It’s tourism of sorts I suppose when you bring people into your locality even for a few hours and send them home fed, watered, sober and happy.
Praise was heaped on all at An Riocht AC from all quarters on the facilities, helpfulness, hospitality and organisation of the annual An Ríocht AC / Lee Strand Kingdom Come 10 Miler Road Race and 5k Run.
Athletes for a Day
A estimated 350 athletes and athletes for the day and of all abilities and paces took off down Main Street at 11am on Sunday morning . Most of them were back and hosed down before the Angelus bell rang in the nearby Church of Saints Stephen and John.
While the runners were out pounding the roads, the kitchen staff in the club pavilion were busily preparing food for them and their families and supporters.
Many travelled from long distances to support the event and the club philosophy would appear to be that they are well treated while they’re here and fed and looked after before they return home.
I didn’t meet her on Sunday morning but I knew of Siobhán McCrohan’s determination to beat her own personal barrier of 30 minutes for the 5K and she did just that.
Knocknagoshel athlete Larry Hickey approaches his running with the same determination with which he has fought his battle with cancer over the last couple of years.
On Sunday morning, that determination saw him crossing the finishing under the 70 minutes he set himself for the 10 miler.
Congratulating him in his own unique way, William Dennehy caught my arm and told me I’d have to take a photograph of Larry and his wife Marie at the finishing line. I asked William and Kate McSweeney to stand in also.
Self Imposed Expectations
And these are only two of the many battles with self imposed expectations and tussles with the clock, the elements and the road.
While the weather played a hugely important role in the success of the day, the volunteers and their attitude and attention to the participants was just as vital a cog in the whole process.
Bernadette and Joan and Chris went out of their way to look after those thrust into their care for the duration.
Many people were delighted to meet and see club founder member, Denis Brosnan at his usual stewarding station in spite and maybe because of the family loss of their son and brother, Donnacha in Galway on March 17th last.
All involved, along with facility manager Kate McSweeney, can be well pleased with how they handled the events of the day.
That’s based on the comments I picked up in the aftermath of the race as people relaxed, mixed and were wrapped up in the esotericism which events like this seem to create without effort.
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