Athenry 10k Race report 07 By Tony Nevin. 

 (My thoughts in brackets) 

Another year of hard graft on the hills fields and roads of Galway, week in week out 5k series, 5k handicaps, 10k races, streets of Galway 8k, Kilimor 4 miler, too many to name them all but all with so many friendly faces

 and friendly rivals too. Those personal goals hit and missed race after race, moving up and mixing with new people every few months all with the same aim (going faster than last time)

So to the big day 26/12/07 and one of my favourite events each year, Athenry on St Sthephens day, a credit to all involved in the set-up and I must admit I played my part this year, no not in organisation but in the” what colour hat poll “with quite a few extra visits to the p.c. than may be fairly acceptable clicking on green, well I feel that 70 votes should count for some input to the day.

(lovely shade too) Sorry All, Craughwell colours.        

                  I ran 41.55 last year 12 places off a shirt, ah but surely this year I am ready to break the 40 min 10 k, what better than to do it at my favourite race in Athenry whilst as a bonus (bag me one of them Exclusive top 50 Green T-shirts.)

 1100 AM sharp off and running

03.48.to 1k (Too quick let them off)

+03.49 to 2k (Oh sh*te, ease off)

+03.53to 3k(Settling in now), but by now I’m in good company Tom Hunt David Huane & Tom Porter (Right where you need to be to break 40 Minutes) seasoned sub 40 men all.

+04.07to 4k(I feel much better now) but 10 yards gap opened to tom porter & 20 more to Tom Hunt and Dave Huane (No worries I’ll pull them in on the back straight.)

+4. 11 to 5k bang on target 19.49 for half way (Now just up it a little and I’ll catch the lads one by one)

+4.04 to 6k (On the mark making progress so keep it up)

+4 13 to 7k(Oh bo***x what are You at?) Tom Porter ahead by 60 yards Tom Hunt ahead by 100 yards not to plan at all (I can’t let them out any further if I’m to reel them in at the “sprint” for home)

+4.16 to 8k disastrous k but Tom Porter still in view (It’s now or never to catch him, so push on!  )

+4.13 to 9k(Feel much better now) lungs in overdrive heart in flying gear but on Toms shoulder, confidence back and off we go, its the dash for home, (Been here before) Tom opens 3 yards I close back in straight away (you’re not getting away today Tom) off he goes again but im not having any of it, straight back to him, and again just before the level crossing Porter makes his 3rd play- that’s my cue, now its my turn to test Tom so at the level crossing I start my wind up (I’m off) I can’t hear him follow, and I never look back, now in my mind I hear the questions (Where is Huane and Hunt?)&(Can I catch them?) Now more importantly (Don’t let anyone catch you) I hear footsteps as I take the ninety degree turn for the arch but not Porters its a new sound, (they might have more pace left) so I let fly, full speed ahead now I can hear the crowd cheer ahead, I don’t see the clock but I’m still hopeful I will get the T shirt,

I crossed the line 40.22 in 53rd position, (S**t no sub 40!), (S**t No T-shirt!), box empty! (It must be a mistake), (No way!) I’m furious! Fastest k 3.45 from 9-10.  3 places shy. (What could have gone wrong)? (If only I’d… etc.) Tom Porter tries to console me with congrats on a great race (no consolation) too pumped up and (too slow again!) too frustrated.

But of course it was a great race I realised as I came round myself and Tom have been tit for tat all season, thanks Tom I’d lost sight of the real reason for running St Stephens day, to see all those familiar friendly faces and so many new ones too. A huge thanks to Athenry AC yet again for yet another very memorable occasion, congrats to all Craughwells AC entrants and especially to all the new runners from our fit4life, brilliant to see so many take on such a huge challenge so soon, each with as much emphasis on their goal as me on mine.

 I can only imagine how it would have felt to have achieved the sub 40 today as two of my local rivals did, super efforts from Anne Carter & Mark Breen of Athenry Ac, I’m delighted for you both and hope to join you in the sub 40 club in the near future. 

 Any chance of a loan of the Green T  Mark?   

Wednesday the 12th. .