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

Stay home, stay safe (29th Mar)


A sign of the times – a blank community notice board on the Lynn Road, Mullingar


Stay home, stay safe

Many younger members of the club and wider community might be under the false impression that they are somehow immune from COVID-19 but the RTE 6 o’clock news on Friday evening 27th March showed hospital staff in Italy treating an 18 year old in intensive care, so our younger members need to take just as much care of themselves as older adults. Abide by the public health message of washing hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching eyes nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and especially important, distance yourself from other people by at least two metres; stay home, only go out if necessary or to exercise within 2km of home.

The community notice boards around Mullingar are empty, as is the athletics fixture list for the foreseeable future. The latest fixture casualties include the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors, which are now cancelled, not just postponed, and will not be held in 2020, the World Race Walking Championships in Belarus are postponed, the World u/20 T&F in Kenya is postponed, and the European u/18 T&F in Italy will not be held this year, but no decision has been made if it will be held in 2021. We still can’t say at this point how many more events will be either postponed or cancelled and it remains a very fluid situation and we just don’t know what the fixture list is going to look like in the weeks and months ahead, so everyone should be on a maintenance type of training plan.

The club grounds and clubhouse remain closed until after Easter, though that could be extended, so listen to announcements from Government on whether the period of closure is to be extended or not. Our website www.mullingarharriers.com and Facebook page will also 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.

It’s interesting to see how some of Ireland’s elite athletes are adapting their training to the new reality. Thomas Barr can no longer train at the University of Limerick, as the track is closed, so had to find alternative places to train and Phil Healy has taken up residence in Curracloe, Co. Wexford and trains on the beach! Just use your imagination. Perhaps you can train on a local field or pitch (if open), the Old Rail Trail, Royal Canal towpath, or the open space in a housing estate, if any of these are close to home.

With obviously no reports on competitions this week, we can look back to this time last year and see what was in the news for Mullingar Harriers. Sadly there’ll be no All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors this year, but last year our juveniles were in brilliant form winning 13 medals – 4 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze, and another 3 finished just out of the medals in fourth place. All-Ireland titles were won by Matthew Glennon (1,500m walk u/17), Sarah Glennon (1,500m walk u/19), Matthew Molloy (600m u/12) and Conor Liston (600m u/13). At the inaugural Dunboyne 10k, our adult women team of Aine O’Reilly, Elizabeth Carr, Michelle Bohan, Michelle O’Halloran and Emer Foley finished first Club, building on excellent form shown during the earlier cross country season.

Finally, remember to please heed the public health messages about hand washing, cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching eyes nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and distance yourself from other people by at least two metres. Stay safe, and stay home.