A: Grange, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland | E: info@mullingarharriers.com

No end in sight for current restrictions (4th Apr)


No end in sight for current restrictions

It’s looking more and more likely that the advice to stay home and restrictions on movements will remain in place for several more weeks, possibly for the entire month of April, and who knows how far beyond? What we do know is that the athletics fixture list is blank for April, and some fixtures in early May are already being postponed or cancelled, with others under careful review, so we’re in for the long haul when it comes to absence from competition, and probably training together too. At least most of us can still get out for a run now and then, as long as it’s not too far from home and not for too long either. Everyone needs to be careful not to suddenly start running every day if they haven’t been doing so up to now because you risk injury and there’ll be nowhere to go for treatment. Now is a good time to work on your running drills, core strength, stretching, foam rolling, and all the other ancillary things we know we should do but too often sideline or neglect.

For anyone tempted to bemoan the fact that they can’t move around freely, seeing the tragedies unfold in Italy and Spain, with the mounting daily death toll, it was sobering to learn last week that based on our relative population, if Ireland was in a similar state, we should have one thousand dead and not the hundred recorded last week, though one hundred is still too many lives lost. It shows that the measures we’re taking are proving effective in slowing the spread of the virus and we need to continue taking them, no matter how difficult many are finding it. By its nature, athletics is a solitary sport and athletes are conditioned to the self discipline that comes with that, so now is the time to demonstrate it and be disciplined enough to continue to do what is asked of all us all to keep our communities safe. Stay home, stay safe.

With all competition still on pause, it’s good to look back to this time last year and see what was in the news for Mullingar Harriers. Matthew Glennon and Oisin Lane were in brilliant form in the junior men 10k race walk at the Poděbrady Race Walking Festival in the Czech Republic where Oisin finished inside the standard for the European Youth (u/18) Olympics Festival (EYOF), the European Race Walking Cup and the European Junior T&F, and Matthew finished inside the standard for the EYOF too. On the final day of the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors in Athlone IT, the Mullingar u/13 boys 4x200m relay squad of Matthew Molloy, Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace, Kyle Faherty and Criostoir Ormsby won by a distance to take gold. At the same Athlone venue, but on the outdoor track, the outdoor season was underway with the Irish University T&F where some of Mullingar’s third level student members were competing for their Colleges and Universities. Claire Fagan (DCU) used her trademark fast finish on the final lap of a tactical 5,000m to pull well clear and win and Vicky Harris helped the AIT team to third place in the 4x100m relay.

On the road, Kedagh Geoghegan (1:33:14) and John Kilroy (1:41:44) were happy to finish well up among a very big entry at the Omagh Half Marathon in Co. Tyrone and at the well attended Lough Boora Half Marathon in Co. Offaly, Joan Flynn finished in an impressive 1:30:26, the second woman to finish. An interesting feature was the half marathon relay where sister and brother, Linda Cunningham and Gerard Gavin, paired up as “Team Gavin” and finished in 1:31:29, the second of thirty teams.

The club grounds and clubhouse remain closed until we hear that we can relax controls and life can begin to get back to normal again. Our website www.mullingarharriers.com and Facebook page will have updates. There is also plenty that can be done indoors, so check the club and the Athletics Ireland website or Facebook pages for ideas on indoor exercises, strength and conditioning routines etc. If training outdoors, remember that you must now keep within 2km of home, train alone (unless with other household members) and please remember to respect the social distancing guidelines and keep at least two metres apart from other walkers or runners you might meet on your run.