Forde shows focus
Carthy leading lady by six seconds
The current running boom was more than evident on Friday when a larger than usual field of athletes turned out to compete in the Mr Oil Senior county road race championship in Enniscorthy.
With a road race somewhere in Wexford nearly every weekend, the Senior championship is where the gap is diminished between the competitive elite and those running for fun and fitness. Slaney Olympic hosted the event which was held on the Old Dublin Road in Enniscorthy.
The ladies' 5k race consisted of one lap loop and two laps for the men's 10k. Perfect weather conditions prevailed except for a slight headwind which faced the runners as they made their way up the main road towards Enniscorthy.
The ladies were first off at 7 p.m. with the pre-race favourite, Jackie Carthy of Kilmore, crossing the line in a time of 18 minutes and six seconds. Only six seconds behind was D.M.P's Ciara Wilson to take the silver and Kilmore made it two out of three in the individual medal stakes when Annaleigh Hore made the finish in third position in 19.09.
This year's Novice and Intermediate champion, Emily O'Connor of Slaney Olympic, was hot on the heels of the medal winners in fourth place, continuing her great run of form and she is sure to be a challenger in the future.
The team competition was won by Sliabh Bhuidhe Rovers on 37 points with the four scoring members being Mary Doyle (fifth), Lillian Lawless (seventh), Ciara Bowe (ninth) and Eilis Kehoe (16th).
Host club, Slaney, took both the silver and the bronze team medals. Their 'A' team scoring 41 points was Emily O'Connor (fourth), Kelly Long (tenth), Aoife Kavanagh (13th) and Sabina Sweeney (14th). In third place was the Slaney Olympic 'B' team of Ciara Kearney (15th), Clodagh Connolly (17th), Susan Dempsey (19th) and Greta Roberts-Tyrrell (20th).
The men's 10k race was held directly after the ladies' race and the line-up promised an excellent standard of competition. Newly-transferred Ger Forde (Rathfarnham to Slaney Olympic) had a resounding win in last month's Intermediate in Wexford, running unattached at that stage, and was always going to be a threat.
Ger delivered to expectations and produced a great run to clinch his first Senior road race title in a great time of 32.22. In second place and in exceptional form of late was Myles Gibbons from S.B.R. in 32.38. The final individual medal went to St. Killian's Niall Sheil who crossed the line in 32 minutes and 50 seconds for bronze.
The club strength of S.B.R. saw them take the team title with Myles leading the scoring followed by Tom Hogan in fourth, Paul Lynch fifth and Tommy McElwaine in sixth. The men of Slaney Olympic, not to be outdone by the ladies, also went on to win team silver for the club. Their scoring team was Ger Forde (first), 'Farmer' Monaghan (ninth), Dave Barron (eleventh) and David Kehoe (18th). Third team prize went to United Striders on 50 points - Paul Doran (tenth), Seán Murphy (12th), John McGrath (13th) and Ted Flannelly (15th).
The success of the road race season can be measured by the outstanding performances the Senior men's race produced, in a field of 54 athletes. At Leinster level the Wexford team of Noel Kennedy (S.B.R.), Ted Flannelly, Paul Doran, Seán Murphy, John McGrath and Luke Butler (all United Striders), recently won the Novice 6k championship, seeing a transfer of locally strong performances to provincial level, which has been sorely lacking in recent years.
The night in Enniscorthy finished off with a great feast being laid on by the host club. Full results are available on www.wexfordathletics.com with the complete list of times. The final road race championship is next Friday's Masters which is being hosted by St. Paul's A.C. (Kilrane) at 7pm.