Kilmovee was buzzing on Saturday and there was more than just spring in the air. The crossroads on the R325 was full of orange clad marshals, dandelions lined the roadsides, tulips saluted from gardens, an array of green sun flowered Hospice t-shirts mingled with multicoloured runners and walkers, and sprinkled with a host of red and green Mayo AC vests. The yellow balloon arch at the start line did a spectacular malfunction which added to the excitement but did nothing to deflate the occasion. There was a record turnout of 545 entrants on a sunny Easter Saturday for the fifth Kilmovee 10k run and walk. This was the first event in Mayo AC's 2014 Move 2 Improve six race series, which is open to all entrants. It was excellently organised by Kilmovee Shamrocks GAA club and the local community in aid of Mayo/Roscommon Hospice. Ironman athlete Gerry Duffy was a guest and said: “It was the most friendly race I've ever been at, a fantastic event, testament to John Roddy's leadership and the involvement of the whole Kilmovee Community team.” The big field was well streamed out as they crossed over Aghadiffen Bridge into Roscommon after the 3k mark. Matt Bidwell, Roger Barrett, last year's winner Con Marshall, and Aidan Callaghan were in the lead group, with John Byrne - recovering from his PB run at last Sunday's Rotterdam marathon - and Timmie Glavey further back.
As the race progressed Bidwell running very smoothly pushed ahead, and won comfortably with a brilliant personal best 32:20. Roger Barrett was 30 seconds behind in second, and Marshall was third. John Byrne was the leading Mayo AC finisher in fifth, and 1st M35, and Timmie Glavey seventh. Mayo AC had five finishers in the top 20. Mary Gleeson was first woman once again and was unchallenged all the way. Recovering from injury, this was her first serious outing in 2014 and her time was two minutes down on previous wins. Paula Prendergast ran a 5k 18:36 PB in Marley Park Dublin at 9.30am and was on the start line at 1pm. She was with Angela O'Connor most of the way and there were just five seconds between them at the finish. Angela ran a brilliant time 40:43, following up her 41:17 medal winning F45 performance in the National 10k recently. Mayo AC dominated most of the other category winners and there was a big turnout of club vests right through the field. This was the first Move2Improve race and open to all. The big field will provide interesting results for the three levels when they are compiled. There was a great buzz too in the community centre, where everyone enjoyed post race chat and wonderful refreshments as they waited for the prize giving. Full results on www.mayoac.com