It was a busy weekend for Star of the Sea athletes with both the Frank Duffy 10Mile Race in the Phoenix Park, the National Community Games Finals in Athlone and the inaugural Slane Castle 10Mile and 5k Race hosted by Slane AC.
The Frank Duffy 10Mile race is part of the Irish Runner Race Series that leads up to the Dublin City Marathon in October and a number of the Star of Sea athletes have signed up to do the whole series including the Marathon.
Mark Hoey after finishing 3rd in the 5Mile race in July was looking forward to a good run in the 10Mile race and at least a top 10 finish even allowing for the number of top overseas athletes running the race. From the gun Mark ran in the leading bunch of a dozen runners and he went through the 5Mile mark in a time of 25mins25secs. While Mark was running in a very relaxed style and feeling very comfortable this time was only 20secs slower than the time he done when finishing 3rd in the 5Miler. He then kept the pace steady for the next one and half mile with the aim then to push hard over the final three and half miles. As he past the 6mile marker he was lying in 9th place but a number of athletes in front of him at this stage were beginning to feel the pressure as Mark started to close them down. His steady running paid dividends as over the final couple of miles Mark moved up to 7th place and finished in a time of 51mins15secs which was nearly 3mins quicker than his time from last year. The added bonus was that Mark was the 2nd Irish athlete to cross the line behind Stephen Scullion from Belfast. Jose Carols Hernandez from Spain won the race in a time of 48mins15secs. Mark with his coach David Carrie is now looking forward to the Half Marathon at the end of the September where he will be looking to improve on last year’s time of just over 71mins.
Brian Moore was the next Star of the Sea athlete home in a very good time of 1hr07mins59secs followed closely by Eamon O’Neill in 1:10:30. Paul Breen from Stamullen in his first 10mile race finished the distance in a time of 1:17:49 with Rosemary Hutcheson over a minute quicker than last year in a time of 1hr19mins15secs. Nic Benoit completed the race in 1hr21mins13secs and is now looking forward along with the rest of athletes to the half marathon in September.
On Sunday Slane AC held their inaugural 10Mile and 5k races starting & finishing in the picturesque ground of Slane Castle. With 133 athletes braving a tough 10mile course and over 280 athletes, joggers and walkers doing the 5k this new athletic club were very happy with the turnout. Jim Marry (Star of the Sea) finished the 5k race in a time of 19mins34secs to come home in 12th place while Niall Black opted to run the 10Mile and he finished in a time of 1hr16mins38secs to finish in 39th place.
The National Community Games held in Athlone over the weekend saw three Star of the Sea athletes competing - Rob Tully in the Marathon, Harry Coscoran in the U14 Shot Putt and Andrew Coscoran in the U16 boys 1500m. Rob Tully had a good run in the Marathon over a distance of 6.5k where he finished 5th while Harry Coscoran in the shot was also 5th. In the 1500m Andrew Coscoran after progressing easily from the heats of the 1500m on Saturday would have a tough race in the final where David Kavannagh (Tralee) who was second in the All Ireland U17 boys 1500m Championships in July was also competing. In a tactical race where the pace was quite slow with both Coscoran and Kavannagh watching each other like hawks the field came to the bell in about 3mins 20secs. Then Kavannagh surged forward followed by Andrew. As the two athletes raced away from the field the gold medal would come to the man that could sustain this sprint to the line. As both men raced for the honour of winning the blue ribband event of middle distance running Kavannagh kept ahead of Coscoran all down the back straight. Andrew attacked again as the athletes came off the final bend but David Kavannagh was able to see off his challenge and finished a worthy winner. Andrew was happy with his silver medal and after a few weeks away from running will be looking forward to the new cross-country season that will begin at the end of September with the 23rd Annual Star of the Sea Cross Country Meeting.
World University Games: The World University Games were held in Shenzhen City, China last week. These games are the equivalent of the Olympics for university students worldwide with the full range of disciplines and events that take place at an Olympics. Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea) was a member of the Irish team and he achieved the entry standard when he set a new PB of 2.20m in the high jump earlier this summer. The qualifying jump off for the high jump final was held last Tuesday with Kourosh going in Pool A. While the opening height was 1.90m Kourosh came in at 2.00m, which he easily cleared. He also cleared 2.10m on his first attempt and with the bar raised then to 2.15m he needed three attempts to get clear. The next height of 2.20m was a crucial height and again Kourosh made it hard for himself by fouling on his first two attempts at this height. However he cleared it on his third attempt to equal his PB while some of the fancied athletes such as Miguel Angel Sancho (Spain) a bronze medallist form the European U23 Championships in July fell by the wayside. The final on Thursady opened at 2.10m and Kourosh cleared it easily at his first attempt. The bar then moved to 2.15m and unlike Tuesday where he needed three attempts he easily cleared the bar on his first attempt. One of the favourites for the competition Erik Kynard (USA) who had a 2.31m PB for the event had fallen by the wayside at 2.15m. The bar was now moved to 2.18m and Kourosh’s good vein of jumping continued with another first time clearance. The next height of 2.20m on the day proved just too high. While Kourosh was disappointed at not clearing 2.20 and then going on to try and set a new PB he has to take heart in the fact that he came into the competition as the 19th ranked high jumper but finished up finishing in 9th place overall. He also finished ahead of Marco Fasinotti (Italy) who was 5th the European U23’s and had taken the scalp of Erik Kynard in the process. He can now forward to next season and hopefully setting new PB’s along the way after a hard winter’s training.