Portlaw 5-Mile Road Race Wraps Up 3 Counties Challenge with Exciting Finale

June 12, 2024

The final race of the 3 Counties Challenge took place on a beautiful sunny day in Portlaw, attracting a competitive field of 122 runners. The event was marked by perfect racing conditions, with stunning sunshine and a gentle breeze, setting the stage for an exciting conclusion to the popular series. Run Republic spoke to Dermot Gorman to find out more about the race. 

From the outset, the race promised a thrilling contest as Pat Fitzgerald of Waterford AC, Andrew Connick, and Craig O’Brien of Ferrybank AC engaged in a fierce battle. As the race progressed, it came down to a gripping duel between Pat and Andrew. Demonstrating exceptional speed and strategy, Pat Fitzgerald surged ahead in the final mile, securing a well-deserved victory with a time of 26:02, which also earned him the series title. Andrew Connick finished a close second at 26:12, while Craig O’Brien held on to claim third place in 27:12.

In the women's race, Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC delivered another impressive performance, maintaining a strong pace throughout to finish first in 28:28. She had a comfortable lead over International race walker Kate Veale, who crossed the line in 29:38. Angela McCann rounded out the top three with a time of 31:23.

The race also saw numerous personal bests among the participants, highlighting the level of competition and excellent conditions of the event. The prize distribution went as follows:

Male Category

  1. Pat Fitzgerald (Waterford AC) - 26:02
  2. Andrew Connick (Ferrybank AC) - 26:12
  3. Craig O’Brien (Ferrybank AC) - 27:12
  4. O/40 Dermot Gough (West Waterford AC) - 29:01
  5. O/45 Niall Sheil (St Killians AC) - 27:28
  6. O/50 Larry Hurley (Tramore AC) - 31:03
  7. O/55 Eugene O’Keeffe (Carrick AC) - 29:30 (PB)
  8. O/60 Anthony Power (Clonmel AC) - 32:30

Female Category

  1. Kealey Tideswell (Clonmel AC) - 28:28
  2. Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) - 29:38
  3. Angela McCann (Clonmel AC) - 31:23
  4. O/45 Joan Mahony (Waterford AC) - 32:18
  5. O/50 Sandra Moore (West Waterford AC) - 38:23
  6. O/55 Jacinta Brazil (Waterford AC) - 37:39
  7. O/60 Patricia Foskin (St Senans AC) - 46:10

Junior Category

  • Grainne Moore (West Waterford AC)

Team Winners

  • Men's Team Winners: West Waterford AC
  • Women's Team Winners: West Waterford AC

Gorman told Run Republic that Carrick-on-Suir AC roadrunners express their gratitude to all participants for making the 2024 series a resounding success. Special thanks were also extended to the sponsors Outfield Sports Carrick-on-Suir, Dermot O’Neill Pharmacy Portlaw, MSD, supporters, volunteers, the Red Cross, and first responders, whose contributions were vital to the event's success.

As the 3 Counties Challenge comes to a close, the running community eagerly anticipates next year’s series, eyeing more competitive races and personal bests.

Featured Image: by John Murphy Photography

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