27 July, 2009TEAM COMPETITION
1. Boards AC 26 (5 Mick Hanney, 7 Paul Joyce, 14 John Ahern)
2. Sli Cualann 35 (6 Cormac O\'Ceallaigh, 9 Martin Francis, 20 Brendan Lawlor)
3. Sportsworld 49 (8 Paul Mitchell, 12 Liam McFadden, 29 Charlie O\'Connell)
4. GEN 69 (17 Joe Lalor, 25 Mick Kellett, 27 Brendan Doherty)
19 May, 2009I'm surprised I don't read more about the affirming powers of Wicklow bog in the health supplements of the papers.
Of our 33 starters there were 2 M70, 3 M60, 5 M50 and 9 M40 runners in attendance, that list surely is crying out for Nick Corish to round off the list and provide our 1 M80 for the look of the thing. 58% of respondents in a recent voxpop of weekend hillrunners are of the more seasoned variety apparently.
Shiny new M40 Bernard is still in his thirties, probably a cause for confusion, and coming into his own on these slightly longer races where as per usual he was by far the quickest man over the last part of the course. No such thing as an easy run with him about and Leo Murray is going well and took third overall.
Cormac O'Ceallaigh has a good mix of the aforementioned life enhancing Wicklow living and his results are seeing the benefits. If this was a NIMRA race he would have come second :)
I saw ladies winner Moira looking slightly perplexed at the finish, no doubt confused by the sudden end to the exercise, she probably went out for another 10 hours bogtrot in the sodden hills, a mere 13km race win would hardly be enough to justify the relaxed Saturday afternoon option!
We were lucky enough with the weather, we only had the gale force wind, occasional showers of rain/walkers and a good level of visibility to keep the nagging anxieties of ending up on the wrong mountain at bay.
This Ballybraid course is a great course, most of the hard climbing is done on easy Fireroad leaving the open mountain for some fun running, Simon Fairmaner's sub hour record remains safe for another year, come back and show us again how it done Simon!
19 May, 2009Ballybraid Race Report
On a wet, windy day in May, which was more like winter than summer, 33 hardy souls lined up for the 2009 Ballybraid race. We were asked in the days before by race director Niamh to have a set kit with us for the race â€“ this was a wise move considering the conditions on the day. From what I could see, everyone present complied with this request and a spot check was made before the race. Most people had their rain proof jacket already on them at the start.
From the start, Peter took up the lead position he was to hold all the way around the course. The initial climb on the fire road was fine as the forest gave good protection against the wind. Once passed the hut and crossed the stream onto the open mountain, the rain jackets were essential against the elements. I was happy enough with my own run up to the top of Mullacor where I was positioned just between Leo who was in third place, with Bernard in 2nd. However, the bog was very wet from Mullacor right across the Derrybawn ridge and you would pay for a lack of endurance you had on the soft ground. I started to lose ground on out section of the ridge and coming back along the ridge was into a strong headwind. This is were I started to suffer, but others thrived in these conditions â€“ Cormac flew past me coming back along the ridge - his strength and technique on this section of the course was inspiring.
When we finally got on to the fire road, my legs had lost most of their strength and when a few more runners past me by at this stage â€“ the two Paulâ€™s and Martin, I could not stay with them and I was nervously looking behind to see if I would be caught in the run in. I had a bit of a gap behind me which was just as well and I was relieved to finally finish â€“ I wonâ€™t forget that run along the ridge in a hurry! So a tough run â€“ not particular enjoyable at the time but great when you have finished!
Peter, Bernard and Leo stayed pretty much the first 3 for most of the race. Moire won the ladies race, with Jackie second and Niamh in third. Moire was complaining a bit about her slow time(!) in the end â€“ well it was the same for all of us â€“ if you ran faster than last year, you must be a lot fitter now! We were then able to relax in the Glenmalure lodge for the prize giving afterwards and enjoy a bit of birthday cake â€“ happy birthday Mary!
19 May, 2009COUNTY RESULTS
Dublin won both county teams in Ballybraid. Peter Oâ€™Farrell was their first man supported by Adrian Tucker and Jason Kehoe. Wicklow were a close second due to good runs by Cormac Oâ€™Ceallaigh and Paul Joyce. Jacqueline Oâ€™Hagan led the Dublin women home ahead of Niamh Ni Cholmain and Cliona Kenny. Moire O'Sullivan (Derry) won the women's race.
1. Dublin 16 (1 Peter Oâ€™Farrell, 4 Adrian Tucker, 11 Jason Kehoe)
2. Wicklow 18 (5 Mick Hanney, 6 Cormac Oâ€™Ceallaigh, 7 Paul Joyce)
3. Wexford 17 (2 Bernard Fortune, 15 Gary Moralee)
4. Kildare 23 (10 Dermot Murphy, 13 Brian Oâ€™Meara)
1. Dublin 9 (2 Jacqueline Oâ€™Hagan, 3 Niamh Ni Cholmain, 4 Cliona Kenny)
19 May, 2009The Ballad of Ballybraid
So up the track we did ascend,
the stony road and twisting bend,
to scale these mountains, steep and tall.
A beacon led us through the squall,
a familiar sight, Petes' rear end.
On to the grass of Mullacor,
where better men, away they tore,
I cursed my lack of climbing skills,
but followed vainly, through the hills,
with hands on knees, so very sore.
Across the ridge at Derrybawn,
I passed a quart of running fawn,
and passed in turn by C O'C,
(he knew each step from prior recce),
at last I reached the point of turn,
but hills along the ridge I'd found,
had multiplied when homeward bound,
I'd counted out perhaps three or four,
but counting back seemed six or more,
(and a wind which Beaufort hadn't even,
felt in fiercest hurricane season),
across the heather, and head for home,
my legs they did begin to moan,
and come the downhill forest trail,
the moan became a fullblown wail,
which changed itself into a scream,
my lactate-soaked downhill careen,
crossed the line, but not yet stop,
a jog downhill to the drinking shop,
I found a spot, I sank a beer-
thats Ballybraid till another year.
(I asked a man before I left,
that if I go right instead of left,
and held my compass in my hand,
and blankly did not understand,
which way was north, or east, or west,
how best to use my map and cape,
if of direction I was bereft,
in this bleak and cold landscape.
He told me I should some flint a-take,
and hit with compass, a spark to make,
to set a fire of my map,
So warmth be had, and I'd be glad,
My whistle did a pea contain,
to make a soup, when mixed with rain.)