Mullingar 10 Mile 2022 (24th July)
Mullingar 10 makes a welcome return
The Mullingar 10 mile road race made a welcome return on Sunday morning 24th July after a three year gap due to Covid. Despite a light breeze, it was still warm and humid, so the conditions were quite tough for a long distance race, but at least we escaped the heavy showers that were forecast, in fact we didn’t get any until all the runners were gone home.
Like most road races up and down the Country this year, the number taking part was down on pre-Covid times, as runners adjust to the return to some sort of normality after missing so many road races over an extended period, but we were still pleased with the entry of over 250 and we know the race will grow stronger next year. This didn’t take from the excellent quality of the race though, as Graham Gilsinan (Portmarnock AC) broke clear of the leading group after 5 miles and went on to win in a very good time of 53 minutes 7 seconds, ahead of the first Mullingar Harriers athlete Timmy Murphy in 53:48, with Paul Mitchell (Tullamore Harriers AC) finishing strongly in third in 54:24. First woman to finish was Rachel Birt (Killygarry RC) in 62 minutes flat, with the Mullingar Harriers duo of Sinead Whitelaw (64:52) and Aine O’Reilly (65:09) battling each other all the way to fill second and third places respectively.
Apart from Timmy, Sinead and Aine, other Club members that won prizes included Eddie Newman (59:12), Mary Stuart (1:09:32) and Sean McMullin (1:34:59) all winning their master categories. Also running well in the maroon and white was Vinny Connolly seventh (56:03), James Keegan eighth (56:06), Andrew Nevin eleventh (56:59), Gerard Gavin sixteenth (58:38), Alan Crowley nineteenth (59:19), Kedagh Geoghegan (59:26), John Whitelaw (59:40), Kieran Nolan (1:03:29), Tom McGrath (1:07:19), Val Bohan (1:09:30), Aisling Corcoran eighth woman (1:09:58), Bernard Groenewald (1:14:36), Paul Byrne (1:16:17), Laura Geoghegan (1:17:45), Julie McLaughlin (1:18:47), Richard Kelly (1:18:53), Gemma Kelly (1:19:53), Shaun Mills (1:19:57), Liam McGlynn (1:20:14), Orla McLaughlin (1:20:42), John McNamara (1:21:59), Marie Louise Johnston (1:22:36), Linda Cunningham (1:22:44), Mervyn Kennedy (1:24:02), Criona Reid (1:24:26), Garrett O’Brien (1:27:57), Susan Glennon (1:28:56), Jane Creevy (1:31:20), Marna Groenewald (1:31:43), Sharon Bates (1:31:50), Martin Mullen (1:41:24) and Raymond Smith (1:41:32). Full results are available at www.myrunresults.com.
A 10 mile road race in late July fits perfectly into the schedule of those training for the Dublin City Marathon in October, so, attracted by the chance to run a quality race on quiet country roads with runners able to motivate and pace each other to run well and give a good performance, the event drew entrants from Clubs, running groups and keep fit groups in Counties near and far, including Dublin, Meath, Cavan, Longford, Fermanagh, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Offaly, Laois, Carlow, Kildare, Tipperary, Cork, Waterford and Wexford, and a very big number from Westmeath of course.
The weather might have been tough for the runners, but it was great for spectators who cheered the runners on to the finish at Wallace’s Pub in Dalystown, where they could take water and snacks 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 food from early morning and there was more than enough food and treats to be eaten and enjoyed. An event that caters for such large numbers doesn’t just happen and a huge amount of work by Race Director Ian McCormack and the organizing committee went into preparation in the weeks and months before the race. Special thanks is due to the army of volunteers who helped on the day with parking, registration, stewarding, water stations, post-race refreshments, medal presentation and all the other elements needed to help make the event a success.
First aid cover was provided by Westmeath Civil Defence, to whom we are very grateful, as we are to An Garda Siochana who attended at key junctions to help keep everyone safe. We’re also very grateful to our sponsors, including O’Brien’s Centra and Hyundai Mullingar, but particularly Westmeath County Council for its substantial grant under the “Festivals and Events” programme. 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 Charlie Moore, Principal, and the Board of Management of Dalystown NS for allowing the use of their excellent facilities.