Liam Feely from North Leitrim A. held off a strong challenge from UK International Mark Dalkins in an exhilarating head to head encounter to win the fifth annual Bradley Clinic Carrick 10Km road race last Sunday.
The race was set off from St. Patrick’s Hospital by a triumvirate of Paul Bradley of main sponsors Bradley Clinic, Frank Feighan TD and author, Deca-Ironman winner and motivational speaker Gerry Duffy.
The race soon turned into a match as the 42 year old Dalkins, sponsored by Bourne Sports, endeavoured to retain his title from the previous year and used his vast experience to put pressure on the 23-year-old Feely, attempting to breakaway on the undulations of the challenging two lap course.
Dalkins had looked as if he had shaken off the North Leitrim athlete on several occaions only for Feely to respond but as the pair approached the final 400 metres, Dalkins put in what looked like a race-winning kick only for Feely to respond with a decisive sprint of his own in the final 150 metres to pull clear and claim victory at the Aura Leisure Centre finish in a new course record of 32:03. Liam was delighted with his victory and relished the opportunity to be pushed so hard in his home county where he rarely has the quality of opposition to fully test him as he continues his hard, disciplined training regime of upwards of 100 miles a week.
Speaking after the race, Liam said “He made a move with about 400m to go and I was trying to cover that and wait until about 150m to go then, just to put the boot down. I felt a bit lethargic today because I had a heavy week’s training: I did 90 to 100 miles this week. I am not that fresh, but it’s good to get a good challenge in a race like this.”
Behind the runaway leaders Adrian Smith of Roscommon AC claimed 3rd place in 34:59 with Carrick athletes Richie Doran and Adrian Gurn closing well in 8th and 9th places in 38:33 and 38:44. Lough Key Tri Club had Ciaran Gilhooleyhome in 13th place in 38:52 and a total of 17 athletes broke the challenge of the 40 minute barrier.
To put the results in perspective the heavily promoted and sponsored Kinvara 10K the previous day had 20 runners inside 40 minutes and the winner would have been almost a minute behind our two principals on a faster course.
The Ladies race saw Mary Finn of Sportsworld AC in Dublin run 39:21 to finish well clear of Siobhan Murtagh of Carrick AC, firmly on the comeback trail but having to settle for 40:40. Significant other results saw Dermot Lowe win the Over 50 section in 36:38 and Patrick Barden the Over 70’s in 55:37.