It was a hot evening in Enniscorthy, with temperatures reaching possibly 23 degrees, leaving footprints indented on the shining tarmac by the many many pairs of speedy United Striders feet, in one of our biggest turnouts for the club.
It was an important evening to all, the biggest event on the Senior calendar, which was evident with the Striders turnout of 11 women and 22 men.
The women hit the road first for the 5km. With one of our strongest teams in many years, they did not disappoint, with Nicola Murphy heading home in 2nd place, only to be pipped on the line to take individual bronze. A very rewarding result for Nicola, medalling again in only her 2nd ever Senior road race. Recent Intermediate silver medallist Sharon Kehoe followed strongly, with Kate Ni Riada next across the line in a blistering pace. And recent Novice silver medallist Katie Murphy backed up the Striders first team, winning a team Silver medal. The rest of our Striders ladies packed close with very strong runs to complete the second team, finishing fourth in the team event, of Sandra Young, Catherine Ronan, Sinead Cullen and Sinead Ryan Croke, who were ably assisted with a strong performance from Liz Conway. Aine Cullen brought home the last of the Striders women.A special shout out to Beth O’Connor who was unlucky to pick up an injury during the race, but like the rest of the running O’Connor family, she ploughed on and finished the race out of pure determination. Beth certainly is a true Striders lady. We wish you a speedy recovery.
An equally super competitive mens 10k was the second highlight of the evening. A chasing pack of 6 athletes included a mix of Striders men. It was no surprise but a huge honour to see recent Leinster silver medallist Joe Lillis belting home to become our next individual medallist, taking a proud bronze. Next home and to the loudest cheers on the night, was young Strider Adam O’Connor in 5th place. This is Adam’s first Senior race, and the club is very proud to see a younger Strider progressing to Senior in such style. But not to be outdone, his DAD Alan O’Connor was watching and following closely, finishing in 7th place. Brendan Lyng who was a battling an injury for this race, battled again with Alan in a sprint finish, claiming 8th place, and completing the Striders Gold medal winning team. Our next 4 Striders men picked up team Bronze, with recent Novice & Intermediate medallist Scott James 9th, then another one of our young talented Striders James Boland in 12th, and the speedy duo of Colin Carney and Thomas Harrington in 13th & 14th place. John Byrne had a sprint finish with Thomas Harrington and claimed 15th. Outstanding running. With 9 runners in the top 15. Strong performances by the rest of the men included Pat Murray top 20, followed closely by Paul Doran, Sean Murphy, Dirk Ardichem, Pat Culleton, Tom Moran, John Hickey, Fabian Flood, Bob Crosbie, Pat O’Callaghan, Emmett Malone, Martin Kehoe and Eddie Murphy.
Thanks to Wexford Athletics and Slaney Olympic AC for another great night. And of course our own coaches – Ted Flannelly, John Kent and Colm Stafford. And thanks to Anne Marie Lyng for the great photos and Lorraine Cashin for your help!