It is with heartfelt sadness and shock that West Waterford Athletic Club report the untimely passing of our esteemed club member, Paul Brunnock.He will truly be missed by all within West Waterford AC. The club would like to offer its condolences to Paul’s family and many friends. There has been many beautiful and heartfelt tributes posted on Pauls’ passing, each and every one of them beautifully depicting the great man that he was. We could write another tribute on behalf of the athletic family but it probably wouldn’t do Paul justice such were his many feats in the sport, so we have decided as a much more true reflection the following is a more fitting tribute to the man written by himself,he wrote this back in 2014. Please read it fully as it depicts what the sport meant to Paul and his zest on achieving his goals.
Guest post by ultra-runner Paul Brunnock, after Connemara Ultra 100, August 9th, 2014.
I have just spent the last while reading the comments and support sent my way before, during and after the CNM100 on 9th August, 2014 and to say I am overwhelmed is the understatement of the year. Many thanks to everyone. Every comment and message means so much. I don’t really do race reports but with so many people taking the time to support me and my crew I thought it might be a good time to put down some highlights.
Ray O’ Connor is responsible; it’s all his fault! Huge thanks to Ray, Angela, Iain, Niall, Ken and the rest of the Connemara 100 team for the work organising this race and for letting me be part of the family. I thought a lot about Ray in the last 15 miles of the race and it was mostly bad but what he has achieved here is amazing and this race is an absolute gem.
Due to injuries and old age I could not train for this race the way I would like so it really boiled down to 3 runs in the week , 2 cycles and 2 swims. I want to thank Tried and Tested Dungarvan Triathlon Club for all the help support and encouragement throughout. Likewise, thanks to Dungarvan Cycling Club for their support and training, especially the lads in Group 3 Sunday morning spins. Thanks to Marathon Club Ireland for all their help too; a fantastic club and wonderful people.
Of course it’s no secret my number 1 club is West Waterford AC and nothing gives me greater pride than wearing that singlet on lonely roads up and down the country. Don’t forget Ray McConnell was running 100 miles when the sport was in its infancy and in Raivis Zakis and Anthony Whelan we have two of the best ultra-runners in the country.
Thanks to everyone in the club that always gets behind me; all the people I run with week in week out, Mark Cliffe for his super-fast WWAC t-shirt, Linda Garcia for her arm warmers but I don’t think she knows I have them and John Coleman for a variety of equipment. Special thanks to James Veale for super advice on all things running related and more, fantastic support, encouragement and all the rest. He’s a one off and a great man to have in your corner.
The man with the unenviable task then of fixing me up when I break down is Cian O’ Conchuir and I owe him a lot. Anyone who has tried to keep an old rusty motor on the road having failed its NCT multiple times knows what I mean. He also throws in the bit of sports psychology for good measure!
So the race started at 6:00am Saturday morning and I was thrilled to be there on the start line. My crew had everything in place and I had no worries as far as that part of the race was concerned. If you look at the picture of us at the start we are not your typical race start photo. I think Paddy observed that most of us looked as if we could do with a sandwich! One of the exceptions to that maybe being Don Hannon who is a strong and powerful athlete. Add to that the true grit, bottle and talent of the man and you have about as good an ultra-athlete as you could find anywhere. When I met Don on Sunday morning he looked fresh enough to go again and, I’d say, would have needed very little encouragement to lace up the runners and get the bandana out!
It was a big thrill to be able to say that I was in the same race as Aoife O’ Donnell, the first Irish female finisher of the 135 mile Badwater Ultra. I didn’t get the chance to congratulate Aoife in person but I am in awe of her achievement and very inspired by her. There too was Gerry Duffy, top endurance athlete , whom up to a short while ago I had only known from his books.
My brother Johnny was once introduced over the PA to about 2000 Sean Kelly Tour cyclists something along the lines of ‘Here comes Johnny Brunnock , the nicest fella you could meet!’ to huge applause of agreement. Well Gerry is one of those ‘fellas’ too and I hope we get to share the roads many more times over the years. Also there were athletes I have not really met yet but whom I greatly respect and admire from seeing them in races I have been competing in and following their results like George Webb and Maurice Whitty.
Seconds before the start and I shook hands with Vasiliy Neumerzhiskiy , a true legend, and we wished each other good luck. Vasiliy, in 2011, gave me one of the greatest pieces of running advice I have received and it has saved me many times since. It was in Portumna 100k and he was finishing what would be a win and a course record. I was at about 75k. Vasiliy came back to me on the path and said something like ‘Keep your hands down. We’re running 100k, not 5k!’. It works!
Highlight of the morning was to see Billy Holden take off at 6 minute mile pace. I can’t say what Billy was thinking but I imagined he was laying down a marker, telling the Connemara course that he wasn’t afraid and go ahead and throw what you can at me. It was brave and foolhardy and wonderful and I loved it. I think Billy is what Bob Hilliard would call a ‘real deal rock and rolla!’
The first part of the run was uneventful as it should be. We found our rhythm and I ran with Peter and Colum. Then I ran with an athlete from Dublin and his brother but sadly it was not to be his day this time. He ran with courage and good humour and I hope he gets to come back to CNM100 again. Just before Checkpoint 1 (28 miles) I got a bad pain in my right hip and I thought the day might be done. But Sue gave me a talking to along the lines of ‘There’s nothing wrong with you!’ and that seemed to fix that. Then I ran to Checkpoint 2(55 miles) and enjoyed the scenery along the way. Somewhere there I passed Tom Reynolds and we spoke for a minute and he seemed in good form too. Aoife and George were stopped here as well and I left before them. So I ran to CP3(67 miles) all the while my crew doing an amazing job and I really doing very little.
People often ask how do you run these distances and I’m not sure! It may seem like a contradiction but you have to concentrate carefully on every little thing that’s happening in the body and around but, at the same time, zone out so you don’t notice time, distance or discomfort. I’m only learning. Next came CP4(82 miles) and I ran straight through but the wheels were starting to creak. The next 18 miles took about 4hrs45min.
My running friends can work that out for yourselves! I had to walk 3 miles approximately and then managed to get running again with 12 to go and ran all the way in to the finish. My crew at this stage were phenomenal and that doesn’t do them justice at all.
During this time George passed me running like a young fella! Tom came by moving smoothly and gave me much needed encouragement which I really appreciated. Alina Brown was the last person to come by and she is plainly a serious athlete. I have to look her up on DUV Marathon Statistic! I was pleased for them that they were running so well at this late stage but I couldn’t help but ask myself a few questions and another talking to was required!
On the laps of the town I met Billy again. I thought he was walking back to his hotel for a well-earned rest but when I realised he was still on the course finishing his race he climbed up even further in my estimation. To put down a day as he had and keep going just says it all about the calibre of the man. I have no doubt he will be back to throw down the gauntlet again.
Of course the finish came. It always does. I just wait for that time when I know I will see Ray with his hand out stretched. It’s a simple enough thing. We shake hands. He might say ‘Well done’ and I might say ‘Thanks Ray. Great race’. Something like that. I don’t remember. This moment doesn’t need words.
When the dust settled I heard the fantastic news that Brian Ankers had joined an elite group; athletes who have won CNM100. There are but 3. In 2012 it was an honour for me to get to run the race when Mick Rice won his 4th. I am always trying to put Mick’s tips into practice since I first heard of him when I went to the Connemara International Ultra 2008. Last year it was Grellan McGrath, a fabulous runner. Grellan sent me a message of encouragement Friday night which gave me a great lift and really sent me on my way Saturday morning. And now Brian. For me this says it all. Brian is a runner like you and I , fitting training around work, family and life in general; an ordinary bloke who has done the extraordinary, 100 miles in 15hrs48min. I couldn’t be happier for him. The winner of CNM100 2014 is my friend, Brian Ankers.
It was very nice to collect our prizes on Sunday and meet everyone once more. Ray kept tugging at the emotions and I found myself close to tears many times. It was worse than Saturday that way! I had only one more thing to do and that was get a photo with a true Connemara legend. Maciej Sawicki has completed this race 6 times, getting faster and faster each time. He is one fantastic athlete and ‘sound out’ on top of it all. If I had missed the chance for the photo I would have had to go back in 2015! Thankfully I nabbed him before everyone scattered and that picture will take pride of place on my mantel piece and in my memories for a long time.
Goodnight Paul for the final time and thank you for sharing the miles with us. WWAC
ALL ROADS THIS SUNDAY LEAD TO COLLIGAN WOOD FOR THE 34th ANNUAL KIELY MONUMENTAL COLLIGAN CUP.
This coming Sunday the 15th January we will host the 34th Annual Kiely Monumental Colligan Cup. The Juvenile race starts at 11 am. The senior race has a 12 noon start and is over the usual 5 miles Colligan wood circuit and Juveniles will have a single 1-mile circuit to run. The Colligan cup is a unique event in that it is run on a handicap basis where you simply predict your finishing time over a 5 mile run, with the winner being the person who is nearest to that predicted time. This makes the race open to all no matter what your standard is, everyone has the same chance of taking the title. Now in its 34th year we would like to thank sincerely our sponsor for all of those 34 years David and Margaret Kiely of Kiely Monumental for their on-going support for the local running club West Waterford AC. So for a great fun event on the yearly running calendar Colligan is where you need to be come next Sunday 15th January.
HOW COLLIGAN CUP TIMING SYSTEM WORKS.
The race timing system itself will remain the same as the one Victor Mullins devised 34 years ago. The following is how the handicap timing system works, the run begins when the clock starts with the time of the slowest predicted runner’s time, say 60 minutes. As the clock counts backwards down to zero every runner begins when his or her predicted time shows up on the clock. The runner with the fastest predicted time will be the last runner to start the race. The winner of the Colligan Cup is the runner who is the first person to cross the finish line after the clock reaches zero-it is that simple. All you have to do is get your prediction right. Remember, no watches allowed or music head phones. So if you would like to become part of local athletics history and have your name inscribed on the now famous Colligan plaque which was erected in the wood some years ago by the race sponsor David Kiely of Kiely Monumental come along next Sunday. We must also mention and thank Coillte for their permission and help in letting us hold the race. We urge all going to Colligan on Sunday to please allow plenty of time as parking will be restricted on the road to one side. Please do not park where your car might obstruct the flow of traffic or interfere with the runners. This is a great family event with something for everyone. The Colligan Cup itself will be awarded to the winner of the senior race, while the Shield will be awarded to the first lady finisher. The Victor Mullins cup will be awarded to the 1st runner on the right side of the clock who is running the event for the very first time. The Juvenile Shield will be presented to the Juvenile winner. The junior race is organized by the club’s juvenile section over one lap of the Colligan circuit and it gets under way at 11AM sharp and this too is a guess your time handicap event. The senior race will start at 12 noon. All are welcome to participate.
ROLL OF HONOUR
COLLIGAN CUP WINNERS (1989-2022).
1989 Willie Henry
1990 Nicky Sheehan
1991 Richie Moore
1992 Martin Geoghegan
1993 Liam Rossiter
1994 Gerry Cantwell
1995 John Lyons
1996 Tom Meehan
1997 Colin Lyons
1998 Kathleen O’Connell
1999 Tom Fitzgerald
2000 John Whelan
2001 Ray Dwyer
2002 Ann Cronin
2003 Tony Shalloe
2004 Michael Dwyer
2005 Mark Langford
2006 Brian Collins
2007 Maurice Boland
2008 Michael Tutty
2009 Ger Wyley
2010 Kelly Cantwell
2011 Liam Sandford
2012 Conor Blackwell
2013 Michael Dwyer
2014 Ray Hahesy
2015 Dermot Dwyer
2016 J.P Curtin
2017 Patrycja Daly
2018 Brigid Coffey
2019 Martin Hayes
2020 Paula Collins
2021 ( postponed)
2022 Anthony Dwyer
LADIES SHIELD WINNERS (1994-2022).
1995 Paula Keohan
1996 Paula Keohan
1997 Frankie Devlin
1998 Kathleen O’ Connell
1999 June Twomey
2000 Ann Cronin
2001 Martina Budds
2002 Ann Cronin
2003 Kathleen O Connell
2004 Helene Hayes
2005 Annette Long
2006 Josie Uí Chuirrin
2007 Catriona Mulcahy
2008 Diane Behan
2009 Brigid Coffey
2010 Kelly Cantwell
2011 Aine Lombard
2012 Anne Whelan
2013 Karen Ryan
2014 Diane Behan
2015 Mary Harney
2016 Mary Harney
2017 Patrycja Daly
2018 Brigid Coffey
2019 Nicola Cunniffe
2020 Paula Collins
2022 Edel Curry
Mc GRATH NEWSAGENTS JUVENILE SHIELD WINNERS (1993-2022).
1993 Alan Moore
1994 Darren Harty
1995 Ronan Dennehy
1996 Rosemarie Curran
1997 Dervla O’ Connor
1998 Rosemarie Curran
1999 Brian Kelleher
2000 David Buckley
2001 Natasha Behan
2002 Mary Ryan
2003 Lorraine McCarthy
2004 Sarah Flavin
2005 Michelle Norris
2006 Lughaidh 0’Mahony
2007 Rachel French
2008 Aaron Whelan
2009 Bobby Landers
2010 Sean Patmore
2011 Eoin Dwyer
2012 Gillian Whelan
2013 Tony Dwyer
2014 Mary Kate Prendergast
2015 Ronan Mansfield
2016 David Butler
2017 Aimee Ryan
2018 Kevin Butler
2019 Natalie Barry
2020 Kyla Flavin
2022 Sebastian Byrne
THE VICTOR MULLINS CUP WINNERS (2009-2022)
2009 Michael Moloney
2010 Mark Cliffe
2011 Aine Lombard
2012 Tony Ferncombe
2013 Brendan Foran
2014 Keith O’Driscoll
2015 Claire Fitzpatrick
2016 Paddy Gilhooley
2017 Colm Ryan
2018 David Traynor
2019 Alan Hogan
2020 Tom Nyhan
2022 Thomas Finn
31st ANNUAL JOHN TREACY DUNGARVAN 10 MILE ROAD RACE
Were on full steam ahead now for the upcoming race of the year, the 31st annual John Treacy Dungarvan 10. With registration completely full with over 3.750 places filled we are now nicely assembling a really top class field of elite athletes which will make for the biggest and best race to date. The race is on Sunday February 5th at the starting time of 11.00 a.m. All finishers of The John Treacy Dungarvan 10 will receive the now famous West Waterford AC goody bag, plus a Nike dry fit running top will be awarded to all finishers. As with the current covid situation this year there will be no post-race refreshments or changing facilities on race day.All race Goodie bags and Shirts will be awarded when runners cross the finishing line. The top ladies and men’s finishers will be awarded their prizes at the finish line all other prizes will be sent out by post following the race. This year’s race once again will see substantial cash prizes for the top runners and bonus cash to the first athlete to break either course record. Substantial cash prizes will follow down throughout the categories. The club committee have been working hard to ensure that the day will go off without a hitch and our hope now is the man above will do his bit by giving us a good day weather wise for the race of the year.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED FOR JOHN TREACY DUNGARVAN 10.
It’s that time of year again when we take on the mammoth task of organising the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile. We have been fortunate in the past to have had help from club members and also from many outside of the club circle who come along each year to give a few hours of their time. This year we are in need of that same help again, with a large field assembled this year we will be trying to make sure these visitors to our town leave with a good experience of what Dungarvan has to offer and we hope such will be the impression we will make on them that they will want to come back again to visit the town for maybe a longer stay. We will need stewards on the course so if you have a few hours on Sunday February 5th please contact stewarding coordinator Karen Ryan on 086-8245683.Support your local athletics club-Many hands make light work!!!!
FORDES DAYBREAK WINTER LEAGUE.
BESPOKE HAT FOR PARTICIPANTS OF WINTER LEAGUE.
We started back with the second half of the Fordes daybreak winter league last Wednesday evening at Dungarvan sports centre with great enthusiasm after the Christmas break and it was great to see such a good turnout for round 7.The first night back was tinged with sadness as the large crowd payed silent homage to one of our lost soldiers Paul Brunnock who passed to his eternal reward a few days earlier, you couldn’t hear a pin drop in the hall for the moment of reflection on Pauls passing as he was held in such high esteem by all.Paul would of course wanted the show to go on as they say and it must,conditions were Ideal as the runners headed off on the 2.5 mile run and the 5.2 mile run simultaneously. There was a great number out again last Wednesday when 81 runners completed the short course and it was great to see and welcome the newbies that were trying out the league for the very first time. This section of the league specifically has first timers and beginners in mind and is a manageable distance for most as it covers 2.5 miles in total. First on the night on the short course was Donal Mc Grath in 21.54 with Tasha Lanigan next in 23.43, Orla Crotty was 3rd home last week in a time of 27.00.Please note this week’s league will be our annual Colligan cup style run where you will head off at your predicted time for the course, this will set us all up nicely for the Kiely monumental Colligan cup the following Sunday morning ,it’s a run that is doable for all as you run it at your own pace so why not come along and give it a try you just might take the spoils. A Fordes Daybreak tasselled hat will be awarded to all participants at the end of the league this year so just complete 8 out of the 11 possible rounds, so make sure to get your quote in.
FORDES DAYBREAK WINTER LEAGUE.
SHORT ROUTE TABLES START TO TAKE SHAPE.
The tables are now taking shape on the short course and the current leader is Phil Coffey 668 points from second on 652 Kelly Shalloe and 3rd is Owen Power with 640 points and 4th is Conor Walsh 624 points , Tomás Horgan is next in 5th spot on 605 points. The 9 divisions are far from sorted at this stage with very little between many of the contenders so plenty more running to be done yet folks.
The current top 5 is:
Phil Coffey 668
Kelly Shalloe 652
Owen Power 640
Conor Walsh 624
Tomás Horgan 605
Division 2 Emma Dunne 536 Gerry Cummins 535 Rosemary Curran 525
Division 3 Martin Collender 472 Michael Deegan 458 Kerrie Uí Mhurchadha 455
Division 4 Sinéad Harty 390 Olivia Reilly 389 Laura Greene 385
Division 5 Gillian Collins 357 Emma Queally 357 Karen Crotty 354
Division 6 Frances Whelan 338 Rachel Walsh 337 Sharon Murray 336
Division 7 Anna Ballot 304 Michelle Mc Carthy 303 Jason O’Brien 297
Division 8 Jackie Ryan 276 Phillippa Keating 263 Roger Ronayne 262
Division 9 Eoin Cunningham 205 Richie Fitzpatrick 198 Tricia Cullinane 190
TOSS UP BETWEEN RUNNERS IN MANY DIVISIONS ON LONG COURSE.
It was like we never took a break as we returned to run our 1st night back and 7th in all of the Fordes Daybreak winter league last Wednesday after our Christmas break when 153 completed the long course. First past the post was Dermot Gough in a sizzling time of 30.21,This was Dermot’s first night running the league and he recoded the 2nd fastest time this year over the long course, only bettered by Sean Currans 30.17, 2nd home was Padraig Dwane in 32.38 another splendid time, Anthony Rooney 36.04 was 3rd on the night. Marina Quinlan was our first lady home and posed a very quick time of 35.43,great running here.The league tables are really starting to take shape now with 7 rounds completed and 4 rounds left, . Many of the divisions are far from sorted with little or nothing between runner’s points in most divisional tables. A Fordes Daybreak tasselled hat will be awarded to all participants at the end of the league this year so just complete 8 out of the 11 possible rounds, so make sure to get your quote in.So with 12 divisions in total there’s plenty of battling to go on yet around the streets of our town for the next 4 Wednesday evenings, best of luck to all. Don’t forget to make your way to Colligan next Sunday for the Kiely Monumental Colligan cup , it could be you this year you’d never know.
The current top 5 is:
Richie Fitzgerald 1130
Johnny Cooney 1104
Jack Ahearne 1093
Alice Fitzgerald 1066
Geraldine Lacey 1039
div 2. Robert Flynn 946 John Gleeson 945 David Moore 932
div 3. John O’Rourke 872 Tom Mansfield 871 Mick Ahearne 867
div 4. Jody Hynes 804 Eoghan Drea 796 Gerard Reilly 793
div 5. Gerry O’Connor 733 Michael Murray 733 Kevin Casey 732
div 6. Jamie Kiely 687 Dermot Dwyer 683 Brian Ormonde 683
div 7. John Coffey 636 Patricia Eichelmann 634 John Paul Hogan 632
div 8. Karen Ryan 587 Ann Dunford 584 Corey Kennedy 581
div 9. Josie Ui Chuirrin 536 Brian Kirwan 535 Sarah Duffy 535
div 10. Gary Cantwell 498 Toby Bedell 496 Mick Concannon 495
div 11. Catherine Condon 448 Tom Nyhan 442 Tom Foran 441
div 12. Denise Conway 388 Evan Drohan 384 Fiona Ormonde 381
2023 WEST WATERFORD AC FIXTURES
15th January 2023-Kiely Monumental Colligan Cup
5th February 2023-John Treacy 10 Mile
29th March 2023 to 26th April 2023-Colligan Hill League for 5 Wednesdays
10th April 2023-Aglish Fun Run
12th May 2023-AHS Tuning Ballinroad 5k
26th May 2023-Round Tower Hotel Ardmore 5 Mile
9th June 2023-Dungarvan Leader Dromana 5 Mile
30th June 2023-Oriel Bar Ballymac 5 Mile
7th July 2023-Deise College 10 k
21st July 2023-Ballinameala 5k
2nd September 2023-Eurofins Greenway Half Marathon
12th November 2023-Murrays Pharmacy Brickey 5k
26th November 2023-Turkey Trot
West Waterford athletic club extend sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Brunnock Sea Park Abbeyside who passed to his eternal reward last week, may he rest in peace.