Mullingar Half Marathon 2021 (25th Sept)
After an absence in 2020 due to Covid-19, the Mullingar Half Marathon made a very welcome return on Saturday morning 25th September. Traditionally held on St. Patrick’s Day when wind and rain can present problems, there were no such problems this year when over 530 runners gathered in Mullingar in warm and calm conditions, ideal for running, which certainly helped many run personal best times for the distance. There was a palpable buzz of excitement in the air at the start line as many were experiencing their first proper in-person race with a large entry in a very long time, among them a strong entry of thirty from Mullingar Harriers eager to take on the 21.1km undulating course that started in Austin Friar Street, included main roads, quiet country roads and the Royal canal towpath before finishing in Mullingar town park.
By the 5k mark, the leading group was well established, led by Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) and eventual race winner Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) going through in 16:24 with several more in close attendance. The leaders pushed on and with 7k to go, Mick had opened a gap of 10 seconds on Timmy and continued to push hard for the finish, going on to win in 1:10:38, with Timmy second place in 1:12:17 and Paul Buckley (Ferbane AC) third in 1:13:28. Following in for Mullingar was James Keegan 5th (1:15:58), Alan Crowley 19th (1:20:27), Eoin Clarke 20th (1:20:43) and Tom McGrath 21st (1:21:19), first in his master category. In the women’s race, it was all about Aine O’Reilly who led comfortably throughout to finish strongly in 1:25:00, thirty first overall and a clear winner of the women’s race from Cora Regan (Drumshanbo AC in 1:27:01) and Cathryn Brady (Brothers Pearse AC in 1:28:19). Following in behind Aine for Mullingar was Kedagh Geoghegan (1:26:53), Stephen Naughton (1:27:56), Jenny Algar (1:30:35), Enda Seery (1:32:02), Michael Clinton (1:32:02), Mary Stuart (1:33:54) third in her master category, Michelle Bohan (1:35:11), Paul Ginnell (1:38:22), Colm Walsh (1:39:18), James Cribbin (1:41:59), Emer O’Hanlon (1:41:59), Siobhan Farry (1:42:59), Joan Hickson (1:46:07), Terri Greene (1:47:22), Caroline Mullen (1:49:53), Jason McCabe (1:50:38), Orla Ginnell (1:52:05), Jane Creevy (1:52:54), Patricia Broderick (1:52:53), Kevin O’Brien (1:53:39), Gemma Kelly (1:57:38), Emer Savage (2:07:32), Des Walsh and Geraldine Walsh.
Several Mullingar Harriers were also on important pacing duties, including Andrew Nevin, Joanna Tyrrell, Ian McCormack, Evan McCormack, Bernard Groenewald, Philip Burke, Declan Costello and Eamonn O’Reilly. Congratulations to everyone who took part and to the organisers for putting on such a memorable race.