Emo House and Gardens was the venue for the second St Michael’s AC 8k Forest Run.
Over 350 runners turned up to compete in the Forest Run which has gained in popularity. In the mens race Laois man Harry Lupton (Portlaoise AC) strode home to victory in excellent running conditions, followed by Catch Grennan in second (Tullamore Harriers) and Shane Mullaney in third (Thurles Crokes AC).
The womens event saw Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) take the lead from the start to take first place, followed home by last year’s forest run winner Sinead Maher (St Michael’s AC) in second place followed by Theresa Agar third (St Abban’s).
In the Juvenile event St Michael’s AC’s Leah Cooney secured first place on the 5k circuit followed by Anna Healy second (Portlaoise AC) and Jessica Higgins third (St Michael’s AC).
The 8k circuit provided all participants with a scenic journey through the Gardens and surrounding Parklands of the beautiful Emo House. The course was accurately measured with markers on each kilometre of the circuit with plenty of stewards, supporters and spectators to add to the pleasant environment.
The circuit provided the runners with a dramatic finish as they ran through the giant Wellingtonia trees along the avenue which was the original approach to the famous Emo house with the finish line and house visible with every stride along the final mile.
A shorter 5k route provided an alternative shorter option for the walkers who attended on the evening and for the Juveniles who competed over the shorter distance with all of the 5k competitors entering the same finish line.
This years Forest Run saw great support from all local athletics clubs including the many recreational runners from the surrounding areas.
Many clubs and runners travelled long distances to the run with competitors from clubs in Trim, Thurles, Tullamore, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny and Clare turning up for the St Michael’s AC fundraiser.
Many spot prizes were given out on the night with refreshments afterwards in the court yard café. This was a well organised event that was well marshalled and routes well planned.
The feedback and positivity afterwards from all who completed the run was a great endorsement of a job well done by the St Michael’s organisers and provides a solid foundation for building on future Forest Runs organised by the St Michael’s Club.