25 July, 2011ASCENT/DESCENT STATISTICS
1. ANDI JONES (England) 41:21
13. Tom Hogan 46:35
26. Robert Malseed 50:27
29. Roger Barrett 50:44
30. Andrew Niblock (NI) 50:46
36. Stephen Cleary 51:41
37. Jason Reid (Rathfarnham) 51:41
38. Andrew Anett (NI) 51:57
41. PIPPA MADDAMS (England) 52:18
42. David McNeilly (NI) 52:19
74. Karen Alexander (NI) 55:36
91. Emma Donlon 56:47
118. Sam Heron (NI) 58:09
176. Aoife Joyce 62:22
188. Diane Wilson (NI) 63:02
190. Cormac O'Ceallaigh (Sli Cualann) 63:20
206. Lucy Darcy 64:25
299. Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley) 69:37
308. Megan Wilson (NI) 70:10
365. Tommy Galvin (Glenasmole) 74:21
401. Niamh O'Ceallaigh (Crusaders AC) 77:06
1. IAN HOLMES (England) 23:25
16. Stephen Cleary 24:55
17. Jason Reid (Rathfarnham) 25:02
21. Tom Hogan 25:47
33. Roger Barrett 27:33
34. Andrew Niblock (NI) 26:50
33. David McNeilly (NI) 26:45
40. Andrew Anett (NI) 27:44
45. LINDSEY BRINDLE (Horwich) 28:00
66. Karen Alexander (NI) 29:14
84. Robert Malseed 29:53
120. Emma Donlon 31:23
133. Sam Heron (NI) 31:44
154. Cormac O'Ceallaigh (Sli Cualann) 32:32
179. Aoife Joyce 33:30
181. Megan Wilson (NI) 33:32
188. Diane Wilson (NI) DNF
244. Lucy Darcy 35:26
286. Niamh O'Ceallaigh (Crusaders AC) 36:41
335. Tommy Galvin (Glenasmole) 38:55
341. Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley) 39:22
24 July, 2011With Gerry having helpfully supplied the statistics and results from yesterday's 36th International Snowdon race, I can focus this team manager's report on the details of a racing outcome proving one of the most exciting in years. Let me start by thanking the organisers who had arranged for luxurious pickup in Volvo 4x4, very nice accommodation in the Padarn Lake Hotel, and, the best part, a meticulously equipped team manager bag which made getting everyone set and ready to race an absolute breeze.
The overall winner, Andi Jones, the British mountain and marathon international, found himself put under pressure from start to finish by Scotland's Murray Strain which was reflected in the fastest winning times in a few years. Despite settling for runners-up in both the men and the women's race, Scotland dominated the event winning both team prizes.
From my vantage point at the 5km point of the 8km climb, it was encouraging to see Tom Hogan arrive with the early chasing packs looking in control of proceedings. He would summit first of the Irish in a strong 46:35 and despite losing four spots on the descent, he came down in 25:47, only just over a minute slower than the winner.
Robert Malseed followed with Roger Barrett and the patient Stephen Cleary in close pursuit. Jason Reid sat in the pack with Stephen and the two IMRA runners used each other to good effect no the descent gaining several places. Malseed took the top in 26th before dropping to 45th on the descent. His sub-30 minute time was still very credible considering his recent move into the hills.
Stephen Cleary and Jason Reid arrived after Tom descending in 24:55 and 25:02 respectively having arrived at the top together. Both gained more than ten spots coming down and were understandably delighted with their tactics afterwards. Among their "victims" was team-mate Roger Barrett who had been third man to the summit, with a minute to spare on Stephen/Jason, but he minimised his losses to three and joined the ranks of the sub-80 minute men.
Emma Donlon was an image of composure striding upwards and despite a bad fall on the way down which may have resulted in a few broken toes (in addition to some impressive bruising), put in a watermark performance outsprinting seasoned local competitor Sarah Ridgway close to the finish. Karen Alexander, running for Northern Ireland, almost grabbed another podium spot with her fourth position, but was the picture of elation afterwards despite missing out on it to Scotland's Christina Rankin.
Lucy Darcy was second woman at this point but was overtaken by Aoife Joyce on the "staircases" on the final three-thousand metres to the summit. Lucy has produced some memorable performances on the roads and despite facing a steep learning curve on the descent, joined in on the overall positive humour of the team as they cooled off in the Padarn Lake post-race. Snowdon has gained a few more fans this year, its safe to say, along the long-time admirers Cormac O'Ceallaigh (whom Aoife took the liberty to outsprint on the final 2 metres!) and Tommy Galvin who both put in solid runners and returned unscathed. This couldn't be said of Tom Hogan's shoe which had the rubber peeling off at the end.
The team largely copied Robbie Bryson's composed approach to the early steep rise on the tarmac as well as the fast-short striding which is essential to keep momentum and conserve strength over the full length the climb. This paid rich dividends later in the race where most runner could adopt an aggressive approach rather than fighting for survival. Both the terrain and the length of the climb are hard to copy on Irish soil, Croaghanmoira mountain being the most closely matched for underfoot conditions but having a less insistent slope!
I can now admit that we let one runner off with a three-course meal the day befoer the race (courtesy of the late start) and while names won't be mentioned, the particular runner did themselves great credit and nutritional strategy for future events may have to be revised. Some friction was caused when the team manager expressed that the local Theakston Smooth was superior to Guiness at the post-race festivities but these were quickly forgotten when attention turned to Gerry Brady's phone call who had managed to get the results quicker off the net than we could get in the Royal Victoria, the heart and soul of the Snowdon race.
On behalf of IMRA, I'd like to congratulate the team on putting in some fine performances and for showing a fantastic attitude throughout. I hope everyone came away with a positive experience to capitalise on in future international mountain running events. Next year, without the clash with another SkyRunning race, the Snowdon race expects to muster an even stronger field for our athletes to test themselves again.
23 July, 2011Brief report with results below (gender and international placings), descriptive report from Rene to follow when he gets home.
Particularly good performances from Tom Hogan and Emma Donlon, and from Karen Alexander who was running for Northern Ireland. Karen's time is the fastest ever by an Irish woman beating Joyce Mitchell's 1991 time by almost two minutes. Emma's run is the fourth fastest Irish time. Aoife Joyce knocked well over three minutes off her previous best time. Tom's time is the fastest since Eoin McKenna's 2007 time of 70:33. Mr. Consistency Cormac O'Ceallaigh has his three fastest times within 31 seconds!
1. Andi Jones 65:57
16. Tom Hogan (Racing 795) 72:22
25. Stephen Cleary (Clonliffe) 76:36
27. Jason Reid (Rathfarnham) 76:43
32. Roger Barrett (Ballina) 78:17
45. Robert Malseed (Mayo) 80:20
156. Cormac O'Ceallaigh 95:52
314. Thomas Galvin 113:16
1. Pippa Maddams 80:53
4. Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) 84:50
7. Emma Donlon (Metro St. Brigid's) 88:10
17. Aoife Joyce (Crusaders) 95:52
23. Lucy Darcy (Sportsworld) 99:51
45. Niamh O'Ceallaigh (Crusaders) 113:47
1. Scotland (2,3,4) 9
2. England (1,6,9) 16
3. Wales (8,10,13) 31
4. Italy (7,12,18) 37
5. Ireland (11,14,17) 42
6. Northern Ireland (15,19,20) 54
1. Scotland (2,3,5) 10
2. England (1,6,9) 16
3. Wales (8,10,11) 29
4. Ireland (7,12,13) 32
5. Northern Ireland (4,14,15) 33