keith ? the first man to win two races in this years league. Second was new comer Cormac Conroy followed by Keith Daly in third. First lady home was Beth McCluskey, with Katharina Baldinger in second followed by Karen Bothwell in third. First M40 home was Gerry Lalor and the first F40 was Roisin McDonell. Desie Shorten and Jane Porter won the M50 and F50 sections respectively and there were also wins for Danny Toye (M60), Jean O?Neill (F60) with Daniel Buckley winning the junior section. In the short course, there were wins for James Alexander (M14) and Naomi de Lasa (FJ).
A big thank you to Alan Ayling and his band of helpers for a good job well done. Also, a personal note of thanks to First Aid officer Stephen McMullan who patched me up after the race, after I cut my leg on a rock. Any injuries during the race were, like my own, very minor.
I car pooled up to the race with Vivian O?Gorman from Kilternan, and if every car pooler offered the same great service as Vivian, I sure every car would be full. Tea and scones were produced after the race and were eagerly consumed by myself and Henny. We lingered in the car park after most had gone on to the pub, enjoying one last view of the Sugarloaf. Vivian even managed to time the drive back to Kilternan to perfection, as we got the green light at the road works.
A large crowd made it back to Palmers afters, and anyone I talked to enjoyed the race and course immensely. There were some comments along the lines of ?it suited the road runners? ? taken to be either positive or negative depending on who said it. The other hot topic of the night was the Wicklow Way Relay as there was some chopping and changing of some teams to make them ?legal?. This years edition has already sparked the controversial ?Aaron gate? affair between two of the teams ? it will all add to the excitement on the day, no doubt!
Next week we will have another rollcoaster at Howth ? enjoy!