Last Sunday in the Phoenix Park 30 young Tullamore Harriers athletes competed in the ‘Junior Great Ireland Run’ and both Eileen Rafter and Cara Todd brought home medals with stunning displays.
While the weather for the senior event was overcast and blustery the juvenile athletes had the benefit of sunshine for their warm up and the race itself.
The race was the biggest ever held for Juveniles in Ireland with around 1000 athletes taking part. It started on Chesterfield avenue and the opening half mile was rather frantic as many inexperienced runners set off at a very fast pace. However once things settled it was obvious that the Tullamore athletes were well placed. Chinnie Izuchukwu was in twelfth position in the boys race while Cara Todd, Eileen Rafter, Nicole Cuskelly, Emily Grennan and Nadine Donegan were all placed in the top twenty in the girls event.
The race then turned down Ordnance Survey Road and over the next kilometre Tullamore athletes moved in contention for medals. Chinnie Izuchukwu eased passed competitor after competitor until he reached Jack Kyle.
These two raced the next mile alongside one another with Kyle just out sprinting Chinnie to the line to deny him a podium finish and he had to settle for fourth. Kevin Bracken, Connor Butler, Glenn Cunningham and Mathew Molloy were all prominent in the race also and should be delighted with their fine performances.
In the girls competition Eileen Rafter was in second spot and closing all the way down the half mile finishing stretch on long time leader Siofra O’Flaherty. She was closely followed by Cara Todd who was well clear of the next girl home. The silver and bronze medals won by the girls a fine reward for tremendous effort put in.
Nicole, Nadine, Emily and Niamh Rafter all finished prominently ensuring that the Tullamore colours were the most prominent at the front of the race.