Race 2 Glory – Kiltimagh – It’s the 5th race in the Continental National Adventure Race Sport series, we’ve reached the halfway point and it’s getting serious now and every point gained is vital!
The 40k course is designed by Padraig Marrey (who was part of the gallant band of 11 warriors who each made 12 ascents of Croagh Patrick in 24hrs back in 2011…a powerful bunch of runners)
The first 10k run features the interestingly named Spankers hill, short and steep but you’ll be rewarded with super views at the top, a bit of a bog run and then you are on the bike for 23k. There’s no kayak but you’ll still get wet as the final stage feature a short run through the Glore river which always seems to be the favourite part of the course!!!
Current series leader (and last year’s winner) Niall Smith is a big fan of this course and will likely hang on to his title, he’s been in flying form all year and a great performance at IM Cork puts him nicely on track here.
Kieran Cosgrove looks to be getting back to his previous form and with a 3rd and 2nd place from his 2 starts this year he is sure to feature here again.
Declan Donnellan has had a decent run this year and is steadily improving and Dwayne Flynn took a podium spot here last year also and will be hoping that some silverware heads to Mayo this year as there’s little chance in any other sport
Bernard Smyth is of course a main contender here and will be well in the mix coming off the bike and facing in to the last run. The start list features all the usual main contenders, Colin & Anthony McGibney will challenge for top 5, and while there will be some exceptional performances on the day I expect the CKR crew will be too strong, Des Kennedy seems to have caught the Adventure Racing bug this year and is no doubt heading west not just to support but to claim some silverware in the process….we are going with a repeat of Dingle and Niall/Kieran/Des
In the ladies Niamh Garvey still sits top of the table and a reasonable finish here will keep her there but it’s the most competitive field in the women’s category this year and there are several athletes who are in with a shout. Aisling Ni Duibhir is always a podium contender and although the longer distance suits her she will still not be far off. Geraldine Gill finished 3rd at DAR a few week ago but we think Orlaith Smith is the favourite for the win here, already having taken top spot at GFD and DAR she will be hard to beat. Nicola Ennis is sure to be aiming for a podium spot here and Sharon Martin and Debbie McCarthy will no doubt run good races but our money is on Orlaith/Aisling/Nicola for top 3 with Niamh Garvey, Geraldine Gill and Niamh Cleary to round out the top 5/6. The outsider in this race could be Bridget Gavin, the Mayo native has the inside track and has been putting in the miles in the Maamturks, I wouldn’t rule out a big performance tomorrow!