Road racers defy wintry weather
The first running of the Lusk 4-mile Road Race was a real triumph against the odds and the elements.
When the 'Beast from the East' was quickly followed by Storm Emma it would have been easy to concede defeat and cancel the race, but Lusk AC certainly don't give up without a fight and the weekend saw an army of club members, their families and the local community come out in force to ensure that the event went ahead.
The incredible spirit of the club and community was in evidence as various JCBs, cleaning machines and shovels were used to clear the snow and ice from the course to make it safe to run. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a truly memorable occasion.
Events like this take an incredible amount of planning and organisation, so well done to the Race Committee who did an amazing job, especially with the adverse weather conditions. Many thanks to our race sponsors and to all who contributed to our goodie bag. All our volunteers also deserve great credit - set-up, registration, bag-drop, goodie bags, marshals, catering and close-down.
You were all brilliant and the assistance from the juvenile members was greatly appreciated. Prior to the main event we were treated to the fantastic spectacle of the Thomas Ashe Dash - a chance for the Under-8s, 12s and 16s to take part in short races around the green. Well done to all the children who took part. The road race started on Chapel Green at exactly 3pm and went out on a two-mile circuit of the village and ring road, returning for a second lap and finishing back on Chapel Green after a challenging run up the hill. The race was well supported by club members and by many other local clubs.
In all, 440 completed the race and it was Kevin Dooney of Raheny Shamrocks who crossed the line first in a superb time of 19:10. Kevin turns his attention to the World Half-Marathon later this month. In second place was Sean Doran of Clonliffe Harriers (21:13), with Graham O'Dwyer of Raheny in third (21:20). The age category winners were Over-35 Kevin English of Tallaght AC in 21:21 and Over-45 Shane Larkin of Drogheda & District in 22:03.
The women's race was dominated by Raheny Shamrocks who took the first four places. First was Ailish Murtagh in 24:06, second was Zoe Quinn in 24:40 and third Tara Kennedy (24:43). The age category winners were Over-35 Caitriona Cosgrove of Portmarnock AC 26:37 and Over-45 Siobhain McCardle of DBRC 26:35. First home for Lusk AC was Darren Ryan in 21:41 (sixth overall) and first woman was Daraann Harford in 27:10. Congratulations to all on what hopefully will be a regular event in the racing calendar.
The snow scuppered all chances of Juvenile training last week, although plenty of energy went into building snowmen, sledding and even some rather impressive igloo constructions. By Sunday cabin fever had definitely set in, however, and the young runners of Lusk and beyond were keen to get in a good run. The kids' races and the one-mile Thomas Ashe Dash which were on before the Lusk 4-mile event were the perfect antidote.
It was great to see a large number of Lusk AC juvenile members as well as other kids from Lusk and beyond taking part in the races. First up, the U-8 age group ran a 400m lap around Chapel Green and really got the afternoon off to a great start and set a fast pace to follow. Well done all. Results: U8 Girls: 1st Laura Kearney (Lusk), 2nd Nessa Donoghue (Lusk AC), 3rd Olivia Jameson (Lusk AC). U-8 Boys: 1st Eoin McGuirk (Lusk AC). 2nd Aaron Kelly (3 Ways Newry), 3rd Oran Power (Rush).
Next up, the U-12 races took in a challenging two laps of Chapel Green in the 800m race, and the pace was even quicker in these races, definitely a tough act for the adults to follow. Congratulations. Results: U-12 Girls: 1st Lyndsey Kelly (3 Ways Newry), 2nd Sarah Burke (Lusk AC), 3rd Joyce Amadi (Lusk AC). U-12 Boys: 1st Ross Moore (Lusk), 2nd Aaron Donner (Skerries), 3rd Ryan Kearney (Lusk).
Finally, in the U-16 age group the girls and boys ran together the one-mile Thomas Ashe Dash and treated spectators to a great race, taking in two laps around Chapel Green and St Joseph's Avenue - a challenging loop. From the start Thomas Lara took a strong lead for the boys and led throughout, with the fight for second and third places being played out not far behind. JD Kelly and Brogan McCloskey finished strongest in the end, with Max Lara in fourth place. Cara McNally took a strong lead throughout in the girls race, with Maria Ferguson and Sinead Young taking second and third respectively.
All the runners put in a great effort and the impressive times of the leaders tell it all - great running everyone. Please note that times recorded are unofficial, not chip-timed in that race. Results: U-16 Girls: 1st Cara McNally (Lusk AC) 6:00, 2nd Maria Ferguson (Lusk AC) 6:33, 3rd Sinead Young (Balbriggan Roadrunners) 6:48. U-16 Boys: 1st Thomas Lara (Lusk AC) 5:35, 2nd JD Kelly (Lusk AC) 5:45, 3rd Brogan McCloskey (Lusk) 5:52. GAA BALLYBOUGHAL Training resumes as normal for all teams this week.
Thank you to all the local farmers who helped clear the roads in and around the village during the week. Club membership is now due and can be paid online. Huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Ireland Lights Up initiative. We hoped you enjoyed it. Don't forget that our 'Healthy Club' walking group still meets every Thursday morning after 9. Join us!