World-class athletes descend on Newmarket
Newmarket was a hive of activity last Sunday for a spectacular road race that attracted hundreds of runners from many parts of the globe for the inaugural Duhallow AC 10 mile promoted event.
Having been postponed from its original date owing to Storm Emma in early March, no such problems five weeks on with a few passing showers failing to hinder the event. With highly attractive prizes on offer, the Duhallow contest was sure to attract a top-class field.
Indeed, an appreciative Newmarket crowd raised their hats to a new sensation in Irish athletics, Ethiopia native Hiko Tonosa, currently based in the DSD Club in Dublin, who stormed home to better Moldovian Sergiu Cionbanu by just three seconds in a thrilling finish.
Duhallow Chairman Donie Shine related a feel-good factor surrounding the staging that contributed immensely to the success of the event, applauding the support of athletes and clubs from many parts of the country.
"The world came to Newmarket," he said. "There is widespread appreciation for the dedication and efforts that so many people brought to the task of ensuring the success of the event. Indeed, clubs and organisations right across Duhallow rowed in with us in a challenge they embraced wholeheartedly, and what a finish to a cracking race: two athletes from East Europe and Africa going in search of the big prize", said Donie.
"No massive staging can function without sponsorship. The organisers would like to extend a huge thanks to those that made it possible to generate an attractive prize fund", he said.
For any public or sporting event, safety is a priority, Duhallow AC expressing thanks to Newmarket Garda Sergeant Dan Murphy and his colleagues for devising a traffic management on approach roads into Newmarket in addition to Ambulance and Red Cross outlets with appreciation to the Hi Land used as race headquarters.
Originally planned for the first Sunday in March, Duhallow AC had hoped to take up a free date on the calendar following the demise of the 40-year-old Ballycotton 10 in east Cork and at a post-race reception, Mr Shine applauded all involved in the Ballycotton show-piece.
"Storm Emma denied us of the initial staging where we had hoped to repeat a marvellous Ballycotton show-piece that captured the imagination of the wider public. A classic run has become one of the best road races in Ireland. Thanks to superb organisation, it attracted athletes from all over the country and abroad in addition to initiating a road-running boom in the process, Ballycotton was at all times a truly professional race and a benchmark for others to follow, Duhallow AC and Newmarket can be proud of the 2018 hosting, hopefully all involved can replicate that enthusiasm in forthcoming stagings", he said.