The Waterford AC half marathon was a sell out again this year, little surprise with such a well run event and a great atmosphere, not to mind the by now famous winter hat for all finishers!
This race attracts a top quality field each year and this year was no different. Sergiu Ciobanu was the eventual winner, followed closely by Sean Hehir in 2nd place and Paddy Hamilton in 3rd. The winning female was Jill Hodgins with Jackie Carthy in 2nd place and local lady Sylvia Malone in 3rd. The route is very fair, and once paced correctly a fast course. Conditions on the day were near to perfect which led to some personal bests for a lot of runners on the day.
Focus on Fitness was well represented with a big crew closing out what was a fantastic 2016.
Eoin Lyons had an incredible year finishing it off in great style placing 9th overall in a time of 1:13, taking 4 mins off his previous PB for half marathon distance.
John Hayden was next over the line in 1:19 another top class result on the back of a great season, especially considering it’s such a short time since Ironman. John had a lot on his mind as he was preparing to ‘Propose’ to Sandra after the race!
Tom Cousins was taking part in his first half marathon crossing the line in 1:21 which is an incredible first attempt at this distance, there is a lot more to come from Tom.
Brian Jacob, David Connolly, David McConnell and myself had headed off early into the darkness for a 2 hr bike session before the half marathon; all in preparation for The Race 2017. A great opportunity to start getting the hours clocked up.
I ran with Jason Travers most of the race, finishing together in 1:22, a great time for Jason, showing some great improvements over the last few months.
David Devine was next in 1:23, setting another PB, again on the back of his recent Ironman PB.
Kate Nolan was home from Cambridge to take part, setting another PB in a time of 1:26 and 5th lady home.
Darrell Evans set another PB in 1:29 finishing strong in spite of an injury over the last few weeks. Eamonn Ryan was 30 sec behind Darrell taking 3 min off his previous best for the distance. Both were delighted to break the 90 min.
Siobhan Kennedy finished in 1:31 another PB for Siobhan and a great result after her recent Ironman podium.
Brian Jacob finished in 1:32 after a 2 hr bike ride earlier that morning, on the back of Ironman, and looking forward to The Race in March. David McConnell crossed the line in 1:34 after a 2 hr warm up bike ride. John Paul Williamson finished in 1:37 another PB for JP, again on the back of Ironman and he too was delighted with his time. David Connolly back on the racing scene again and in preparation for The Race finished in 1:42 after a 2 hr bike.
Liz Nolan was next in 1:43, great to see Liz getting back to form again. Mark Rainer making a come back from injury stepping over the line in 1:45. Rhona Hayden recorded another PB and finished in 1:46 and will build on this result I have no doubt.
The next 3 were very close, David White was using the race to get some distance in the legs and finished comfortable in 1:47. Neil Griffin followed closely in 1:47, great to finish off the season with a solid run. Ger Nolan was next, fresh from Ironman finishing in 1:47. Tricia Quinn took 8 mins off her previous best and was delighted with 1:52. Nigel O Sullivan finished in 1:54, just ahead of Ronan Todd also in 1.54, both very happy with their run.
Sandra Rellis was next in 1:55 and very happy after Ironman. Nothing to the surprise when she got home to find John waiting on bended knee with ring in hand.
Eimear McSweeney had another great time, in just under the 2 hrs in 1:58, only getting back running this year. Susan Hayes had a good race finishing in 2:01 and Aishling Flood finished in 2:06, rounding off a what was a great race and a great year.
Well done to WAC and everyone who took part and a big thanks to all who marshaled at what was another great event. Check out some pictures from the day thanks to Katie Jacob on camera duty, apologies if anyone was forgotten!