It has been a long winter slog since the last official race back in October 2020. It's hard to believe that when the County Senior XC was cancelled that the next race would be on the track in June, you could tell the change of season as there were many dragonflies buzzing around the track. MTU Athletics held an excellently organised meet on Tuesday evening with seeded 1 mile and 5000m races drawing excellent fields. All credit to Ian O'Sullivan, Craig Harrington and all involved in such a well run professional event.
First up we had our newest member Paul Hartnett race in the A mile race. Paul was showing nicely at the head of the field for the first 3 laps before fading a small bit in the final lap but still came away with a strong 4.29 for his efforts and something to build on for the rest of the summer (once he gets the pesky leaving cert out of the way, which he was starting only 14 hours after his race!). Training partner Frank O'Brien ran the opposite, hanging around surveying at the back of the pack for the first 3 laps before making a bit of a move in the final 200m to get 6th in 4.27.
James Mc was 4th in the B mile in 4.38. Incredibly it was his first track race since 2017 so all in all it could set the tone for a good summer ahead. James will probably note that he was, in fact, first M35 in all the mile races...
Stephen O'Brien renewed rivalries with former teammate Tim Crowley in the C mile. Tim put on a convincing final 400m to take the race out and Stephen was not far behind in 3rd with 4.56. In the D mile Jen raced well to finish 7th in 5.46, it was a close battle with speedster Norah most of the way but she just pulled away in the last 300m. Norah was just behind in 10th with 5.52, an improvement of 18 seconds since her last mile in CIT last August.
It was a battle of the Kevin's in the 5000m race. Both had a solid outings, running well together for most of the race. Kevin O'B pulled away a little bit in the final 2k to finish 7th in 15.41. Kevin O'L was right on his tail (and notable wearing an old pair of Saucony flats) in 15.48.
It was an excellent race to blow a few cobwebs off and there are two more coming up next week. Tuesday, June 15th, we have the East Cork Road Championships in Ballynoe. 5 miles for the men and 3k for ladies with the dreaded hill awaiting all. Next Friday 18th is the MTU Track meet Day 2 with 800m and 3k's on.
National Senior T&F:
On top of this and more importantly the National Senior Track and Field is on June 25th, 26th and 27th. The timetable and entries for this should be made available later this week. As a club this is the gold standard event to be competing at and if anyone wants to race the best in Ireland keep an eye on this page for details soon.