Hosted by Mallow Athletics Club, the Mallow ‘10’ ten mile road race had its 31st annual running on Sunday the 24th of March. This popular race attracted over 1500 competitors from all over Ireland. Lining up on the start line with them were eight of Blackwater Triathlon Club’s finest. Conditions on the day were near perfect with temperatures in the strong spring sunshine around 11 degrees, although it was also quite breezy. The Mallow course is quite challenging, with the first 2 miles being up hill. The next 2 miles are a straight track, back in towards the Killarney road roundabout. For the athletes this was quite a fast stretch (relatively speaking) though it was also the first indicator of a stiff breeze blowing, the full effect of which was felt as the runners headed out the Killarney road. The athletes turned off the Killarney road around the 7 Mile marker and headed for home. At this stage it was just a question of giving it everything you had for the final 3 miles (read as, hang on for dear life!). The subtle undulations of the course made it an energy sapping event, but despite that there were some fantastic performances. Some members even decided to do a warm up in Clonakilty duathlon beforehand….Dave Murphy take a bow! Ashleigh Bryne O’Brien had a PB, breaking 75mins for the first time well done Ash! The winner of the race was our favourite running coach, Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers. Sergiu ran a great time of 49:21 and looks in fine form for his planned Rotterdam Marathon in early April. The female winner was the favourite Aoife Cooke of Youghal A.C. Aoife, who broke the course record on the day. Sergiu’s coaching has obviously paid off as the Blackwater athletes all performed really well on the day. Gearoid Murphy was the first BTC athlete home, crossing the line in 1:06:49, closely followed by Adrian Collins in 1:09:42. Dave Murphy, fresh from his duathlon exploits earlier that morning, finished the race in 1:11:48. He described it as a ‘hard slog’, which is hardly surprising. David Harte was the next of the BTC contingent to finish in 1:14:12, beating Ashleigh Byrne O’Brien by a mere 12 seconds as she followed him home in a time of 1:14:24, a personal best for Ashleigh. Christian Broad finished in 1:24:19, followed by Therese Ryan in 1:32:27 and Conor McCarthy crossed the line in a time of 1:59:49. Well done to all participants, organisers and volunteers for another fantastic event.