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Morton hors d’oeuvres for Moscow

The eighth and final Dublin Graded Track and Field meeting
provided some interesting match ups and some quips about limp flags and Roger
Bannister’s sub four minute mile.

There was no mile on the race programme but the 200m, 800m
and 3,000m on the track did provide some good entertainment along with the
long jump and the pole vault. The hammer throwers were banished to the back
field and we didn’t get to see Padraig White throw over 60 meters – 61.03m to be exact.

In the 200m we had some of Ireland’s best sprinters with an
interesting addition in the women’s A race of Aislinn Crossey – the fourth
place finisher at the European Juniors over 800m.

Kelly Proper became the first Irish woman to break 23
seconds for 200m in any conditions last weekend and she dominated in Santry
with a 23.45 second clocking. Louise Kiernan came second in 24.41 with her training partner Ailis McSweeney , who ran a powerful bend, third in 24.61. Aislinn Crossey came fifth in 25.59 and the Newry athlete
looked like she was only finding her stride as she crossed the finish line.   

National 100m champion David Hynes was a comfortable winner
of the men’s 200m in 21.92 with entrepreneurial Timmy Crowe second in 22.27
and  Patrick O’Connor third in 22.37.
Meath GAA star Eamonn Wallace placed fourth in a tidy 22.49.

The 800 meters always draws the crowds and fills all the
grades. The two laps is a nice distance of getting into your running but also finishing
just as the pain of the lactic acid trying to flush the hydrogen ions becomes all
consuming. In simple language, you only have feel the pinch for a lap.

In the lower grades some runners over and underestimate themselves
as they draw clear with arms outstretched after an all too powerful kick or are left languishing at the back of the pack.

There
was no room for that in the A 800m as Nick Davis had done a good job on the
seeding and a good pace was set by resident pacemaker for 2013 Colin Costello.

Brought through a swift 53 seconds, the field was stretched
in single file with John Travers at the head of the pack. Travers held off the
aggressive Daire Bermingham and the fast finishing Brian Kelly and Robert Tully
to stop the clock at 1:51.74 – Kelly and Tully running 1:51.97 and 1:52.87
respectively.

Prior to that Iseult O’Donnell won a packed women’s 800m in
a tactical affair in 2:13.29 ahead of Brona Furlong, who is still bridging the
gap to the two lap distance, in 2:14.25 and Louise Hutchinson, training partner of
Crossey, in 2:14.56.

As the light declined the 3,000m runners entered the fray
and Eimear O’Brien had a comfortable solo victory in 9:59.93 to edge under the
10 minute barrier.

There was another solo victory in the men’s 3,000m with John
Coghlan recording a new personal best in 8:06.46 – well ahead of Kevin Maunsell
in 8:24.20 and Ray Hynes in 8:27.72.  There
was also a welcome return to the track of former national 1500m champion Colm
Rooney who finished fourth in 8:31.30. The comeback to full fitness continues.

The long jump went well into the night with Jumping the Gun
being revealed on twitter operating as a very officious official with the
flags. Kelly Proper fouled on five occasions but her one legal jump brought
victory with 6.16m. Menapians’ Tony Stafford had nice win in the men’s in 6.85m.

It was a nice sociable meet to round out the Graded series
and the golden arches was visited for the final debrief with talk turning to
the dreams of the following season and all the hard training in store. The
double cheeseburgers and milkshakes were not being paid heed to in the innocent
chat.

So now thoughts turn to Moscow for the Boltdown and the
Mobot as we suspend our disbelief to enjoy the best athletes in the world strut
their stuff. Just don’t tell Stephen Fry or we’ll be getting a public letter of
address.  

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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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