A re-introduction to the Munster Masters Indoors…..by John Desmond
The Munster Senior & Masters Indoor Championships are held in January every year in Nenagh, Co.Tipperary. The 200m indoor track there is the only one of its kind in Munster and was at one stage, the only one in the country and hosted the national championships for several years.
Looking through the results for the last 13 years, the club has only taken part in these championships on a few occasions. The largest number that ever took part in the last decade was back in 2008 when Pat Murphy, Dave Muldowney, Ann-Marie Healy and Dave Hogan made the journey to Nenagh.
With that in mind, an effort was made this year to have the club represented at the championships in some capacity. It was more of a case of the club ‘flying the flag’ so to speak than going there to win anything.
Both James Ryan and myself set off from Cork at about 8am on Sunday the 18th of January for the journey north to Nenagh. After a 2 hour drive, we located the ‘stadium’ pretty easily but without checking Google Streetview earlier, I think it would be simple to just drive past it as the entrance is very inconspicuous.
I had heard about the ‘shed’ for several years and I was expecting something extremely basic. From the outside, it looks like a farm building but inside, there was a 4 lane 200m indoor track.
While the facility is somewhat dated and is nothing like the new world class indoor track in Athlone, it is still the only indoor track in Munster. I couldn’t help thinking while I was looking at some of the events as to why wasn’t there something similar like this in Cork?
After watching several events and warming up, it was time for James Ryan to fly the flag for the club first in one of the masters 3000m races. James posted a time of 11:31 to take a bronze medal in the M45 category…our first Munster indoor medal in about 7 years! :o)
I was up next going head to head with the M50’s in another 3000m race. Although my time of 11:08 would have got me silver in 2014, it was only good enough for 7th on this occasion.
As the old saying goes…In for a penny, in for a pound. With that in mind, I had put my name in for the Shot Putt as well. As I waited in the Shot Putt area for the previous competition to finish, I could see I had entered another realm of athletics. For most of the competitors there and judging by their size, this was their preferred discipline whereas for me as someone who runs long distance races, I was a bit like a duck out of water.
As we got ready for the next competition to begin, one of the officials asked me ‘What do you usually throw?’. Throw??…..Do I tell him my first throw will also be a PB? ;o) …..eventually I told him that I was more used to the long distance running events….a bit like I had just wandered in here by mistake and I was lost.
After frantically trying to remember everything I had been taught on the Athletics Ireland level 1 coaching course, I managed to get the 6kg shot out of the circle on 4 occasions which was an achievement in itself. In the end, it was enough for a Bronze medal in the M50 category.
3 James Ryan Eagle AC M45 11.31.87…3rd M45
7 John Desmond Eagle AC M50 11.08.04
3 John Desmond Eagle AC M50 6.49 m…3rd M50
Overall, a successful day out and a re-introduction to the Munster Indoor Championships for the club with two Bronze medals to show for it. One thing that it re-enforced to me was that it’s all about trying new things and taking part. Instead of doing some 5k race for the umpteenth time, there are plenty of other options if people would only give them a go. Hopefully, it might be the start of more club participation in future track and field events.