2002 Races World Trophy Trials - Galtees Race
Report by Douglas Barry
World Trophy Trials - Galtees Race
The plan was to have all runners race up the mountains to the summits to determine the composition of the Irish team, whilst those interested in the championship round would turn around and continue on the descent back to the start/finish. Unfortunately, the numbers were less than anticipated and another side effect was the Irish Championship round which featured some notably non-competitive descents!
Anyway to focus on the trials, all runners started at the same time with the exception of the Junior women, or should I say Junior woman. Only one - Teresa Tierney - turned out. This was a major disappointment as we had a very competitive race in this category in the Irish Schools Championships in the spring. While the trial route chosen up Cush was shorter and much steeper than that to be used in Austria - 2.1 kilometres in length with 439 metres of climb as opposed to 3.3 kilometres with 334 metres of climb at the Worlds - this was not the major factor.
There is plenty of talent out there judging on the results of the Irish Schools but it has not come through. Working out why it didn't will no doubt engage many people over the coming months. While Teresa, a current international, won at a stroll, it was decided not to send a team - a major disappointment and a step backwards which shows Ireland up internationally.
The Junior men and the Senior women had a 4.4 kilometre course with 775 metres of climb as opposed to the 9.2 kilometres with 1,044 metres to be used in Austria. Unfortunately, the Austrian course does not feature any descent, whilst the route used on the Galtees had a steep descent of 160 metres down Cush to the start of the climb up Galtybeg. One runner complained that he found it hard to cope with this and it broke up his rhythm.
Be that as it may, a strong field of junior men assembled for what was the most competitive race of the day. Astonishingly, the fancied Peter Dalton winner of the 2001 British & Irish championships could only finish third as the virtually unknown 16 year old Colm Turner ran away with the race. Nearly 4 minutes behind him, James Doran who has improved immensely in the past year had in turn just short of a 2 minute margin on Peter Dalton.
Peter is off on a track scholarship to America and 5th placed Sean O' Heigeartaigh has to undergo an operation at the time of the Worlds so 4th placed Craig Longmore and 6th placer Seosamh O'Muircheartaigh have made up a strong Irish team. The women's trial was won comfortably by Nicky Cinnamond who was 2 minutes ahead of Blaithin Hannon and both of these have take the two automatic places for Austria. The remainder of the women's team will be finalised this week with third placer Roisin McDonnell likely to be given the nod.
The senior men's race continued on to the summit of Galtymore which gave them a route length of 5.6 kilometres with 975 metres of climb. This compares to 11.7 kilometres with 1,331 metres of climb in Austria. John Lenihan powered through to pass Junior winner Colm Turner who had led the entire field of juniors and seniors through the junior finish at Galtybeg and then decided to carry on! Hard on John's heels came another John - former junior international John Herlihy. Colm hung on to take an impressive third overall just ahead of Michael Kelly. Bob Lawlor and George Lonergan took 5th and 6th.
The runners doing the Irish Championship round then turned around at the summit of Galtymore and raced back to the finish. John Lenihan had a comprehensive lead at this stage and just jogged down Cush past me and the other spectators to take an easy win. Bernard Fortune moved up to take second while Paul Mahon took third after the fast closing John O'Reilly just failed to catch him. Nicky Cinnamond won the women's.
Full teams will be announced shortly.Irish Team Selection Trials and Galtee Race results
|5||124||Sean O' Heigeartaigh||MJ||45.54|
|4||112||John O'Reilly||Bray Runners||M40||95.22|
|8||422||Mike Cunningham||Bilbo AC||M||112.33|
|9||412||Michael Mullane||Duhallow AC||M||113.05|
|10||432||Conor Murray||W. Waterford||M||121.27|
|23||141||Joe Feeney||Civil Service||M50||135.45|
|24||427||Joe Laffan||Limerick AC||M50||137.11|
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