Never mind last lap, bells should be ringing over sorry state of cross country
But with something like 50 clubs in the greater Dublin area, and around 5,000 members in total, it might be time to employ the rocket scientists to work out why the Dublin Cross Country can only attract a combined senior entry of just 66 runners – or why the competitive club scene in Galway has essentially dried up, too, while last month’s Galway Bay Half Marathon and 10km was a 3,000-runner sell-out, each one paying the not so modest fee of €45 for the right to toe the line.
Another case, perhaps, of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, although at the risk of sounding utterly cynical about that, there are a couple of road races coming up that do deserve a plug.
The first was brought to my attention in a corner of Mulligans on Wednesday evening, when Frank Greally, the indefatigable editor of Irish Runner magazine, told me about tomorrow’s Remembrance Run 5km, in the Phoenix Park. We were actually there to remember Con Houlihan, and the unveiling of a small photo tribute to his sad passing this summer, which turned out inspired Frank to put some of that memory into running.
“It was floating in my mind for a few years,” he said, “and Con’s death put my thoughts into action, as well as the death of my brother in-law, Leo Fitzpatrick. Perhaps an event like the Remembrance Run will encourage us to pause and remember, realise how we need to embrace our own gift of days and fullness of health.”
Entries, not surprisingly, are very strong, almost 800, and will also be taken tomorrow morning (see www.remembrancerun.ie) – one of the other differences here is that each runner gets to nominate their chosen charity, through the mycharity.iewebsite.
One man who inspires everything about the competitive side of life and sport is Mark Pollock, who presumably needs little introduction, and is behind next Wednesday’s Run in the Dark, at locations in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, London and New York (see www.runinthedark.org). First blinded, and then paralysed, Pollock doesn’t so much offer a good excuse for a road race, but a definite exception to this rule of not plugging it. Club runners are welcome too, by the way.