Clonmel played host to over 400 athletes and their friends and families last Sunday when the Boston Scientific Half Marathon took place in ideal weather conditions we even arranged a light shower for the athletes over the latter stages of the race.
After months of planning and organising behind the scenes, the scene was set for a great event. Indeed it is only right to mention that this year’s race was a brilliant success due to the organisation as well as the tremendous support and good will we, at Clonmel Athletic Club, received from our Sponsors, Boston Scientific, LIT Tipperary, the Gardai, the Civil Defence, Clonmel Borough Council, South Tipperary County Council, Waterford County Council, Clonmel Og, Clonmel Waste and the many stewards, we had throughout the course, at the finish as well as looking after the post race refreshments.
Indeed it was heart-warming to hear all the positive comments from the athletes and the supporters after the race. It was a classic case of “all hands on deck” as so many people came out with offers of help and support and all at the club would like to convey their heart-felt gratitude to all those that helped out in the various roles. It was really and truly appreciated and we hope that everyone is aware that no matter what their role or capacity on the day, it made the day that it was and no doubt all the runners will be back for an even bigger and better event in 2013. The Club would like to thank Terry and Pat of LIT Tipperary as well as Mick Hannigan and his crew from Boston Scientific for their help in making the event a great success. The Race Headquarters at the LIT Tipperary Institute was a hive of activity from 7 am until the starting time at 11 am.
The race itself was a brilliant success with Julio Caser Castro of Kilmurry Ibrickane and Shane Mullaney of Thurles Crokes setting the early pace before Julio took over at 2 miles which he reached in 10 min 37 secs. He set a strong pace going through 4 miles in 21:14 and 6 miles in 32:21 and was well clear of the chasing pack. Then along the Wood Road area as he approached the 8 mile mark in 43:25 David McCarthy of West Waterford was making serious inroads into his lead and by the 9 mile mark they were together at 49:02. Here David kicked on and was full of running. David maintained this strong tempo all the way down the Bypass and came into LIT Tipperary campus to be greeted with a great applause by the many spectators along the final 160m finish and he crossed the finishing line in a new course record of 70 mins 12 secs, brilliant running by a classy athlete. David’s last visit to Clonmel was another great success as he won the St Stephen’s Day 4 Mile Road race last December in 18 mins 58 secs. This is his first success over the half marathon distance. Then we had Julio maintaining a strong pace to finish 2nd in 72 mins 46 secs with Philip Harty of Donore Harriers 3rd in 74 :38. Then we had Danny Smith of Ballynonty running very well when 4th in 75:28 with early pace setter, Shane Mullaney finishing 5th in 76:04. The over 40 award was won by Declan Doherty (Thurles Crokes) in 82:44with Declan Curley (Clonmel) 2nd in 85:22. Fergus Wall (Bandon) was 1st 0/45 in 79:48 with Vasiliy Neumerzhitskiy (Clonmel) 2nd in 81:45. Brendan Ahearne (Clonmel) was 1st 0/50 in 85: 40 with Aidan O Kelly (Tralee) 2nd in 102:28. Peadar Curtis (Mallow) was 1st 0/55 in 100:22 with John Foley (West Waterford0 2nd in 103:05.
The Women’s race was a clear cut event with Angel McCann going into an early lead and she kept the strong tempo going to record a new course record of 80 mins 32 secs, improving on her performance last year by 29 secs, brilliant running and she was up helping at the Race Headquarters early on Sunday morning. Then we had Teresa Agar of St Abban’s finishing 2nd in 88 mins 6 secs with Geraldine O Shea (St Finbarr’s) 3rd in 88 mins 44 secs. Aoife Quigley (Crusaders) was 4th in 89:41 with Dympna Ryan (Dundrum) 5th in 91:02. Noreen McGettigan (Letterkenny) won the over 35 award in 88 mins 59 secs with Kate Wall (Clonmel) 2nd in 98:32. Cait Caulfield (Waterford) won the 0/40 award in 95:56 with Verona Bourke (Clonmel) 2nd in 101:56. Jacinta Brazil (Waterford) won the 0/45 award in 97:17 with Ann Dunford (West Waterford) 2nd in 99:57. Mary Mulcahy (St Finbarr’s) won the 0/50 award in 105:51 with Margaret Gill (Cahir) 2nd in 121:05.
The Club would also like to thank Brehon Sports, Morrison’s Motors and Outfield Sports for sponsoring the Spot Prizes and to Sureprint for sponsoring the eye catching humorous posters along the route. I have no doubt they were a great help to the athletes.