Monday, May 11, 2009

5k Road Race a huge success

It was the first time we ran the race in May, the first time that we offered online booking and a brand new 5k course. It is was with much trepidation that we watched the strong winds and driving rain set the scene for what should have been a washout of a race. There was a real chance that many on their way to Leixlip would have turned their cars and headed home, not being mad enough to brave such elements. But it was not to be. From 9:30 when the first runners arrived to register, through the storm at 10:00 right up to 10:50 serious runners, joggers and walkers kept coming. The competitors came, it was now up to us to give them a well organised event.

Over 160 runners and walkers gathered outside the Leixlip Amenities centre and the mix of serious club runners and novice first-timers created an electric mix of excitement and expectation. The field headed off at a very fast pace out the Maynooth road in what was now completely dry conditions. Many were surprised as they turned the corner to see the size of the hill that greeted them. There was a bunch of about 10 runners that took the charge up the hill, but the lead pack which included the eventual first three men home, took full advantage of the long decline through the 1km mark to break away. The race followed a flat course for the next 2.5km until the turn at the traffic lights on station road. From here there is a gradual climb up to the 4km mark at Louisa Bridge, which although gradual certainly presented a challenge for those trying to match the pace of the lead runners.

The last 800m of the course took the runners into the grounds of the Amenities Centre along the side of the football pitches to the ultimate finish on the Le Chéile 400m grass track. There was a very exciting finish with Eoghan McGinley and Dwane Farrelly battling it our over the last 500m. Eoghan let the pair onto the track ahead by a few meters and Dwane put up a brave fight to catch up but failed to catch McGinley. The race was ultimately won by a small 2 second margin by Eoghan McGinley (Cramford AC) in a very respectable time, given the windy conditions, of 16:05. It was truly a race to the finish with Dwane Farrelly (Tinryland AC) begin beaten into second place (16:07) and Peter Mooney a few meters behind finishing in 16:13.

The ladies race was won by Caitriona Jennings (WSAF Rathfarnham) in a personal best setting time of 17:23. Jean Wilson (Sportsworld) took second place with a time of 18:47 and Kathleen Horgan (Sportsworld) came home in third with a time of 19:26.

We have received excellent feedback from club runners and first time racers alike but its probably best summed up by the comment :

“It was great to see the road race well managed and set up… this one ticked lots of the boxes for me. Dressing rooms with showers, a race that started on time, Guards involved keeping the traffic at bay and great stewarding along the course ensuring that we weren't run over by Leixlip's citizens. I'm acutely aware that you and your team of organisers are volunteers and as such are putting on the show for free, so thanks a million for that.”

Thanks to all who supported the event and also those who helped make it such a success and of course our wonderful hosts in the Leixlip Amenities Centre. Here’s to a bigger and better event next year.

(Likely to be the 8th of May - so get it in the diaries now)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Le Cheile AC for a very well organised enjoyable race. Thankfully the weather cleared up and made for an enjoyable event. The Garda presence and the good stewarding made all the difference also. You can count on me entering that one again!!! Carole