On a perfect autumn's morning with a best-ever entry of 800 and good wins for Martin Fagan and Mary Cullen, last Sunday's 13th Rathfarnham WSAF 5k was the best yet.
Fagan of Mullingar Harriers was home on a brief break after flying into Newcastle the day before last week's Great North Run.
He showed the benefit of the week's rest when he took an early lead in Rathfarnham, storming through the opening mile in 4 minutes 3 seconds, with only DSD's Joe Sweeney and Donore junior John Travers attempting to stick with him.
In the final stages of the race, Fagan stretched away from Sweeney, coming home in 13.54 and comfortably taking two seconds off Rob Connolly's course record. It meant that he travelled home with prize money of €750 in his pocket.
Sweeney, winner of the Dublin 5-Mile Classic earlier this year, placed second in 14.15, while Travers, with a time of 14.18 for third place, set a new junior record.
In fourth place was Patrick Brennan, one of a large contingent from Donegal in action, while first home for the host club was Sean Hehir in sixth place and one of the eight who broke 15 minutes for the course.
Mary Cullen, now based in Dublin, was out on her own in the women's race, although her time of 15.41 means that Maria McCambridge's record of 15.25 set in 2004, remains safe for another year.
A fighting second was Finn Valley's Teresa McGloin in 16.22, with Patrycja Wlodarczyk of Raheny Shamrocks third and Sportsworld's Aoife Brady fourth.
In the veteran classes, Anndale's Ciaran Kavanagh was first home taking the over 40 prize. Second was Niall Coppinger of Tallaght who was first over 45, while third was Phelim Glynn of Dunboyne, who was first over 50.
Fastest of the master women was Raheny's Annette Kealy, fifth of the women in 17.06.
A striking number of those entered were club runners, looking for a decent blow-out after the summer.
Races such as the Rathfarnham 5k, sponsored by Sub-4, who supplied the compression t-shirt, local estate agents Macarthy and AIB prove that there's more to the current running boom than running mega distances!