On 27th October, UCD welcomed runners from both DCU and TCD to participate in a 4 x 1 mile relay Colours event. It is almost eleven years to the day since students have had the chance to watch a UCD track athlete compete at home after the unexpected closure of the old track back in November of 2011. The return of home athletics could not have occurred at a more appropriate time however, with the historic exploits of our athletes in the last year attracting national recognition to the UCD athletics club.
One of these high-achieving athletes is long-distance runner Darragh McElhinney, who was one of our representatives at the Colours relay. McElhinney was one of the nine runners who stood at the starting line for the men’s 4 x 1 mile relay as UCD claimed first place thanks to a strong performance by the Belfield men. Despite the miserable conditions, the lads persevered and managed to overcome a tough challenge posed by the DCU athletes as the North Dublin-based team would come home to take second place, with Trinity ultimately finishing third.
The women’s race proved no different to the men’s race as the home runners took the gold in dominant fashion. A powerful third and fourth leg by the UCD women proved too much for the visiting teams as the Trinity athletes came home in second and DCU would place third to complete the podium.
Although there was very much a friendly atmosphere amongst the participants prior to and following the race, with some of the athletes even cooling down alongside their competitors, this event marked the first official competition to be held on the new track. It goes without saying that there was no alternative outcome that would have sufficed for our athletes than to prevail victorious on home turf. The Colours relay has kicked off an exciting season and with the calibre of talent within the club, many more golds will likely be claimed by the runners in blue and yellow throughout the year.
Dara Smith-Naughton – Sports Editor