2013 Kinvara Rock and Road……..and the post race Rocky Road!!

This year saw the 3rd Annual Kinvara Rock and Road Half Marathon & 10k races with almost 1,500 athletes taking part in both events on Saturday March 2nd. The Galway City Harriers came out in force with an impressive participation rate with more than 40 athletes racing this year.

There was an enthusiastic atmosphere amongst race goers with ideal weather conditions on the day, calm and dry with the sun shining through the intermittent clouds. A delightful hustle and bustle surrounded the town with everyone in high spirits awaiting the start of their chosen race.

Approaching 12 o’clock, the 10k runners moved eagerly towards the starting line with Matt Bidwell, Owen Byrne and Barbara Dunne of GCH taking their position up front. The gun sounded and they were off, with Matt Bidwell out in front, a position he would stay in for the duration of the race.

Both courses began and ended at the stunning waterside in the village. The 10k proved challenging in parts with a testing road surface along small country roads. The first 5k was flatter than the second with more climbs towards the end from the 7k mark onwards, with a welcoming downhill finish at the end.

The men’s 10k race was won by none other than GCH’s own Matt Bidwell in a fantastic 32:57 (setting a new course record by 1 minute), 2nd place went to another worthy GCH athlete Owen Byrne in (34:16) and in 3rd place was Timmie Glavey, Mayo AC (34.58).

The ladies 10k was won by Anna Crooks from Predator Tri Club in another great time of 39:15, Sinead Foran took 2nd place in 41.08 and 3rd place victory went to GCH’s rising star Barbara Dunne in 41.37.

Congrats to GCH club members Una Murphy and Paul Fallon also, Una who did an excellent job pacing the 60 minute 10k runners and Paul who lead the 40 minute runner’s home.

The next line up was for the Half Marathon, just over 10 minutes after the 10k commenced. The route was scenic leading out towards the Burren with plenty of demanding hills to keep the mind and body challenged along the way. The course seemed to have more uphill than downhill and just when there was an end in sight, so too were there more hills as the Half Marathon ended with the tough hills that were met by the 10k runners also.

The men’s Half Marathon was won again this year by Michael Shannon of Amphibian King in a remarkable time of 1:10:32, followed by Adam Thiel, Team Run Gdansk (1:11:56) and in 3rd place was Brian Furey of Rathfarnham WSAF (1:15:52). Diarmuid Coughlan was the first GCH athlete home in 1:21:10 giving him 12th place position, followed by David O’Neill (1:31:14) and Cormac O’Connor (1:35:11).

The women’s race was won by Eimear O’Leary of MSB in a whopping time of 1:26:01, followed by Grainne Ni Uallachain in 2nd place (1:29:55) and Roisin Farragher in 3rd place (1:30:19). Joanne O’Boyle was the first lady home for GCH in 1:40:56 giving her a 12th place position, followed by Marie Gallagher in a time of 1:42:27 and Clare O’Shea who shattered her previous years’ time with a 1:42:33 finish.

A fantastic line up of Galway City Harriers this year with triumphs and PBs for many along the way. For the full list of results go to http://www.rockandroad.ie

Overall, this was a fantastic event which was well organised. The challenging and scenic course coupled with a lively atmosphere throughout the village surrounding the race (not to mention the post- race cakes and rocky road!!!) makes it definitely one to note in the yearly calendar.
Written by Joanne O’Boyle. 7th March 2013.