Not quite baby steps for Gary Crossan in his bid to break a world record at the North-West 10k but not quite enough either.
He strode over the finishing line in 11th place in a time of 34.38.4 - his attempt at inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records involving pushing a pram while running. The record was set by Australian Russell Stokes in Sydney who pushed his daughter, Paris, in a 10k event back in March 2008 in a time of 34 minutes and 19 seconds.
For Gary and baby son, Dylan, the record remains to be caught but there’ll be another day. “The hills were tough and probably cost us,” he said afterwards of the Letterkenny course. Gary declined to comment!
No buggies or prams for Joe English and Humphrey Murphy to push but push they did, embarking on a sprint to the line that saw the latter pip the former by .1 of a second.
“We had a great battle right to the end, particularly over the last 2k. I would go in front and then he would go in front. I only wish I could go back twenty years,” laughed Joe, father of likely Rio 2016 Olympian, Mark.
Finn Valley’s Teresa McGloin, the first woman home in a time of 36.38.4, also found the going tough. “The two hills killed me and the last bit was also tough. At 8k I was finding it very tight. I always find this course tough.”
On the platform, M.C. Lee Gooch, had been encouraging the walkers to ready themselves for the off. Alongside him, County Mayor, Noel McBride, in his suit (so obviously not an actual participant even though it hadn’t stopped local councillor Victor Fisher, on a famous North-West 10k occasion, completing the course in a jacket, shirt and tie and wearing a plain pair of shoes).
One Mayor did make it to the starting and finishing line, Letterkenny Town Council chairman, Gerry McGonagle striding the course with some purpose. Fellow local councillor, Pascal Blake, was another walker as was County Manager, Seamus Neely.
One of the 10k organisers, Gerry Davenport, announced from the stage that if anybody required a massage, there were six massage tables in the Community Centre. Though apparently it only applied to the participants...
At both the start and finish, the young members of the Blue Ribbon group entertained the crowds in front of the Community Centre.
Behind them a giant sign promoting ‘Active Donegal’ which takes place next month.
On Sunday last, a fraction of the county became active for a North-West 10k that continues to make strides as one of the foremost events on the local calendar.