Annual championships draw big numbers to Jack White’s
Many of Wicklow’s leading distance runners battled it out for county honours on Wednesday evening at the 5km road race championships.
Staged on the old M11 road, the 5km out and back course is a good test for even the most seasoned athletes.
The route which features a slight decline at the beginning stages, a hill just before the halfway mark and a tough gradual incline to the finish challenges the runners speed, endurance, and mental toughness as they can see exactly what lies ahead of them.
Despite the forecast, the evening presented dry, cool, and calm conditions to everyone’s delight.
Predicting the results and podium placers in the county road race is difficult with newcomers on the scene, rising juvenile stars, and seasoned veterans all in with a chance of taking the title. This year’s event proved no different with a fine field assembled for both the men’s and women’s race.
The men’s race was a competitive affair from the gun. A group of four including Parnell AC’s Derek Crammond, Brian Geraghty, Terence Byrne, and Tim Grummell pulled away from the field. At the halfway turnabout, the group had whittled down to a three-person dust-up.
However, it was last year’s winner Crammond that gradually turned up the heat and pushed ahead to take the win in 15:43, adding another senior gold medal to his collection.
Brian Geraghty of Greystones AC held a strong pace to secure silver in a time of 15:57 whilst Terence Byrne of Parnell AC cruised home in bronze position in 16:16. Parnell AC took the team honours with all three scorers impressively inside the top 5.
In the women’s race, Parnell AC’s Sheila O’Byrne wasted no time in taking to the front. Sheila took the race out strong and held it to finish.
In doing so, Sheila retained her county 5km title. Sarah Barya of Sli Cualann AC held a good steady tempo to secure second place with a time of 17:58 and Ava Martin of Inbhear Dee AC took bronze in 18:54. Parnell AC narrowly took the team title from Inbhear Dee AC with Kilcoole AC in third.
There was plenty of competition among the category races too. Wins in the female categories include; Ava Martin (FJ) – 18:54, Lynne Whelehan Sheehan (F35) – 19:40, Donna Quinn (F40)- 19:30, Sarah Baryga (F45) – 17:58, Claire Lauder (F50)- 22:30, Betty Byrne (F55)- 25:55, Margaret Lennox (F60)- 25:21, Orla Philip (F60)- 26:01 and Mary Nolan Hickey (F70) – 28:35.
The men’s category winners include; Finn Buck (MJ) – 18:00, Tim Grummell (M35) – 16:34, Terence Byrne (M40) – 16:16, Brian Geraghty (M45) – 15:57, Michael Finnan (M50)- 17:50, John Ashworth (M55) – 22:38, Niall Coppinger (M60)- 18:13, Billy Tyrell (M65) – 20:37.
On behalf of the Athletics Wicklow County board, chairman Bill Porter took the opportunity to thank all the members for their help in organising the evening, from the stewards and officials who volunteered, and sponsors Joma for their continued support.
He also offered thanks to Ronan in myrunresults who executed the event in a professional manner, Rathdrum Order of Malta for providing first aid and to all the talented athletes that competed on the evening.