THERE was such a buzz of personal achievement, community support and celebration in the wake of Sunday's inaugural An Riocht AC / Lee Strand Kingdom Come 10 Miler that it would be criminal not to make it an annual event.
The club pulled out every available stop to lay a marker for the future with Sunday's event and it all went off so well. Even if the cold, easterly and biting winds reddened the cheeks of the runners and walkers it didn't cool their spirits as they battled to do their best times and to finish the course at least.
There was no shortage of support at corners and other vantage points as locals welcomed the return of big time athletics to the streets of the town.
There was food and music and entertainment for all the participants and their supporters and the 'all hands on deck' attitude of the organisers have anchored the day in the history of great sporting events in the valley.
Bantry AC athlete, Alan O'shea took off like the proverbial scalded cat and melted the tar on the course as he left the field in his wake. There were some notable, local achievements in the course of the day as Donal O'callaghan, (5th) Willie Reidy (9th) and Joe O'connor (10th) finished well up the field.
A little band of women who have been pounding the roads and pavements here over the past few months had cause to celebrate too and they did at Browne's Bar on Sunday night. They had been introduced to the bug of running by the late, Humphrey Murphy and many thought of him on Sunday as he would, no doubt, be in the thick of it on the day. There is huge credit due to all involved. They have inspired a new love of running and taking part in many people. "I'll be out there next year," was a common thread among the comments made by several innocent bystanders as the runners flashed by.