The Clerihan GAA road races took place last Friday night where conditions were warm, and it was great to see very good entries in both the 5k and the 8K. The 5k this year saw athletes starting on the 8K route with both races starting at the same time and the same finish for both races. So, spectators witnessed some great performances in both races. This year’s races saw a marked increase in the number of athletes competing and the new 5k route was a major help. Competition was very keen in both races with Dean Rowe of Gowran AC running a brilliant race when going clear in the early stages and maintaining the strong pace to win in a very good time of 16 mins 39 secs. Then we had a duel between the two brothers, Aiden and Ryan Kilabarda from Minnesota, with Aiden pulling clear over the final 2 kms to finish 2nd in 17 mins 45 secs with Ryan 3rd in 18 mins 42 secs. Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel Ac was a clear winner of the women’s race in 19 mins 47 secs with her club mate Michelle Doherty 2nd in 21 mins 22 sec and local athlete Jess Commins 3rd in 23 mins 37 secs.
The 8K race was also very competitive with a small group of athletes that included Emmet McNamara of Rosegreen and Jimmy Boland of Clonmel AC setting the pace. Then midway through the race Emmet increased the pace and soon opened a gap on the chasing pack. He kept that pace going to come home a very worthy winner in 26 mins 58 secs, great running. Then we had Jimmy Boland of Clonmel AC finishing 2nd in 27 mins 21 secs with Evan Fitzgerald of Clonmel finishing 3rd in 28 mins 11 secs. In the Master Men awards it was great to see Danny Smith of Burncourt running well again and winning the over 40 award in 29 mins 8 secs, great to see Danny back competing once again. Conor Fleming of Clonmel AC won the over 50 award in 30 mins 28 secs with his clubmate Ned O Brien winning the over 60 award in 37 mins 25 secs. The women’s race was also very competitive and her we had Madeline Loughnane of Thurles Crokes repeating her win of last year when winning in 30 mins 37 secs and then we had Irish International race walker, Kate Veale of West Waterford Ac coming through to finish 2nd in 31 mins 48 secs with Linda Grogan of Dundrum Ac finishing 3rd in 32 mins 14 secs. The Master women’s awards were won by the following athletes, with Elaine Horgan of Clonmel AC, 1st over 35in 34 mins 48 secs, Martina Ryan Thurles Crokes, 1st over 45 in 36 mins 10 secs and Eileen Hynes Clonmel AC 1st over 55 in 41 mins 45 secs.