The Streets of Galway 8k road race continues to be a success story on the Irish athletic calendar.
On Saturday some 2,000 athletes started this year’s race, sponsored by Future and now in its 23rd year, and it proved a fascinating event for both competitive and recreational runners.
At the elite level in a top-class senior men’s field eventual winner Josphat Boit of Clonliffe Harriers and Vinny Mulvey of Raheny Shamrock AC produced a fascinating duel, while in the female category, Rosemary Ryan (Bilboa ), who is the course record-holder for female competitors, successfully defended her 2007 title.
For the recreational runner, there was considerable success for local competitors. Galway City Harrier Don Deacy claimed the male Fit4Life category with a time of 35m 52s, while daughter Nicola finished second in the female Fit4Life category, which was won by Edel Carty in 35m 41s. And it was a special occasion for another local athlete, Pat Larkin of Moycullen, who, according to records, became the only competitor to have run in every Streets of Galway since its inception in 1986.
Following the traditional route from the Claddagh through the city centre and out through Salthill, this year’s race also boasted chip-timing for the first time, ensuring a smoother start,
However the blustery conditions made course records an unlikely prospect, although from the start Boit and Mulvey set a fast pace, with the result that the chasing pack had to work hard to track them. Boit always looked the more comfortable and once he took to the front he continued to push the pace and never relinquished his lead before winning in an impressive 23m 35s. Mulvey finished in second place, 16 seconds adrift, followed by Christopher Erichsen in third position, a further 45 seconds back. Cillian O'Leary (Raheny Shamrock AC ) was fourth in 24m 45s and Jason Fahy (Olympic Harriers ) was fifth in a time of 24m 51s. Despite still running as a junior, David Rooney (Raheny Shamrock AC ), took sixth place with a highly creditable 25m 07s. Of the local runners, Conor Maloney (GCH ) came home in a time of 26m 25s for 14th place, just beating his clubmate Ruaidhri Geraghty who clocked 26m 37s.
In the women’s race Rosemary Ryan became a four-time winner when she raced home in a time of 27m 43s. Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley ) travelled from Leitrim to take second, a minute later in 28m 43s. Breege Connolly was third in 28m 45s, followed closely by local girls Aoife Brady (Sportsworld ) in 29m 29s, Regina Casey (GCH ) in 29m 57s, and Anne Carter (Athenry AC ) in 30m 09s.
Mick Rice (Athenry AC ) won the M40 category in a time of 27m 26s, just pipping Edward McEntee (Sportsworld ) and Derek Coogan (North Laois ) at the line. Martin Corcoran (Craughwell AC ) took the honours in the M45 category with a time of 27m 03s with Dermot Lowe in second place. Eugene Moynihan (Marian AC ) successfully defended his M50 title in 28m 42s, just holding off Sean Doyle (Rathfarnham WSAF ) six seconds behind him, while local athlete Andrew Talbot (Clare River Harriers ) won the M55 category in 31m 59s. Noel King won the M60 category in 37m 15s, while past-president of GCH, Brian Geraghty, won the M65 category in an amazing time of 31m 22s. Experienced road-runner Gerry Rohan was equally impressive in winning the V70 category in a time of 41m 29s.
Siobhán Lennon (Ennis Track ) won the F35 category in 32m 08s with two Sportsworld women, Kathleen O'Callaghan and Eileen Walsh, in hot pursuit all the way, while Orla Gormley (Raheny Shamrock AC ) won the F40 category in 30m 42s from Mayo AC's Anne Murray. Popular local girl Maire-Treasa Beatty (Athenry AC ) was always in control of the F45 category, finishing in 34m 33s with Kilmurray-Ibrickane's Maura Falsey second in 36m 50s, while Nuala Reilly (Drogheda & District ) held onto her F50 category title, posting a time of 36m 03s this year. Judith Roche won the F55 category in 40m 56s.
Raheny Shamrock AC won the men's team event, followed by Ennis Track in second place and Athenry AC in third-place. Sportsworld were victorious in the ladies' team event, followed by Athenry AC in second-place and Ennis Track finishing third.
Almost 85 per cent of all finishers were unaffiliated to any official running club. The largest representations came from Athenry AC (64 entrants ) and GCH (58 entrants ). Craughwell AC, Clare River Harriers AC, Galway Triathlon Club, Ennis Track, Loughrea AC, Mayo AC, Sportsworld, and Tuam AC, as well as the Garda College, were all well represented on the night, in addition to competitors from Great Britain, the US, and Germany . Local charity Croí had a number of runners participating, including player-manager of Galway United FC Jeff Kenna together with some of his playing staff.