Happy Trails Ahead

Cooley Legends Half Marathon & 10k 2013 (20/4/2013)
powered by Carlingford Adventure Racing Club

The fourth running of the Cooley Legends Half-Marathon & 10k took place once again in the glorious setting of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains.The early morning setting of the Foy Centre was the registration base and bus pick-up to the start line at the Lumpers Bar in Jenkinstown, 13.1 miles away. Justin Maxwell claimed the fastest time, taking the lead on the road section to the Long Woman’s Grave at the half way point, in a time of, 1:23:55, a new record time. Previous record held by Ugis being 1:24:40 he managed two years previously.

It was a quality field lined up at the start line. The wet conditions during mid-week made conditions a ‘wee’ bit tricky. The next runners all arrived with some daylight between them as several runners broke 1:40 for the half-marathon distance on the route with 522m of climb. Cathal Reily was hot on the heels of the lead man and was to finish just 3:12 behind in a time of 1:27:07. Shane Lynch coming home in third in 1:29:37. Micheal Reilly fourth senior male home in a time of 1:34:00.
Local Setanta Triathlete Niall McCabe, the first vet was fourth overall, in a time of 1:30:55. 2nd Vet Niall Halpin 1:32:55. 3rd Martin O’Hagan 1:36:15. 4th Gerry McCabe 1:38:44. First Super vets were Paschal Larney 2:05:36 and Bernadette O’Keefe 2:30:30
High on the mountain above the Bellurgan forest through some of the wet peat bog section, some thinking they were shallow puddles.
In the ladies race, the last two years saw local Setanta Tiathlete Jolene Mallon take the title. However the day belonged to Karen Alexander, winner of the first Legends Half back in 2010. Karen finished 7th overall and lead from start to finish in the ladies race posting a fantastic of 1:34:01. In second, last years champ Jolene Mallon finishing in 1:45:04 and Emma McKenna 1:50:52 in third. In the Vets section first home was Patricia Sloane 1:45:32. 2nd Siobhan Payne 2:16:26. 3rd Lynn Pettus all the way from the U.S.A.
As the race entered the rocky fire-road and left civilisation behind, 342m climb was the menu for the first six kilometres.

Grassy Descending, Heaven!

The next part of the Tain Way is truly glorious: the path is narrow and uneven but mostly grass and the decent grade manageable. The first feed station was at the 5mile mark, were runners grabbed a sip of coke at the drinks station, or a nibble at the snack food available, ready for the tarmac stretch coming up.

Tarmac relief ??
There was pain and joy here as steepish climbs were followed by fast short descents.
At the ‘Long Woman’s Grave’ the runners for the 10k were lining up for their start, a half hour after the start of the Half Marathon. It was a welcome 3 mile gradual tarmac decent to the second feed station. The sun decided to show its face at the sound of the start siren. Shane Toner went into an early lead, holding it unopposed to the finish line in a time of 41:54. He was to be closely followed by Danny Duffy (47:18) and Geoffrey Frawley (47:39) in third. In the ladies section of the 10k run Agnes Feher also went into an early lead, holding it unopposed to the finish line in a time of 55:59. She was to be very closely followed by Anne Canders (56:33) and Catherine White (57:32) in third. At the 9 mile mark, at the second feed station, runners left the tarmac surface for the final climb to Goylin Pass under the shadow of Slieve Foy, and there was to be no more uphill. Final finisher Siobhan Marry was given a very special welcome as she ran over the finish line at Dan’s Stone Wall Cafe, and was delighted to receive his finisher Legend Lighthouse.
Falling towards Carlingford
Carlingford and the Lough with the majestic Mourne Mountains, greeted the runners for the final technical descent to the finish.
Once again there was great banter and impressive hand crafted prizes outside Dan’s Stonewall Cafe, the proprietor and staff putting on a wonderful post race reception in the village square. A big thanks to all involved, to the girls at registration, Carlingford Red Cross, the Foy Centre, Garda, John Lamb of the Lumpers Bar, Mt. Bike marshals M.J. & T from Cuchulainn Cycle Club, marshals at all the feed stations (Myles from anywhere), the TY students from Bush Post Primary School who marshaled at the feed stations and in the village. To all those who travelled from near and afar to make it another special day.
Slán, and happy trails for the summer ahead.
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By CLEC

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