Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k League 2023 – Round 2 (10th May)
Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k heads for the finish
Round 2 of the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k League took place in Belvedere on Wednesday evening 10th May. Not everyone will take part in all three races, knowing that the best two times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes, so some skipped Round 2 but others registered for the first time, both online during the week and of course in person on the night, so the total number registered for the event continues to grow. It wasn’t as sunny as on the first night, but it was still very mild and a lovely evening for a race. Many recorded faster times than in round one, helped no doubt by being more familiar with the course, particularly the fast downhill sections in the last kilometre.
The winner of Round 1, Vinny Connolly (Mullingar Harriers), was one of those who didn’t run in Round 2, so we were guaranteed a new winner. James Keegan (Mullingar Harriers) led the charge from the start, with plenty giving chase. Coming out of the woods before the final uphill stretch towards Belvedere House around the 4k mark, Kevin Baker made a move to the front and he drove on over the final kilometre, chased hard all the way by James Keegan, to finish first in 16 minutes 34 seconds, closely followed by James second (16:39) and Conor Leech (Na Fianna) third (17:07).
The women’s race saw the same 1-2-3 as in round one, as Fiona Gettings (Longford AC) won in 17 minutes 52 seconds, and in a terrific battle behind, Sinead Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers) just had the better of Emily Grennan (Tullamore Harriers AC) again to finish second in 18:22, to Emily’s third in 18:27. There’s no doubt but the battle for second and third woman overall in the league isn’t done yet and there should be another great battle between Sinead and Emily on the final night.
As in Round 1, there was great competition right through the field in the various master categories. Full results of the race are available on www.myrunresults.com. The final round on Wednesday evening 17th May will be very interesting and while the men’s race is still wide open, it will give Fiona Gettings the perfect opportunity to stamp her claim on the overall trophy for best woman. We expect to see another big crowd and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out at Round 2 and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again for Round 3. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.
With two rounds over, it’s too late to enter the series but individual entries for the final night are very welcome, either online or the night in the Courtyard Café up to 7.30pm. Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for Round 3 or your place and time will not be recorded.