The Dublin University Harriers and Athletics Club (DUHAC) ran through cold weather and rain to a strong finish at the Maynooth Road Relays on Saturday, November 13. The Trinity women’s A team took bronze at Maynooth, and, despite a fall at the beginning of the race and the absence of two prominent teammates, the men’s A team finished eighth.
For the relays, the women formed five teams of four athletes and ran a six-mile race in one-mile, two-mile, two-mile, and one-mile legs. The men organized three teams of five athletes and raced for nine miles in one-mile, two-mile, three-mile, two-mile, and one-mile legs.
The course was a one-mile loop on asphalt-paved trails that took the runners around college greens, under trees, and through the campus.
At 12:45pm, the women’s race, with the runners racing in a close pack. Claire McGlynn kept her team in fifth position during the race, and finished her lap with a strong sprint to hand off to Becky Woods. In the second leg, the front pack spread out during the two miles, but Woods, in an impressive display of competitive focus, brought her team to second position. She handed off to Bryony Treston, put in a well-paced two-mile leg, and handed off to teammate Ciara Mc Callion in third position. Mc Callion anchored the team, and finished the race in third place for an overall team time of 33 minutes and 45 seconds, 70 seconds behind the winning team from DCU, and 35 seconds ahead of UCD A.
Two weeks ago, on Saturday, November 6, Trinity hosted rivals UCD in a friendly pre-season Colours Road Relay meet. The women’s team carried on their tradition of friendly rivalry with UCD, losing at Colours, but beating UCD A at Intervarsities. Former women’s team captain Mairead McMorrow said that, “whoever loses Colours, wins here.”
The men’s race had a wobbly start at 1:45pm. Two minutes before the gun went off, the rain began, leaving racers in the final legs of the relay struggling to stay warm as they waited for their turn. In the first one mile leg, A team’s runner, Risteard O’Hannrachain became tangled with some of his opponents and fell. He managed to pull his team from last position to nineteenth by running at a harder pace for the rest of his one-mile leg. He handed off to Liam Tremble, who ran a furious two-mile leg, and secured a ninth place position for Trinity.
Donal Foley was next, and he moved Trinity up to eighth position. In the second-to-last leg, Carl O’Sullivan out-paced a member of the UCD B team allowing Trinity to come in at seventh place. He handed off to Kevin Kerrigan, who raced the final one-mile leg against a particularly speedy member of the UCD B team, and finished the race for Trinity A in eighth place. The men completed the course in 46 minutes, 6 seconds, and showed improvement over last year’s tenth place finish.
Both DCU A Women’s and Men’s team took home first place trophy for winning the relays.
The competitive performances from Becky Woods and Liam Tremble bode well for their aspirations to represent Ireland in the European Cross Country Championships later this year. “Becky had a deadly run,” said Bryony Treston, who hopes to join her teammates at the European Championships. All three teammates were awarded sporting scholarships earlier this year.