The extended summer sunshine lit up a glorious October Sunday for the fourth annual Breaffy 10k on Sunday last. It was also the final race in this year's Mayo AC Move2Improve Series. The event was brilliantly organised by Maggie Heneghan and team, comprising the local Breaffy community and GAA club. They were also assisted by Castlebar Fit4Life and Mayo AC. One hundred and forty finishers made it to the finish line outside race HQ at the national school. The warm sun and a few uphill sections between the 5k and 8k marks made for a challenging event, and there were the usual scenes of joy, pain, exhaustion, and sheer exhilaration at the finish line.
The clear race winner was popular Galway City Harriers athlete Matt Bidwell, a former winner of the Mayo AC Road League. Bidwell broke Roger Barrett's record in his first run over the Breaffy loop course, coming home in a fast 31:59. Michael Canty (Ballina AC ) finished second in 33:10, also his best Breaffy time, and showing the form which gave him a marathon PB in Berlin recently. John Byrne (Mayo AC ) was third in 33:26, slightly disappointed, given great form in training ahead of the Dublin Marathon in two weeks time. However his training form indicates he can look to the 34th Dublin with confidence. Norah Newcombe-Pieterse (Ballina AC ) was also the clear winner of the women's race in 36:42, following her 10k PB last week in Galway. She is obviously in great form ahead of Dublin and beat Ann Lennon's course record by well over a minute. Colette Tuohy finished second in 39:10, a few seconds faster than 2013, and Paula Prendergast was home just over 40 mins in third place. Both of them were part of an excellent turnout of Mayo AC singlets in the field, all taking advantage of the great racing conditions. One of many to benefit was Edel Feeney who came home with an excellent PB in 46:16.
Mayo AC chairman Michael McGrath also had a good run finishing in 45:49 and was on hand later to present medals to the club's National Half Marathon teams and individual medal winners from the August event in the Phoenix Park The other Breaffy prizewinners in the o50 category were David Corcoran and Pauline Moran who had a great return to form with a 43:39 finish.