conroy is best in boru battle
With metric measurements now standard, races over traditional distances such as the mile, five and ten miles are becoming harder to find.
That's why Monday's Brian Boru Battle of Clontarf 10-Mile around St Anne's Park was, for many, a first opportunity to run the classic distance.
They couldn't have picked a better day with the sun beating down and not a hint of a breeze. Setting the pace from the start was a group including Paul Lynch of Ferns club SBR, Dunboyne's Rory Kavanagh, and Ian Conroy of host club Raheny Shamrock, fresh from his fourth place at the legendary Rivington Pike fell race in Lancashire only two days earlier.
From halfway through, Conroy took control and the battle was on for second place. Conroy came home in 55 mins 14 secs, with Gary Condon of Sli Culann finishing second ahead of Rathfarnham's Kevin Danaher.
For Conroy, the race was just part of his preparations for the ultra tough Three Peaks Challenge in the UK.
Finishing ninth overall and first woman in 57 mins 33 secs was Sarah Mulligan of DSD, like Conroy, an experienced international mountain runner. More recently Mulligan has turned her attention to the marathon and at last summer's European Championships, she finished in a time of 2:42.34.
Now training full-time, her target is Olympic qualification and she hopes to go for a fast time in early September. "I want to give it my best shot and since the Berlin Marathon date doesn't suit me, I'm going to run in the Munster Marathon in Germany - a fast, flat course."
A man with different ambitions is Dave Brady of Raheny, who is just 26 races shy of his 500th marathon.
This he hopes to run at Inishowen, just before his 65th birthday. "I ran my 400th marathon there last August so if I manage it this time I will have run a hundred marathons in a year exactly," he said.
After that, he will return to serious training with the M65 title at the Dublin Marathon his target.
His next marathon comes in Connemara at the weekend, where Mary Jennings of Waterford, winner of the over 60 women's prize in Clontarf, is also running.
With the Clontarf race doubling as the Leinster Championships, club runners were out in force on Monday, among them the Meet and Train women of Dunboyne, captained by Emilia Dan, and the Lucan Harriers women led by Josie Dignam, with Eileen O'Brien second over 60 for the club. Turning out for Fingallians was Paralympian Catherine Walsh, returning to her athletics roots after her success as a paracyclist.
Team results were unavailable at the time of writing but with four finishers in the top 14 SBR Ferns certainly look good for the men's title.