The words of the writer, mathematician and past pupil of St Mary's Abbey, Rowan Hamilton “These lands appear ! My eyes await” are inscribed on a bench along the route of the trhe Braveheart run. As over five hundred runners line up in the adjoining Porchfields in Trim on for the fifth Braveheart Run they come to mind.
The weather conditions were perfect for good running and brought out athletes and fitness runners from all around the region to this unique event. The five kilometre route is a run back through time along the banks of the historic River Boyne through the freshly cut meadows awaiting the Scurlogstown Haymakers. Twenty years ago this summer these lands were used as locations by Mel Gibson and his crew in the making of Braveheart.
The race organised by Trim Athletic Club has become the blockbuster running event in the local athletics calendar. It was called under orders and started by recent 400 & 800m victor Harry Purcell. Trim Drama Group and the Trim Reenactment Group roused the runners with words and weaponry as they tackled the climb to the Yellow Steeple.
In the battle for honours in the mens category the early pace setters were Rory Kavanagh, Peter Mooney and local Sean Murphy. They picked up the tempo along the incline from the Boyne towards Lackanash and had fifty metres to spare when they hit the mid point among the ruins of Newtown Cathedral. The return leg along the riverbank saw Kavanagh extend his lead to fifty metres over the Clonard marathon specialist, Mooney with Murphy doing very well as a masters athlete safe in the third slot.
Charlotte Kearney, Emilia Dan and Sinead Roche were the main contenders for the overall womens race from the early stages and this trio had over a minute to spare over the rest of their opponents when passing through the Sheep Gate on the way to the finish.
The junior mens race featured an exciting race within a race by a quartet of the best young distance running talents in the county. The honours went to Alan Monahan who lives and trains near the course. Gavin Maher, Eoin Smith and Jonathon Nangle put in great times which show a massive rise in under age distance running standards locally. The junior womans race was won in impressive style by Ciara Rooney from Navan AC.
The masters categories produced a good spread of wins among clubs around the region. Athletes from Dunshaughlin, Na Fianna, Drogheda, Mullingar, Bohermeen and the host club Trim AC prominent among the prizewinners.
The first Meath registered male and female runners both received trophies presented in commemoration of club founding member and former president of Meath Athletics Board, Larry Daly who was laid to rest on the morning of the 2013 race. His daughter Louise Cotter who is one of the Trim clubs under age coaches presented the Larry Daly Memorial Trophies to two Dunboyne athletes Rory Kavanagh and Emilia Dan.
The Braveheart race has donated proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis family unit at the Lourdes Hospital in recent years and will be adding a number of local Trim beneficiaries to its list this year. Trim Athletic Club thank all the runners who supported their event, the generous event sponsors, the local authority staff, Meath Civil Defence, the Haymaking Festival, an Garda Siochana, the management of the Diocesan Hall.