On a morning made for running, a verifiable 450 serious athletes, fun runners and walkers gathered on Rice’s Height on Castleisland’s Cordal Road to take part in the fifth annual An Riocht AC / Lee Strand Kingdom Come 10 Miler and 5K Road Race.
Backs to the east, they limbered up and laced their shoes, adjusted watch straps, took sips of water and went west like the proverbial clappers at the whistle.
An Riocht AC race officials and Sports Timing technician, Ciarán Gallagher scrambled off the road then and set up their respective stalls at the finish line on the inside track in the stadium.
Pouring Onto the Track
They weren’t too long there when the 5K runners came pouring onto the track. They were led by the club-less, Michael O’Regan and he was followed just over two minutes later by the women’s race winner, Martina Kiely and she a minute later by Niamh O’Sullivan of An Riocht AC.
And there was Tom Broderick who just decided to run in the 5K on Monday night and did a few laps of the town in preparations and came in without a bother. There was also the three generations from Scart. Owen McSweeney and his two daughters, Marita and Mairéad and Mairéad’s son, Killian O’Sullivan. And the two local ladies, Caroline and Eilish who told me to airbrush their photograph – there was no need. Gilding the Lilly comes to mind.
Larry Hickey had a goal to beat the 70 minutes for the 10 miler and he did it with the help of pacemaker and experienced Brosna athlete, James Doran.
Touching on 53 minutes, Tim O’Connor of An Riocht strode onto the track and towards the finish to complete a triple of successive wins in the event. He was followed by clubmate, Donal O’Callaghan and Niall Shanahan of Limerick.
Women’s 10 Miler
At just over an hour and five minutes came the winner of the women’s 10 Miler, Castlemaine native, Deirdre Nagle of the Cork based Eagle AC. She was closely followed by Sharon Cahill of An Riocht AC and in third place came Caitriona Barry of Farranfore Maine Valley AC.
There were several categories of participants on the road at the whistle: There were the front runners and the Couch-to-5K graduates getting their first taste of the big road race experience and atmosphere.
And there were the joggers for whom finishing the course and crossing the line was the achievement they’d celebrate – and with a medal to show for it.
Walkers fast and Slow
There were walkers fast and slow and children tagging along. Every one of them adding to the colour and excitement of the event on road street and track.
And there were the spectators – without whom there would be no one on the sidelines to applaud the efforts of those brave enough to put themselves to the test.
There was universal praise for the professionalism of the running of the event by the club and the stewards.
One North Kerry runner said that the people handling the event were excellent in every aspect of their handling of the event and the participants. And he emphasised that he has taken part in many 10Ks and half marathons around the country.
The number of participants was up by at least 120 on last year’s figures. Now in its fifth year, the event is establishing itself as one of the best run of its kind and that bodes well for its future. To see all the results and times of the event just click on the link here: http://www.sportsplits.com/Home/QuickResults?clientId=74&raceId=152&culture=en-US