Family style.

Stazza’s Angel Aisling “Funky” Fitzgerald flabbergasted the field at the Kilcolman Rovers AFC 4 Mile by taking the women’s win and fourth overall. 

Held on the Newcastle West stretch of the Limerick Greenway, Funky Fitz clocked a (so she thought) underwhelming 26:20—but she later realised the course was longer than advertised. Get the Jones Counter jockey in for a stewards’ enquiry! 

Peace train. (Photo credit: Eamon Doody.)

Making his way into the light after completing “Dry January” in solitary confinement, Ally “the Chin” Smith grabbed Aisling for The Stable News: 

Ally: Winner, winner, chicken dinner! What a way to kick off the year, Aisling! Tell me all about it. 

Aisling: My motivation was a young girl who has always beaten me and who used to be a student in the school where I teach. I said to myself, “Feck it—maybe I’ll try and catch her today!”

Ally: Love it! 

Aisling: I also had my three sons and husband with their game faces on, who before the start were saying “Stay hard, Mammy,” Goggins-style and “Go hard or go home.” 

Ally: Hahaha, love that even more! Go on

Aisling: So I beat the aforementioned girl and another young girl. And while I’ve spent my life encouraging young people and recognising their talents and skills, every once in a while it feels good for an aul wan to beat a young one. 😊

Paths of victory. (Photo credit: Eamon Doody.)

Ally: Age is just a number. Us ol’ folk have a few tricks up our sleeves and that comes with *cough, cough,* “experience.” 

Honestly, you’ve done fantastic, Aisling. Really well done on the victory! Anything else been happening? 

Aisling: Oh, Ally, I’ve had the best time the past few weeks with Super Stazza in Kenya; he brought the best bunch of people together.

I’m just glad I was able to race today because my witch doctor removed my big toenail a week ago! Natasha nicknamed me “Lucky”! I fell another day, but honestly, I didn’t care because it was the best experience! I’m a bit disappointed with my pace, if truth be told. I want to go better. But I suppose I had a torn meniscus and am only back from that a few months. Next race is the Adare 10K, and then it’s the Great Limerick Run in May! 

Ally: What an amazing way to top off all the Kenya shenanigans! Minus the big toenail, of course. I’ll let you get off; see you in Adare. 

Aisling: Thanks, Ally. Really appreciate that and love being part of it all—and I told Stazza I love what you put together. 

Ally: Too kind. See you soon. 

The Stablemaster was back in Éireann. But, not one to rest on his laurels, he was giving the Chin-mania tour bus a deep clean before the next leg: 

“I thought it was What goes on tour, stays on tour … Not Bring it all back for Stazza to clean … Anyway … What about our Funky? … The stint in Kenya certainly gave her more than a few hangovers! … A sensational canter to kick the year off … Well done, Aisling!”