The St Stephen’s Day 4 miles road race in Clonmel took place in good dry conditions.
There was a fantastic entry with 412 athletes competing over what is regarded as one of the best 4 mile courses in the country.
This year’s race attracted a top class entry with five international athletes dictating the pace after the initial charge.
The leading group was down to four as they approached the 2 mile mark with Sean Tobin (Clonmel), Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) along with Eoin Everard and Brian Maher (Kilkenny City Harriers) setting the pace. As the athletes reached Bulmer’s Roundabout, Everard upped the pace with Tobin the only one to give chase. These two were still together as they reached 3 miles and then over the final 1K Eoin increased the pace and opened a gap which he held all the way to the line to win in a brilliant time of 18 mins 59 secs.
Sean Tobin was 2nd in 19 mins 3 secs after withstanding a late late challenge from Sergiu Ciobanu, last year’s winner who was one second adrift. Brian Maher, a previous winner of this race, was 4th in 19 mins 7 secs with Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) 5th in 19 mins 41 secs.
This race has been promoted by the Clonmel club since 1988 when 87 athletes took part. Since then it has grown in stature and in 2008 we change the course to its present route which is basically the old route in reverse and it has received great reviews ever since.
Everard’s brilliant performance of 18 mins 59 secs puts him in 3rd place overall behind Sandis Bralitis (West Waterford) who ran 18 mins 54 secs in 2008 and David McCarthy (West Waterford) who ran 18:58 in 2011.
In the Master Men’s race we had Tony Reilly (Ballyroan/Abbeyleix) winning the over 40 award in a brilliant time of 21 mins 10 secs with Ken Nason (Leevale) 2nd in 21:33. Ted Flannelly (United Striders) was 1st 0/45 in 21:41 with Tom Blackburn (More Abbey Milers) 2nd in 22:08. Michael Moore (Dundrum) was 1st 0/50 in 23; 50 with Brendan Cronin (Carrick on Suir) 2nd in 24:14. Jack Alexander (Coolquill) won the over 55 award in 25:13 while his club mate Leslie Smythe won the over 60 ward in 26:31. Myles McHugh (Clonmel) won the over 70 award in 32:52. Daren Dunne (Nenagh Olympic) ran a brilliant race when winning the Junior Men’s award in 20 mins 35 secs with Anthony Tobin (Clonmel) 2nd in 22:39.
Siobhan O’Doherty (Borrisokane) won the ladies event in 21 mins 50 secs and set a new course record and is the only woman to get under 22 minutes for this course. Local star Angela McCann was 2nd in 23:11 with Dympna Ryan (Dundrum) 3rd in 23:31. Grace McConnell (Ballyroan/Abbeyleix) was 4th senior lady in 24:30 with Sandra Bowe (Clonmel) 5th in 24:49.
In the Master categories, Phil Ryan (Ballynonty) won the Ladies over 35 award in 26 mins 48 secs with Orna O’Donoghue (Piltown) 2nd in 28:04. Sheila Perry (Clonmel A C) won the Ladies over 40 award in 29:30 with her Club mate Yvonne O’Connor 2nd in 29:59. Annette Morrissey (Clonmel) won the over 45 award in 28:48. Mary Mulcahy (St Finbarr’s) won the ladies over 50 award in 30:05. Laura Tobin (Clonmel) won the Junior Ladies race in 25 mins 28 secs, completing a memorable day for the Tobin family with Sean 2nd Senior and her other brother Anthony 2nd Junior. Jennifer Rice (Fethard) was 2nd in 33:49.
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