There was an excellent turn-out of over 200 runners and walkers for the Carramore 10k road race on Saturday evening. This was the first race in the 2009 Vodafone C&C Cellular Mayo AC Road Race League. Despite the bad weather the rain held off until the race finished, but the blustery wind was evident on open sections of road.
Mayo AC had 35 athletes on the start line boosted by the current Fit4Life programme with participants getting a measure on their progress and others preparing for the Mini-marathon. Robert Malseed was the clear winner in the Senior men's race in a time of 32.43 - almost a minute down on 2nd placed John Byrne's winning time last year.
Robert moved away at the 4k mark and despite John's best efforts to pull him back, he won comfortably by 30 seconds. It has been a frustrating time for Robert since he joined Mayo AC last summer as he has dropped out of a number of races. More recently he did not complete the National 10k on April 26th when part of the masters team, and subsequently ran 7th place in the Belfast Marathon on 4th May in 2.37. Hopefully, this Carramore 10k win will be the start of a more consistent season for him. TJ McHugh was third in an impressive 34.17. Among the vets, Dublin based Belmullet man Seamus Gaughan, enjoyed his race finishing second to Billy Gallagher in 37.43 in the o50 section.
The women's race was another keen battle all the way between Catherine Conway (Mayo AC ) and Lucy Brennan (Sligo AC ). There was very little between them in the Athenry 10k back in December when Catherine triumphed. Lucy led for while in mid race but Catherine showed the immense improvement she has made recently, winning again by 9 seconds in 36.42 - almost three minutes better than her Carramore time last year. Mary Gleeson maintained her recent form to be third in 37.31. Ann Lennon was back to he best with a good win in the o40 section in 39.38 and 4th woman finisher.
Among other notable performances from newcomers and 'Fit4Lifers' were Tracey Durkan from Manulla (49.16 ), Chris Clark (50.46 ), Clare Walsh from Brickens (53.27 ), Sarah Neary from Boyle (40.32 ), Chris Gallagher (43.20 ) and the redoubtable vet Owen Mongan (45.01 ) . All funds raised in this race go to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice and the event was once again excellently organised by Christy Heneghan and his Carramore Community Centre Team. The next race in the Road League is the Ballyhaunis 8k on Saturday 27th June at 5pm.