2023 IUAA Road Relay Championships see a record 315 finishers across the two races.
Women’s Race Report
The women’s race got underway at 12.45 under a crisp blue November sky with 29 teams competing over the 1-2-2-1 mile race. Sophie Jackman (TCD) ran the quickest first leg of the day just edging out Faye Dervan (DCU) in the final 200m with UCD following closely behind. Danielle Donegan (UCD) chased down Avril Millerick (DCU) on leg 2 of the race and was able to put UCD into the lead by a dozen seconds at the halfway mark. Meanwhile, a huge performance by IUAA XC Champion Fiona Everard (UG) hoisted UG from 5th to 3rd by the end of the second leg. However, Evelyn Coughlan (TCD) was able to make back up the lost ground to put TCD back into the bronze medal position going into the final leg. Amy Greene (DCU) was able to gain back 3 seconds on UCD over the third leg but Roisín O’Reilly (UCD) asserted UCD’s lead in the final mile enabling UCD to take their first title of the day. DCU placed 2nd with TCD trailing some 30 seconds back to claim bronze.
Men’s Race Report
The men’s race saw 40 athletes take to the start line to tackle the first leg. A quick burst by Kevin McGrath in the final few hundred meters of leg 1 saw MU be the first college to handover for the second leg with Mark Milner (UCD) following closely behind. Jonas Stafford (UCD) and Sean McGinley (DCU) were inseparable over the second leg running much of the two mile distance side-by-side. Following a dozen seconds back was a tight group of UL, UG, TCD, and DCU ‘B’ athletes. Daniel Stone (DCU) made a big effort to stay with the ferocious pace set by Darragh McElhinney (UCD) on the third leg, but the gap began to open a mile into the leg and Darragh McElhinney was able to handover to Cian McPhillips (UCD) with a sizeable advantage over DCU. Oisín Spillane’s (UL) 3 mile-leg also placed the UL team in a comfortable bronze medal position going into the final two legs. Meanwhile a lot of changing of positions was observed for the 4th, 5th, and 6th places between UG, DCU ‘B’, and TCD. Despite Cathal O’Reilly (DCU) managing to eat into the gap, Cian McPhillips and Luke McCann (UCD) were able to hold off DCU over the final two legs to claim the men’s title for the third year in a row for UCD. DCU trailed 35 seconds back finishing second while UL had a minute’s advantage over UG in order to claim third.
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