Mick Clohissey and Catherine O’Connor powered to impressive victories at the Battle of Clontarf 10 Mile Road Race which was held on Easter Monday.
The race, which also serves as the Leinster 10 Mile Championships, attracted a field of over 300. The event takes place in the beautiful St. Anne’s Parks and is very spectator friendly with the athletes running two and a half laps of the course.
Both races were competitive with provincial honours at stake. Clohissey (Raheny Shamrocks AC) would have been the pre-race favourite. The Rio 2016 Olympian recently won the National 10k title in fine style and is running very well presently, as he aims to put recent injury woes behind him. However, Clohissey was not going to have it all his own way. Step forward unknown quantity Arnaud De Lustrac (Kebab League). The French duathlete who was on a short break to Ireland decided to enter the race and test himself. De Lustrac recently finished 10th at the 2022 European Triathlon Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon Championships in Alsdorf, Germany and clearly has talent and ability as he demonstrated on Monday.
Clohissey was put under pressure in what was a titanic battle between the pair. The lead changed hands several times throughout the race, leaving the spectators gripped to the action. Clohissey pulled away in the latter stages to take the victory and become Leinster Champion, clocking a time of 50.43. Less than ten seconds behind was De Lustrac who ran 50.50. Ferbane AC’s Mick Fogarty finished 3rd, taking the Leinster silver medal ahead of former Dublin Marathon champion Sean Hehir of Metro St. Brigid’s AC.
The Women’s race was also hotly contested with Wicklow club Sli Cualann AC taking the gold and silver individual medals. Catherine O’Connor saw off the challenge of her clubmate Sarah Baryga, running a time of 1.02.06. Both athletes looked strong throughout the race. Unattached athlete Karen Alexander finished 3rd but it was Raheny Shamrock’s Aine Crimin who took the provincial bronze.
It was a very successful day for Raheny Shamrocks with the club winning both Men’s and Women’s provincial team titles. Crusaders AC and Brother Pearses AC won the Women’s and Men’s O35 team titles respectively, with Raheny and Lucan Harriers AC winning the O50 Men’s and Women’s titles.
The Leinster provincial action continues with the Novice and Masters Road Race Championships in Gowran, Co. Kilkenny on Saturday week, April 30th.