Mullingar Harriers Athletic Club

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Week ending Saturday 18 November

 

Mullingar teams reinforce their dominance at Leinster Cross Country

The best way to summarise the results of the Leinster Senior and Juvenile Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships in Adamstown, Co. Wexford last Sunday, is to let the numbers speak for themselves. Nearly one hundred juvenile athletes on nine teams; two individual Leinster titles; nineteen other top-twelve finish places; seven Club teams and five County teams won medals. All the numbers add up to one result – Mullingar Harriers is again acknowledged as the primary force in underage cross country in Leinster and we can look forward to some excellent results in the All-Ireland finals in the coming weeks. We also fielded a senior men team and they finished a very creditable seventh Club thanks to good team running and support.

 

Great compliments are due to Wexford Athletics, and the local Adamstown AC, for providing an excellent venue, constructing the course the day before in very testing wind and rain. The course held up remarkably well on the day, though got broken up in places and was sticky on some corners, but it was a proper cross country course and provided a tough but fair test for all competitors. The weather on the day was cool and windy by thankfully there was no rain.

 

The day began with non-Championship races for girls and boys under 9 years of age hosted by Wexford Athletics. Mullingar had runners in both and they ran really well and enjoyed the races, some winning medals into the bargain, so we still have youngsters coming through and we’ll see these girls and boys in the coming years racing in Championships proper.

 

In a change of format to previous years, the first Championship races were the u/19 girls and boys, as many are third level students and need to get home early in the day to travel back to University and College. The Mullingar team of Andrea Brady, Catriona Kennedy and Laura Shaw finished close together in the mid-teen places in the 4,000m for girls u/19, which was enough to place them fourth Club and book their places in the All-Ireland finals. We had just one runner in the 6,000m for boys u/19, Jamie Battle. He took the lead in the early stages and as the laps unfolded, he simply ran away from the opposition to win by a very big margin and set down clear intent for the European Junior Cross Country trials in two weeks time.

 

Getting their first taste of Leinster competition, the Mullingar and Westmeath team in the 1,500m for girls u/11 took it all in their stride, helped by a good warm up and reassuring words of advice and encouragement from parents and Club coaches before they took to the start line. Saoirse Sheridan took the early pace and set off as the girl to chase, keeping ahead for a long way but had to surrender the lead in the closing stages and by Morgan Corcoran led the Mullingar girls home in an excellent fifth place. Saoirse rallied well in the home straight and clinched the final individual medal place right on the line, crossing in twelfth. There was great team support from Katie Kilmurray, Orla Manning, Lydia McDonnell, Orlaith Dolan (North Westmeath AC), Jayne Charles, Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue, Emma Boyle (Athlone IT), Aideen Langtry, Hannah Boyle, Quyen Bartley, Eileen Farrell, Síofra O’Reilly, Emily Farrell, Anna Geoghegan, Charlotte Butler-Clyne and Norah Garry. The girls finished second Club but were unlucky to finish fifth County team, out of the medal places. Ellen Daly had warmed up but unfortunately, she was too ill to compete with the team. Mullingar absolutely dominated the 1,500m for boys u/11 from the start and Conor Liston led the team home, overtaking Jamie Wallace in the home straight to win the Leinster title, the Club’s second individual win of the day, with Jamie on his heels in second place. Luke O’Leary stormed through to finish fourth, followed by James Flynn (eighth), Matthew Molloy (ninth), Criostoir Ormsby, Alex Lynch, Rory McDonnell, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Sean Byrne, Hugo Sleator, Charlie Foy, Luke Greene, Ryan Bell and James Ryan. With five in the top twelve and the rest of the team packing well in support it was no surprise that the boys finished first Club and first County team.

 

Adele Geoghegan battled hard in the 2,500m for girls u/13 and her reward was a great fifth place for her efforts. Continuing to return to form after recent illness, Aimee Wallace placed tenth and with Caoimhe Kilmurray, Leah Geoghegan, Lucy Donnelly, Grace Byrne, Aisling Lane, Robyn Bates, Síofra O’Halloran, Adi Cronin, Jessica Cunningham, Eva Farrell and Shauna Traynor providing great team effort and support, the girls finished first Club and fourth County team. Fourth County still earns the team a place in the All-Ireland finals. We got in the medals again in the 2,500m for boys u/13 where Diarmuid Fagan and Ryan Jenkins stormed through to fifth and sixth place respectively, and with Callum Costello (tenth) and Tadhg Sheridan just missing an individual medal in thirteenth place, it was gold for first Club. Philip McCartan, Ross Killalea, Adam Brady, John Ryan, Daire McDonald, Adam Smyth, Eoin McGrath, Matt O’Leary, Darragh Smith, Matthew Shaw, Shane Ormsby, Sonny Drummond, Conleth Mullen and Ben Bose provided great support to ensure the boys also finished first County team.

 

The medals continued to come Mullingar’s way in the 3,500m for girls u/15 thanks to Amy Geoghegan (sixth), Bea Drummond (eighth), Phoebe Bate (tenth), Meabh Killalea, Karla Cunningham, Aoife McGouran, Meghan Bates and Francesca Walshe packing well to finish first Club and second County team. Colin Smith (fourth) and Sam Smyth (sixth) battled hard for their individual medal places in the 3,500m for boys u/15. Great efforts by team mates Colin McGee, Mark Langtry and Kevin Martin saw the team finish fourth Club team to advance to the All-Ireland finals. Lorcan Mullen warmed up but still carrying remnants of a recent injury, he made the wise decision not to run and risk aggravating it again.

 

More team success followed in the 4,000m for girls u/17 where Aoife Darby (sixth), Susan Glennon (ninth), Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Sarah Glennon, Ciara Smith and Elysia Greene combined brilliantly and richly deserved their medals for first Club team and third County team. The final underage race was the tough 5,000m for boys u/17 where Andrew Daly had the honour of leading the Mullingar team home in seventh place. Great support from Eoin Quinn, Oisin Lane, Andrew Shaw, Rian Hogan, Brain Martin, Paul McCool, Ciaran Luby, Ruairi Fagan and Callum Greene meant the team finished second Club and third County team.

 

We had no senior women but Mullingar fielded a team in the 10,000m for senior men. Five laps of a tough and by now slippery and mucky course made for hard work but Padraig Moran, Gerard Gavin, Ian McCormack and Hans de Raeymaeker worked hard and finished a very creditable seventh Club. Timmy Murphy suffered a flare up of a recent injury at the halfway point and wisely decided to stop and not risk further injury.

 

That rounded off a memorable day for the Club where Jamie Battle and Conor Liston won individual titles, another nineteen won other top-twelve finishers’ medals, the Club won five gold and two silver Club team medals, and Westmeath won two gold, one silver and two bronze County team medals. Of course, no one can rest on their laurels and everyone that has qualified for Abbotstown and Waterford needs to continue to apply themselves fully in training, at the Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays but especially in Belvedere this coming Saturday and Sunday morning.

 

News from the USA

Jack O’Leary returned to action after a recent injury to represent Iona College in the North East Regional Cross Country Championships at the University of Buffalo last Friday. In just his second race of the season, Jack ran an excellent race to finish in 28th position and in doing so was the sixth scorer on the Iona team. This helped Iona finish in second place in the team standings and secures qualification for the NCAA All American finals, which will be held this coming Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. 

 

New York Marathon

Mullingar’s MJ Delaney realised a long-held ambition and joined over 50,000 others on two weeks ago (Sunday 5th November) to run the New York Marathon. Conditions were good for running, a cool 14degC temperature with a light wind and enough dampness in the air to keep runners cool. MJ was delighted to complete the distance safely, crossing the finish line in 3:39:30 to collect his souvenir finisher’s medal and relish the atmosphere generated by such an event.

 

Marathon medal corrections

Finally, last week we were celebrating team success for Sinead Whitelaw, Joan Flynn and Jane Creevy in the AAI National Marathon Championships, held in conjunction with the Dublin City Marathon. However, on review of the results, Athletics Ireland revised the team scores and the Mullingar senior women team finished in fourth place, not second, narrowly missing the medal places by only a few minutes. Disappointing but they still gave a great account. Staying with corrections, we mistakenly recorded that Colm Walsh had completed the Dublin City Marathon in 3:51:02, but this was actually Enda Mimnagh. Apologies for the error.

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending 11 November

 

Marathon medals for Mullingar athletes

The recent Dublin City Marathon incorporated both the AAI National and the Leinster Marathon Championships and the results were published last week. The Mullingar team of Sinead Whitelaw, Joan Flynn and Jane Creevy finished second senior women team in the AAI National Championships, and in the Leinster Championships it was individual silver for Sinead Whitelaw, second senior woman, silver for Joan Flynn, second in her master category, and bronze for Maurice Looby, third in his master category. Congratulations to our marathon athletes on these awards.

 

Mullingar go on the hunt for more Cross Country glory

This Sunday our underage athletes will be making the long journey to Adamstown in Co. Wexford for the second round of the Leinster cross country, seeking more cross country glory and looking to qualify for the All-Ireland Finals in Waterford in December. We have teams in all ten underage races and the Westmeath teams will be reinforced by athletes from Athlone IT AC and North Westmeath AC. We also have a senior men team. For many on our under 11 teams, this will be their first experience of Leinster Championship racing and we wish them well and encourage them that no matter what, it’s only a race and they should relax as best as they can and enjoy the experience. Club officials will be on hand to provide encouragement and to settle any last minute nerves if necessary. Parents and supporters are asked to get behind all our athletes and encourage them, as usual, but particularly our young under 11 teams.

 

An important change to the programme is that the first Championship race will be the girls u/19 at 12 noon, followed by the boys u/19. The programme then reverts to the usual format of u/11, 13, 15, 17 and senior races. Before the first Leinster Championship races proper, the u/19, there will be non-Championship races for boys and girls under 9 years of age, starting at 11.40am and entries will be taken on the day.

 

The names of those entered on teams for Adamstown are on the notice board in the Clubhouse (the under 9 boys and girls are not on the list, as they can enter on the day). If for any reason you can’t compete, please let Club officials know as soon as possible so a substitute can be arranged.

 

Transport to Adamstown

Many have indicated that they will drive themselves but the Club is considering hiring a bus if there is enough interest. If you need a lift, please let Club officials know at training this Tuesday or Thursday evening.

 

When planning your journey, take note that the venue is about two and a half hours away, so leave in plenty of time and allow extra time for traffic delays entering the venue in order to arrive early and get to know the course. Aim to get there by 11am at the latest and head for the Club tent and banners to collect your race number. No matter how you travel, bring a change of clothes, a packed lunch, water or sports drink, rain gear, Club vest, four safety pins for your race number (most forgot the pins last time!) and check that you have suitably long spikes. Parents and adults are advised to bring rain gear and proper footwear. Newcomers in particular are reminded that they must wear a Club vest (buy one at training or borrow one).

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 4 November

 

Mullingar Harriers teams dominate at Leinster Cross Country

The first round of the Leinster Cross Country was held last Saturday at Navan Racecourse in perfect running conditions where the Meath Athletics Board had laid out a fantastic course that provided a good challenge for the huge number of competitors that took part, with good long gradual hills and some tight turns to test everyone. Competition was for boys and girls u/12, 14, 16 and 18 years and for junior and novice men and women. Mullingar was represented in 11 of the 12 races, being absent only from the novice women race. By day’s end, every Mullingar team had won medals, in addition to 22 individual medals for finishing in the top-twelve places, including a Leinster title for Ryan Jenkins in the u/12 boys race and third place for Claire Fagan in the junior women race. These results show how Mullingar absolutely dominated in the Inter-Club competition. Helped by Athlone IT athletes, our athletes did very well in the Inter-County competition too. This means that Mullingar and Westmeath will be well represented in the All-Ireland finals in Abbottstown at the end of November and Mullingar will be well represented on Leinster teams too.

 

The day began with non-Championship races over 1,000m for boys and girls under 10 years of age, and athletes as young as 7, 8 and 9 years of age from Clubs across Leinster competed with great enthusiasm. We had seven girls in the u/10 girls 1,000m race and seven boys in the u/10 boys 1,000m race and they all ran brilliantly, in fact five of them won medals. Some of these youngsters will be underage again next year, but we’ll see others in action again in two weeks time in Adamstown, Co. Wexford competing at u/11 and last Saturday’s race was an ideal taste of competition for them.

 

When the excitement of the u/10 races was over and before the first Championship race, asked by the Meath Board, our own Meghan Bates sang Amhrán na bhFiann and you could have heard a pin drop as she sang and she received great applause when she finished. It was on then to the first race of the Championships, the 2,000m for girls u/12 where Mullingar had a very big squad of twenty girls running, the biggest number from any Club there. In a very tight race to the line, Adele Geoghegan placed second, just ahead of Aimee Wallace in third. Leah Geoghegan (fifth) and Caoimhe Kilmurray (sixth) also got in the top-twelve medal places. Following in and giving great team support was Morgan Corcoran in thirteenth place, unlucky to miss an individual medal by just one place, followed by Grace Byrne, Jessica Cunningham, Síofra O’Halloran, Ellen Daly, Robyn Bates, Saoirse Sheridan, Caoimhe Donohue, Orla Manning, Anna May Flannery, Quyen Bartley, Shauna Traynor, Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue and Aideen Langtry (unfortunately, Lucy Donnelly and Ellen Foran were ill during the race and had to stop). The hard work paid off handsomely as the girls finished first Club and second County team to get Mullingar on the scoreboard and get the day off to a great start.

 

Clearly inspired by the girls efforts, and not to be outdone, in the 2,000m for boys u/12, Ryan Jenkins, Philip McCartan, and Callum Costello took the early lead, pulling clear to make certain of their places, with Luke O’Leary closely behind them. Thanks to a phenomenal last gasp effort by Luke just a few metres from the line, he managed to edge into fourth place to give Mullingar a fantastic 1-2-3-4 finish, meaning Club team gold was assured. The excitement wasn’t finished though, as Conor Liston (eighth) and James Flynn (twelfth) got into the individual medal places too. Great team running and support from Daire McDonald, Jamie Wallace, Criostoir Ormsby, Darragh Smith, Rory McDonnell, Alex Lynch, Hugo Sleator, David Burke and Ryan Bell saw the team also finish first County. This will be the team to watch in the All-Ireland finals!

 

In one of the closest finishes of the day in the underage races, Amy Geoghegan just had the better of Phoebe Bate right on the line to finish eleventh and twelfth respectively in the 3,000m for girls u/14. With Aoife McGouran, Meghan Bates, Eva Farrell and Anna McCartan providing great team support, the girls finished second Club but were unfortunate to finish out of the County medals in sixth place.

 

Diarmuid Fagan ran a great race in the 3,000m for boys u/14, keeping with the leaders throughout and was delighted with his fourth place finish. Running well in support was Ross Killalea, Tadhg Sheridan, John Ryan, Adam Brady, Adam Smyth, Matt O’Leary, Eoin McGrath, Conor Heavin (Athlone IT), Andrew Glennon, Martin Foran, Conleth Mullen and Ben Böse to secure the bronze medals for third Club (unfortunately, Lorcan Mullen was injured during the race and had to stop). The boys were very unlucky to finish fifth County, narrowly missing fourth place, which would have given an automatic qualification spot for a Westmeath team in the All-Ireland finals.

 

The 4,000m for girls u/16 gave us more excitement where Caoimhe O’Brien (sixth), Jennifer Fidgeon (seventh), Bea Drummond (eighth) finished in quick succession, followed home by Meabh Killalea in thirteenth, unlucky to miss an individual medal by only a narrow margin. Karla Cunningham, Francesca Walshe and Ciara Smith were in brilliant form providing important scores to play their part in helping the team finish first Club and second County to keep Mullingar to the fore.

 

In the 4,000m for boys u/16, Eoin Quinn (tenth) narrowly beat Colin Smith (eleventh) in a tight finish and with Rian Hogan, Sam Smyth, Colin McGee, Paddy Rafferty, Ruairi Fagan, Paul McCool, Matthew Glennon, Kevin Martin and Callum Greene packing well in support, the boys finished first Club and fourth County to book their places in the All-Ireland finals.

 

The 4,000m for girls u/18 and junior women was a combined race where the u/18 girls could win medals in both the u/18 and junior race. The Mullingar girls were led home by our sole junior, Claire Fagan, taking a well-deserved third place in the junior race, followed by our u/18 girls, Aoife Darby, Catriona Kennedy, Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Andrea Brady, Laura Shaw, Sarah Glennon and Elysia Greene (unfortunately, Susan Glennon was ill during the race and had to stop). Aoife and Catriona finished fifth and ninth in the u/18 race, so received individual medals there. When officials separated out the u/18 and junior results both the u/18 and junior women teams finished first Club and first County, so it was a big medal haul for the girls!

 

The final underage race on the programme was another combined race, the 6,000m for boys u/18 and for junior men, where like the corresponding women’s race, medals could be won in u/18 and junior. Aidan Daly had the honour of leading the Mullingar men home in ninth place in the junior race, followed by the u/18 boys, Conor McHugh (twelfth in the u/18 race), Andrew Daly, John Whitelaw and Brian Martin. When officials separated out the u/18 and junior results both the u/18 and junior men teams finished second Club.

 

The final race of the day was the novice men 6,000m where the Mullingar stuck to their task in the tough three lap race. Mal McDonnell led the team home, and with Gerry Gavin, Ian McCormack, Andrew Nevin and James Keegan finishing strongly, providing great support and packing well, the men were delighted to finish second Club and take home the silver medals to round off an excellent day for the Club.

 

We usually present the underage team medals at the next training session after the competition, but as it is Halloween on Tuesday and some might be missing from training, we’ll hold all the underage team medals for now and present them this Thursday at the Club at 6.45pm, before training, and next week for those that miss training this week.

 

The second round, for Junior, Senior and juvenile uneven ages will take place in Adamstown, Co. Wexford in two weeks time. The juvenile even age teams that qualified from Navan last Saturday will go forward to the All-Ireland Finals in Abbottstown, Dublin in four weeks time. Juvenile uneven teams for the next Leinster will now be finalized by Club officials this week but in the meantime it is vital that everyone continues to train hard and be in the best possible condition for the next round of the Leinsters and for the All-Ireland Finals beyond, so we expect everyone to keep in full training over the coming weeks, especially in Belvedere this coming Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11am.

 

Mullingar athletes among record numbers at Dublin City Marathon

Record numbers of about 20,000 men and women took to the streets of Dublin last Sunday morning for the Dublin City Marathon, making it the fifth biggest city marathon in Europe. Temperatures on the day made conditions ideal for running, though there were gusting headwinds here and there, especially coming into the finish at Fitzwilliam Square. The event incorporated the AAI National Marathon Championships and the Leinster Championships, so there were individual and team medals on offer but we’ll have to wait until later in the week to learn if any of the thirty two Mullingar members that finished were lucky to win any.

 

The marathon is one of the ultimate endurance tests and for some their race went exactly to plan, running personal bests in some cases, while others will have to chalk it up to experience and wait until the next time to achieve theirs. First for Mullingar to finish was Kevin Baker in an excellent fifty-fourth place in a time of 2:40:40. Our first woman home was Sinead Whitelaw, dipping under 3 hours with 2:58:58, the fifteenth woman to finish overall and tenth in her category. Other taking part included Maurice Looby (2:42:01) fifth in his master category, Mark Carroll (2:52:49), Ken Whitelaw (2:59:01) doing a brilliant job pacing Sinead to her sub-3 hour finish, Mark McCann (3:05:13), Joan Flynn (3:05:33) eighth in her master category, Patrick Muldoon (3:08:54), David Fagan (3:13:09), Brian Collentine (3:13:59), Matt Glennon (3:14:57), Bernard Groenewald (3:20:11), Stephen Naughton (3:31:59), Sean Liston (3:34:23), Jude Whelehan (3:35:06), JP O’Brien (3:41:59), Enda Seery (3:42:01), Jane Creevy (3:46:46), Colm Walsh (3:51:02), Richard Ferris (3:56:15), Criona Reid (3:56:29), John Callaghan (3:57:46), Stephen Olwell (3:58:17), Siobhan McCarthy (4:01:06), Declan Costello (4:04:05), Jason McCabe (4:14:10), Olivia Cooney (4:18:09), Ruth Greene (4:20:38), Michael Byrne (4:20:51), Alan Crowley (4:21:27), Tommy Archbold (4:22:08) and Eva McMorrow (4:26:33). Congratulations to them all for flying Mullingar flag so well.

 

November Committee Meeting

The November meeting of the committee will take place next Tuesday 7th November in the Clubhouse at 8.30pm after training and 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 28 October

 

Jamie Battle in excellent form at AAI Open Cross Country

The AAI Autumn open cross country at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin last Sunday afternoon attracted a large entry of junior, senior and master athletes. As well as a good test of early season form, the event was also a qualifying event for the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Derry in November. Weather conditions were perfect for running, with only a light wind but no rain. The course itself was testing, with some muddy patches in places to provide a good early season test.

 

Jamie Battle was keen to show form ahead of the AAI National Cross Country Championships that will take place at the same venue in November and will be the trial for the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia in December and he certainly made his mark. Competing in the combined junior, senior and master men with over 220 others, the junior men raced over 6,000m and in a close finish, with only seconds separating the top places, Jamie came through to place second and put down a serious marker for the season ahead. The senior and master men raced over 7,500m where Ian McCormack was pleased with his race and master athletes Kevin Baker, Gerry Gavin and Eddie Newman competed well but finished outside the automatic selection places for the Irish Masters team on this occasion.

 

Earlier in the afternoon was a combined race for junior, senior and master women, and included the older master men, so over 160 toed the start line. The junior women and older master men and women raced over 4,500m while the senior and rest of the master women raced over 6,000. Sean McMullin finished fifth in his master category but must wait to learn if he will be selected on the Irish Masters team or not. Finishing an excellent second place in her category, Eileen Kenny has to be confident of selection. Breda Daly finished well up overall but not high enough in her category. There was better fortune for Maura Dervin who finished behind Breda, but fourth place in her category means she has an anxious wait to learn the decision of the selectors.

 

Harriers face very busy weekend of competition

This Saturday, nearly 110 Club members from eleven years of age up to adult will compete in the Leinster Cross Country Championships at Navan Racecourse and on Sunday, thirty adult members will compete in the AAI National Marathon Championships, which takes place in conjunction with the Dublin City Marathon. Of course, there will be many more entered in just the Dublin Marathon. We wish everyone competing this weekend the very best of luck, especially the marathon runners as they face the ultimate endurance challenge.

 

In Navan, the Club will have athletes in every underage race for boys and girls under 12, 14, 16 and 18 years, and we’ll have junior men and women teams and a novice men team too. The Mullingar underage athletes will be joined on some of the Westmeath teams by athletes from Athlone IT AC and as in previous years, we’re confident that they’ll make a valuable contribution to the County team scores. Before the first Leinster Championship race proper, there will 1,000m non-Championship races for boys and girls under 10 years of age. The girl’s race will start at 11.40am, followed by the boy’s race at 11:50am. There is no entry fee and anyone can run, just go to the start line when the race is called.

 

The names of those entered on teams are on the notice board in the Clubhouse (the under 10 boys and girls are not on the list, as they can enter on the day). If for any reason you cannot compete, please let Club officials know as soon as possible. This is the first major fixture of the season and a huge crowd will attend. Newcomers in particular are reminded that as this is a Championship they must wear a Club vest (buy one at training or borrow one). Please bring a change of clothes, a packed lunch, water or sports drink, rain gear, four safety pins for your race number and check that you have suitable spikes to deal with the ground conditions.

 

Obviously, Mullingar athletes will travel by car but don’t be fooled into thinking that because it’s at Navan Racecourse you can get there in no time; there will be a very large attendance from all across Leinster and you are advised to allow extra time for traffic delays entering the venue in order to arrive early and get to know the course. We’d advise aiming to get to Navan Racecourse by 11am at the latest. Parents and adults are advised to bring rain gear and proper footwear, as underfoot conditions could be soft, so be prepared. The first Championship race, the girl’s u/12, will start at 12 noon, followed by the rest of the underage races in quick succession and the programme will conclude with the novice races.

 

Longwood 5k and 10k

Strong winds didn’t deter the entrants for the Longwood 5k and 10k races last Sunday morning, when 154 took part in the 5k race and 256 in the 10k race, so numbers continue to grow for this popular local race. Last year’s winner of the 5k, Andy Nevin, had to settle for second place this year but he was using the race as a good blow out and was pleased to finish in 17:27. Eoghan Bracken finished strongly in seventh place (18:13) and Enda O’Carolan (26:27) was happy with his race. Malcolm McDonnell finished third in the very competitive 10k race in 34 minutes exactly, placing first in his master category. Joan Flynn had an excellent race to finish twentieth overall in (38:57), fourth woman to finish. Following in was Mel Carthy (39:25) first in his master category, Nollaig McEntegart (40:03) to comfortably win his master category, Robin Jackson (43:26), Ollie Gaffney (44:56), Michael O’Sullivan (45:02) second in his master category and Declan Costello (50:26), some using the race as a final run out before the Dublin City Marathon.

 

Halloween training

As Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, and it’s during the school mid-term, there will be no training that night at 6.30pm for the younger boys and girls. Without training, it’ll give them more time to go “trick or treating” and we hope they make the most of it and enjoy it if they do! There will be training as normal at 7pm for those that want to train and hoping that we don’t jinx it, we’ll use that night to present medals we expect will be won in Navan too.

 

Club Vests

Athletes must wear a Club vest in the Leinster Championships, so newcomers in particular are encouraged to buy their own vest any night at training.

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 21 October

 

Cross country season steps up a gear

The AAI Autumn open cross country on the purpose-built course at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin this Sunday is an important fixture for the National junior squads, which include a number from the Club. They will be aiming to show form ahead of the AAI National Cross Country Championships that will take place at the same Abbotstown venue in November, which will be the trial for the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia in December. This Sunday’s race is also for senior and master athletes and incorporates the trials for the Irish teams to compete at the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Derry on 18th November. Seniors, master and juniors, we wish all our Club’s athletes the very best of luck.

 

Leinster cross country entries

We are urging the parents of all our underage athletes to tell Club coaches if their child is available for the Leinster even ages in Navan and to double check if selected on teams. Please check the notice board in the Clubhouse and if missing from the list, please let Club officials know. This applies to everyone, in particular our younger u/12 athletes.

 

The teams for the uneven ages, including u/11, have not been finalised yet but there’s no harm letting Club officials know at this stage of availability or unavailability for Wexford either.

 

Cross country training

The first round of the Leinster cross country in Navan is drawing near, so it’s very important that everyone puts in the extra effort at training at the Club on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but that won’t be enough if you’re serious about doing well. There will be extra training in Belvedere this Saturday and Sunday mornings (details at training on Thursday) and we expect all our underage athletes who are serious about competing well in the Leinsters to make every effort to attend at least one session but preferably both Saturday and Sunday morning sessions.

 

Road Safety

At the risk of sounding like a worn record, we need to remind Club members, again, that they must wear reflective clothing when running on the road at night. That includes all who use our Club grounds and who run from the Clubhouse on training nights.

 

Club Vests

Athletes must wear a Club vest in the Leinster Championships, so newcomers in particular are encouraged to buy their own vest any night at training.

 

Cross country venues confirmed

The final venue for the All-Ireland cross country finals was announced last week and we will be heading to Waterford IT in mid-December for the Novice and Juvenile Uneven Ages. New motorways or not, it’s a long drive to Waterford, so in order that our athletes are as refreshed as possible, an overnight stay nearby on Saturday night 16th December is highly recommended. In the past, the Club has arranged overnight accommodation in a hotel, so in the next few weeks, we will see if there is any interest in doing so this year or if parents wish to make their own arrangements.

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 14 October

 

Perfect conditions for conclusion of Westmeath Cross Country

In contrast to day one, there was no rain or wind and conditions were absolutely perfect for running last Sunday in Belvedere on day two of the Westmeath AAI Cross Country where athletes from Athlone IT AC, North Westmeath AC, East Westmeath and of course Mullingar Harriers AC competed for places on Club and County teams in the upcoming Leinster Cross Country Championships. Competition was for boys and girls under 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18 and 19 years of age and for men and women Novice, Senior and Master. Many of the juveniles who took part on day one the previous week were back in action again either running in their own age or moving up an age group to get in some race experience. As on day one, the competitors on day two came from all across the County and included a number of welcome newcomers, with everyone keen to perform well. All the underage races were keenly contested, especially the u/9 and u/11 races, and the last race of the day was a combined race for girls u/17 and older, boys u/18 and older and men and women Novice, Senior and Master. Each group ran over the same course but with different numbers of laps, so with nearly forty athletes starting together, it was a great event for spectators.


Thanks to all who helped recording results and stewarding on the course, and to the many parents who came and supported the competitors, but in particular to all the athletes who competed.


The results of day two are:

 

Under 9 girls 500m – 1. Tianna O'Leary, 2. Katie Glennon, 3. Therese Daly, 4. Niamh Whelan, 5. Amy Fitzgerald (AIT), 6. Isabel Daly (AIT), 7. Christine Waldron, 8. Sadbh Leonard, 9. Mia Armstrong, 10. Aiveen Lynch, 11. Elsa Allen (AIT), 12. Roisin Flynn, 13. Hazel O'Grady, 14. Eva Longe, 15. Zara Scanlon, 16. Sara Doyle, 17. Beibhinn O'Reilly, 18. Rachel Cunningham, 19. Charlotte Ripley, 20. Lucy Fleming (AIT), 21. Clare Murtagh. Under 9 boys 500m – 1. Jake Bell, 2. Cian Matthews, 3. Daniel Boyle, 4. Matthew Webb, 5. Liam Weblin, 6. Oliver Lynch, 7. Oisin O'Muiri, 8. Greg McDonnell, 9. Conor Corcoran, 10. Aaron Fennell (AIT), 11. Conor Doran (AIT), 12. Sean Mulleady, 13. Darren Corcoran, 14. Aaron Wallace, 15. Conor Walsh, 16. Thomas Daly, 17. Senan Brady (E/WH), 18. Cormac McGrath, 19. Aengus O'Reilly, 20. Oisin Kilmurray. Under 11 girls 1,500m – 1. Morgan Corcoran, 2. Saoirse Sheridan, 3. Katie Kilmurray, 4. Orla Dolan (N/WH), 5. Lydia McDonnell, 6. Ellen Daly, 7. Orla Manning, 8. Rachel Murphy, 9. Quyen Bartley, 10. Rosie O'Grady, 11. Anna Bocols, 12. Rose Macken, 13. Hannah Boyle, 14. Muireann Donohue, 15. Eileen Farrell, 16. Emma Boyle (AIT), 17. Sophia Webb, 18. Aideen Langtry, 19. Charlotte Butler-Clyne, 20. Lucy Doran (AIT), 21. Emily Farrell, 22. Saoirse O'Reilly, 23. Síofra Murray, 24. Sophie Hynes, 25. Ruth Doolin. Under 11 boys 1,500m – 1. Luke O'Leary, 2. Conor Liston, 3. James Flynn, 4. Jamie Wallace, 5. Matthew Molloy, 6. Criostoir Ormsby, 7. Alex Lynch, 8. Niall Brady, 9. Sean Byrne, 10. Arthur Drummond, 11. Rory McDonnell12. Conor Mulleady, 13. Con Fennell (AIT), 14. Cian Corcoran, 15. Hugo Sleator, 16. Criostoir O'Brien (AIT), 17. Conor Deeney (AIT), 18. Gareth Sweeney, 19. Brian Longe, 20. Ryan Bell, 21. Shane Moroney, 22. Conor Maloney, 23. John Glennon, 24. Donncha Flynn, 25. James Ryan, 26. Eoin O'Reilly, 27. Darragh Weblin, 28. Ciaran Duggan, 29. Killian Doyle. Under 13 girls 2,500m – 1. Leah Geoghegan, 2. Caoimhe Kilmurray, 3. Adele Geoghegan, 4. Katie Boyle (AIT), 5. Sarah Fitzgerald (AIT), 6. Lucy Donnelly, 7. Grace Byrne, 8. Aisling Lane, 9. Jessica Cunningham, 10. Eva Farrell, 11. Síofra O'Halloran, 12. Ciara Glennon, 13. Robyn Bates, 14. Ellen Foran, 15. Laura Madden (AIT), 16. Grace McGloin (AIT), 17. Lucy Brett (AIT), 18. Shauna Traynor. Under 13 boys 2,500m – 1. Ryan Jenkins, 2. Philip McCartan, 3. Tadhg Sheridan, 4. Ross Killalea, 5. Diarmuid Fagan, 6. John Ryan, 7. Callum Costello, 8. Adam Brady, 9. Daire McDonald, 10. Eoin McGrath, 11. Adam Smyth, 12. Matthew O'Leary, 13. Andrew Glennon, 14. Shane Ormsby, 15. David Burke, 16. Sonny Drummond, 17. Conleth Mullen, 18. Ben Bose. Under 15 girls 3,500m – 1. Bea Drummond, 2. Amy Geoghegan, 3. Phoebe Bate, 4. Meabh Killalea, 5. Meghan Bates. Under 15 boys 3,500m – 1. Sam Smyth, 2. Lorcan Mullen, 3. Colin McGee, 4. Matthew Glennon, 5. Oisin Sheridan, 6. Mark Langtry, 7. Kevin Martin, 8. Martin Foran. Under 17 girls 4,000m – 1. Caoimhe O'Brien, 2. Aoife Darby, 3. Susan Glennon, 4. Lisa Gavin (AIT). Under 17 boys 5,000m – 1. John Whitelaw, 2. Andrew Shaw, 3. Oisin Lane, 4. Andrew Daly, 5. Rian Hogan, 6. Eoin Quinn, 7. Brian Martin, 8. Ruairi Fagan, 9. Paul McCool. Under 18 girls 4,000m – 1. Catriona Kennedy, 2. Andrea Brady, 3. Laura Shaw. Under 18 boys 6,000m – 1. Jamie Battle, 2, Conor McHugh. Under 19 girls 4,000m – 1. Alanna Bate. Junior Women 4,000m – 1. Laura Whitelaw. Junior Men 6,000m – 1. Aidan Daly, 2. Declan Brady. Novice Women 4,000m – 1. Caroline Mullen, 2. Lorraine Brady. Novice Men 6,000m – 1. James Keegan. Senior Women 4,000m – 1. Miriam Walsh. Senior Men 8,000m – 1. Andrew Nevin. Master Women 4,000m – 1. Breda Daly, 2. Eileen Kenny, 3. Linda Cunningham. Master Men 6,000m – 1. Gerry Gavin, 2. Paddy Kelly, 3. Padraig Daly, 4. David Fagan, 5. Pauric Brady, 6. Mel Carthy, 7. Aidan Rafferty, 8. Brian Boyle, 9. Mark Bate.

 

Selection for juvenile Club and County teams for the Leinster Championships will be based on the results from both days and on application in training. A few juveniles unavoidably missed one day or the other, or were ill, but they can still be considered for team selection if officials are happy that they are fit and able to train.

 

Cross country training

It’s a little over two weeks to the first Leinster cross country, so it is very important that everyone puts in the extra effort at training at the Club on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but that won’t be enough if you’re serious about doing well. Therefore, there will be extra training in Belvedere on Saturday and Sunday mornings (details at training on Thursday). We expect all our underage athletes who are serious about competing well in the Leinsters and wishing to make sure of selection on teams to make every effort to attend at least one session but preferably both Saturday and Sunday morning sessions.

 

On the road

Timmy Murphy headed west and was very happy with his third place finish in the Galway Bay 10k last Saturday morning, crossing the line in 34:07 ahead of nearly 1,500 opponents. Timmy continues to feature strongly in road races across a variety of distances.

 

Longwood in Co. Meath was the venue for the Irish Three Quarter Marathon last Sunday morning where nearly 1,200 competitors enjoyed near perfect running conditions on a good flat course, providing ideal preparation ahead of the Dublin City Marathon in three weeks time. Nollaig McEntegart was in his customary great form, finishing well up in a terrific thirty fourth place in 2:12:28, which saw him win his master age category by a distance. Next to finish from Mullingar and running very well was Sean Liston (2:39:12), followed by Siobhan McCarthy (2:56:58), Criona Reid (2:58:27) and Jason McCabe (3:06:09). Sean and Criona managed to pace themselves perfectly and actually ran quicker on each quarter. Congratulations to them all.

 

Road Safety

We need to remind Club members again that they must wear reflective clothing when running on the road at night. That includes all who use our Club grounds and who run from the Clubhouse on training nights.

 

Club Vests

Athletes must wear a Club vest in the Leinster Championships, so newcomers in particular are encouraged to buy their own vest any night at training.

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 7 October

 

Westmeath Schools Cross Country a great success despite the weather

Cross country runners are a very tough bunch, so it really takes something extreme to cancel a cross country event, but rain, no matter how heavy, certainly doesn’t count. Despite the rain and wind last Wednesday morning, there was still a very big turnout of students from primary and secondary schools all across Westmeath for the annual Westmeath Schools Cross Country Championships held in Belvedere. Despite the weather, the grounds still looked great and the hard work put in by volunteers from the Club in setting up the course meant that everything was ready on the day. It was great to see such enthusiasm in the competitors from first class in primary school all the way up to sixth year in secondary school, braving the elements and cheered on by a big crowd of teachers and parents.

 

Numbers taking part were obviously down a bit on last year due to the weather, but the event continues to be very popular and we hope that competitors and schools will continue to support this excellent event in future years. We are indebted to the many volunteers who turned up to help officiate and make the day a success. The rain and wind meant that some youngsters got very cold quickly after their races but a bit of time wrapped in blankets in the first aid tent did the trick and they recovered in no time, so sincere thanks to the Westmeath Civil Defence for putting in a Trojan shift all morning. Thanks too to Gerry Gavin who ran as the “rabbit” in the primary schools races, giving all the young competitors a clear person to chase so no one got lost on the course.

 

The management and staff at Belvedere House and Gardens were also of great help in organising the day at a venue that is ideal for hosting such an event. Finally, our thanks to the teachers and schools for competing in great numbers to ensure that the event continues to be one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events on the calendar for those of school going age in Westmeath.

 

Congratulations to all who took part and as usual, the standard of competition was extremely high and medals were hard won for all the competitors. All the individual and team results are available on the Club’s website www.mullingarharriers.com and they show a great distribution of medals to schools throughout the county. Team medals will be distributed to the schools this week.

 

Increased numbers at Westmeath AAI Cross Country

There was a noticeable increase in numbers taking part on day one of the Westmeath AAI Cross Country Championships in Belvedere last Sunday morning, especially in the younger age groups, though nothing compared to the great crowd that attended mid week for the successful Westmeath Schools cross country. Parts of the course were still quite mucky but everyone managed okay and did not let it affect their performances and the older age groups focussed on the competition for places on Club and County teams for the upcoming Leinster Cross Country Championships.

 

Day one was for boys and girls u/8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 years of age. Boys and girls u/18 years of age will compete on day two this coming Sunday. There was good representation of Club athletes from all across the County and there were a good number of newcomers that had run in the Westmeath Schools Cross Country just days before. If not members of a Club they’re strongly encouraged to join their nearest Club. The boys and girls that ran in the non-Championship u/8 and u/10 races certainly enjoyed themselves and were delighted with their medals, one for everyone that finished.

 

Moving to the Championships proper, the race distances were longer than in the Westmeath Schools but that was no problem for those that have been training regularly. The course in Belvedere is a great test of cross country endurance and those that train there regularly will have no problem with any courses chosen for the Leinsters. There were some very good individual performances last Sunday but Championship cross country is also about team running, so everyone’s performance was being closely watched by Club officials, particularly the newcomers. The results of day one and day two will be used to select teams to represent the Club and Westmeath in the upcoming Leinster Championships.

 

The results of the Novice men and women races on day two will also be used to select Club and County teams for the Leinster Championships, so all adult members that won’t be competing in the Dublin City Marathon but want to run in the Leinster Championships must run on day two.

 

Thanks to all who helped last Sunday recording the results and stewarding on the course and particularly to the many parents who came and supported the competitors.


Day two this Sunday morning will be for boys and girls u/9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and u/18 and 19 years, and for men and women junior, novice, senior and master. The Leinster Championships take place over two days, with two weeks between each, so juvenile athletes can run in their own age group and can move up an age group to make up teams. Therefore, we expect all juveniles to compete on both days of the Westmeath Championships unless ill or injured or they might be disappointed if not selected.

 

The first race will be at 11am so the younger runners should be in Belvedere before 10.30am to get ready and know where they have to run. The Westmeath AAI Cross Country is an open competition and you don’t have to be a member of a Club to take part, so everyone who took part in the schools cross country is very welcome to compete.

 

The results of day 1 are:

 

Under 10 girls 1,000m – 1. Katie Kilmurray, 2. Lydia McDonnell, 3. Jayne Charles, 4. Tianna O'Leary, 5. Katie Dalton, 6. Charlotte Butler Clyne, 7. Aleesha Joyce Whyte (AIT), 8. Katie Glennon, 9. Muireann Rehill (E/WH), 10. Eileen Farrell, 11. Isobel Daly (AIT), 12. Síofra O'Reilly, 13. Hazel O’Grady, 14. Isobel O'Meara (AIT), 15. Emily Farrell, 16. Mia Armstrong, 17. Sadhbh Leonard, 18. Zara Scanlon. Under 10 boys 1,000m – 1. Matthew Molloy, 2. Dan Costello (AIT), 3. Jake Bell, 4. Arthur Drummond, 5. Niall Brady, 6. Daniel Boyle, 7. Sean Keegan (AIT), 8. Gareth Sweeney, 9. Jake O’Brien, 10. Eoin Donohue, 11. Liam Weblin, 12. Brian Longe, 13. Ross McCabe (AIT), 14. James Pettit (AIT), 15. Thomas Daly (AIT), 16. Braiden Shaw (E/WH), 17. Oisin Kehoe, 18. Thomas Kelly (AIT), 19. Donnacha Lee (AIT), 20. Ciaran Duggan, 21. Sean Ginnell, 22. Zack O'Brien. Under 12 girls 2,000m1. Adele Geoghegan, 2. Leah Geoghegan, 3. Caoimhe Kilmurray, 4. Morgan Corcoran, 5. Lucy Donnelly, 6. Jessica Cunningham, 7. Síofra O’Halloran, 8. Saoirse Sheridan, 9. Robyn Bates, 10. Ciara Glennon, 11. Ellen Daly, 12. Ellen Foran, 13. Louise Callaghan, 14. Amy Kehoe 15. Alva McCabe, 16. Shauna Traynor, 17. Shauna Callaghan, 18. Rosie O’Grady, 19. Caoimhe O'Donoghue, 20. Sophie McCabe, 21. Emma Higgins, 22. Anna May Flannery, 23. Eadaoin Langtry, 24. Rose Macken, 25. Muireann Donoghue. Under 12 boys 2,000m – 1. Philip McCartan, 2. Callum Costello, 3. Ryan Jenkins, 4. Luke O'Leary, 5. Conor Liston, 6. James Flynn, 7.  Jamie Wallace, 8. Daire McDonald, 9. Darragh Smith, 10. Rory McDonnell, 11. Alex Lynch, 12. Matthew Shaw, 13. Darragh Weblin, 14. David Burke, 15. Neil Pearson, 16. Sean Clarke, 17. Rourke Shaw, 18. Ryan Bell, 19. John Glennon. Under 14 girls 3,000m1. Amy Geoghegan, 2 Phoebe Bate, 3. Aoife McGouran, 4. Meghan Bates, 5. Helen Lynch (AIT). Under 14 boys 3,000m1. Tadhg Sheridan, 2. Ross Killalea, 3. Diarmuid Fagan, 4. Adam Brady, 5. Eoin McGrath, 6. Adam Smyth, 7. Matthew O’Leary, 8. Andrew Glennon, 9. Martin Foran, 10. Conor Heavin (AIT), 11. Shane Ormsby, 12. Sonny Drummond, 13. Conleth Mullen. Under 16 girls 4,000m – 1. Caoimhe O’Brien, 2. Meabh Killalea, 3. Karla Cunningham, 4. Franscesca Walshe, 5. Ciara Smith. Under 16 boys 4,000m – 1. Sam Smyth, 2. Colin Smith, 3. Andrew Shaw, 4. Eoin Quinn, 5. Rian Hogan, 6. Lorcan Mullen, 7. Paddy Rafferty, 8. Ruairi Fagan, 9. Ciaran Luby, 10. Colin McGee, 11. Matthew Glennon, 12. Mark Langtry.

 

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

 

PRO

Week ending Saturday 30 September

 

Quiet start to cross country season for Mullingar

For a long time the Star of the Sea AC Open Cross Country in Stamullen, Co. Meath has been the traditional opening fixture of the cross country season for Mullingar, but sadly, last Sunday there was a poor attendance by Club athletes. Mullingar usually has a team of over 40 youngsters and a good number of adults in action but this year we only managed to field 23 juveniles, 2 junior athletes and no senior or master athletes at all. Unbelievably, we had no one competing from u/14 and up in the underage races, traditionally where Mullingar gets to show its strength in depth ahead of the Leinsters. From a normal two dozen top-ten finish places and a dozen or so team medals, this year the Club managed just eight top-ten places and only two underage team medals. Many team medals were lost for the want of a third runner. Mullingar had won the shield for best juvenile Club for the past twelve years in a row but Mullingar all but disappeared off the scoreboard this time. It was certainly a case of unlucky thirteen!

 

The Westmeath Schools and the AAI Westmeath Championships just don’t measure up in terms of race quality, so it means that for most of the Club’s youngsters, their first proper race of the season will be the first round of the Leinster cross country a month from now. Time will tell if they regret the decision to forego a good blow out on a testing course in a proper race to measure their progress in training.

 

The small squad that did compete however turned in some great performances and results were of a high standard, it was just there were not enough teams of three to win team medals and team points.

 

Tianna O’Leary was full of running in the u/9 girls 500m and finished well up in eighth place, just missing an individual top-six place medal. With support from Aoife Longe and Chloe Duggan, the team finished well up but out of the medal places. Liam Weblin led the Mullingar team home in the u/9 boys 500m, followed by Cathal Kilmurray and Blaise Drummond but unfortunately the boys also finished out of the team medal places.

 

We scored our first individual medal thanks to Katie Kilmurray in the u/10 girls 500m who finished very strongly in sixth place. Despite good support from newcomers Eileen Farrell and Emily Farrell, the girls finished out of the team medals this time. Mullingar finally got on the team scoreboard in the u/10 boys 500m when Matthew Molloy stormed to the finish to take third place, and with Arthur Drummond, Brian Longe and Ciaran Duggan packing well in behind him, the boys won silver medals for second team.

 

Orla Manning was our sole representative in the u/11 girls 1,000m where she finished well up with a solid performance. Conor Liston was the runaway winner of the u/11 boys 1,000m with a fine display of tactical racing, and a perfectly timed push for home. With James Flynn tearing into the home straight in third place, and Darragh Weblin finishing strongly to provide the vital third score, the team finished second and the boys were rewarded with team silver medals for their efforts.

 

With no team to support her in the u/12 girls 1,500m, Caoimhe Kilmurray knew any medal chance was down to her own efforts and she duly delivered with a fine fifth place finish after an excellent race over the testing one lap course. Callum Costello used the u/12 boys 1,500m as a good test of fitness and he simply ran away from the opposition to win easily by a distance. David Burke finished well up in his first race for Mullingar but with no third runner, team medals were definitely lost here.

 

Eve Farrell competed well in the u/13 girls 1,500m where she finished well up and was happy with her performance. The final juvenile race with a Mullingar interest was the u/13 boys 1,800m where Matt O’Leary got into the top-ten with a fine ninth place finish, and with Sonny Drummond finishing strongly not far behind, it was a real shame we hadn’t a third runner or team medals would have been a certainty.

 

With no Mullingar athletes in u/14, u/15 or u/17 races, we had an unusually long wait before we could exercise our vocal chords again, finally getting to do so as we shouted our encouragement for Catriona Kennedy in the women’s 3,000m, which was a combined race for junior, senior and master athletes. Unfazed by running against older opposition, Catriona stayed right with the early pace and her bravery was rewarded with an excellent second place overall finish, also finishing first junior woman into the bargain.

 

The final race of the day was the junior, senior and master men’s 6,000m race where Conor McHugh competed well over four laps of the tough hilly course and with a strong finish took third place in the junior men race to win a well-deserved prize.

 

Despite the low numbers from Mullingar, we saw some great individual performances in Stamullen, especially from some of our newcomers. Sadly lacking was the team element, essential for success in cross country competition and we’ll have to wait and see how Mullingar fares in the upcoming Leinster Championships. Thanks to the parents and other supporters who travelled to Meath to support our athletes, as it does help them if they’re cheered on.

 

Dublin Half Marathon

Moving from the Phoenix Park to a new course this year in Donabate, Co. Dublin certainly didn’t go to plan for the organisers of the Dublin Half Marathon last Saturday morning. Over 9,000 runners had signed up to take part but many were forced to abandon their plans to run when they were caught up in severe traffic congestion coming off the M1 Motorway. In fact, the results show just under 6,600 finishers, so clearly a lot didn’t make it to the start in time. Thankfully the contingent from Mullingar made it safely to the start in time, though when reflecting on the very challenging course including the hills for the first eight miles, not helped by the strong winds on the day, especially the headwind over the last few miles perhaps they wished they had missed it too!

 

No surprise given his form on the road that leading the Mullingar group home in ninth place was Kevin Baker in 1:14:48, which is excellent running on this course and in these conditions. He was followed home by Maurice Looby (1:17:11), Matt Glennon (1:23:32), Jude Whelehan (1:39:57) and Siobhan McCarthy (1:40:11), who was very pleased to finish second in her master category. Well done to them all for getting to the start in time and running so well in the less than ideal conditions.

 

Rathfarnham 5k

In contrast to the day before conditions for the Rathfarnham 5k last Sunday morning were perfect, being cool dry and calm, which added to the huge success of the twentieth edition of this well regarded race, on one of the flattest and fastest 5k courses in Ireland. Any wonder the race, expertly organised by Rathfarnham WSAF AC, attracted an entry of nearly 760 runners, joggers and walkers, among them a talented trio from Mullingar.

 

Timmy Murphy (15:55) was first for Mullingar to finish in an excellent twenty fifth place, followed closely by Mal McDonnell just three seconds behind (15:58), and the Mullingar trio was completed by Laura Whitelaw, better known as a track athlete, so very pleased to finish in 20:44, which earned her third prize in the junior women race.

 

Help needed for Westmeath Schools Cross Country

We expect a good number of our juvenile athletes will be competing in the Westmeath Schools Cross Country this Wednesday in Belvedere. The secondary schools start at 11am, followed by the national schools at 12 noon. We know it’s a week day, but we’re looking for Club members and friends to help out with parking, stewarding, assembly, finish line etc, so if you can spare a few hours, please be there before 10am; it will be over by 2pm at the latest.

 

Westmeath AAI Cross Country this Sunday

Day one of the Westmeath Cross Country takes place in Belvedere this Sunday at 11am. Competition will be for boys and girls under 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 years of age (u/18 athletes will compete on day two next week). The first race will be at 11am so the younger runners should be in Belvedere before 10.30am to get ready and know where they have to run. Day two will be the following Sunday also at 11am and will be for boys and girls under 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17, and for under 18 and 19 years, and for men and women junior, senior, novice and master. Boys and girls run in their own age group on one day and move up an age on the other day in the Leinsters, so we need them to run in both rounds in Westmeath to pick teams for the Leinsters. Club and County teams for the Leinster Cross Country Championships will be the based on the results of both rounds of the Westmeath Cross Country Championships, so only those who take part in both rounds are guaranteed to be considered for selection on teams. The Westmeath AAI Cross Country is an Open competition and you do not have to be a member of a Club to take part, so everyone who took part in the schools cross country is very welcome to compete.

 

Road Safety

Club members are reminded that they must wear reflective clothing when running on the road in the evenings. That includes all who use our Club grounds and who run from the Clubhouse on training nights.

 

Club Colours

A reminder to all Club athletes that it is a rule of the Club (from the Club Constitution) that they must wear the Club colours in all competitions, not just Championships. Club vests can be purchased at training. Members not wearing the Club colours in races will not have their performances recorded in Club records; persistent offenders risk sanction, including suspension and/or refusal of their membership at the next renewal.

 

October Committee Meeting

The October meeting of the committee will be held next Tuesday 3rd October in the Clubhouse at 8.30pm after training and a full attendance is requested.

 

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

 

PRO

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.

 

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