Never before in the history of the AAI has the club had 12 men in action in the one competition but all that ended on Sunday with a terrific representation in the Novice Men’s competition. This must surely be one of the most sought after titles on the road and the testament to this was in excess of 90 athletes completed the 6k route. Such was the competitive nature of the event that a total of 20 teams finished in the team competition and against such exalted company the men’s first team finished a fabulous 7th overall mixing it with the more established clubs. A fantastic run by Liam Kelly saw him finish in a top ten position claiming that 10th place with a terrific final sprint for the line. Liam was timed at 20.23. Coming through in another strong run for 15th place was Stephen Flanagan in 20.36 with Jody Sweeney powering home for 38th in 22.04 followed by an equally determined Richard Daly in 40th just 5 secs further back in 22.09. Brian Carroll came through for 44th in 22.22 while Patrick Bowe crossed the line in 63rd in a time of 23.49. Paddy Doyle finished 69th in 24.30 followed by Joe Leahy in 78th in 2.06, Kevin Dunne 82nd in 25.25, Brendan Delaney 85th in 25.38, Ray Power 89th in 25.06 and Mark King 94th in 28.51.
As already mentioned the first team of Liam, Stephen, Jody and Brian finished a terrific 7th and when you consider that the club had two athletes home before many of the more fancied clubs there is certainly great positivity for the future. The second team finished 16th with the third team 20th and that surely shows the powerful standard of the novice. Again the club had a number of athletes running competitively for the first time and all performed admirably and can look forward to the County “B” with added anticipation. Well done to all the men on their excellent performances.