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

Social Distance League – Round 3 (6th June)


Close finishes in the Social Distance League

Round 3 on Saturday 6th June concluded a successful Social Distance League where club members timed themselves for a 5k or 10k distance over three weekends. Results were submitted each week and a league table was produced based on graded times. Maurice Looby took a clean sweep in the 5k competition with three impressive solo runs. Evan McCormack was second fastest man in the previous rounds but a stellar run by Liam McGlynn saw his graded time just pip Evan at the post for second in round 3. Pauric Brady was back on form and pushed hard to ensure he was in contention for a place on the league podium.

Race leader in the 5k league, Brigid McCabe, took on the 10k distance this week giving her competitors a chance to make up some much needed scores. Sinéad Whitelaw took advantage of the opportunity with her fastest run of the league but missed out ever so slightly on claiming the position of first woman, falling victim to Áine O’Reilly’s graded time. Michelle O’Halloran ran her race of the season so far jumping up the table to finish third woman, ensuring the final results were far from being decided.

It was no surprise that Maurice Looby was declared winner of the 5k league after he set the standard in round 1, but few would be familiar enough with the grading process to realize the competition was wide open. The fact that Brigid McCabe finished second overall shows just how talented she is and what great form she is showing. After a scare in round 3 for Evan McCormack, he held on to second place on the men’s podium with Liam McGlynn, an athlete who shows he can switch to competition mode when necessary, third man.

Áine O’Reilly had to watch Brigid McCabe claim the 5k title in the women’s race but held on to secure second spot in a closely run event. Sinéad Whitelaw’s return to form helped her leap ahead of Patricia Broderick and Michelle O’Halloran to take bronze in the 5k league.

Tom McGrath and Eddie Newman traded places in the 10k with Eddie the victor in round 3, just ahead of Tom. Alan Crowley continued to improve and another personal best for the distance saw him home as third man last Saturday. But it was the ever impressive Brigid McCabe who really mixed up the scoring for the 10k competition with a run that put her among the race leaders, taking valuable points from the chasing pack. Behind her Mary Stuart and Terri Greene continued to challenge for the top woman spot. Both women recorded their best performances of the competition but Mary came out on top this week. After sampling the 5k distance last week, Criona Reid was back running 10k and ensured a very impressive Amy Mahony wouldn’t have it all her own way in claiming a podium finish.

Taking turns at the top of the table meant Tom McGrath and Eddie Newman shared the spoils as victors for the 10k competition. Amazingly three athletes, Alan Crowley, James Cribbin and Stephen Naughton had equal scores after three rounds and they finished in joint second. James Keegan, who has won many of the recent club leagues fell victim to grading this time around but still managed to get on the podium in third place. There was no social distancing for our lead women where Mary Stuart and Terri Greene both accumulated the same score to be declared league winners. Amy Mahony’s streak of personal bests leaped her ahead of Criona Reid and after a closely fought league the two women finished second and third.

The Social Distance League has proved to be of great benefit to club members in a time when no public races are currently scheduled. Fifty Harriers took part over three weeks and donated almost €700, which will be returned to the local economy in the form of vouchers for many businesses closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions.