Mullingar Harriers Athletic Club

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Week ending Saturday 23 September

 

Jack O’Leary second at “Meet of Champions”

Jack O’Leary was in action for Iona College at the Brother John Doyle Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park, New York on Saturday and he opened his season with an excellent second place finish. Jack raced aggressively from the start and featured prominently throughout the race before finally having to settle for second place in a thrilling sprint for the line. In the process, Jack led Iona to third place in the team standings and he looks set to have a very strong cross country season.

 

Charleville Half Marathon

The Club was well represented at the Charleville Half Marathon in Charleville, Cork last Sunday. The day was very suitable for distance running and the athletes had a nice flat course to race on. The race was very well supported with 1,133 finishers. Mal McDonnell led the Mullingar athletes home in a fine personal best time of 72 minutes 19 seconds to finish an excellent 8th place. He was followed by Mark McCann who ran really well to finish in 80 minutes 01 seconds. Mark was agonisingly close to breaking the 80 minute mark but looks sure to rectify that at the next opportunity. Right behind Mark were Colm Walsh (80 mins 46 secs) and Pauric Brady (82 mins 23 secs). Ken and Sinead Whitelaw ran together and Sinead was rewarded with an excellent 5th place finish in a fine time of 82 minutes 37seconds.  Joan Flynn also can feel really satisfied with her performance of 86 minutes 57 seconds and Mel Carthy also with 88 minutes 11 seconds.

 

Steady increase in numbers returning to training

Returning to schools always sees a steady increase in the numbers returning to training at the Club, and in Belvedere on Sunday mornings too. With only a week to the Club’s traditional first cross country fixture of the season, the Star of the Sea AC open cross country in County Meath, we’re seeing bigger and bigger numbers at the Club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and last Sunday there was a good number of younger members in Belvedere. The next few weeks will be focussed on easy running to help everyone get back in shapes. After Star of the Sea, we’ll have the Westmeath Schools cross country in Belvedere on Wednesday September 27th, and then in early October we’ll have the Westmeath AAI cross country also in Belvedere, so don’t delay any longer getting back to training.

 

Road Safety

The evenings are now getting shorter and it’s getting dark not long after 8pm, so all Club members are reminded that they must wear reflective clothing when running on the road. That includes all who use our Club grounds and who run from the Clubhouse on training nights. Safety is a must at all times.

 

Cross Country Dates

The Star of the Sea AC Open Cross Country in Stamullin, Co. Meath on Sunday 24th September and the Westmeath Schools Cross Country in Belvedere on Wednesday 27th September will provide excellent preparation for the Westmeath AAI Cross Country Championships on 1st and 8th October in Belvedere when Club and County teams will be selected for the Leinster Cross Country Championships on 28th October and 12th November.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 16 September

 

Good increase in numbers returning to training

It’s only two weeks to the opening cross country race of the season and going back to school always means a return to routine, so we’re starting to see a good increase in the number of juvenile athletes returning to training at the Club on Tuesday and Thursday evening. Last Sunday there was a large group of underage athletes from the very youngest to the older juveniles training in Belvedere where they were put through their paces with a really good training session on the cross country course. The next few weeks will be focussed on just easy running that should help to get everyone back in shape, both newcomers and regulars. The first cross country race of the season will see us make the annual trip to the Star of the Sea AC open cross country in Co. Meath on Sunday September 24th with the Westmeath Schools cross country the following Wednesday September 27th. The Westmeath AAI cross country in Belvedere will follow in early October, so don’t delay any longer getting back to training.

 

Westmeath Schools Cross Country

The annual Westmeath Schools Cross Country Championships will be held in Belvedere on Wednesday 27th September. All schools have been notified this week and we hope to see the usual large turnout of athletes and spectators once again this year.

 

Important Cross Country Dates

The Westmeath Schools Cross Country and Star of the Sea AC Open Cross Country at the end of September will provide excellent preparation for the Westmeath AAI Cross Country Championships on 1st and 8th October in Belvedere House and Gardens, when Club and County teams will be selected for the Leinster Cross Country Championships on 28th October and 12th November.

 

On the competitive front, Malcolm McDonnell had an excellent race to finish second in the Tony O’Donoghue 10km in Moone, Kildare in a time of 33 mins 59 secs. Kieran Nolan also made the top 5 with a time of 36 mins 29 secs.

 

Fixtures

10th Sept – LARCC Cancer Support Sanctuary 5k fun run/walk

23rd Sept – Dublin Half Marathon
24th Sept – Star of the Sea AC Open XC, Greenanstown, Co. Meath

24th Sept – Rathfarnham WSAF 5k Road Race

27th Sept – Westmeath Schools XC, Belvedere

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 9 September

 

Aine O’Reilly impresses in Dingle Half Marathon

Billed as the Ireland’s most scenic half marathon, the Dingle Half Marathon last Saturday started at the marina in Dingle town and headed off in the direction of Ventry and onto Slea Head, which was closed to traffic for the day, ensuring complete safety for runners. From Ventry the course continued past Dunbeg Fort and at Fahan the road crossed a ford where the water was redirected from the road so the runners wouldn’t get their feet wet, the only day in the year that water does not pass over the road ford, such is the attention to detail by the organizers! The course then reaches Slea Head itself and then on to the finish at Dunquin village, outside the door of a pub, where the runners could take the opportunity to enjoy well deserved refreshments before being taken by buses back to Dingle to continue the celebrations. Any wonder the race attracted a huge entry of 1,717 competitors?

 

Continuing her terrific return to racing form, Aine O’Reilly was delighted to finish in 1:26:28, twenty first place overall and first woman, earning a prize for her efforts. Eamonn O’Reilly was also very satisfied with his time of 1:51:51, his quickest time for the distance yet. It was a long way to go for a race but clearly well worth the effort.

 

Nollaig McEntegart shows his class in Longford Half

We had to hold it over until this week because results were slow to be published, but while some from the Club competed in the Tullamore Half Marathon and Frank Duffy 10 Mile two Saturdays ago, a small group headed to Longford the following day, Sunday 27th August, where there was a 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon and even an Ultramarathon on offer, so something to suit all tastes! Now in its sixteenth year and well established on the road race circuit, and being a “local” event, it was good to see a group of Mullingar athletes out in support.

 

They all competed in the Half Marathon, which drew an entry of 215 and was run in very hot sweltering conditions. Nollaig McEntegart was the first of the Mullingar group to finish in twenty sixth place overall and easily win his master category. His time was an impressive 1:28:18, which would have given men up to fifteen years his junior a real run for their money too. Being able to run along with a small group that were running at a similar pace helped Sean Liston to finish well up in a very good 1:35:59, followed home by John Bannon (1:50:36) and Tommy Archbold (1: 50:42) who covered the distance in sight of each other.

 

Mal McDonnell in the prizes, again

Hosted by Ardee and District AC, the “Seamie Weldon Memorial 5k” last Saturday drew an impressive entry of 387 runners, among them Mal McDonnell who finished fourth in 16:36, to take second prize in his master category. Mal continues to be one of the most consistent prize winners from the Club on the road race circuit.

 

Help needed to build course in Belvedere

This coming Saturday morning we’re looking for a bit of muscle at 11am to help put together the cross country course in Belvedere, particularly the start and finish areas. The more help we have the quicker we’ll get the job done. If you can spare a couple of hours, please let Margaret or Vera know at training this week or just turn up on Saturday morning and lend a hand.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 2 September

 

Mullingar race walkers to the fore in England

It was extremely warm in Bedford last Sunday at the England Athletics u/17 T&F Championships where Mullingar’s underage race walkers really made their mark. Fortunately, the race walks were first on the programme and escaped the worst of the heat, but even at 10am when they got underway, the thermometer was already hitting 19degC in blazing sunshine.

 

Oisin Lane seized the initiative from the gun in the u/17 boys 5,000m race walk and was never headed, winning with more than two minutes to spare in 24:07.58, which is a new personal best. The u/17 girls 5,000m race walk title took longer to decide as Sarah Glennon took the leading group through 2k in under ten minutes before stamping her authority on the field, easing away over the final 3k to win in 26:02.66, piling on the pressure despite suffering sore shins over the final laps. Following behind in her first time competing over 5k, Jennifer Fidgeon developed pains in her knees at 3k, but she is a very determined girl and ignored any temptation to stop and was delighted to finish third in 28:32.03 and win the bronze medal. These are magnificent performances against the best in England and in very testing hot conditions but thanks to the work put in under the expert eye of their Coach, Michael Lane, they are more than able for anything that’s thrown at them. The only cloud on the day was the forced late withdrawal from competition for Matthew Glennon (u/15 boys 3k race walk) due to illness and we wish him a speedy recovery.

 

Tullamore Half Marathon

Conditions were tough for distance running in Tullamore last Saturday for the Tullamore Half Marathon where the huge entry of 745 had to endure extremely hot and humid conditions, which must have really tested some of them to their limits. Being organised by Tullamore Harriers of course no stone was left unturned in preparation and attention to detail to ensure everyone had a wonderful and safe experience.

 

The stand out performance for Mullingar was that of Joan Flynn who really left nothing behind her to finish in 1:29:01, placing her sixth woman overall and taking the prize for third senior woman. In the men’s race, finishing a fine eighteenth place overall in 1:19:11, Mark Carroll led the small but talented Mullingar men’s group home, followed by Patrick Muldoon in 1:25:46, and with great support from Colm Walsh (1:31:19) and Eddie Newman (1:32.21) continuing to make steady progress back to full racing fitness after being sidelined with injury for so long, the Mullingar men finished a very creditable fourth team. Also running well in the tough conditions was Mel Carthy (1:34:04), Paul Ginnell (35:59), MJ Delaney (1:41:29) and Declan Costello (1:51:39). Well done to them all in tough conditions.

 

Frank Duffy 10 Mile

As if the course wasn’t tough enough, the hot humid conditions only added to the pain for the more than 4,200 competitors at the Frank Duffy 10 mile in the Phoenix Park last Saturday. Leading the hardy group of eight from Mullingar home was Kevin Baker with an excellent race to finish twelfth overall in 55:38 and taking third prize in his master category to continue his excellent form on the road. Also finishing strongly was Mark McCann (59:56), happy to get under the hour mark, followed by Sinead Whitelaw (63:25) placing fourth senior woman, then Alan Crowley (63:51), Enda O'Carolan (70:01), Murty Hanley (70:54), Siobhan McCarthy (74:57) finishing well up in her master category, and Mervyn Kennedy (84:47) making up the Mullingar group that were happy to finish and get out of the heat and recover.

 

Tara AC 5k

Opting for the shorter 5k race distance, Mal McDonnell headed to Meath last Sunday to compete among nearly two hundred others in the Tara AC 5k where he finished an excellent second place in 16:32 to reinforce his reputation on the road race circuit. Mal continues to be a great representative for the Club in road races.

 

September Committee Meeting

The September meeting of the committee will take place next Tuesday 5th September in the Club house at 8.30pm after training. As there was no meeting in August, there’s a big agenda including arrangements for the Westmeath Schools Cross Country to get through, a full attendance is required.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 26 August

 

National Half Marathon Honours for Mullingar Masters

The “Rock ‘n’ Roll” half marathon in Dublin two weeks ago on Sunday 13th August attracted a huge entry of just over 11,000 and the event also incorporated the AAI National Half Marathon Championships where Mullingar had seven athletes among the nearly one thousand entered in the Championship. Starting at the 3 Arena and finishing in the Phoenix Park, the course was quite tough in places, especially the hilly sections in the Park but conditions were good for running. Results were delayed a few days, so we couldn’t report on the race in last week’s notes, but when they were finally published it was great to see that given his recent form on the road race circuit, it was no surprise that the Mullingar contingent was led hone by Nollaig McEntegart in an impressive 1:23:59 to place second in his master category. Following behind was Colm Walsh (1:24:55), Eddie Newman (1:28:19) making a very welcome return to competition after being sidelined for too long due to injury, then Alan Crowley (1:42:27), Gerry Gavin (1:47:58), Des Walsh finishing second in his master category and win his first ever National medal, and finally Geraldine Walsh who finished second in her master category to win another All-Ireland medal. Congratulations to Nollaig, Des and Geraldine on winning All-Ireland medals, especially to Des on winning his first.

 

Mullingar Harriers out in support at the Castlepollard 5k

Continuing to buck the general trend of reducing numbers taking part in 5k road races, the North Westmeath AC “Tullynally 5k” in Castlepollard last Wednesday evening drew an impressive entry of nearly three hundred and seventy, a good increase on last year’s entry meaning that the enormous effort by Andy MacEoin attending road races near and far over the summer to publicize the race paid off very well. On a good evening for running, the course took the runners from the Square in Castlepollard out to the beautiful grounds of Tullynally Castle and back for the now legendary spread of food and refreshments and the very generous prizes on offer across a wide range of categories. Mullingar Harriers was well represented by twenty three Club members and between them they won the men and women team prizes, eleven individual master prizes and an impressive 1-2-3 in the junior men race.

 

The race was won by Sean Doran (Clonliffe Harriers) in 15:57, Peter Mooney was second in 16:02, just ahead of Malcolm McDonnell in third (16:03) who won his master category and led the Mullingar men to first team. Following in was Gerry Gavin (16:37) third in his master category, John Whitelaw (16:38) first junior man, Tom McGrath (17:24) first in his master category, Ian McCormack (16:41), Aidan Daly (16:43) second junior man, Eoghan Bracken (17:04) third junior man, Kieran Nolan (17:46), Mel Carthy (17:51) third in his master category, Aine O’Reilly finishing an impressive twenty ninth overall in 17:51, the second woman to finish and first in her master category, then Alan Crowley (17:53), Sinead Whitelaw (17:55) third woman, Hans de Raeymaeker (18:01) third in his master category, James Keegan (18:03), Enda Seery (18:59), Nollaig McEntegart (19:49) first in his master category by a distance, Maura Dervin (21:14) third in her master category, Michael O’Sullivan (21:29) second in his master category, Sean McMullin (23:22) second in his master category, Joanna Tyrrell (23:40) third in her master category, Christy Creagh (26:58), Ollie Gaffney (27:42) and Brian Gaffney (27:43). The full results are available at www.myrunresults.com.

 

Community Games T&F Finals

A big number of the Club’s underage members were in action last week end representing Westmeath at the Community Games National T&F Finals at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, Dublin. Those who trained for their events will have been rewarded with good performances, as expected, and congratulations to those who won medals or made their finals or competed up to the standard they expected to achieve. There were too many excellent performances to report on but details can be found in the Community Games report elsewhere in this paper. Well done to them all.

 

Leaving Certificate Results

Well done to Club members who received their Leaving Certificate results last week, many with particularly good results proving yet again that you can mix study and sport if you plan it right. Many will now be considering their career options and if opting for third level we wish them well but advise them to keep in touch with the Club and to keep training, as physical activity will definitely complement their studies. If living away from home, ask Club coaches for advice on training schedules to follow.

 

Tullamore Half Marathon

This Saturday, the Tullamore Half Marathon takes place and a very big entry is expected, including a good number from Mullingar. An added incentive this year is that the event incorporates the Leinster Half Marathon Championships. The very best of luck to those that will be taking part.

 

Summer Training

It’s good to see many juvenile members taking a well earned break from training over the past few weeks, which for some is a complete stop and for others is a total change in pace with some easy relaxed running for a change. Enjoy the break while you can and just to whet your appetites, bear in mind that the first cross country fixture of the autumn season is a mere five weeks away. For the sprinters and field event athletes, work on the new gym is scheduled to be complete in early September, just in time for the start of winter training and they’ll be among the first to “road test” the new equipment!

 

September Committee Meeting

An early reminder that the September meeting of the committee will take place in two weeks time, Tuesday 5th September in the Club house at 8.30pm after training. As there was no meeting in August, there’s a big agenda including arrangements for the Westmeath Schools Cross Country to get through, a full attendance is required.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 19 August

 

All roads lead to Castlepollard for Mullingar runners

This Wednesday evening all roads lead to Castlepollard for the Castlepollard 5km Road Race organized by North Westmeath AC, which starts at 8pm sharp. Given its proximity, we expect a very large number of Club members will head to Castlepollard to support this very popular local fixture and we expect them to wear the Club colours too. There will be a commemorative medal for all finishers and the prize list on offer is very attractive and Mullingar athletes should feature strongly in the individual and team prizes.

 

As usual, before the main 5km road race, there will be races around the Square for boys and girls under 7, 9, 11 and 13 years and we expect that a good number of our young athletes will take part. The juvenile programme starts at 7.15pm sharp with entries taken on the start line.

 

Harriers on the road

Building year on year, the fourth edition of the Streets of Athboy 5k last Friday evening again attracted a good entry for this popular event hosted by Fr. Murphy AC. The sole representative in the Club colours was Ian McCormack who was more than pleased with his performance in excellent racing conditions.

 

Also enjoying excellent conditions, there were over 2,500 finishers at the Streets of Galway 8k last Saturday where Hans de Raeymaeker finished in 30 minutes 22 seconds, which placed him well up in his master age category. Also competing and enjoying running with so many others was MJ Delaney who finished in 36 minutes 58 seconds.

 

Community Games Finals

This coming week-end is the main one for athletics at the Community Games National T&F Finals, which moves to the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown this year. A number of the Club’s young athletes have been training all summer and will be competing for Westmeath in the track and field finals and we wish them the very best of luck.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 5 August

 

Awa Fane to get a taste of International competition

The Irish team for the Celtic International T&F against Scotland and Wales in Santry this Saturday was selected based primarily on results from the recent u/18 AAI T&F finals. As it is being held in Ireland this year, AAI has also selected a Development Team to compete and among those invited to compete on the Development Team is Awa Fane, in the 4x100m relay. Awa clearly impressed the selectors with her clear victories in the 100m and 200m at u/17, as she is one of only a handful of u/17 girl to be selected. It’s not a full International for Awa, but it will certainly give her a great taste of International competition and spur her on to work hard to try and earn full International selection next year.

 

Run Killarney

It was a long to go for a race, but “Run Killarney” a couple of weeks ago (Saturday 22nd July), billed as the “the World’s most beautiful road race”, included a half marathon and a 10k race that attracted over one thousand competitors in each and the total running in both races was six hundred more than last year, so clearly a very popular fixture. The half marathon started in Molls Gap and the route included Ladies Views, the National Park, Muckross House and Abbey and the competitors were treated to stunning views of the Lakes of Killarney. Among those competing was Criona Reid who was very pleased to complete the half marathon in 1 hour 48 minutes and 25 seconds, which will give her a good gauge of how training is going for the Dublin City marathon in October. Opting for the shorter 10k that started at the Gleneagle Hotel, Kieran Nolan was delighted to finish an excellent sixth overall in 37:43 and placed him first in his master category.

 

Open T&F Sports

The T&F season is over for most Club members now, bar the Community Games T&F Finals, but some might like to extend it a bit by competing in some upcoming open T&F sports. The Boyne AC sports on Sunday 13th August in Lourdes Stadium, Drogheda will have events for boys and girls from u/8 to u/17 and for junior men and women. That’s followed two weeks later (Sunday 27th August) by the Ardee and District AC open T&F sports in Ardee.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 29 July

 

Mullingar’s “Golden Girls” win Senior Relay Title

Awa Fane, Vicky Harris, Eve Wallace and Maimouna Fane made a bit of Club history last Saturday evening in Santry at the AAI Senior T&F by being the first Mullingar senior women’s 4x100m sprint relay team to compete in an AAI Senior Championship. That alone would have been great, but the girls went one better when after turning in a stunning display they emerged victorious and earned their first All-Ireland senior track medals. All the more remarkable is that two of the team (Awa and Eve) are just 16 years of age, Maimouna is 19 and Vicky is 21, so this team could be around for a very long time yet! Before the girls relay, Padraig Moran contested the first of two heats of the 1,500m where he ran well but 4:05 wasn’t quite enough to advance to Sunday’s final.

 

Given the current strength in Irish female sprinting it’s great to see that Vicky Harris can still hold her own among the best in Ireland. Early on Saturday afternoon she qualified from the tough 200m heats to earn her place in the final where she ran very well but finished out of the medal places. Vicky was back in action again on Sunday afternoon where she qualified from the heats of the 100m to take her place in the final and again despite a good race, coming close to her personal best, she finished out of the medals. A great relay gold but no individual medal for Vicky but she can take a lot of satisfaction from knowing that year on year she consistently qualifies for the last 8 in AAI senior finals.

 

European Masters

Current World Masters Indoors double silver medallist and World Masters Games triple gold medallist, Sean McMullin, will be looking to add European Masters medals to his significant collection when he travels later this week to compete at the European Masters T&F in Aarhus, Denmark. Sean will compete in the 5k track walk next Monday and will follow that with the gruelling 20k road walk three days later on Thursday. Everyone at the Club wishes Sean the very best of luck.

 

Open T&F Sports

The T&F season is over for most Club members now but some might like to extend it a bit by competing this Saturday (29th July) at the Setanta Games Open T&F in Lourdes Stadium, Drogheda at 1.30pm where there will be events for boys and girls from u/8 to u/17 and for junior men and women. Entry fee paid at the gate. That’s followed two weeks later (Sunday 13th August) by the Boyne AC Open T&F Sports also at the Lourdes Stadium in Drogheda, with events for boys and girls from u/8 to u/17 and for junior men and women, starting at 1.30pm.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 22 July

 

Mullingar 10 Mile deemed a great success

The weather was absolutely beautiful last Sunday when a very large number of athletes competed in the fourth edition of the Mullingar 10 mile road race that took place under clear blue skies on the quiet country roads around Dalystown. The hard work put in by Tom McGrath, Race Director, and the entire organizing committee over the past number of months paid off and last Sunday’s race built on the success of last year and was deemed a great success by everyone that took part. A 10 mile road race in the middle of July fits perfectly into the schedule of those training for the Dublin City Marathon in October and attracted by the chance to run a quality race on quiet country roads, the event drew entrants from Clubs, running groups and keep fit groups in Counties near and far including a very big number from Offaly in particular, but also many from Longford, Meath, Kildare, Laois, Dublin, Mayo, Sligo and Galway, as well as a huge number from Westmeath of course, including more than twenty from the Club alone, to give a total of 240 finishers and proving the popularity of the fixture. There were more from the Club that competed, but in keeping with Club policy, runners who didn’t compete in the Mullingar colours (or the event T shirt) won’t have their performances recorded in the Club notes.

 

The race winner by a comfortable distance was Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrocks AC) in 54:02, which is a good time in the hot conditions, followed by Pauric Ennis (Tullamore Harriers AC) second in 54:20 and Robb Cross (Crusaders AC) third in 54:39. The women’s race was won by Breege Connolly (58:44), with Maria O’Loughlin (Longford AC) second in 67:55 and Michelle Murray (Longford AC) was third in 68:49. The first man home from Mullingar Harriers was Timmy Murphy in fifth place (55:12), followed in by Mal McDonnell in seventh (56:11) to take second in his master category, then Kieran Nolan (60:41), John Whitelaw in an impressive 60:49 to place first junior man, Colm Walsh (60:57), James Keegan (64:03), Bernard Groenewald (65:19), David Fagan (65:47), Nollaig McEntegart (66:59) easily winning his master category, Sean Liston (69:00), Robin Jackson (72:42), JP O’Brien and buggy! (74:24), Alan Crowley (74:53), Eva McMorrow (77:07), Michael O’Sullivan (77:56), Jane Creevy (79:36), Criona Reid, Joanna Tyrrell, Marna Groenewald, Sean McMullin who used the event as training session and race walked the distance, Geraldine Walsh (second in her master category) and Des Walsh. Full results are available at www.myrunresults.com.

 

The weather was fantastic for the spectators that a bit tough on the runners but everyone made it safely back to the finish at Wallace’s Pub in Dalystown, glad to finish but more glad to take water on board and when sufficiently recovered to tuck into the refreshments, which could be enjoyed outdoors thanks to the fine day. Thanks to the many friends of the Club that dropped lots and lots of food from early morning and the mountain of food wasn’t long being eaten and enjoyed.

 

An event that caters for such large numbers doesn’t just happen and special thanks is due to the army of volunteers who helped on the day with parking, registration, stewarding, water stations, post-race refreshments and all the other components needed to help make a success of the event. First aid and ambulance cover was provided by Westmeath Civil Defence to whom we are very grateful. We’re very grateful too to our sponsors, including T&T Fitness Systems, O’Brien’s Centra, McDonnell Property Partners, Grange Motors and Allied Irish Bank. Of course, the greatest thanks are due to everyone who took part and we hope they’ll return again next year and help make the event an even bigger one.

 

Post-race feed-back has been very positive and many are already looking forward to making a return journey next year. Coming in for particular praise were the facilities at Wallace’s Pub and at Dalystown NS, which provided great bases for the event and Wallace’s in particular was perfect for the post-race refreshments. Many thanks from the Club to Paul Fox of Wallaces’s Pub and to Dympna Alford of Dalystown NS for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities.

 

Awa Fane in golden form at All-Ireland T&F

Awa Fane put down a big marker when she cruised to victory in her morning heat of the 200m u/17 at day three of the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F finals in a warm and sunny Tullamore last Sunday, which set her up as the undisputed favourite to win the afternoon final and add to her 100m title from the week before. Awa wore the mantle of pre-race favourite with ease and lost no time making up the stagger on the girls outside her, coming off the bend in pole position and finishing strongly to win convincingly and take her second All-Ireland title in a week. This has been a breakthrough year for Awa, going from bronze indoors, to silver in the Schools All-Ireland, and now two All-Ireland sprint titles.

 

Because they’ll be moving up to the junior ranks next year, Patrick Leydon and Odhran Cully were competing in their last juvenile All-Ireland track final when they lined up in the final of the 200m u/19. They gave good accounts but finished out of the medal places, but it was great to see Mullingar field two male sprinters in an All-Ireland final. The target for Shauna Leydon was to make the final eight in the u/16 shot, which she duly did and though she competed well finished out of the medal places but was satisfied with her performance.

 

Mullingar has a strong reputation in the 1,500m event but this time medals proved elusive for Bea Drummond (1,500m u/15), Aoife Darby and Susan Glennon (1,500m u/17) and Andrea Brady (1,500m u/18) though none were found wanting for grit and determination but had to settle for places out of the medals on this occasion.

 

Despite winning just one medal on day three, these Championships have been hugely successful for the Club with a total of six gold, three silver and three bronze medals won over the three days, in addition to two fourth place finishes and plenty of other great performances, making them one of the best for the Club in recent years.

 

SIAB T&F International

The Mullingar race walkers were the talk of Santry last Saturday when the annual SIAB T&F International between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales took place in very blustery conditions. Sarah Glennon was in excellent form in the 3,000m race walk where she won in 14:29.41, a new personal best and comfortably clear with more than twenty seconds to spare on second place to earn maximum team points and help the Irish girls to second place behind England in the team competition. If we thought that was impressive, Oisin Lane absolutely dominated his 3,000m race walk to win in 3:58.07, one minute ahead of second place to also earn maximum points for the Irish boys who also placed second place behind England in the team competition. These were remarkable performances and further testament to the amazing job the Club’s race walking coach, Michael Lane, is doing developing race walking at underage level.

 

Unfortunately Jack Moran suffered an injury in the 3,000m run but despite struggling he still managed to finish and earned valuable team points for the Irish team.

 

AAI “B” T&F Finals

It was warm but overcast and very windy in Tullamore last Saturday at the AAI “B” T&F finals where Mullingar had a small number in action. Shannon Liston made a significant improvement on her performance in the Leinster finals a month ago, improving by over a metre, to win a well deserved silver medal in the u/14 shot putt. Mullingar had four girls in the 600m u/12 where the medals were decided on the times in two heats, and despite strong running by Adele Geoghegan and Leah Geoghegan in the first heat and Síofra O’Halloran and Lucy Donnelly in the second heat, the girls finished out of the medals, though Adele came closest with a great fifth place finish overall. Daire McDonald had a straight final in the 600m u/12 where he put in a great performance, running two seconds faster than in the Leinsters to finish an excellent sixth place, out of the medals but a fine run nevertheless. We finished with Lorcan Mullen in the 800m u/15 where he battled well and was unlucky to finish out of the medals in fifth place but he can be satisfied with his performance.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 15 July

 

Golden All-Ireland Week-end for Mullingar

All-Ireland T&F action continued last week-end when the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F finals took place in the Tullamore Harriers Stadium and the Mullingar athletes gave their supporters plenty to cheer about.

 

Second place in her heat of the 80m hurdles u/16 on a warm sunny Saturday morning saw Shauna Leydon qualify comfortably for the final where she put in a strong performance in a very competitive race but had to settle for a place out of the medals in sixth place. Shauna also competed in the u/16 discus where she put together a consistent series but finished out of the medals in sixth place.

 

Aimee Wallace ran a perfectly judged race in the 600m u/12, which was a straight final, tracking the leaders and keeping out of trouble in a tightly packed group and when she made her move coming off the final bend, it was decisive and she went to the front, holding off a late challenge to win the All-Ireland title in 1:40.75, a new Championship Record, bettering the old one of 1:42.30 set in 2015. In the corresponding boys 600m u/12, which was also a straight final, Philip McCartan and Callum Costello found themselves adrift of the leading group over half way through but with a late surge, Philip made up a lot of ground on the final bend, followed by Callum also finishing quickly, and in the home straight Philip moved into third place and held his place to the line, but the finish came too soon for Callum and he finished seventh, out of the medals but a good effort.

 

Amy Geoghegan gave a very good account in the 800m u/14, a straight final, finishing out of the medals in eighth place but can be proud of her determined effort. The 800m u/17 was also a straight final but was a very tactical race which meant the field was very tightly bunched going into the final bend where Aoife Darby had to check her stride, losing momentum that she never recovered, and was unable to use her trademark sprint finish to best effect, coming home out of the medals in eighth place.

 

Conor McHugh qualified comfortably from his heat of the 800m u/18 to take his place on the start line in the final. Running an even effort race in the final, Conor looked good to take something as he moved well up on the leading group on the final bend but just hadn’t the extra edge needed in the home straight and finished just out of the medals in fifth place, but deserved more than this after such a good performance. Winning his heat in style meant Colin Smith was a real medal prospect in the 800m u/19 final where he ran an excellent race and kept right in contention but just when it looked like he would take at least the silver medal, it was snatched from him in a fast and furious sprint finish on the home straight and he was pushed into fourth place, just out of the medals, which was a bitter disappointment for him and the Mullingar supporters.

 

Still a relative newcomer to the event but clearly learning very fast, Susan Glennon didn’t put a foot wrong in the 2,000m steeplechase u/17, safely negotiating the difficult wooden barriers and water jumps in this energy-sapping event to finish second and was delighted to win the All-Ireland silver medal.

 

Sunday was cooler and cloudy but still humid enough to test the middle-distance athletes in particular. We’ve come to expect only the very best results from our race walkers, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Jennifer Fidgeon stormed into action right from the gun in the 2,000m u/16 race walk and after a tough battle it came down to a fierce sprint finish in the home straight and it took the photo finish camera to separate the top two, Jennifer judged second by just one tenth of a second. In contrast, Sarah Glennon enjoyed a resounding victory in the 3,000m u/17 race walk to reinforce her dominance in the event. It was victory too by a good margin for Matthew Glennon in the 2,000m u/15 race walk, but performance of the day had to be that of Oisin Lane in the 3,000m race walk u/16 where he was simply a class apart and took the National title with a new Championship Record of 13:51.93, taking five seconds off the previous set in 2010.

 

On to the 400m u/19 where Odhran Cully really showed that he has a future in the event by taking it out hard and coming into the home straight was in a medal position but it’s a very unforgiving event and despite a great effort he dropped into fourth place, but top marks for effort and will only improve with more racing experience over 400m. Aimee Wallace dropped down to the 60m u/12 and ran well in her heat, only missing qualification to the final by less than one tenth of a second, probably explaining her great sprint finish in the 600m. Odhran Cully, Patrick Leydon and Nadine Molloy didn’t advance from their fiercely competitive 100m u/19 heats but gave good accounts. Awa Fane made it look easy in her heat of the 100m u/17 to win and qualify for the final where she put in an absolutely brilliant display to take the lead in the last twenty metres and went on to win and take the National title.

 

Over in the shot putt circle, Shane Ormsby put together an excellent set of attempts in the u/13 shot including a new personal best of 13.06m and was absolutely delighted to win the bronze medal. Not content with a record breaking race walk in the morning, Oisin Lane was back on the track in the afternoon in the 3,000m u/16 run where he put in a very strong performance to finish a very creditable sixth place. John Whitelaw competed well in the 3,000m u/17 but finished out of the medal places. Jamie Battle got us back in the medals again with a spirited performance in the 3,000m u/18, staying with the leaders throughout and after a terrific final lap had enough in reserve to hold on and finish third to win the bronze medal. Determined to overcome her disappointment in the 800m the previous day, Aoife Darby was not going to be denied in the 3,000m u/17, staying in contention throughout and was able to use her sprint finish count to take her into second place and take the silver medal.

 

These Championships are not over yet and there’s still the final day next Sunday with very realistic expectations of further National honours, but so far Mullingar athletes have won five gold, three silver and three bronze medals, and had two fourth place finishes and of course there were plenty of other fine performances, so these Championships are right up there with the best for the Club in recent years.

 

Volunteers (and food!) needed for the Mullingar 10

We’re appealing for as much help as possible this Sunday from members and friends of the Club to help out at the Mullingar 10 mile road race in Dalystown. Pre-entries online at www.myrunresults.com are up on the same time last year and we’re expecting numbers to take part will be well up on the numbers in last year’s event. We need help with registration, parking, marshalling along the course, water stations etc. If you can spare a few hours, please let a Club official know. For those planning to run, you can still enter on-line. This is an important fundraiser for the Club and we’re asking everyone to row in behind the event and give a helping hand.

 

It's really important to feed the hungry runners when they're finished, so we’d really appreciate it if members and/or parents could bring sandwiches, buns, cakes, in fact anything edible, to the Clubhouse before Sunday or out to Dalystown on the day.

 

Letterkenny AC Invitation T&F

Given her recent good form, it was no surprise that Vicky Harris was invited to compete in the women’s 200m at the Letterkenny AC Invitation T&F last Friday evening, where she lined up against some very fast women in a super fast race. The race was won by Nardhia Kidd-Walker (England), just ahead of Janine Boyle (Finn Valley AC) who will be competing in the upcoming European Junior T&F, and Vicky placed a close third, a fine performance and one that more than justified her invitation.

 

Kinnegad 5k

Nearly three hundred runners enjoyed a lovely summer evening run last Wednesday at the Kinnegad 5k, which was narrowly won by Kevin Baker in 15:52, with just one second to spare on second place. Also competing in the Mullingar colours and supporting a local road race was Malcolm McDonnell (16:11), Eoghan Bracken (17:10), Colm Walsh (17:50), Alan Crowley (17:57), Nollaig McEntegart (18:58), Enda Seery (19:00) and Aidan Rafferty (21:15).

 

T&F action this week

The Morton Games (including the Irish Milers Club Meeting) in Santry on Wednesday is one of the highlight events of the year and is sure to attract a good attendance to see a host of top stars in action. Mullingar eyes will be on the International 800m where Shane Fitzsimons has been invited to run in recognition of the excellent return to racing form that Shane has experienced this season. This coming Saturday the AAI Juvenile “B” T&F takes place in Tullamore, while in Santry a number of the Club’s underage athletes will be competing on the Irish team at the Schools International T&F, and finally, on Sunday, the final day of the AAI Juvenile T&F takes place in Tullamore.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 8 July

 

Mullingar athletes in All-Ireland T&F action

Conditions were less than ideal in Tullamore last Saturday for the AAI Junior and u/23 T&F, as a cool and windy morning deteriorated into a cold and showery afternoon but that wasn’t going to put anyone off giving their best in a Championship.

 

Sisters Sarah Glennon and Rachel Glennon competed in the junior 3,000m race walk, giving excellent accounts in this very technical event to finish third and fourth respectively against some top class opposition. Vicky Harris was in sparkling form in the sprints, blasting from the blocks in the 100m u/23 and leading all the way to win with two metres to spare in 12.15 seconds with a legal wind, which is a new personal best time. Later in the day, Vicky qualified comfortably from her heat of the 200m u/23 and turned in an excellent performance in the final and despite running quicker than in her heat she finished just out of the medals in fourth place.

 

Following his recent wins in the CSIT Games and Irish Milers Club events, Shane Fitzsimons was a leading contender in the 800m u/23 and once again his ability to win races was clearly evident. In a tactical race, Shane was always prominent and took control at the halfway point before accelerating clear of his rivals over the final 200m to record a convincing victory. His winning time was 1 minute 54.92 seconds but most noteworthy was his final 400m, which he completed in just over 53 seconds. Shane is one of a very small number of athletes who have won National titles at every available age group from under 11 to under 23 years.

 

In the junior 800m Declan Brady and Conor McHugh were both drawn in heat one. With just two automatic qualifiers from each heat, Declan and Conor narrowly missed out, finishing in third and fourth place in 2 minutes 01.39 seconds and 2 minutes 02.67 seconds respectively. Still new to the event, Odhran Cully drew the difficult outside lane in his heat of the junior 400m where he ran well but finished out of the qualifying places for the final.

 

Cormac Dalton was in action in the junior 1,500m and was in the leading group for much of the race. In the end Cormac finished out of the medals in seventh place in 4 minutes 08.39 seconds. The 1,500m u/23 saw Padraig Moran in a very tactical encounter and he finished out of the medal places on this occasion.

 

AAI Juvenile Relays

Conditions were much improved last Sunday and Athlone IT was the venue for the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 Relays where Mullingar had two teams in action. Awa Fane got the 4x100m u/17 team off to a great start, handing over to Whitney Imafidon, who passed to Eve Wallace, before Shauna Leydon anchored the team to an excellent sixth place, out of the medals but everyone gave one hundred percent effort. The 4x100m u/12 team of Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Philip McCartan and Conor Liston qualified from the very competitive heats and in the final were unlucky to finish just out of the medals in fourth place despite an excellent performance.

 

AAI Masters T&F

Sean McMullin was in fine form at the AAI Masters T&F in Tullamore last Sunday, winning his master 5,000m race walk category in a time that would have won a medal against men twenty years his junior, such is his class in the event. No luck for Dolores Whyte in the master 100m where she turned in a very good performance but had to settle for sixth place, out of the medals. The day finished with Mullingar back in the medals again thanks to Ben Vaitkevichius who took bronze in his master 1,500m category.

 

Mullingar 10 draws near

Two weeks to the “Mullingar 10” on 16th July and we expect the race will be well supported by Club members. For those not running for whatever reason, we’re appealing to them to volunteer to help on the day with registration, parking, marshalling along the course, water stations etc. If you can spare a few hours, please let a Club official know. For those planning to run, you can still enter on-line at www.myrunresults.com. This is an important fundraiser for the Club and we’re asking everyone to row in behind the event and give a helping hand if not running.

 

Recent Road Races

Over four hundred and forty runners assembled in Kilcock last Friday evening in ideal conditions to race on the flat fast St. Coca’s AC 5k course, among them Malcolm McDonnell who finished twenty third overall in a very close finish that came right down to the line, crossing in 16:06 to place third in his master category by the narrowest margin. In keeping with Club policy, runners who don’t compete in the Club colours won’t have their performances recorded in the Club notes.

 

The weather in Achill last Saturday was simply dreadful with strong winds and driving rain for the early stages of the Achill Half Marathon, and the rain only cleared for the latter stages when the harm had been done, but that didn’t deter over nine hundred runners who braved the elements and the tough hilly course, among them JP O’Brien who finished an excellent thirty eighth overall in 1 hour 35 minutes and 50 seconds and Michael O’Sullivan who won his master category with 1 hour 51 minutes and 58 seconds.

 

Juvenile All-Ireland action this week-end

This coming week-end the first of the juvenile All-Ireland T&F finals will take place in Tullamore and Mullingar will have 23 athletes competing in 44 events over the two days. Please check the notice board in the Clubhouse for the day and time of your event, especially the latest time for check in.

 

AAI “B” T&F entries

Entries for the AAI “B” T&F in Tullamore on Saturday 15th July close this coming Friday. Competition is for boys and girls u/12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 that competed in the recent Leinster T&F but did not qualify for the All-Ireland finals in any event. If anyone is interested in competing please let Greg know. Remember, you must have competed in Leinster.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 1 July

 

Mullingar athletes excel on the track on “Super Saturday”

From Dublin to Tullamore to Finland to Belfast, athletes from Mullingar Harriers were in action last Saturday giving some superb individual and team performances marking the day out as a “Super Saturday” for the Club.

 

Mullingar walkers dominate at Inter-Provincial T&F

Based on results from the Leinster Schools T&F, top three in distance and field events and top two in the sprints, a number of the Club’s athletes had the honour of being selected to represent Leinster at the Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F in a sunny and warm Santry last Saturday. As well as representing Leinster, at stake was possible selection for the Irish Schools team that will compete in Santry in July.

 

Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) took up where she left off in the All-Ireland Schools T&F and simply dominated the girls 3,000m walk to win by a distance and is in contention for selection. Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) was equally dominant in the boys 3,000m walk to also win very comfortably and is also in contention for selection.

 

Inexplicably and it beggars belief that despite having finished second in Leinster and second in the All-Ireland Schools in the 200m, Awa Fane (Loreto Mullingar) was not selected by Leinster in the 200m but was instead dropped into her weaker event, the 100m where despite giving it her best she didn’t finish in the medal places. There was some small come consolation later in the day when she ran the lead leg for Leinster in the 4x300m relay and the team finished second to earn silver medals.

 

Still a newcomer to the event, Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) competed bravely in the 1,500m steeplechase and finished fourth, just outside the medal places. Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) turned in a solid performance in the 1,500m but finished out of the medals. Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) competed in the 3,000m and as the laps unfolded and the leading group was slowly whittled down, Jack kept in touch until it was just down to the last two at the bell and despite a strong effort he had to settle for second place but this puts him nicely in contention for selection.

 

Mullingar youngsters excel in All-Ireland Finals

Last Saturday, the first of the underage All-Ireland T&F finals took place in a sun-drenched Tullamore where Mullingar had a small but extremely talented group of youngsters in action at the AAI Juvenile Games for u/9, u/10 and u/11.

 

Katie Kilmurray finished second in her 60m u/10 race and when her time was added to that of Norah Garry who finished third in her race, their combined time placed them third overall in the u/10 Pairs 60m to win bronze All-Ireland medals. They competed later in the day in the u/10 Pairs 500m and despite running very well they finished fifth, just out of the medal places but they can be very proud of their performances.

 

Criostoir Ormsby and Conor Liston showed early intent in the 60m u/11 heats, each dominating and winning their races and when their times were combined, they easily won the u/11 Pairs 60m. They returned to the track later in the day for the u/11 Pairs 600m and again absolutely dominated, each winning their race by a distance and took the All-Ireland gold medals with ten seconds to spare on second place. These boys have competed together in the Pairs since u/9 and won the sprint and middle-distance double gold in u/9, u/10 and now u/11, which is a string of double-gold track titles that will be difficult to match for any Pair in future.

 

Also competing in the u/11 Pairs 600m was James Flynn and Jamie Wallace but to their utter frustration they were boxed in early in their races and only got into full flow late, which affected their times and they finished out of the medals. Had they repeated their performances from Leinster, they would have been in line for the silver medals.

 

However, any disappointment was soon alleviated when James, Conor, Jamie and Criostoir dominated the heats in the 4x100m u/11 to win comfortably and showing what perfect baton passes look like. In the final, all four boys repeated the super run and stormed to a convincing victory and All-Ireland gold medals, winning with yards to spare. These medals meant that by the end of the day, all the Mullingar athletes took All-Ireland medals home with them.

 

European Athletics Team Championships First League

Mark Christie sets himself a very high standard, so when he competed for Ireland in the 5,000m at the European Athletics Team Championships First League in Vaasa, Finland last Saturday, he was disappointed to finish ninth in 14:25.14. However, he still took four valuable team points to help Ireland to finish eighth overall of the twelve Countries in the competition, keeping Ireland safely out of the relegation zone that sees Estonia, Bulgaria and Denmark relegated to the Second League in 2019.

 

Congratulations to Niamh Fogarty from North Westmeath AC who made her Senior International debut in Finland in the shot putt. At just eighteen years of age she was the youngest by far in the competition, competing against women in their twenties and early thirties, so Niamh was up against some hugely experienced International athletes. Despite this, Niamh still managed to equal her personal best of 13.10m to place tenth of the twelve Countries, so a fantastic result for Niamh.

 

Irish Milers Club Meeting

Mullingar Harriers were well represented at the Irish Milers Club meeting at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast last Saturday. The Men’s 800m A race was one of the strongest fields of the day including Shane Fitzsimons and Colin Smith. Shane featured prominently from the start, tracking the race leader throughout before unleashing a powerful sprint finish with 150 metres to go. This took Shane comfortably clear of his rivals and he was extending his lead all the way to the finish. Shane’s winning time of 1 minute 50.33 seconds was very impressive in windy conditions. Indeed, the manner in which he increased his pace over the final stages of the race suggest that he will break the 1 minute 50 seconds barrier over the coming weeks. It was also a timely boost as Shane will be in action in the AAI National u/23 T&F Championships this Saturday in Tullamore.

 

In the same A race, Colin Smith had the race of his life to finish in the chasing pack in a new personal best of 1 min 55.42 seconds. Colin is running competitively for just fifteen months and is rapidly emerging as one of the leading junior 800m athletes in the Country. Oisin Quinn also competed over 800m and won his race in a season’s best of 2 minute 00.80 seconds and will now target breaking the 2 minute barrier over the coming weeks. Padraig Moran had his first race of the track season over 3,000m and finished strongly to post a time of 8 mins 47.29 seconds.

 

Leinster Titles for Rachel Glennon and Declan Brady

Switching from the customary Sunday, the Leinster Junior T&F took place last Friday evening at the Le Chéile AC track in Leixlip where conditions were cool and there was quite a stiff breeze at times. Rachel Glennon was too strong for the opposition in the 3,000m race walk, winning in 14:51.82, just one second outside the Championship record. Just finished exams, Declan Brady took it out hard from the gun in the 800m and led all the way to win comfortably in 2:06.45, which was a respectable time in the conditions and the fact that he ran from the front all the way. Congratulations to Rachel and Declan on their Leinster titles and their attention now turns to the AAI National Juniors this coming Saturday.

 

Sligo City Games

Sligo AC hosted an excellent meeting last Wednesday, the Sligo City Games, where some of Ireland’s leading athletes such as European medallists Ciara Mageean and Mark English were in action. The Men’s 5,000m provided Jamie Battle and Jonathan Daly with an opportunity to improve on their 5,000m times. Jamie’s time was 15 mins 27 seconds, which is excellent running for a youth and Jonathan dipped well under the 16 minute barrier for the first time with a personal best of 15 mins 45 seconds.

 

Recent Road Races

Braving the searing heat in Kildare two weeks ago (Sunday 18th) along with just over three hundred others that competed in the “Thoroughbred 10k Run”, Kieran Nolan was happy with his fourth place finish in 37:28.

 

Last Wednesday evening, on the longest day of the year, Enda Seery competed in the Hill of Down 5k, near Clonard, where he was pleased to finish eighth in 19:14.

 

Perfect conditions, a flat fast course and excellent organisation as always by the host Club attracted a huge entry of nearly 800 runners to the ever-popular Dunshaughlin AC “Michael Manning Memorial” 10k last Saturday. Among the runners was a good number from Mullingar. They didn’t all wear their Club colours, so in line with Club policy, their performance won’t be recorded in Club records. Finishing well up in seventeenth place and the first finisher from Mullingar was Timmy Murphy (33:07) leading the Mullingar men’s team to third place, closely followed home by Kevin Baker (33:31), then Malcolm McDonnell (34:00) taking third prize in his master category, Gerard Gavin (35:24), Ollie Donnelly (36:19), Pauric Brady (37:07), Sinead Whitelaw (37:11), third woman to finish, Colm Walsh (37:21), Alan Crowley (37:49), Stephen Naughton (41:01), Siobhan McCarthy (43:40) and Niamh Molloy (45:33).

 

Another busy week-end ahead on the track

Club members will be action at a number of venues again this week-end. On Saturday the AAI Junior and u/23 T&F takes place in Tullamore. On Sunday, Club members will be in action at two venues; the AAI Masters T&F takes place in Tullamore and the AAI Juvenile Inter-Club Relays take place in Athlone IT. We wish everyone taking part the very best of luck.

 

AAI “B” T&F

A fixture that might interest some is the AAI “B” T&F in Tullamore on Saturday 15th July. Competition is for boys and girls u/12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 that competed in the recent Leinster T&F but did not qualify for the All-Ireland finals in any event. The “B” events are short sprint (60m/80m/100m), middle-distance (600m/800m), long jump, high jump and shot putt. Entries close next Friday, so if anyone is interested in competing they must tell Greg by next Thursday (6th July) at the latest. Remember, you had to have competed in Leinster.

 

July Committee Meeting

The July meeting of the committee will be held next Tuesday 4th July in the Club house at 8.30pm after training. There will be no meeting in August and preparation for the Mullingar 10 mile is high on the agenda, so a full attendance is required.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 24 June

 

Mullingar athletes shine at Leinster Championships

It wasn’t only the sun that was shining in a hot sweltering Tullamore last week-end at the Leinster u/12 to u/19 T&F. The large Mullingar squad was also shining as they amassed a haul of nineteen medals, in addition to five fourth place finishes, meaning the Club will be very well represented at the All-Ireland finals in a wide range of events in July. Temperatures reached 28degC, which really suited the sprinters and field event athletes but seriously tested the race walkers and other middle-distance athletes and added to the physical stress of their events, but to their credit they are all very well conditioned thanks to their coaches and they coped admirably while around them many others fell with the effects of heat exhaustion after their races.

 

The only cloud on proceedings was the number of Club athletes that asked to be entered, some in several events, but then failed to turn up and compete in even a single event. Some had legitimate excuses such as injury and indicated in advance that they would not be competing, which is perfectly fine, but many didn’t. Given the high cost of entries, as clearly stated on the application forms, the Club has no option but to recover the cost of these entries from the individuals that simply didn’t turn up.

 

Once again, it was the Mullingar race walkers that blazed a spectacular trail in the opening events. Matthew Glennon got the day off to a great start with a win in the u/15 boys 2,000m race walk. In the u/16 girls 2,000m race walk Jennifer Fidgeon was denied victory by a very narrow margin, taking silver on the line after a furious sprint finish in the home straight. Also competing but finishing out of the medal places was Jayne Walsh-Smith. Oisin Lane kept the medals coming with a dominant display in the u/16 boys 3,000m race walk to win another Leinster title. Also winning was Sarah Glennon in the u/17 girls 3,000m race walk where she was simply unchallenged such is her class in this event.

 

Aisling Lane tried her hand in a new event for her, the u/13 girls 60m hurdles, safely negotiating the barriers but not advancing from her heat. No stranger to hurdles, Shauna Leydon got away to a brilliant start in the u/16 girls 80m hurdles but was very unlucky to finish just out of the medals in fifth place in a very tight blanket finish for third place. Rachel Cornally was another girl making her debut in a new event when she lined up for the u/18 girls 400m and worked hard but was unlucky not to take a medal, finishing in fourth place, though she will have gained huge experience. Odhran Cully and Patrick Leydon contested the u/19 boys 400m where just as it looked like Patrick would take third place and Odhran fourth, Odhran found something extra in the final fifty metres and came through with a blistering sprint to take second place, relegating Patrick to fourth place, just out of the medals.

 

Shauna Leydon made up for her earlier disappointment in the hurdles with a well earned silver medal in the u/16 girls shot putt later in the day. Alanna Costello and Shannon Liston competed well in the u/14 girls shot putt but finished out of the medals on this occasion.

 

By the time the 3,000m were taking place, temperatures had soared but Susan Glennon battled well in the stifling heat in the u/17 girls 3,000m and was very unlucky to finish just of the medals in fourth place. There was better fortune for John Whitelaw in the u/17 boys 3,000m and it was great to see him coming back into form to take the bronze medal in a close race.

 

Niamh Cully competed in the u/15 girls 200m but didn’t advance from the very competitive heats. We got back in the medals again in the u/17 girls 800m thanks to Aoife Darby where she used her trademark finish to great effect, moving from third in first a matter of a few strides coming off the final bend and going on to record an excellent win. Brian Martin (u/17 boys 800m) and Laura Shaw (u/18 girls 800m) worked hard but finished out of the medals in their races.

 

The heat during the 1,500m races took its toll on a big number of athletes but the Mullingar athletes took it all in their stride. Amy Geoghegan and Phoebe Bate contested the u/14 girls 1,500m where Amy finished strongly in fifth place, just out of the medals and Phoebe close behind. It took Bea Drummond to put us back in the medals when she finished third in the u/15 girls 1,500m after a tough contest, with Meabh Killalea finishing well but out of the medals. In the u/15 boys 1,500m Sam Smyth kept in close contention for most of the race but had to settle for fifth place in the end, followed home by Lorcan Mullen.

 

Nadine Molly was very happy to finish second in the u/19 girls 100m and in the u/17 girls 100m it was great to see three girls from Mullingar in action, led by Awa Fane who qualified from her heat with a new personal best time of 12.20 seconds, but despite performing well, neither Whitney Imafidon nor Eve Wallace advanced from their heats. Always a serious medal prospect in the final, Awa blasted from the blocks and in an extremely close race that was decided on a photo she placed third in 12.25 seconds, missing silver by the extremely tiny margin of just three thousandths of a second to win Mullingar’s final medal of the day, a bronze.

 

Sunday dawned bright and clear and like Saturday, it wasn’t long before temperatures began to climb in the stadium. Amy Geoghegan turned in a solid performance in the u/14 girls 800m but finished out of the medal places. Bea Drummond went one better than the day before when she took silver in the u/15 girls 800m with a tremendous sprint finish. Sam Smyth and Lorcan Mullen (u/15 boys 800m) and Eoin Quinn and Ruairi Fagan (u/16 boys 800m) ran well but finished out of the medals in extremely competitive races. Aoife Darby was involved in a ferocious sprint finish in the u/17 girls 1,500m and crossed the line in second place, denied victory by just two hundredths of a second. John Whitelaw (u/17 boys 1,500m) and Andrea Brady (u/18 girls 1,500m) battled hard and ran well in the sweltering conditions but finished out of the medal places in their 1,500m races.

 

Alanna Costello and Shannon Liston competed in the u/14 girls 80m where Alanna finished an excellent second place, followed in by Shannon Liston, but with only the winner of each of four heats and the next four fastest times advancing to the final, Alanna missed out by a very narrow margin. There was disaster for Niamh Cully in the u/15 girls 100m when she stumbled at the start, losing a lot of ground, which was impossible to make back in such a short race and that ended her involvement in the event.

 

The Mullingar sprinters continued to make their mark, as Awa Fane easily won the u/17 girls 200m and Eve Wallace finished strongly in sixth in a fast final, Rachel Cornally just missed out on a medal in the u/18 girls 200m where she finished fourth, Nadine Molloy added to her 100m silver medal with a silver in the u/19 girls 200m, and in the u/19 boys 200m Patrick Leydon reversed the finishing order of Saturday’s 400m when he took the silver in a very close finish, with Odhran Cully finishing just out of the medals in fourth place.

 

Oisin Lane worked hard in a fast u/16 boys 3,000m and was rewarded with an excellent silver medal. Susan Glennon is new to the event but in the u/17 girls 2,000m steeplechase, she safely negotiated the barriers in this tough event to win by a distance earn her place in the All-Ireland finals.

 

In the field events, Amy Kehoe and Shauna Traynor really enjoyed competing in the u/12 girls long jump even though they didn’t win any medals, and Alanna Costello jumped well in the u/14 girls long jump but couldn’t reach the medal places. Shauna Leydon led for four rounds of the u/16 girls discus but was passed in the fifth round and finished second to win the final medal of the week-end for the Club. This was an excellent Championship for the Club and very well done to everyone for competing so well in what were very challenging hot conditions for many.

 

CSIT Games

They say a good leader leads from the front. Shane Fitzsimons was the Captain of the Irish team at the CSIT Games in Riga, Latvia last week where all twelve athletes on the team won medals, some more than one, and Shane certainly played his part and led by example when he won his 800m race in 1:51.05 last Friday morning. This marks another important step on his return to full competitive fitness after being side-lined with injury for too long.

 

Recent Road Races

The Trim AC “Braveheart” 5k, so named because it takes place in the Porchfields along the banks of the River Boyne in the shadow of the impressive Trim Castle that featured in the Braveheart film continues to grow in popularity year on year due to the tremendous effort put in by everyone at Trim AC and last Friday evening in glorious summer weather it surpassed itself again when over seven hundred took part, including a few from Mullingar. Kevin Baker led the Mullingar group home in sixth place in a time of 16:44, followed by Matt Glennon twentieth overall (18:34) to place third in his master category, then Siobhan McCarthy (21:25) second in her master category and Michelle O’Halloran (21:59) second in her master category.

 

The “Irish Runner” 5 mile took place in the Phoenix Park last Saturday morning in absolutely glorious summer sunshine.  Nearly two thousand runners started on the main road in the Park and the course took them around the Park to finish on Furze Road. Enjoying the great atmosphere generated by music, race commentary and the big crowd, Sinead Whitelaw was very pleased with her performance, crossing the line in 30:23 to place an excellent sixty eighth overall and fourth senior woman.

 

Busy week-end ahead on the track

Club members will be action at a number of venues this week-end, both domestic and International. On Friday evening the Leinster Junior T&F takes place at the Le Chéile Grounds in Leixlip, Co. Kildare and on-line entries close this Wednesday evening. On Saturday, the Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F Games take place in Santry and we wish the very best to Club members that will be competing hoping for selection on the Irish Schools T&F team. Also on Saturday, the AAI Juvenile Games for u/9, u/10 and u/11 take place in Tullamore. This is the All-Ireland final for our three Pairs teams that won medals at the Leinster Pairs in Tullamore just over a week ago and our u/11 boys relay team that won in Leixlip a month ago. The first event is the 60m and starts at 11am so everyone should aim to be there no later than 10am to collect their race number and check-in for their events.

 

However, the real highlight this week-end must be the European Athletics Team Championships First League in Vaasa, Finland where Mark Christie will compete in the 5,000m on the Irish team against Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, all looking for one of three promotion spots to the European Team Championships Super League in 2019.

 

Also in Finland will be Niamh Fogarty from near-neighbours North Westmeath AC who been called up for the women’s shot putt in Finland. Niamh is still a Junior athlete and this will mark her Senior International debut. This is a huge honour for Niamh, her Club, Peter Collins her coach and for her family. Everyone from Mullingar wishes Niamh the very best.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 17 June


Mullingar youngsters in fine form at Leinster Championships

The Leinster u/9 to u/13 T&F last Saturday was a chance for some of the Club’s younger athletes to show their talents and they certainly didn’t disappoint with some fantastic races and efforts and a few trips to the medal podium ensuring Mullingar will be well represented in the All-Ireland Finals but more importantly showing that the Club’s future looks very bright.


The u/9, u/10 and u/11 athletes competed in pairs, which meant their times in track races or distances jumped or thrown in field events were added together to give them a team score, adding to the excitement as each depended on their partner to perform as well as themselves. The older u/12 and u/13 athletes competed as individuals. As with any Championships, medals are very hard to win but our young athletes competed to the very best of their abilities and were delighted to be competing, whatever the outcome in terms of medals.


The day started with the girls 600m u/12, where despite running very well, unfortunately Adi Cronin, Ciara Glennon, Shauna Callaghan and Shauna Traynor didn’t advance from the very tough heats to join Aimee Wallace, Adele Geoghegan, Leah Geoghegan and Lucy Donnelly in the final. The final was run at a blistering pace and the four Mullingar were competitive throughout, led home by Aimee in a close second place, followed by Adele, Leah and Lucy all finishing very strongly just out of the medal places but they all can be delighted to have run in a Leinster final.


All four Mullingar athletes in the boys 600m u/12 qualified comfortably from their heats and in the final Philip McCartan was the eventual winner but not without a battle with Callum Costello who pushed him hard to the finish to take second place. Ryan Jenkins finishing strongly just out of the medal places and Daire McDonald made up the Mullingar quartet and will have gained great experience from running in a final in his first Leinster Championship.


Ross Killalea was our sole qualifier from the heats of the boys 600m u/13 as unfortunately Adam Brady, John Ryan and Adam Smyth just missed reaching the final to join him despite competing well in their respective heats. Ross battled well in the final and despite a brave effort had to settle for a place out of the medals.


A late surge in the home straight saw Katie Kilmurray win her girls 500m u/10 race in a close finish and when her time was added to that of Norah Garry who finished well up in her race, the girls were delighted to win the silver medals in the pairs competition. In the boys 500m u/10, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Matthew Molloy and James Ryan competed gamely but didn’t finish in the medal places this time. We had an embarrassment of riches in the boys 600m u/11 where Criostoir Ormsby won but he had to work hard to overtake Jamie Wallace on the final bend to win the race, with Jamie in second. In the other race, Conor Liston ran out the victor with James Flynn finishing an excellent third place. When the times were added, it was gold for Conor and Criostoir and silver for Jamie and James, and these lads will go head to head again in the All-Ireland final in two weeks time.


Over in the field events Shane Ormsby was busy in the u/13 shot putt and was very pleased to win the bronze medal for his efforts. Niall Brady and Arthur Drummond took part in the u/10 long jump and enjoyed the competition but finished out of the medal places.


On to the sprints where there were so many entered in the u/12 and u/13 age groups that there were heats and semi-finals to negotiate before you could even think about a medal, so competition was very fierce. Running well in their heats but not advancing was Lucy Donnelly (u/12), Ciara Glennon (u/12), Shauna Callaghan (u/12), Amy Kehoe, Shauna Traynor (u/12), Amy O’Donoghue (u/13), Ryan Jenkins (u/12), Philip McCartan (u/12), Daire McDonald (u/12), Ross Killalea (u/13) and Adam Smyth (u/13). Excellent sprinting by Aimee Wallace in her 60m u/12 heat and semi-final saw her advance to the final as a real medal prospect but she was edged into fourth place in a very tight finish, missing the bronze by a tiny fraction. Callum Costello safely negotiated his 60m u/12 heat and semi-final to reach the final where he competed very well but finished out of the medals.


With Katie Kilmurray winning her race in the girls 60m u/10 and Norah narrowly beaten into second place in her race, when their times were added, it was no surprise that the girls comfortably won gold in the pairs competition to add to their silvers in the 500m earlier in the day. Despite finishing out of the medal places, Matthew Molloy and James Ryan were still delighted to have raced in the boys 60m u/10. In the boys 60m u/11, Conor Liston, Criostoir Ormsby and Jamie Wallace won their heats and James Flynn was second in his and when the times were added, Jamie and James had to settle for a place out of the medals this time but Conor and Criostoir finished first to secure the gold medals and round off an excellent day of competition for Mullingar.


All told, the group of thirty youngsters from Mullingar took home four gold, four silvers and one bronze medal between them, and plenty of other close finishes. They all competed brilliantly and made their coaches Clare O’Donnell, Margaret Daly, Alan McGouran, Vera McCool, James Carton and Karen McGouran very proud and repaid them well for all the time and effort they put into training and getting them ready for competition. Thanks to the many parents for bringing the youngsters to Tullamore and providing terrific vocal support and encouragement.


The first three in the pairs events and the first four in the u/12 and u/13 events (except the 600m where it’s the first three) qualify for the All-Ireland Finals, so Mullingar supporters will have plenty to cheer about at the AAI Juvenile Games in Tullamore on Saturday 24th June, where the pairs and u/12 and u/13 qualifiers will be joined by the Mullingar u/11 boys relay team that won in Leixlip a few week ago.


Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals

Last Sunday, the Club hosted the Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals at the Club Grounds. Despite the challenge of trying to prepare the Club grounds in less than ideal on and off wet weather in the days leading up to the event, the grounds looked fantastic thanks to the excellent work of the grounds staff getting everything in tip top shape for the Games. The weather on the day wasn’t great and heavy shower now and then had everyone running for cover but the programme still ran quite well to time thanks to the volunteers who gave up their time to help. Thanks to the Principal and Management of the Educate Together School National School next door for generously allowing the use of their car park. Finally, thanks to those Club members who turned out to officiate and ensure the smooth running of the event.


Congratulations to all the athletes who have now qualified for the National Finals in August. As in previous years, in order that they are as well prepared as possible to represent Westmeath, they and their coaches and team managers are very welcome to train at the Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays between now and August, particularly important for the technical events like hurdles, relays and field events.


Recent Road Races

Four Mullingar athletes made the short journey to Co. Meath last Saturday for the Bohermeen AC “Patrick Bell 5k”, part of the hugely successful Meath Road Race Series that attracted a big entry of 407 who competed in the beautiful rural setting on the back roads not far from Navan. Leading the Mullingar group home in twentieth place overall was Ollie Donnelly in 17:28, followed by Mel Carthy (18:09), Mervyn Kennedy (19:46) and Liam McGlynn (20:43) who only recently ran a marathon for charity in Sierra Leone in West Africa. Well done to the Mullingar quartet.


In wet and very windy condition last Sunday morning, the Mullingar Park Hotel 10k in aid of Crumlin Hospital attracted a modest entry of 132, including a number from the Club happy to be able to race so close to home even though the competition was light enough. The race was won by Timmy Murphy in 33:56, ahead of Malcolm McDonnell (34:07) to win his master category, Kieran Nolan (37:17) fourth, Sinead Whitelaw (37:32) fifth overall and first woman, Ken Whitelaw (37:32), Aine O’Reilly (37:56) second woman, Nollaig McEntegart (39:56) first in his master category, Murty Hanley (40:52), Paul Ginnell, JP O’Brien, Jane Creevy, Tommy Archbold, Maurice Looby and Deirdre McHugh. They all must have very glad to get to the finish line and change into some dry clothing after getting several soakings during the race!


Leinster T&F Championships

The Leinster T&F Championships continue this week-end with the remaining u/12 and u/13 events and the u/14 to u/19 Championships in Tullamore. Mullingar will have 43 athletes competing in 78 events and the names of those who will be in action are on the notice board in the Clubhouse. Please check the day and time of your event. This is a Championship, so you must wear your Club vest.


Looking ahead, the online entry system for the Leinster Junior T&F in Leixlip on Friday evening 23rd June is now open but will close next Wednesday 21st June. Juniors must enter themselves and can get their registration number from Greg if they don’t know it. Juveniles u/17 to u/19 that are considered good enough by their coaches to be competitive can be entered by the Club and if you wish to be considered for entry, please let Greg know.


For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.


PRO

Week ending Saturday 10 June

 

Mullingar’s race walkers steal the show at All-Ireland Schools T&F

It’s hard to credit breaking a nine year old schools record and still finishing third but that’s what Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) did when she finished third in 5 minutes 24.60 seconds in the Junior girls 1,200m race walk at the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in Tullamore last Saturday, where the first three girls were all under the previous record of 5 minutes 27.27 seconds set in 2008. Needless to say, Jennifer was still delighted with her bronze medal, as All-Ireland Schools medals are extremely hard to win. Finishing behind Jennifer in this extraordinarily fast race was Jayne Walsh Smith (Mercy Ballymahon) who competed well but finished out of the medals. Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s College) really stepped up and with a determined performance in the Junior boys 1,200m walk he was rewarded with a silver medal in a close contest. Adding to the medal tally, Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s) dominated in the Intermediate girls 2,000m walk to record an easy win and Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) was in top form and comfortably won the Intermediate boys 2,000m walk. Four medals from five athletes shows that Michael Lane certainly has the Midas touch when it comes to spotting and developing race walk talent!

 

In all, eleven athletes from Mullingar Harriers were representing their Schools and Colleges and they won two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze, three more finished just out of the medals in fourth place, and the remaining three gave very good accounts but also finished out of the medals. These were great results from an extremely talented group against the best opposition drawn from the four corners of Ireland and where medals are always very hard won.

 

The senior boys 800m race saw Colin Smith (Oaklands CC Edenderry) in a medal position with one hundred metres to go but was run out in a fierce sprint finish to the line to place fourth, just out of the medals. Awa Fane (Loreto) absolutely stormed the bend in the Intermediate girls 200m to put herself in a great position in the finish straight. Keeping her form and racing hard to the line to cross in 25.19 seconds, a huge personal best time, she was rewarded with an excellent silver medal in a very close race, only three hundredths of a second away from gold.

 

Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) took up the running midway through the Intermediate boys 3,000m and really deserved more from the race than a fourth place finish, but top marks for effort. Andrew Daly (Colaiste Mhuire) competed well in the u/16 boys mile as did Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) in the Intermediate girls 1,500m but finished out of the medals, though they can be proud of their performances. Jamie Battle (Colaiste Mhuire) gave himself every chance in the Senior boys 5,000m but just couldn’t find the extra edge needed to take a medal and finished in fourth place to finish off an excellent day from the Club’s point of view.

 

Also competing for Westmeath schools were Niamh Fogarty (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) first in the Senior discus and second in the Senior shot, Conor Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) second in the Intermediate shot and Charles Okafor (Mullingar CC) a close fourth in the Junior 200m and congratulations to them too.

 

Medals for all the Mullingar athletes at Leinster Senior and Masters T&F

At the Leinster Senior and Masters T&F in Tullamore last Sunday, the Club was represented by four master athletes, one senior athlete and we also had a senior women sprint relay team and by day’s end everyone took home a medal – three individual gold, one silver and two bronze medals and team gold in the relay.

 

Pauric Brady got his first taste of outdoor track racing when he competed in the masters 1,500m and was delighted to take home a bronze medal. Sean McMullin did what he does best by winning his masters 3,000m race walk, which is not too surprising given his collection of World medals won earlier in the season. Vicky Harris took the senior 200m title with ease in 25.14 seconds, just one hundredth off her season’s best and followed up with a win in the 100m for u/23 in a new personal best time of 12.25 seconds. The 5,000m saw Gerard Gavin and Ollie Donnelly make their master track debuts where Gerard was very pleased to win the silver medal in his category and Ollie equally so to win the bronze medal in his category. Can’t remember when Mullingar last fielded a senior women’s sprint relay team but Awa Fane, Vicky Harris, Whitney Imafidon and Eve Wallace combined brilliantly to see Eve anchor the team to first place in the 4x100m relay and win the gold medals, ensuring everyone from Mullingar that competed last Sunday went home with a medal. Congratulations to them all for representing the Club so well.

 

Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals

The Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals will be held at the Club grounds this Sunday and we’re appealing to Club members and supporters to assist, even if only for a few hours. We need as many stewards and officials as possible, especially early in the programme when we’ll be using three sprint tracks as usual. Juveniles who are too old for Community Games are particularly asked to help on the day.

 

Leinster T&F Championships

The Leinster T&F Championships continue this Saturday when the u/9, 10 and 11 Pairs and the u/12 and u/13 individual T&F Championships take place in Tullamore. Mullingar will have 6 teams in the pair competition, competing in 12 events and will have 27 athletes competing in 47 events in the u/12 and u/13 Championships, so we’ll have plenty of action to follow on the day. The names of those entered are on the notice board in the Clubhouse. Please check the time of your event. You can wear flat running shoes but the maximum length of spike allowed is 5mm. This is a Championship, so you must wear your Club vest.

 

Finally, entries close this Wednesday evening for the Leinster T&F for older juveniles, u/14 to u/19 years, so let Greg know immediately if you wish to enter, before it’s too late.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 3 June

 

Exciting finish to the Mullingar Road League

The final night of the O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League took place last Wednesday with another great race. With the best of three of the four races to count, this was everyone’s last chance to put in a good performance to secure league places and category prizes. The race took place in scorching temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius and a warm breeze off the lake but it wasn’t only the weather that was scorching hot. The men’s race was won by Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) in 16:02, his fastest time of the series, which was to prove vital, ahead of Peter Mooney second (16:06) and Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) third (16:16). The league came right down to the wire and on the combined times of their three best races, Mick won the overall men’s trophy by a very narrow margin of just two seconds from Timmy, with Peter just ten seconds further back. In the women’s race victory went to Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:25, with Joan Flynn (Mullingar Harriers) second (18:44) and Fiona Gettings third in 19:04, and on the combined times of their three best races, Aine retained the overall women’s trophy with Joan taking second place and Fiona in third.

 

These were the results for the overall trophies in the senior category, but there were plenty of battles taking place throughout the entire field for prizes in the junior and master categories. After the race, there were plenty of refreshments for everyone in the Courtyard Café at Belvedere and the prizes were presented to the various category winners including the Pat Finnerty Memorial Trophies for first man and first woman presented to Mick Fogarty and Aine O’Reilly.

 

The numbers taking part in the 1,500m race for boys and girls that preceded the 5k were well up on the previous week and the 76 young runners quickly completed the 1,500m loop around to the finish line, led home by Rian Hogan in 4:45 and the first girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan in 5:07. After presenting medals to all the finishers of the 1,500m race and prizes to the first three in each age group, everyone stayed on near the finish line to cheer home the finishers of the 5k race.

 

This concluded a successful League with good numbers registering over the four nights. The success of the League is due to the very many volunteers who gave up their free time to make it the success it is. These are the people who took registrations, organized parking, stewarded the course, organized prizes, and did all the other tasks required to run a race series successfully. With set-up for the “Life” festival going on last Wednesday too, car parking presented its own particular challenge and many thanks to George Bell and Ollie Raleigh, Brendan White, Tom Shaw, Peter Dardis and Liam Whelan who took care of car parking.

 

Full results of the 5k race and details of all junior and master prize winners are available on www.myrunresults.com or the Club’s website, where the results of the 1,500m race can also be found.

 

Finally, many thanks to the Management and Staff of Belvedere House, My Run Results for looking after results in a professional manner, the Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid cover every evening, to O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar for their very generous sponsorship of the event, but especially to everyone who took part in the series. The next big event for the Club will be the Mullingar 10 Mile road race in July.

 

Bertie Quinn – Irish Milers Club Meeting

The Irish Milers Club in conjunction with Tullamore Harriers staged the “Bertie Quinn Memorial” T&F meeting last Saturday in very unseasonal weather conditions. We were well represented in the middle distance races. In the men’s A 800m Shane Fitzsimons faced some quality opposition but he showed he is returning to his very best with an excellent second place finish. Shane moved steadily through the field to lead the race down the home straight and he was caught just metres from the finish forcing him to settle for second place on this occasion. However, his time of 1 min 52.01 seconds was a fine season opening run in the conditions and he looks sure to improve further over the coming weeks.

 

Colin Smith was involved in an exciting sprint finish in his 800m race finishing in third in 1 min 57.38 seconds. Conor McHugh also featured well in this race taking fifth place in a time of 1 min 58.64 seconds. Also in action in the 800m were Declan Brady who had a strong run in his race to finish second in 2 mins 01.18 with Oisin Quinn also getting his track season off to a positive start immediately behind. John Whitelaw was in action in the 3,000m and finished in a time of 9 mins 44.62 seconds in his first senior race.

 

Aoife Darby ran in the 1,500m in preparation for the All Ireland Schools and finished strongly in 4 mins 57.94 seconds. Odhran Cully raced in the 200m and battled well to finish third in wet and windy conditions that were most unfavourable for sprinters.

 

Celtic T&F International

The atrocious weather last Saturday morning played havoc with the programme at the Celtic Track & Field International in Santry where an Irish Universities team was competing against a team from the Scottish Universities. There were some long delays due to torrential rain showers and some events like the hurdles had to be cancelled because there was too much surface water lying on the track. The heavy rain and the delays made warming up and preparing for competition very difficult but despite this Vicky Harris competed well in the 200m where she placed third in 25.4 seconds, which is quite respectable in the conditions, and finished the day by anchoring the 4x100m relay team to a close second place and earn additional points to help the Irish Universities team win the overall competition.

 

AAI Games

In contrast to the previous day, conditions in Santry last Sunday for the AAI Games were absolutely excellent. Vicky Harris dropped down to the 100m where she ran twice over the distance. The first time she was feeling a bit jaded from the previous day and ran 12.46 seconds but later in the day she got her second wind and felt much sharper and was very pleased to clock 12.27, which is only one hundredth of a second off her personal best.

 

All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals

This Saturday one of the very best fixtures on the athletics calendar, the All-Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships, takes place in Tullamore. Anyone with even a passing interest in athletics should make the effort to attend and see athletic competition at its very best.

 

The Club will see eleven of its members competing and we wish the very best of luck to Club members Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) Intermediate 2,000m walk, Jayne Walsh Smith (Mercy Ballymahon) Junior 1,200m walk, Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s College) Intermediate 2,000m walk, Jamie Battle (Colaiste Mhuire) 5,000m, Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) Junior 1,200m walk, Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) Junior 1,200m walk, Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) Intermediate 3,000m, Awa Fane (Loreto) Intermediate 200m, Colin Smith (Oaklands CC Edenderry) Senior 800m, Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) Intermediate 1,500m and Andrew Daly (Colaiste Mhuire) u/16 mile who will be in action representing their Schools and Colleges. Spectators attending should get there in good time and be prepared for a long but hugely entertaining and exciting day.

 

The All-Ireland Schools reminds us to wish the very best of luck to all Club members who are taking school exams over the next few weeks and to remind them that it is very wise to take regular breaks from studying to keep fresh and alert. Pop on your running shoes and go for an easy run now and again; you’ll feel all the better for it after and come back to studying fresher and more alert.

 

Leinster T&F Fixtures

Please note that entries are due this week for the Leinster Juvenile T&F for u/14 to u/19 years in mid-June. Those wishing to be entered must complete an entry form available at training.

 

Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals

The Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals will be held at the Club grounds on Sunday 11th June and we’re appealing to Club members and supporters to assist, even if only for a few hours. We need as many stewards and officials as possible, especially early in the programme when we’ll be using three sprint tracks as usual. Juveniles who are too old for Community Games are particularly asked to help on the day.

 

June Committee Meeting

The June meeting of the committee will take place next Tuesday 6th June in the Club house at 8.30pm after training. There will be a full Agenda, including preparations for the Community Games Finals, so a full attendance is required.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 27 May

 

Club athletes excel at Leinster Schools T&F

Last week over twenty of the Club’s underage athletes competed for their Schools and Colleges in the Leinster Schools T&F, on the final step to the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in June. Competition was fierce as every event was a straight final and only the top two in the sprints and top three in the longer track races (four in the u/16 mile) and top three in the field events advancing to the All-Ireland Finals.

 

Nine of the Club’s athletes earned qualification across a range of events. Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s College) qualified with a gold medal winning performance in the Intermediate 2,000m walk, as did Jamie Battle (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Senior 5,000m. Winning silver medals were Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) in the Junior 1,200m walk, Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) in the Junior 1,200m walk, Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Intermediate 3,000m and Awa Fane (Loreto) in the Intermediate 200m. Joining them will be Colin Smith (Oaklands CC Edenderry) thanks to a bronze in the Senior 800m, Aoife Darby (St. Joseph's Rochfortbridge) who took bronze in the Intermediate 1,500m and bronze was enough for Andrew Daly (Colaiste Mhuire) in the u/16 mile, the only u/16 event that advances to the All-Ireland Finals.

 

Also competing but missing out on qualification was Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate 1,500m steeplechase, Sam Smyth (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) Junior 800m, James Drumm (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 2,000m steeplechase, Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate 1,500m steeplechase and 3,000m, Catriona Kennedy (Loreto) Intermediate 3,000m, Maimouna Fane (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 100m and 200m, Eoghan Bracken (St. Joseph’s) Senior 800m, Declan Brady (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 800m, Conor McHugh (St. Finian’s) Senior 400m, Patrick Leydon (St. Finian’s) Senior 200m, Shauna Leydon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate discus and Cormac Dalton (St. Joseph’s) Senior 5,000m.

 

For the record, Shauna Leydon (St. Finian’s) won the u/16 shot with a new record of 10.76m but this event isn’t on the programme in the All-Ireland Finals. Awa Fane also competed in the Intermediate 100m where she was denied the bronze medal by just six thousandths of a second in a very close photo finish. Whitney Imafidon, Shauna Leydon and Rachel Cornally were on the St. Finian’s Intermediate 4x100m relay team that finished out of the medals but the girls gave a really spirited performance.

 

Finally, it was a great Championships for our near neighbours, North Westmeath AC, and congratulations to Conor Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) Intermediate shot, Darragh Gaffney (St. Finian’s) Senior discus and Niamh Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) Senior shot and discus who all won gold in their events, with the bonus of a new record of 13.10m for Niamh in the shot.

 

Mark Christie in sparkling form in London

The A race at the Highgate Harriers night of 10,000m PBs (personal bests) in London last Saturday evening included the trial for the Great Britain team for the World Championships in London in August and among the top quality field of thirty four athletes invited to race before a packed crowd of thousands was Mark Christie, running in the colours of Mullingar Harriers. The entry standard for London is a very tough 27 minutes 45 seconds and Mark was using the race to set down an early marker of form. Pre-race favourite Andy Vernon ran out victorious in 28 minutes 21.15 seconds and Mark finished with a brisk sixty five second last lap to cross the line fifteenth in 29 minutes 26.61 seconds, which is an excellent time.

 

Leinster Juvenile Relays

The opening Leinster T&F fixture of the season for the Club took place last Sunday when Le Chéile AC hosted the Leinster Juvenile Relays at their new all-weather track in Leixlip. Mullingar doesn’t often enter teams in relays, but when we do we have a habit of doing very well and last Sunday was no exception.

 

The 4x100m u/11 team of Charlie Foy, Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Criostoir Ormsby won their heat with ease and in the final Charlie blasted off to a great start and the boys led all the way to the finish to win well and earn their place in the All-Ireland Finals in early July. Awa Fane, Whitney Imafidon, Eve Wallace and Shauna Leydon ran brilliantly in the 4x100m u/17, each running to their best and delighted to take the bronze medals for third place. Having won their heat of the 4x100m u/12, albeit by a narrow margin, Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Ryan Jenkins and Conor Liston lined up in the final confident of success and ran really well to place third in a very close finish. We thought we had finished the day on a high when Awa Fane, Whitney Imafidon, Eve Wallace and Rachel Cornally absolutely dominated in the 4x100m u/18 to win by a good margin but celebrations were short-lived when they were judged to have passed the baton outside the zone on one of the changes, so they were disqualified, but they knew they were the best team in the race by far and took some consolation from that.

 

Mullingar Road League heads for the finish

Three down and one to go after round three last Wednesday evening of the O’Brien’s Mullingar Road League and the slightly cooler evening helped everyone perform to their best, with many recording their fastest times so far. Not everyone takes part in all four races, knowing that the best times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes but we saw another good number of just under two hundred finishers. Once again, My Run Results was on hand to effortlessly handle the results, which were available on-line within hours.

 

In the men’s race, Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) won in 16:06, just four seconds ahead of Peter Mooney (Inverse). With Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) missing round three, this puts Timmy in the driving seat for the overall trophy. Third to finish was Andy Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) in 16:32, ahead of Malcolm McDonnell (Mullingar Harriers) fourth in 16:39, Gerry Gavin (Mullingar Harriers) fifth in 17:03 and Peter Sharkey (Longford AC) in sixth place with 17:05.

 

In the absence of Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC), victory in the women’s race went  to Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:07, with Fiona Gettings third in 19:02, just ahead of Joan Flynn (Mullingar Harriers) third in 19:08. Charlotte is still the favourite for the overall trophy but she needs to compete on the final night. Right back through the field there were great battles for positions in the junior and master categories.

 

There were nearly sixty finishers in the 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger, which has proved a tremendous success again this year, with victory going to Philip McCartan (5:01), Callum Costello second (5:06) and Conor Liston (5:14). First girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan (5:12), with Francesca Walshe second (5:26) and Meghan Bates third (5:31). Everyone who finishes the 1,500m on the final night will receive a medal, and there will be trophies for the winners in the various age groups, under 10, 12, 14 and 16 years, based on the total of the best three times of the four races, which we hope to present right after the race.

 

The weeks have flown by and the final round this Wednesday evening promises to be a thrilling race with many competing for a share of the many prizes to be won in the various categories, including the overall trophies for best man and best woman, prizes for juniors and masters, as well as many spot prizes, which will be presented afterwards in the Courtyard Café in Belvedere, so we expect another big turn-out. We’re appealing to everyone to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out last week and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.

 

Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com or the Club’s website, where the results of the 1,500m race can also be found. As it’s the final night, it’s obviously too late to enter the series but individual entries are very welcome, either online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café up to 7.30pm. Remember, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for the last night or your place and time will not be recorded. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2.

 

Westmeath Community Games

Club members and friends are asked to keep Sunday 11th June free, as the Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals take place at our Club Grounds and we’ll need as much help as we can get for stewards, parking, assembly, and finish judges to make sure the event runs smoothly.

 

Vicky Harris on International duty

This Saturday, Vicky Harris will compete at the Celtic Track & Field International in Santry. Vicky lines up with the Irish Universities team against teams from the Scottish Universities and Athletics Northern Ireland. This is the third in a row that Vicky has been selected for the Irish Universities team and we wish her the very best of luck.

 

Leinster T&F Fixtures

Please note that entries close this week for the Leinster Juvenile Pairs (u/9, 10 and 11) and the u/12 and u/13 individual T&F in June in Tullamore. We recently gave out entry forms to be brought home, so please keep an eye out for them and return them by this coming Thursday to avoid disappointment. Newcomers in particular please note that the younger u/9, 10 and 11 years of age compete in pairs, so they need to think about who they would like to be partnered with; if they are unsure, please ask the coaches of these age groups for guidance.

 

Entries for the older Leinster Juvenile T&F for u/14 to u/19 years are due in two weeks time. Those wishing to be entered must complete an entry form available at training. Finally, on-line entries for the Leinster u/23, Senior and Masters (and the Junior steeplechase) in Tullamore in June are now open with a closing date of 30th May.

 

Training next Sunday

Finally, because the “Life” Festival takes place in Belvedere this week-end, we won’t be able to train there this coming Saturday or Sunday mornings. Alternative arrangements will be finalised at training at the Club during the week.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 20 May

 

O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar Road League passes the halfway point

Just like for round one the week before, weather conditions were perfect for running in Belvedere last Wednesday evening for round two of the O’Brien’s Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League and the warm sunny evening brought out the best in everyone, with many recording faster times than in round one, helped no doubt by being more familiar with the course, particularly the fast downhill last kilometre. Numbers increased a little on the first night and we had 212 finishers. Not everyone takes part in all four races, knowing that the best times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes.

 

In the men’s race, Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) managed to turn the tables on the winner of round one, Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC), and came through to win in a personal best time of 16:02, with Mick close behind in 16:09, which puts them both on the same aggregate time after two rounds, so the competition to win the overall trophy still hangs in the balance. Having had to miss round one, Peter Mooney (Inverse) and Andy Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) were locked in battle to the line where both recorded the same time of 16:15, though Peter just got the edge on Andy to take third place in a very close finish. Finishing fifth was John Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers) in 16:43 and Oisin Quinn (Mullingar Harriers) filled sixth place with 16:49.

 

In the women’s race, Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC) led them home in 17:55, clear of Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) second in 18:09 and Fiona Gettings third in 18:53, so, barring calamities, it’s looking like Charlotte is well on course to win the women’s overall trophy but needs one more good race to be sure.

 

The 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger again proved very popular and entries jumped from 42 the first night to 58 youngsters taking part on the second night. Leading the group home for the second night in a row was Rian Hogan (4:51), ahead of Philip McCartan (4:56) and Callum Costello (4:59) to give the same 1-2-3 as the first round. First girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan (5:14), with Francesca Walshe second (5:33) and Meghan Bates third (5:38).

 

Round three this Wednesday evening will be very interesting and while the men’s race is still wide open, it will give Charlotte Kearney the perfect opportunity to stamp her claim on the overall trophy for best woman. We expect to see another big crowd and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out last week and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.

 

Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com or the Club’s website, where the results of the 1,500m race can also be found. With two rounds over, it’s too late to enter the series but individual one-race entries are very welcome, either online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café up to 7.30pm. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2. Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for round three or your place and time will not be recorded.

 

Another International selection for Vicky Harris

Congratulations to Vicky Harris who learned last Sunday that she has been selected to compete at the Celtic Track & Field International for the third year in a row. Vicky, in third year on an athletics scholarship at Athlone IT, will be part of the Irish Universities team that will compete against a team from the Scottish Universities and a team from Athletics Northern Ireland in Santry in two weeks time and everyone at the Club wishes her the very best.

 

Dublin Graded Meeting

Tallaght was the venue for the second Dublin Graded T&F Meeting of the season last Wednesday evening, which attracted a big entry of nineteen for the women’s 200m sprints, resulting in four races. Best of the lot was Vicky Harris who took won the grade A race with ease, clocking 25.25 seconds in good sprinting conditions to continue her steady early season progress.

 

We would really encourage Club members, including our older juveniles from age 16 and up and indeed our masters too, to compete in some of the Dublin Graded Meetings to get some race experience, with a grade or level to suit all abilities.

 

Club’s youngest athletes to compete in Tullamore

There are limited opportunities for our younger members to take part in competition but this Friday evening at 6.30pm boys and girls from u/9 (born 2009) to u/14 (born 2004) can compete at the annual Inter-County Athletics Match between Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath in Tullamore Harriers Stadium. Despite the title, this really is a low key very friendly competition and a chance for everyone to try several events – sprint, middle distance, long jump, turbo javelin or shot. Entry is €2 per child to cover the cost of medals and is payable on the night. The boys and girls from Mullingar Harriers will compete alongside athletes from Athlone IT, East Westmeath AC and North Westmeath AC, against Clubs from Laois, Longford and Offaly. If you ran in the Westmeath Indoors and enjoyed it, you’re in for a treat on Friday evening as it will be just as much fun.

 

Look for the notice the younger athletes training at the Club were recently given to take home for details. There is no pre-selection – just turn up and compete. This is an ideal competition for our younger athletes and newcomers and we expect to see all our younger Club members take part. It’s an Inter-County competition, so no need to worry if you don’t have a Club vest, but wear one if you have one or any maroon and white top. Finally, remember 5mm spikes or runners only on the track in Tullamore.

 

Leinster Schools T&F

We wish the very best of luck to our underage Club members that will be competing for their Schools and Colleges this week at the Leinster Schools T&F Championships in Santry, all looking to qualify for the All-Ireland Schools Finals in Tullamore in early June.

 

Leinster Juvenile Relays

This coming Sunday the first of the Leinster T&F Championships takes place when the Club will have a number of sprint relay teams in action at the Leinster Juvenile Relays in Le Chéile AC, Leixlip, Co. Kildare. Teams entered are 4x100m for girls u/12, boys u/11, u/12 and u/13, girls u/17 and u/18, and 4x400m for boys u/19. Please check the timetable on the notice board in the Clubhouse for the time of your event.

 

Future T&F Fixtures

Looking ahead, entries will close in two weeks time for the Leinster Juvenile Pairs (u/9, 10 and 11) and the u/12 and u/13 individual T&F in June in Tullamore. We recently gave out entry forms to be brought home, so please keep an eye out for them and return them by the due date on the form to avoid disappointment. Newcomers in particular please note that the younger u/9, 10 and 11 years of age compete in pairs, so they need to think about who they would like to be partnered with; if they are unsure, please ask the coaches of these age groups for guidance. On-line entries for the Leinster u/23, Seniors and Masters (and the Junior steeplechase) in Tullamore in June are now open with a closing date of 30th May.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 13 May

 

Summer sunshine start to the O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar Road League

It might have been a bit windy last Wednesday evening but the glorious sunshine more than made up for it at the first round of the O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League in Belvedere, and thanks to the natural shelter provided by the woods, conditions were perfect for running. The event continues to attract a strong entry and it was great to welcome back so many familiar faces again this year and of course to welcome many newcomers too. Numbers were a little down on last year’s opening night but we still had more than two hundred finishers, which is a good start to the league and we know from previous years that number will grow in the coming weeks. Thanks to the chip timing system the results were posted shortly after the race on the My Run Results website. We know not everyone can enter for the full series, but if you can only run one or two nights, we’ll accept individual entries on any night.

 

Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) led the race out at a fast pace, tracked by Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) for 3km but Mick made his move on the hilly sections in the woods and emerged in the lead at the 4km mark, holding it to the finish and crossing the line in 16:07, with Timmy seven seconds behind in second place. There was a gap to third place, but Garry Gavin (Mullingar Harriers) finished strongly in third place in 16:56, followed by Ashton Farrell (Newbridge AC) fourth in 17:03, just holding off Rory Mooney (Raheny Shamrocks) fifth in 17:05 and Patrick Sharkey (Longford AC) in 17:11 filling the sixth place.

 

In the women’s race, Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC), a previous winner of the overall trophy, was first woman in 17:53, clear of last year’s overall winner Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) second in 18:17 and very happy to be back competing again after a prolonged lay-off due to injury, and third woman was Fiona Gettings in 18:49. It looks like Charlotte and Aine will be the two to watch for the overall trophy this year.

 

We know that AAI policy is to discourage children competing in too many 5k races, especially one a week for four weeks, so before the 5k race there was a 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger, which is a race distance much more suited to their ages. Starting at 7.45pm, so they could finish at the “My Run Results” finish gantry before the 5k race, a good entry of 42 youngsters raced the one lap loop to the finish. Rian Hogan (u/16) was first to finish in 4:56, followed by Philip McCartan (u/12) second in 5:01, Callum Costello (u/12) third in 5:08 and Paul McCool (u/16) fourth in 5:15. First girl home was Amy Geoghegan (u/14) in 5:15, with Meghan Bates (u/14) second in 5:28, and Adele Geoghegan (u/12) 5:46 and Leah Geoghegan (u/12) 5:48 filling third and fourth places respectively. As all the boys and girls were finished before the 5k race, they stayed on at the finish line to cheer in the finishers of the 5k race.

 

Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com and the results of the 1,500m race can be found on the Club’s website. With the best three races of the four to count, there’s still time to enter the league online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2.

 

Round two this week should see another good entry and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those who will be registering for the first time and those looking to run just the single race. Many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out on the first night taking entries, organizing car parking, helping as stewards on the course etc, and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to the staff of Belvedere House and of course to Westmeath Civil Defence for their invaluable input providing first aid and ambulance cover.

 

Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for round two or your place and time will not be recorded.

 

Great performances in Greystones

Four Mullingar Harriers athletes were in action at the Irish Milers Club meeting in Greystones last Saturday. Aoife Darby was first into action in the 800m and ran a great race to finish in a time of 2 mins 18.81 seconds. This was a personal best time for Aoife by over two seconds, providing her with a great start to the track season. Jack Moran and Jamie Battle raced the 1,500m and both were rewarded with personal best times. They spurred each other on throughout with no more than a stride between them at any point in the race. In the end, Jack finished with a time of 4 mins 05.83 seconds while Jamie was 4 mins 06.03 seconds, both personal bests. In one of the best domestic 5,000m races for quite some time, Mark Christie was in contention throughout and finished an excellent second place. Mark actually led for much of the final mile and was just passed in the sprint to the finish line in a time of 13 mins 55.56 seconds. Overall it was an excellent start to the track season and provided our athletes with a good benchmark for the months ahead.

 

CSIT Selection for Shane Fitzsimons

Following an excellent return to competitive action during the indoor season, Shane Fitzsimons has been selected on the Irish team for the CSIT games in Riga, Latvia in June. A team of twelve Irish athletes will be in action and Shane will have the honour of being team captain for the event. Shane will participate in the 800m and it will mark a return to International competition for him having represented Ireland at World Youth and European Junior competitions as a juvenile.

 

Community Games Cross Country Relays

The Westmeath teams that competed at the Community Games Cross Country Relays at a windy National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, Co. Dublin last Saturday were packed with Mullingar Harriers athletes. The relays were mixed distance made up of 2 x 400m and 2x 600m. The boys team of Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Philip McCartan and Conor Liston finished a comfortable second in their heat and in the final had to pull out all the stops and were always in contention for a medal throughout but it was only on the final 400m leg that Conor took the lead and went on to win and together with substitutes Jamie Wallace (and Hugh O’Sullivan Sexton) the boys were awarded the gold medals. The girls team of Aimee Wallace, Caoimhe Kilmurray, Claire Gaffney, Síofra O’Reilly, Jessica Cunningham and Rosie O’Grady qualified from their heat and in the final battled well against tough opposition but finished out of the medal places.

 

North & South Leinster Schools

A number of the Club’s underage athletes were in action last Wednesday for their Schools and Colleges, some at day two of the North Leinster Schools T&F in Santry and others at day two of the South Leinster Schools T&F in Waterford. As expected, a great many of them – too many to mention by name – secured places at the Leinster Schools T&F Finals in two weeks time in Santry.

 

Darkness into Light Mullingar

Many thanks to the Club members who turned out to give a helping hand as stewards at the “Darkness into Light” 5k walk in aid of Pieta House last Saturday morning. Thousands took to the streets making the event a huge success and was certainly one of the biggest charity walks ever held in Mullingar.

 

Leinster T&F entries

Last week we distributed entry forms to our younger 8 to 12 year old athletes for their Leinster T&F Championships in June. Please keep an eye out for them at home and return them by the due date on the form to avoid disappointment. Newcomers in particular please note that the younger u/9, 10 and 11 years of age compete in pairs, so they need to think about who they would like to be partnered with; if they are unsure, please ask the coaches of these age groups for guidance. This week we’ll be distributing the entry forms for the older u/14 to u/19 Leinster T&F on 17th and 18th June.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 6 May

 

O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar Road League starts this week

First things first; no, you don’t have to be a brilliant athlete to take part in the O’Brien’s Renault “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5km Road League. In fact, that’s not really what the Leaguer is about. Its aim is to promote participation in sport and physical activity and to honour the memory of Pat Finnerty, a former Chairman who gave enormous service to Mullingar Harriers over many years. Of course there will be some that will race hard from the beginning, looking to run the course in record time, but for the majority of those taking part they’ll simply want to see if they improve each week. For many, to cover the distance in half an hour is the goal, with plenty of joggers and walkers finishing nearer to the hour mark. Simple fact is, it’s not important how long you take to finish and we’ll still wait for you and cheer you over the line.

 

The League takes place over the first four Wednesdays of May and the opening night is this Wednesday and starts at 8pm in Belvedere. Last year hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers registered for the series and we expect large numbers will take part again this year. The League caters for all ages and abilities and we’re encouraging as many as possible to take part. It is ideal preparation for ladies who plan to participate in the Women’s 10k Mini-Marathon in June. The cost of entry is just €30 for the four night series, and you can register on-line at www.myrunresults.com. For those who leave it to the last minute, don’t worry, you can register on the night from 6.30pm in the Courtyard Café, with registration closing at 7.30pm so the details can be added to the chip timing system. Participants for the 5k series must be at least 16 years of age this year, but to cater for younger runners, we’ll have a 1,500m for boys and girls up to 15 years of age, which will start at 7.45pm and will be well over by the time the 5k race starts. There will be a separate table at registration for the 1,500m race, which costs just €2 per night.

 

The League is an ideal way to chart progress in training by running the same course each week and seeing if you can improve your time. We’re appealing for help on the night and require a large number of stewards and volunteers, so if you can spare a couple of hours this week and each Wednesday, it would be very much appreciated.

 

Three World Titles for Sean McMullin

It’s only a month since Sean McMullin won two race walk silver medals at the World Masters Indoors in Daegu, South Korea, but straight afterwards he travelled to Auckland in New Zealand to prepare for the World Masters Games, looking for more success. Sean faced a tough competition schedule, the 1,500m race walk last Tuesday evening, followed by the 3,000m race walk early the following morning, and finally the 5,000m race walk last Saturday afternoon; however, Sean is tough and all the hard work put in at training came good as he took gold in all three events.

 

Sean won the 1,500m walk on Tuesday in 8:20.06, just three seconds clear of Norman Frable (USA) with Thomas Kok (Malaysia) in third and won the 3,000m walk on Wednesday in 17:20.91, with Frable and Kok also in second and third, but this time Sean had a very comfortable twenty five second gap, so he was sure to have had time to savour the moment as he crossed the finish line to win his second World gold medal. Three days recovery and Sean was back on track on Saturday afternoon where he won his final gold medal of the Games in the 5,000m walk, winning in 29:47.47, nearly two minutes clear of Kok in second and local New Zealander Alexander Payne in third. Three races, three victories; you can’t ask for better than that! Three World gold medals is a fantastic achievement and congratulations to Sean from everyone at the Club.

 

Vicky Harris in fine sprinting form

The opening fixture of this season’s Dublin Graded Meetings took place in a bitingly cold Santry last Wednesday evening where Vicky Harris powered to third place in the Grade A women's 100m and despite the cold ran a new personal best time of 12.26 seconds, which augers really well for the season ahead and she can look forward to running even quicker when she gets to compete in more suitable warmer conditions.

 

Cushinstown AC Open T&F Sports

A number of the Club’s youngsters made the short journey to Kilmoon Cross near Ashbourne in County Meath two weeks ago to compete in the Cushinstown AC Open T&F Sports where they enjoyed great success. Mullingar recorded a 1-2-3 in the 80m u/11 thanks to Criostoir Ormsby, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace after a close contest in the final. The boys attempted the same in the 600m u/12, where Criostoir ran a fine race to win, with Jamie second and Conor just missing a medal in fourth place. No rest for Criostoir and Conor as they competed in the u/12 shot putt, not an event they have much experience in, but Criostoir was happy to take silver and Conor was happy with his bronze medal. All three boys also competed in the u/12 long jump, which Criostoir won, Conor took bronze and while Jamie finished out of the medals he jumped a personal best. With the 1-2-3 from the 80m sprint, a fourth boy was needed to make up a team for the 4x100m u/12, so a boy from Boyne AC was recruited and ran a great opening leg to set the boys up for a fantastic win to see them on top of the medal podium again.

 

It was great to see Shane Ormsby back in action after a break of nearly two months recovering from an appendectomy and he finished second in the u/13 shot putt with a best of over 10m. He also ran in the 100m u/13 where he finished third and finished his day when he teamed up with Criostoir, Jamie and Conor in the 4x100m u/14 and Mullingar duly ran away with the race.

 

Not forgetting the girls who also brought home a huge haul of medals and trophies. Rosie O'Grady ran very well in the 80m u/11 and just missed reaching the final by one place. Aimee Wallace had to dig really deep in the 100m u/12 to hold on for the win. Aimee also took gold in her specialty event, the 600m u/12, where she led all the way and won with ease. As it was an Open Sports, trying other events was part of the fun, so Aimee also took part in the Turbo Javelin and while it might not be her forte, she still enjoyed taking part.

 

Shannon Liston was unlucky to miss the final of the 100m u/14 by one place but finished second in the u/14 shot putt to the reigning All Ireland Champion. Eve Wallace ran a great race in the 100m u/16 and was very pleased with her silver medal. Aimee and Rosie combined with two girls from other Clubs and they finished second in the 4x100m u/12. We finished the day in the medals again as Aimee, Shannon and Eve teamed up with a girl from Cushinstown AC to take silver in the 4x100m relay. All in all, it was a great day out and everyone from Mullingar won medals. Well done to everyone that competed with great success in Cushinstown. Open Sports are all about fun and the way Clubs “lend” athletes to other Clubs to make up relay teams is a great example of how relaxed Open Sports are!

 

Volunteers needed for Darkness into Light Mullingar

This Saturday morning, Mullingar will be one of a number of venues for a “Darkness into Light” 5k walk or run in aid of Pieta House the suicide and self harm crisis centre, starting at the Army Barracks at 4.15am. The Club has been asked to provide stewards around the course, so we’re looking for volunteers and if you can spare an hour or two, meet at the Fair Green (Penney’s) car park at 3.45am.

 

North Leinster Schools T&F Success

A very large number of our juvenile athletes competed for their Schools and Colleges last Wednesday at day one of the North Leinster Schools T&F in Santry. They certainly made their presence felt and a huge number, far too many to mention by name, won medals and qualified for the Leinster Schools finals in two weeks time. Day two is this Wednesday and we expect more will get in the medals and qualify for the Leinster Schools finals too.

 

Leinster T&F entries

This week we’ll start distributing entry forms to our younger 8 to 12 year old athletes for the Leinster Pairs T&F (u/9, 10 and 11) in Tullamore on 10th June and the Leinster u/12 and 13 T&F also in Tullamore but spread over three days 10th, 17th and 18th June. Please keep an eye out for them at home and return them by the due date on the form to avoid disappointment. Newcomers in particular might note that the younger u/9, 10 and 11 years of age compete in pairs, so they need to think about who they would like to be partnered with; if they are unsure, please ask the coaches of these age groups for guidance.

 

We’ll distribute entry forms for the older u/14 to u/19 Leinster T&F next week.

 

For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.

 

PRO

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