Kathleen O’Sullivan Memorial
The Kathleen O’Sullivan Memorial Race is important to our Club as much for the hospitality that we can show as it is for the race itself as Kathleen was well renowned on that score. This year the race was run over the old Liam Toolin circuit which would give ample opportunity for attacks on the long climb. The race would consist of 2 x 12 mile laps and then a 3 mile run in to an excellent sited finish. A small group of Juniors were given a 2 minute h/cap and the chasing Vets/C’s had a bit of work to do if they ever wanted to see them again. As it was they were caught just before they hit the climb for the second time. Sean Bracken (Usher), who later told me that he especially wanted to ride this circuit, launched attack after attack on the climb and fairly strung out the bunch. As he crested the hill only Stephen McKenna (Stamullen MD) had been able to respond to his repeated assault. The rest of the bunch came back together on the decent, but Stephen & Sean Bracken were clear. The race for the remaining places started in earnest when they hit Ballboughal and split up over the final 3 miles as Sean & Stephen battled it out for the win. To lead it out or not to lead it out? Stephen thought it might be best to come off the wheel, which he did but Sean dug deep and held on to win by half a wheel. A magnificent performance from Stephen who heads off soon for the Junior Tour and for Sean it marked a full recovery from the broken pelvis that he sustained earlier in the year at the Gorey 3 Day.
Special thanks to all who stewarded on the day, to Commisaire Richie McNamara, to all who provided refreshments and to Gabriel Howard who presented the prizes. We can now look forward to using the same course for this years Swords Grand Prix, but this time round it will finish on the climb.