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

Q2, 2019 News & Reports – April to June




Derravaragh 5k and 10k Road Races

There was nothing easy about the hilly course for the Derravaragh 5k and 10k Road Races on Sunday 30th June, races that were organised in aid of Community Services Group, Multyfarnham, but at least temperatures were more comfortable than recent days. Mullingar athletes were out in force among the good turnout of 170 and won plenty of prizes, including a clean sweep of top prizes in both the 5k and 10k races.

Andrew Nevin won the 5k in 17:09, followed home by Barry McDonald in second place (19:31), then first woman Linda Conroy in third place in 19:44, just ahead of Ger Brady fourth (20:29) and second woman Andrea Brady sixth (22:42). Top spot in the 10k went to James Keegan in 35:24, with Gerard Gavin third (36:40), followed by Eoin Clarke (38:10), first woman Aine O’Reilly eleventh (39:12), Enda Seery (41:45), Colm McCormack (42:41), Evan McCormack (44:48), Val Bohan (44:48), Colm Walsh (45:15), Michael O’Sullivan (45:34), Declan Costello (47:32), Jane Creevy (47:47), Criona Reid (48:42), Linda Cunningham (48:51), Linda O’Driscoll (49:37), Kevin O’Brien (49:46), Ruth Greene (54:15) and PJ Ballesty.

European u/23 T&F selection for Claire Fagan

On Sunday morning 30th June Athletics Ireland named Claire Fagan on the Irish team that will compete at the European u/23 T&F in Gävle, Sweden. This is Claire’s first Major Championship and she will compete in the 10,000m. Also on the team are Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath AC) and Niamh Fogarty (Raheny AC), who will compete in the discus, giving Westmeath three representatives in Sweden.

All-Ireland u/12 and u/13 T&F

After the early morning cloud quickly cleared and the day progressed in Tullamore on Saturday 29th June at the All-Ireland u/12 and u/13 T&F Finals, it began to get very hot as the sun climbed high in the sky, but the action on the track was just as hot for the young Mullingar athletes in action.

Kyle Faherty had no problem qualifying from his heat of the 80m u/13 and in the final blasted from the blocks and looked very strong throughout but was very unlucky to miss out on a medal by a mere one hundredth of a second as he finished fourth, despite running significantly quicker in the final.

Matthew Molloy easily wore the mantle of pre-race favourite in the 600m u/12 and right from the gun attacked the race by going straight to the front and as the clock ticked by he slowly opened a lead that was just impossible to close and in the final few metres he allowed himself a quick look behind to make sure he was well clear before raising his arms in victory as he crossed the line to record a fine win and another All-Ireland title. As expected in the 600m u/13, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace were right in the mix from the very start but a minor collision after about 250m caused Conor to stumble and nearly fall. He managed to just maintain his balance but lost valuable ground on the leaders, including Jamie. Hitting the front just before the back straight, Jamie was full of running and pulling clear of the field. He was caught and passed on the back straight but he kept his form and pushed on hard, leaving the rest of field behind. Conor made his move into third place with 200m to go and chased hard after Jamie but the gap was too much to close and Jamie held on to second place, followed closely over the line by the very fast finishing Conor in third.

The Mullingar 4x100m u/13 relay team looked impressive winning their heat easily, but Midleton AC from Cork was equally impressive in theirs, running slightly faster than Mullingar, setting the two Clubs up for a great battle in the final. Led off by Luke O’Leary, there was nothing between Mullingar and Midleton at the first change to Conor Liston who powered down the long back straight to pass the baton to James Flynn with the two teams still very close together. James absolutely tore around the final bend and passed to Kyle Faherty marginally in front and it came down to a furious sprint finish with Mullingar narrowly beaten into second place in a thrilling race.

Well done to our group of six young athletes on their exploits in Tullamore where they all won an All-Ireland medal of some colour. For some this was their final race of the season and they can now take a well earned break.

Northern Ireland Masters T&F

Sean McMullin added to his considerable collection of race walk titles when he won his category of the 3,000m race walk in the Northern Ireland Masters T&F at the Mary Peter’s Track in Belfast on Saturday afternoon 29th June, a further useful test of progress in his preparations for the European Masters T&F in Venice, Italy in September.

St. Coca’s AC Kilcock 5k

It might have been overcast in Kilcock on Friday evening 28th June but conditions were still very warm and humid for the St. Coca’s AC Kilcock 5k, which took place a relatively flat course that lends itself to fast times and good performances. The race attracted a record attendance of nearly 560 runners, joggers and walkers. Clearly revelling in the good company, Eddie Newman finished well up in 17:25 to win his master category by nearly one minute, just ahead of Alan Crowley finishing in a fine 17:35, with PJ Ballesty completing the Mullingar trio that took part.

Clonee 10k

Patricia Broderick was the Club’s sole representative at the Clonee 10k on Thursday evening 27th June when nearly 400 finishers enjoyed a fantastic sunny and warm evening for running. With plenty of company to run with, Patricia finished in a fine 47:34 to take 3rd prize in her master category.

Schools International T&F selection for Matthew Glennon

On Thursday afternoon 27th June the Irish team to compete at the Schools International T&F in Swansea was announced and includes Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) to compete in the 3,000m race walk. Matthew made his International debut in the same event last year, so is familiar with the standard of competition.

Congratulations to Matthew on his selections, which is a great personal honour, and an honour for his family and School and the Club.

EYOF selections for Oisin Lane & Charles Okafor

Second place in both the 100m and 200m at the recent Inter-Provincial Schools T&F meant that Charles Okafor was certain to be selected for the Irish team to compete at the Schools International T&F in Wales, but on Wednesday morning 26th June, just the day before the Schools team was finalised, subject to ratification and approval by the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Athletics Ireland provisionally nominated the Irish team to compete at the European Youth Olympic Festival to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan and has included Charles in the 200m and the medley relay. Oisin Lane has also been nominated to compete in the 10,000m race walk. Oisin is no stranger to International duty but for Charles this will be his International debut.

Congratulations to Oisin and Charles on their selections, which are great personal honours, and honours for their families and the Club.

European Games

At the European Games in Minsk (Belarus) on Sunday evening 23rd June, Ireland competed in match 3 of the qualification round against Belarus, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in eight T&F events – men 100m, women long jump, women 100m, women javelin, mixed 4x400m relay, men 110m hurdles, men high jump and women 100m hurdles – spread across two hours. The points after each event accumulated were turned into a time gap for the final event, the mixed medley relay (called “The Hunt”) comprising male 800m, female 600m, male 400m and female 200m, with our own Vicky Harris running the 200m leg. Ireland was placed third going into the medley relay and finished fifth, and will now compete in the quarter finals on Tuesday. Everyone wishes Vicky and the rest of the Irish team the very best of luck in the next round.

Irish Miler’s Club Meeting

The Club was well represented at the Irish Milers Club Meeting at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday 22nd June. Shane Fitzsimons was representing the Irish Milers Club in a 1,500m challenge against the British Milers Club. Running a really aggressive race, Shane was always involved at the business end of the race. Despite feeling under the weather for the twenty four hours leading up to the race, he posted a time of 3:45.18 to lead the Irish team home. In the same race Padraig Moran raced very well to finish in 3:56.93, with Jamie Battle right behind him in 3:57.84. Cormac Dalton also dipped under the four minute mark with 3:59.07. This was the first time Jamie and Cormac have broken four minutes for 1,500m so it was great to have four Club members reach this standard at the same meeting.

Eoin Quinn recorded a personal best of 4:01.04 for 1,500m and surely it only a matter of time before he dips under the four minute barrier too. Eoin has improved his 1,500m time by a huge margin of 18 seconds this season and is the fastest Mullingar Harriers youth over the distance since Shane Fitzsimons in 2012. Finally, Colin Smith ran very well in a competitive 800m to finish just outside his personal best in 1:54.48.

Dunshaughlin 10k

Now in its fortieth year, the ever-popular Dunshaughlin 10k took place on Saturday evening 22nd June and the fantastic entry of nearly 1,000 is testament to the sheer hard work put in by everyone at Dunshaughlin AC in organising such a great event that attracts repeat participants year after year.

Finishing strongly and well up in 27th overall was Andrew Nevin (33:25), followed by the ever-improving Evan McCormack (34:31), closely followed by Eddie Newman (35:46), taking 3rd prize in his master category and Alan Crowley (37:10), then came Michelle Bohan (40:31), Amy Mahony (43:50) and Linda O’Driscoll (47:47), all pleased with their races and finish times, which for some were the fastest they had run a 10k on the road, which is always very satisfying.

Schools Inter-Provincial T&F

In addition to the honour of representing their schools and Province at the Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F in a warm and sunny Santry on Saturday 22nd June, at stake for four Club athletes was selection for the Irish Schools team that will compete against England, Scotland and Wales in Swansea in July.

Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) simply dominated the boys 3,000m race walk from the gun and under the scrutiny of the ever vigilant judges gave a polished performance in this very technical event to win comfortably by quite a distance. Charles Okafor (St. Finian’s) blasted to a fine second place in the 100m and later in the afternoon also finished second in the 200m in a close race. Charles finished the day with a third silver medal when he anchored the Leinster 4x100m relay team to second place. Normally, the first two in each event are selected on the Irish team but we’ll await the formal decision of the selectors before we announce if Matthew and Charles have been selected, which for Charles would be his debut International.

Also competing were Bea Drummond (Athlone CC) in the girls 3,000m run and Lorcan Mullen (Cistercian Roscrea) in the boys 3,000m run. They were a bit off their best and finished out of the medal places but this was a huge learning experience against top quality competition.

Waterford Half Marathon

Kieran Nolan had an early 9am start along with nearly 1,000 others for the Waterford Half Marathon on Saturday morning 22nd June but it was worth it because he turned in a fine performance to finish 15th overall in 1:23:01, fourth in his master category and missing a prize by only a small margin. The WIT Sports Arena provided an ideal location for the finish line and for refreshments and music entertainment after the race, which created a terrific atmosphere.

Daingean 5k

The fine summer weather on Friday evening 21st June in Offaly drew an impressive entry of over 350 to the Daingean 5k, including Eileen Kenny who was very happy to finish well up in 22:20 and win first prize in her master category, and Christy Creagh finishing in 33:13 to take third prize in his master category.

Leinster u/14 to u/19 T&F

The final Leinster Juvenile Championship of the season, the Leinster u/14 to u/19 T&F, including the remaining few u/12 and u/13 events, took place in Tullamore on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June and, as expected, Mullingar athletes were to the fore across a wide variety of events. The weather was generally overcast though the sun did break through now and then but the wind kept temperatures down a bit, despite the sun.

On Saturday morning, Eoin Donohue can be proud of his fine race in the u/12 boys 60m hurdles where he finished a very creditable 5th place in a close race. James Flynn finished third in his heat of the u/13 boys 60m hurdles to qualify for the final and in the final really improved and ran over half a second quicker to place third and was delighted to win the bronze medal. Later in the day, James also competed in the u/13 boys long jump where he finished fifth, a very good placing in a Leinster Championship. Shauna Leydon had a straight final in the u/18 girls 100m hurdles where she competed well but finished just out of the medals in 4th place. Shauna had a busy day, competing in the u/18 girls long jump where she finished out of the medals in a very tight contest, but finally got in the medals in the u/18 girls shot putt where she left her best to the last round to finish in third place and win a bronze medal.

Mullingar has a well earned reputation in race walking, thanks to the excellent coaching work put in by Michael Lane and it was really no surprise that all five of the Mullingar race walkers won gold. Aisling Lane continues to show significant improvement and easily won the u/15 girls 2,000m walk in a new Championship Best Performance of 10:25.26, beating the record that stood for 8 years, Andrew Glennon took gold in the u/15 boys 2,000m walk, Matthew Glennon won gold in the u/17 boys 3,000m walk, Oisin Lane simply dominated the u/18 boys 3,000m walk to win with ease in 22:28.82, a new Championship Best Performance and bettering the previous record that stood for 22 years, and finally Sarah Glennon won the u/19 girls 3,000m walk. Our race walk squad continues to set the bench mark in race walking excellence.

Brian Martin ran strongly from the gun in the u/19 boys 400m and led into the home straight but was caught and passed and just when it looked like he would hold on to second place, disaster struck and he tripped and fell just before the line, but got up quickly and still finished third to win the bronze medal. Later in the day, Brian competed in the u/19 boys 800m but was still feeling the effects of the 400m in his legs and he had to settle for fourth place, though he was still happy with his performance. Colin Smith just had the better of Lorcan Mullen in the u/17 boys 3,000m where both kept right in contention throughout and in a close finish Colin took third, just ahead of Lorcan in fourth.

Moving to the sprints, there were four heats of the u/14 girls 200m, so qualification for the final was extremely difficult and Emma Higgins was unlucky not to advance from her heat despite a good effort. Likewise, Callum Costello didn’t advance from his heat of the u/14 boys 200m though he only missed qualification by one place. Charles Okafor won his heat of the u/17 boys 100m and Eta Oviahon finished third in his heat to give Mullingar two men in the final, where Charles impressed with a clear victory, but Eta had to settle for a place out of the medals. It was good to see two Mullingar women sprinters in the u/19 girls 100m where Awa Fane took silver and Eve Wallace finished just out of the medals in fourth place. Odhran Mulvihill competed well in the final of the u/19 boys 100m but finished out of the medals.

In the u/18 boys 800m Eoin Quinn used his trademark sprint finish to move effortlessly to the front on the final bend, going on to win by a comfortable margin, while Ruairi Fagan also ran well behind him but finished out of the medals. Aoife Darby battled hard in the u/19 girls 800m but finished in fifth, out of the medal places. Aimee Wallace showed great tactical awareness in the u/14 girls 1,500m to finish strongly in third place, ensuring automatic qualification for the All-Ireland finals in July but with the minimum of effort and keeping something in reserve for the 800m on Sunday. Mullingar had three boys in the u/14 boys 1,500m where Philip McCartan stamped his authority on the race when it mattered and recorded a fine win, ahead of Callum Costello finishing strongly in fourth and Conor Sherwin also finishing strongly but just out of the medal places too. Diarmuid Fagan put in a great shift in the u/15 boys 1,500m where he tracked the leader all the way only to lose out on the final sprint to the finish to place second, followed home by Andrew Glennon and Conleth Mullen who also ran well. Going into the last lap of the u/16 girls 1,500m it looked like the medal places were sorted and Phoebe Bate would take bronze, but with a phenomenal turn of pace coming into the home straight she closed right down and snatched silver in a very close finish, with Aoife McGouran also competing but finishing out of the medals.

On Sunday morning, Aimee Wallace eased comfortably through her heat of the u/14 girls 800m but Lucy Donnelly was unlucky to miss out by just one place. The final later in the day with a real humdinger of a race where Aimee was right on the shoulder of the leader through the bell and only at the top of the final bend did the leader begin to put some daylight between them but Aimee kept the pressure on and pushed the eventual winner to a new Championship Record, with Aimee finishing in second place. The corresponding u/14 boys 800m was a straight final and Callum Costello simply had too much pace and pulled clear when it mattered to win, with Daire McDonald also competing well behind him but finishing out of the medals. The u/15 boys 800m was also a straight finial where Ross Killalea was always in contention but had to settle for a place out of the medals in seventh, though the gap to third place was really very close.

Moving to the u/17 boys 1,500m Colin Smith and Lorcan Mullen really worked hard and kept with the leading group until the final stages where the race came down to a furious sprint, Colin crossing the finish line in fourth place and Lorcan close behind in sixth place. Eoin Quinn was looking to double up on his 800m gold but in the u/18 boys 1,500m despite a really fast finish he had to settle for second place in a close finish, but was still satisfied with his effort. Amy Geoghegan was also satisfied to take bronze with a fine run in the u/16 girls 3,000m and can look forward to the All-Ireland finals in July. Regarded as one of the toughest track events, Ruairi Fagan worked hard in the u/18 boys 3,000m steeplechase and safely negotiated the three foot wooden barriers including water jump to finish in fourth place, just out of the medal places.

Over in the field events, Shauna Leydon struggled a bit with a niggling ankle injury in the u/18 girls triple jump but was still good enough to win the silver medal. Shannon Liston put together a good series of efforts in the u/16 girls shot putt but finished out of the medals in sixth place.

Making up for the disappointment of not reaching the 200m final the day before, Emma Higgins qualified from the very competitive heats of the u/14 girls 80m and ran a fine race in the final, finishing out of the medals but can take great satisfaction from reaching a Leinster sprint final. Fourth in her heat of the u/16 girls 100m wasn’t quite enough for Aoife O’Connor to advance to the final, missing out by just one place, but she ran a great race and it wasn’t for the want of effort. Charles Okafor easily won his heat of the u/17 boys 200m heats and though Eta Oviahon finished third in his heat he was unlucky not to advance to the final, missing out by just one place. The result of the final was always a foregone conclusion and Charles powered to victory in 22.19 seconds, which would have been a Championship Record except it was wind-assisted. Unfortunately Awa Fane got injured warming up for the u/19 girls 200m and was unable to run but Eve Wallace ran a terrific bend to put herself in a great position and powered down the home straight to finish just out of the medals in fourth place, but was still delighted with her effort.

We finished the week-end with 10 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze medals, and 8 more finishing in fourth place, which are excellent results and means that Mullingar will be very well represented at the All-Ireland finals in July.

British Masters 5km Road Race Walk Championship

Now in its thirteenth year, the BMAF 5km Road Race Walk Championship took place on Sunday 16th June in Horwich, near Bolton, and among the starters was Sean McMullin maintaining his unbroken record of competing in each event since it was first held. After a fast start to the race the field very quickly became spread out. Despite the lack of company of a group around him Sean kept his focus and with a very consistent pace on the hilly course he finished well up in 30:23, placing an excellent 9th overall and 3rd in his master category.

St. Colman’s NS 5k

Running in support of a good local race, the St. Colman’s NS 5k in Mullingar on Sunday morning 16th June proved very fruitful for Club members. The race was won by Andrew Nevin, with James Keegan in second. The first woman was Andrea Brady and Emma Hogan finished fourth, just ahead of Alanna Bate in fifth.

AAI National 5 Mile Championships

The Irish Runner 5 mile in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning 15th June incorporated the AAI National 5 Mile Championships and Mullingar Harriers featured very strongly in the individual and team medals. There was heavy rain in the hours leading up to the event but just before the race, the weather improved and there were even glimpses of sun from time to time during the race. Even though the wind had picked up before the race leaving it that bit harder for participants, there was a nice breeze on the runners’ backs on the home straight, which must have cheered the 1,276 finishers.

Having a brilliant run, Aine O’Reilly finished well up in 30:21, the 2nd woman to finish and with Joan Flynn (32:01) 3rd in her master category and Michelle Bohan (32:53) 1st in her master category also finishing strongly, the Mullingar women finished 1st Club in their master category. Eileen Kenny (36:32) finished 1st in her master category, and with great team support from Patricia Broderick (37:32), Brigid McCabe (40:57) 3rd in her master category and Emer O’Hanlon (41:01), this team finished 2nd Club in their master category.

Des Walsh finished in 58:32 placing 2nd in his master category and Geraldine Walsh finished in 63:22 winning the gold medal for 1st place in her master category. Also competing were Gerard Brady (31:12) and Michael O’Sullivan (38:31).

Two sets of team medals and seven individual medals marks this out as one of the most successful road race outings for Mullingar, so congratulations to them all.

Strokestown 10k

Organised by Sliabh Ban AC, just under one hundred competitors finished the Strokestown 10k in cool and windy conditions on Saturday morning 15th June. Kieran Nolan was delighted to finish in second place in 37:07 and win an individual prize. Also competing and enjoying the race and finishing well up were Criona Reid (48:18), Ann Hall (49:55) and Joan Hickson (50:14). Well done to the Mullingar quartet for flying the Club flag with distinction in Co. Roscommon.

Trim AC “Braveheart” 5k

With a renowned friendly atmosphere and legendary post-race hospitality and terrific organisation by Trim AC, the “Braveheart” 5k continues to grow in popularity and on Friday evening 14th June the race attracted a very big entry of 839 who ran the part-grass, part-path route around the Porchfields in Trim along the banks of the River Boyne in sight of Trim Castle and Yellow Steeple in lovely conditions for running. A small number from Mullingar Harriers took part this year, led home by Gerard Gavin finishing well up in 18:27 to take second prize in his master category, followed by Declan Costello (22:57) and Linda Cunningham (24:06), both happy with their races and finish times.

Westmeath Primary Schools Relays

The Club hosted a new event at its grounds on Friday morning 14th June, the inaugural Westmeath Primary Schools Relays, which were 4x200m relays for boys and girls from 3rd class to 6th class. There was also a separate 200m individual race after each relay for any substitutes that were present, so everyone got to run.

Being a new event, it was always going to be difficult to gauge interest especially with some school children away on school tours and even the weather forecast wasn’t great and might have put some off, though as it turned out the morning really wasn’t bad and the early showers cleared and we had a generally fine morning, cool but mostly dry. The school teams that did compete definitely enjoyed themselves and there was great excitement during each relay race, so word is sure to spread and the event is sure to grow next year. Medals were presented to first, second and third in the relays and each runner in the substitutes’ race also received a medal. Points were awarded to each school after each race and a trophy presented to the winning school for girls and boys. The best girls results were from St. Kenny’s NS in Ballinea, Mullingar and the best boys results were from St. Mary’s NS in Mullingar, so congratulations to them.

Very many thanks to the teachers and parents that brought teams and to the many volunteers that were at the Club from early morning preparing the grounds to get them in tip top shape and staying on to officiate; the grounds looked fantastic decorated with bunting all around the track and the programme moved along quickly thanks to all the help.

Finally, thanks to the nearby Presbyterian Church for the use of their car park and especially to the Westmeath Civil Defence for looking after first aid.

Leinster Pairs and u/12 and u/13 T&F

The weather was very mixed on Saturday 8th June in Tullamore where the Leinster Pairs and u/12 and u/13 T&F took place. It was warm in the sun but quite cold when the clouds came over, and heavy black clouds were never far away but thankfully, the rain held off for most of the day and there were only two brief showers, which were not enough to stop proceedings.

We had two sets of boys competing in the pairs events, Blaise Drummond and Cathal Donohue in the 60m and 300m u/9 and Darren Corcoran and Aaron Wallace in the 60m and 500m u/10. The boys competed very well throughout the day and they certainly enjoyed the experience, despite finishing out of the medal places.

Matthew Molloy, Cian Corcoran safely qualified from the very competitive heats of the u/12 boys 600m but Niall Brady, Luke Greene, Arthur Drummond were unlucky not to advance to the final to join them. In the final, Matthew simply dominated and going to the front from the start opened up a sizeable lead to win easily, followed home by Cian finishing strongly just out of the medal places. Moving to the u/13 girls 600m, Muireann Donohue and Orla Manning were unlucky not to advance to the final, especially Orla who missed out by mere hundredths of a second in her heat. On to the u/13 boys 600m where Jamie Wallace and Conor Liston won their heats to advance to the final, but unfortunately not joined by Alex Lynch despite a great effort in his heat to just miss a place in the final. Right from the start of the final, Conor took the lead, closely tracked by Jamie right on his heels. Going into the final bend, Conor began to pull away but Jamie stayed close and into the home straight when it looked like Mullingar would record a 1-2 finish, Jamie was caught and passed very near the finish to cross the line in third, behind Conor in first place in a thrilling race to watch.

There were five heats of the u/12 girls 60m but Katie Kilmurray made it look easy in her heat to advance to the semi-final but despite a good effort in her semi-final, she didn’t advance to the final. There were five heats of the u/12 boys 60m too, where Eoin Donohue advanced to the semi-final, but Arthur Drummond was unlucky to miss out by just one place. Eoin battled hard in his semi-final but didn’t qualify for the final. Orla Manning and Muireann Donohue competed well in the u/13 girls 80m, but with six heats, qualification was extremely difficult and unfortunately neither of the girls advanced to the semi-finals. We ended the day in the medals again thanks to Kyle Faherty who easily won his heat of the u/13 boys 80m and absolutely dominated the final to win by a big margin. Very well done to all the Mullingar athletes that competed with great energy and enthusiasm over what was a long day for some of them.

Wicklow Way Ultra Marathon Trail Race

Having completed the Wicklow Way Ultra Marathon Trail Race on one of the warmest days in June 2018, David Fagan returned this year to run the 127km route in the opposite direction, starting in Clonegal in Co. Carlow on Friday evening 7th June and finishing in Marlay Park in Dublin on Saturday afternoon 8th June. It might have been in reverse, but the route still had 3,000m of climbs and the event difficulty was categorised at 10 (“extreme”) but at least the weather was much cooler this year. It might have worried some that one of the Aid Stations along the route is called “The Dying Cow” but we can only assume that as David is a Veterinary Surgeon that it didn’t faze him! There are no stewards along the route, so contestants must be self-sufficient and among the required equipment David had to bring with him was waterproof jacket and trousers, mobile phone, head light and spare batteries, reflective upper outer layer, map of route and compass, food and drink, whistle, gloves and hat, a foil blanket and a tracker. Bad enough running 127km but lugging that load along with him must have been torture and we’re glad to report that he survived the ordeal and finished in 17 hours 51 minutes, to place eighteenth out of 100 starters, though only 53 finished, and second in his master category. He admits that it was a tough day and he probably went out too hard but it’s still testament to his incredible mental toughness and physical endurance.

Bohermeen 5k

The Bohermeen AC 5k in Co. Meath is renowned for great racing and the post-race barbeque and burgers. This year’s edition took place on Friday 7th June on a cool evening with a light breeze, great conditions for racing on a course that lends itself to good times. The popularity of the race was reflected in the excellent entry of nearly 430 runners, among them Eddie Newman finishing strongly in 17:26 to win his master category by over thirty seconds and Enda Seery pleased to finish very fast in 18:52.

Clara 5k

The weather was simply dreadful in Clara, Co. Offaly on Friday evening 7th June for the Clara AC 5k where almost 400 finishers had to endure torrential rain, which started only a few minutes into the race. Despite the downpour, there was still some great running and excellent times posted on a fast course that included a circuit of the town and a very welcome downhill finish. Representing Mullingar was Gerard Brady who was happy with his performance to finish well up in 18:07.

Galway Senior T&F Championships

Competing as a guest in the Galway Senior T&F Championships in a cold and windy Dangan on Thursday 6th June, Claire Fagan comfortably won the 10,000m in 36:01.98, which is inside the “A” standard of 36:05 set by Athletics Ireland for the European u/23 T&F Championships in Gävle, Sweden in July. Congratulations to Claire on achieving the standard so early in the season and she can now focus on her preparations to be in the best possible shape for July.

Multyfarnham 5k

The heavy on and off rain on Wednesday 5th June threatened to spoil the Multyfarnham 5k but it brightened up in time before the race in the evening and with only a light drizzle now and then, the spectators and nearly 150 competitors were able to enjoy the event in relative comfort. Being so local, it was no surprise that Mullingar athletes featured strongly in the prizes in the various categories. In total, 33 Mullingar athletes competed, providing the first eight men finishers and first three women. Leading the field home was Padraig Moran in an impressive 15:14, some way ahead of James Keegan (16:47), Pauric Ennis (17:15), Eddie Newman (17:31) first in his master category, Gerard Gavin (17:34) first in his master category, Kieran Nolan (17:45) second in his master category, Gerard Brady (17:55) and Alan Crowley (17:59) to fill the top eight places. Next to finish was Aine O’Reilly in 18:10, the first woman and first in her master category, then from Mullingar came Cormac Finnerty (18:23) third in his master category, Kedagh Geoghegan (18:58), Joan Flynn (19:05) second woman and second in her master category, Michelle Bohan (19:17) third woman, Ruairi Fagan (19:20), Colm McCormack (19:34), Jenny Algar (19:48), Michael O’Sullivan (22:05) second in his master category, Alex Lynch (20:25) first junior boy, Amy Mahony (20:45), Ciara Dillon (21:19), Joan Hickson (21:57) third in her master category, Criona Reid (22:13), Oliver Lynch (22:24) second junior boy, Patricia Broderick (22:29) first in her master category, Siobhan Farry (22:39), Linda Cunningham (22:49), Linda O’Driscoll (22:49), Ann Hall (22:53), Terri Greene (23:17) second in her master category, Elysia Greene (23:57), Ruth Greene (28:38), Aiveen Lynch (28:43) first junior girl and Christy Creagh (32:37). This was a magnificent turn out in support from Mullingar and well done to everyone who competed.

Leinster Senior and Masters T&F

Not many Clubs can say it, but all nine Mullingar athletes that competed in Tullamore on Sunday 2nd June at the Leinster Senior and Masters T&F won a medal, some more than one, so it was quite a medal feast for Mullingar.

It was an early start for Andrew Nevin in the senior men 3,000m steeplechase and he was very satisfied to finish third and win the bronze medal. He followed this up later in the day with another bronze in the senior men 5,000m run. Eddie Newman was another athlete in fine form when he won his category of the master men 1,500m and followed it up with another gold medal in the master men 5,000m later in the day. Given Mullingar’s reputation in race walking, it was fitting that Colm Walsh and Sean McMullin won their respective categories in the master men 3,000m race walk with great performances in this highly technical event.

Making her debut on the track, Michelle Kavanagh was somewhat apprehensive before the master women 800m but of course found that once the gun fired, it was race on and she was delighted to come home in third place in her category to win her first Leinster Championship medal, probably the first of many! Vicky Harris and Awa Fane lined up for the senior women 200m where Vicky stormed to victory with Awa in third, and later in the afternoon Vicky won the senior women 100m to Awa’s second place, so female sprinting in Mullingar remains very strong. Only for strong tail wind in the sprints above the legal limit, Vicky’s time in both races would be personal bests though she can still count them as the fastest she has ever run the distances!

We finished the day with the senior women 4x100m relay where Awa Fane, Vicky Harris, Eve Wallace and Maimouna Fane were simply in another class and with terrific sprinting and clean baton passes won at a canter, their third Leinster senior relay title in a row.

Tribal Games

Shane Fitzsimons recorded an excellent win in the Elite Mile Race at the Tribal Games in Co. Galway on Saturday 1st June, hosted by Castlegar Athletic Club. It was a high class field with athletes in the race who have competed for Ireland at senior International level and also three athletes currently on scholarship at American Universities.

In a tactical race, Shane waited patiently in the leading pack before producing an explosive turn of pace with 400m remaining to open up a wide margin between him and his rivals. This win comes a week after Shane ran 3:44 for 1,500m at the IFAM Meeting in Oordegem, Belgium and is further indication of the rapid progress he is making this season.

All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals

Twelve Mullingar athletes had qualified for the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in Tullamore on Saturday 1st june, and on the day eleven competed with great determination in what is rightly regarded as the toughest underage athletics fixture in Ireland. Conditions were overcast and cool early in the morning, which clearly suited the Mullingar race walkers, judging by their brilliant performances. In only her second competitive race walk, Aisling Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) showed maturity beyond her years in the junior girls 1,200m walk by following her pre-race plan to the letter and with a fast opening lap opened a gap on the rest of the field that was too big to close and she came home to win her first All-Ireland medal. Andrew Glennon (St. Finian’s) was rewarded for his fine effort with a bronze in the junior boys 1,200m walk. Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto) and Jayne Walsh-Smith (Mercy Ballymahon) contested the intermediate girls 2,000m walk, where Jennifer finished just out of the medals in fourth place and Jayne a few places behind her. Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) was just too good in the intermediate boys 2,000m walk and quickly opened a sizeable lead and won by a good margin. We finished the race walks with what was really an exhibition by Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) in the senior boys 3,000m walk as he absolutely dominated the field to win by a very large margin. Our underage race walkers continue to be the standard bearers for Mullingar thanks to the terrific work put in with them by coach Michael Lane.

Shannon Liston (Loreto) competed in the junior girls shot in her first All-Ireland schools final and though she finished out of the medals, will have gained huge experience. Conditions began to warm by the middle of the day, ideal for the sprinters. Charles Okafor (St. Finian’s) blasted from the blocks to take bronze in the intermediate boys 100m in a new personal best time of 11.00 seconds and followed up later in the afternoon with a silver in the closest of finishes in the intermediate boys 200m, crossing the line in a new personal best of 22.09 seconds, just one hundredth of a second behind the winner.

Ross Killalea (Colaiste Mhuire) was slightly impeded and at a disadvantage from the start of the minor boys 800m but still put in a great effort and finished a very creditable seventh place. The junior girls 800m was a cagey tactical affair but Aimee Wallace (St. Finian’s) ran a very clever race and keeping her powder dry until needed, she timed her move to perfection and with a phenomenal turn of pace with 200m to go, swept into the lead and was just too fast to catch and took the gold medal and schools title. The final event of the day with a Mullingar interest was the girls u/16 mile where Phoebe Bate (Loreto) kept right in contention in the opening laps but just when it looked like she might be run out of a medal, she unleashed a terrific sprint on the final bend to pull clear into third place but wasn’t going to give up the silver medal without a fight and she closed right down on the girl in second place but the finish line came just a few metres too soon, but Phoebe was still delighted to win the bronze medal.




Vicky Harris selected to compete at the 2019 European Games

On 28th May, the Olympic Federation of Ireland named a squad of 65 athletes from nine sports to compete in the second edition of the European Games in Minsk, Belarus, which will run from June 21 – 30 and will feature 15 sports, eight of which are part of the Road to Tokyo 2020 qualification process. Team Ireland will field teams in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Judo and Shooting.

Named on the Athletics team is Vicky Harris, who will compete in the Pursuit Race, which is a relay and Vicky will run a 200m leg. This is Vicky’s first International representation at Senior level and a testament to her continued hard work and dedication to athletics. Congratulations to Vicky from everyone at the Club.

Royal Canal Greenway 5k

The route for the Royal Canal Greenway 5k on Wednesday evening 29th May was along the beautiful Royal Canal Greenway in Co. Meath. It was an out and back course, traffic free, and went from Hill of Down Bridge to Blackshade Bridge and back. The only “hills” on the route were the small inclines at the bridges along the route. The flat even surface along the banks of the Canal gave everyone the opportunity to run a fast time while taking in the scenery on offer along this stretch of the Royal Canal.

Very pleased to lead the nearly 200 finishers home in first place was Evan McCormack in 17:03, followed by Ger Brady fifth (18:46), Enda Seery eighth (19:05) and Michelle Kavanagh (26:46) taking third prize in her master category.

Leinster Juvenile Relays

Le Cheile AC hosted the Leinster Juvenile Relays in Leixlip on Sunday 26th May and Mullingar had a fine entry of ten young 4x100m relay teams looking for Leinster medals. Heavy overnight rain gave way to dry conditions for the entire day, but a strong wind made it quite cold at times, especially when the sun went behind the clouds. The day was split into two sections – the morning was for the uneven ages and the afternoon was for the even ages, so some could run in their own age group and move up an age if needed to make up a team. The heats in the younger age groups were extremely competitive and qualification for the finals was very difficult. For some of the Mullingar athletes, this was their first Championship event. The number of athletes gathering at the start area and the noise of the crowd of spectators shouting encouragement to their teams can be a bit daunting but they all coped extremely well with the pressure and unfamiliar surroundings and can be very proud of themselves.

The u/9 boys team of Louis Kiernan, Aonghus O’Reilly, Ciaran Weblin and Cathal Donohue was the first Mullingar team into action and they all ran very well but didn’t advance to the final. Next up was the u/11 girls team of Beibhinn O’Reilly, Aiveen Lynch, Aoibhinn Murphy and Tianna O’Leary who battled hard all the way and was unlucky not to advance to the final. It was a similar fate for Oliver Lynch, Conor Walsh, Jack Barry and Cian Hyland in the u/11 boys and for Lydia McDonnell, Orla Manning, Síofra O’Reilly and Muireann Donohue in the u/13 girls, both teams competing very well but not advancing to the final. We finally got in the medals thanks to the u/13 boys, where we have such an abundance of talent that we could mix and match from six very talented sprinters. The quartet of Alex Lynch, Conor Liston, James Flynn and Kyle Faherty were just too good and won their heat with ease and qualified for the final as the clear favourites. A change of personnel to Luke O’Leary, Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Kyle Faherty in the final was just as devastating a team and they came home well in front, only a fraction outside the Championship record, which surely would have been broken only for the very strong headwind on the finish straight. The boys u/13 relay team will feature very strongly in the All-Ireland finals.

Moving to the even ages, despite some great team effort and work rate, there was no luck for the u/10 girls team of Lily Walsh, Anna Donohue, Emily Ford and Sophie Farrell, the u/10 boys team of Darren Corcoran, Aaron Wallace, Liam Ford and Sam Clerkin or the u/12 girls team of Síofra O’Reilly, Eileen Farrell, Ella Barry and Lydia McDonnell, and the teams didn’t advance form the extremely tough heats. We had plenty to cheer about in the u/12 boys race when Luke Greene, Matthew Molloy, Cian Corcoran and Eoin Donohue qualified from their heat. A small change in runners for the final to Cian Corcoran, Matthew Molloy, Niall Brady and Eoin Donohue saw the boys competing really well but they finished out of the medals, though they can be very pleased to have reached the Leinster final against some very strong opposition. Our final team of Lucy Donnelly, Caoimhe Donohue, Ellen Foran and Anna May Flannery worked very hard in the u/14 girls race and deserved better but just missed qualification for the final.

All done, it was great to see Mullingar field ten sprint relay teams and medals or not, the athletes, parents and coaches can be very proud of the young athletes and their performances in the Mullingar Harriers colours.

IFAM (International Flanders Athletic Meeting)

Athletics Ireland fielded a Junior Women 4x100m relay team at the IFAM (International Flanders Athletic Meeting) in Oordegem, Belgium on Sunday 26th May, looking to achieve the qualification standard of 46.40 seconds for the European Junior T&F in Sweden in July. This was the first attempt this year to try for the standard. The Irish team was led off by our own Awa Fane and with great team effort and smooth baton passes, the team finished 3rd in their heat in 46.28 seconds, which is inside the “A” qualification standard for the European Juniors, so job done and congratulations to the Irish junior women team for achieving the standard at the first time of asking.

Edinburgh Half Marathon

Nearly 11,000 runners, joggers and walkers completed the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday morning 25th May in less than ideal conditions. The forecast was very bad and it turned out to be very accurate, as it was very overcast and with torrential rain on and off it got very cold. Joan Hickson was Mullingar’s sole representative and despite the awful conditions, she was very happy to finish well up in 1:46:17 and we hope she got some of the free strawberries that were handed out to all the finishers, certain to help refresh her and help to cheer her up, especially as her bag had been misplaced and she had to wait 2 hours at the end to get it back. Such are the trials of the long-distance runner!

National Community Games May Festival

Mullingar Harriers was very well represented on the teams that were selected to represent Westmeath at weekend one of the National Community Games May Festival held in the magnificent grounds of University of Limerick on Saturday morning 25th May.

First up with an early start was the u/12 girls mixed distance cross country relay where each runner completes a distance varying from 600m to 400m. Joining Orla Manning from Mullingar Harrier on the Westmeath team was Jane Colton, Emmilene Leahy and Eve Medford and the team was very much in contention for a place in the afternoon final but very strong finishes in the other heats deprived the girls of a position in the final. All the girls ran extremely well and will benefit greatly from the experience.

The u/12 boys team was up next and was hotly fancied with some All-Ireland title holders making up the team. They did not disappoint and produced a comprehensive victory in the heats where Jamie Wallace, Luke Greene, Matthew Molloy and Alex Lynch put in a storming display to lay down a marker for the final later in the day. Using the full squad, Cian Corcoran swopped positions with Luke Greene for the final and all four ran superbly, gaining ground on every leg and won the National title with ease.

Next up was the u/14 girls and Mullingar Harriers was well represented by Alicia Ripley, Grace Byrne and Shauna Traynor and were joined by Dervla Buckley. The girls ran superbly and were well in contention right up to the end but unfortunately did not make the final in what was a very competitive race. All ran superbly and will have gained great experience from running at this level.

The final team event of the day was the u/14 boys mixed distance relay and the Westmeath team was made up of all Mullingar Harriers athletes, including Ross Killalea, Criostoir Ormsby, David Burke, Philip McCartan, James Flynn and Conor Liston. Intelligent running by all in the heat gave them a comprehensive victory and set them up for the afternoon final. The final was hotly contested with County Clare looking very strong but the Westmeath team was never accepting defeat and with true grit the Clare team was reeled in and the National title went to Westmeath.

The final event of the day was the u/16 boys “marathon”, which was a 7k road run. Both individual and team medals were up for grabs and Westmeath entered a strong team consisting of Lorcan Mullen, Matthew Glennon and Andrew Glennon. A fast opening kilometre and passing through the 5k mark in just over 16 minutes meant that there was going to be tired legs before they crossed the finish line. The three boys worked very well as a team and Lorcan Mullen ran a fantastic race finishing in 3rd, followed closely by Matthew and giving away two years, young Andrew ran a superb race and finished very strong just behind his brother. Westmeath was narrowly beaten into 2nd place and had to settle for silver, but superb performances from all three boys. Overall, a very successful weekend for all our athletes and well done to them all on their efforts.

Na Fianna AC “Bob Heffernan 5k”

On a lovely warm summer evening on Tuesday 21st May, over 620 runners, joggers and walkers descended on Johnstownbridge in Co. Meath for the Na Fianna AC “Bob Heffernan 5k”. Among the impressive entry was 19 from Mullingar Harriers, led home by the in-form Eddie Newman well up in 69th place in 17:29, 3rd in his master category, followed by Alan Crowley (17:40), then the equally in-form Aine O’Reilly (17:49) 2nd in her master category, Kieran Nolan (17:58), Gerard Brady (17:59), Elizabeth Carr (18:03), Hans de Raeymaeker (18:12), Kedagh Geoghegan (18:48), Enda Seery (18:54), Michelle Bohan (19:16), Colm McCormack (19:42), Jenny Algar (19:43), Robin Jackson (19:47), Michelle O’Halloran (21:23), Michael O’Sullivan (21:31), Joan Hickson (21:31), Joanna Tyrrell (21:36), Linda Cunningham (23:50) and PJ Ballesty (39:16). Along with individual category prizes for Eddie and Aine, the Mullingar women team also finished 2nd team.

Loughborough International Meeting

Shane Fitzsimons had his opening race of the track season over 1,500m at the Loughborough International held at Loughborough University on Sunday 19th May, which was a match between England, Scotland and Wales, plus international guests. Shane’s time of 3:45.80 was an excellent start to the season. While this time is marginally slower than his personal best of 3:43, it is his fastest season opener by a considerable margin and augurs very well for the season ahead.

European Race Walking Cup

At just 16 years of age, Oisin Lane was one of the youngest competitors in the Junior (u/20) Men 10k Walk at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on Sunday morning 19th May. Despite the early 10.30am start, the temperature was already a warm 24 degrees centigrade and rising, but a light wind and thankfully relatively low humidity made conditions tolerable. Oisin is eligible to compete as a junior for another two years, so it was really always about gaining valuable experience of competing at this level, his debut at junior level in his first major championship. That said, Oisin clearly wasn’t overawed by the occasion and sticking perfectly to his pre-race plan carefully worked out and agreed with his coach, Michael Lane, he turned in a great performance, covering the distance in very even splits and with a strong final kilometre finished 16th of the big field of thirty three in a new PB of 45:17, which is a excellent result in his debut at this level.

Great Manchester Run

Among the more than 4,500 finishers of the Half Marathon event at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday 19th May was our own Mervyn Kennedy who was delighted to finish up the field in a strong 1:42:50.

Irish Milers Club Meeting

The second Irish Milers Club Meeting was held in Irishtown, Dublin on Saturday 18th May. Conditions were dry but the wind certainly made fast times very difficult. Colin Smith ran a very strong, aggressive 800m race and finished an excellent fourth place with a time of 1:53.8. Padraig Moran was in action in the 5,000m, and like Colin, he featured prominently throughout. Padraig finished strongly for ninth place in 14:53.92. Both Colin and Padraig can be pleased with their performances in challenging conditions.

Leinster & Connacht Schools T&F

A number of the Club’s underage athletes competed for their Schools and Colleges at the Leinster Schools T&F in Santry on Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th May and at the Connacht Schools T&F in Athlone IT on Thursday 16th May. This was the final step to the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in June. Competition was fierce, as every event was a straight final, and only the top two in the sprints and top three in the longer track races and top three in the field events would advance to the All-Ireland Finals.

Twelve of the Club’s athletes earned qualification across a range of events, which is an excellent representation from the Club. At the Leinster finals, the qualifiers were Shannon Liston (Loreto) junior shot, Ross Killalea (Colaiste Mhuire) minor 800m, Andrew Glennon (St. Finian’s) junior 1,200m walk, Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) intermediate 2,000m walk, Charles Okafor (St. Finian’s) intermediate 100m and 200m, Aimee Wallace (St. Finian’s) junior 800m, Phoebe Bate (Loreto) u/16 Mile, Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto) intermediate 2,000m walk. Amy Geoghegan (Mercy Kilbeggan) and Diarmuid Fagan (Colaiste Mhuire) were unlucky and just missed out when they finished fourth in their junior 1,500m races, similarly for Eoin Quinn (Colaiste Mhuire) fourth in the senior 800m. Also competing but missing qualification was Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) senior 800m and Shauna Leydon (Loreto) senior triple jump. At the Connacht finals, Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) senior 3,000m walk, Jayne Walsh Smith (Mercy Ballymahon) intermediate 2,000m walk, Aisling Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) junior 1,200m walk and Bea Drummond (Athlone CC) intermediate 3,000m qualified for the All-Ireland finals. Sonny Drummond ran for Athlone CC in the minor 4x100m, finishing third, but unfortunately the team was disqualified for a lane infringement (though only 2 qualify from the sprint events anyway).

Midland Inter-County Juvenile T&F Match

There are limited opportunities for our younger members to take part in competition but on Friday evening 17th May over 50 boys and girls from Mullingar Harriers aged 8 to 13 years competed at the annual Midland Inter-County Juvenile T&F Match between Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath in Tullamore Harriers Stadium. The weather was cool and wet at times but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our youngsters that competed alongside athletes from Athlone IT AC and East Westmeath AC.

This is a very popular event and our young athletes certainly enjoyed it and lots of them visited the medal podium regularly throughout the evening, including Morgan Corcoran (600m u/13 gold and u/13 shot bronze), Emma Higgins (100m u/14 silver), Katie Kilmurray (80m u/12 silver), Orla Manning (600m u/13 bronze), Tianna O’Leary (600m u/12 silver), Alicia Ripley (u/14 long jump bronze and u/14 shot bronze), Josh Scahill (60m u/10 gold), Shane Canning (500m u/10 bronze), Cian Corcoran (600m u/12 silver and 80m u/12 bronze), Conor Corcoran (u/11 turbo javelin silver), Darren Corcoran (500m u/10 gold and 60m u/10 bronze), Callum Costello (800m u/14 gold and 100m u/14 silver), Kyle Faherty (80m u/13 gold), James Flynn (u/13 long jump gold), Cillian Galvin (300m u/9 gold and 60m u/9 bronze), Luke Greene (600m u/12 bronze), Conor Liston (600m u/13 gold and 80m u/13 silver), Oliver Lynch (600m u/11 silver), Matthew Molloy (600m u/12 gold), Luke O’Leary (600m u/13 bronze), Will Scahill (80m u/12 silver and u/12 long jump silver), Conor Sherwin (800m u/14 silver) and Jamie Wallace (600m u/13 silver and 80m u/13 bronze).

Mullingar athletes won a total of 32 medals, AIT athletes won 12 medals and East Westmeath athletes won 2 medals, so overall Westmeath fared very well in the Inter-County placings. Thanks to the parents and coaches that attended to ensure our youngsters enjoyed themselves.

Navan AC “Simon Cumbers & Paddy Hyland” 6k

There were nearly 970 finishers at the Navan AC “Simon Cumbers & Paddy Hyland” 6k on Friday evening 17th May. Conditions were very pleasant and the course was judged to be very good by the small group of four from Mullingar that competed. Finishing well up in twentieth place overall was Eddie Newman in 21:44, which saw him finish second in his master category. Following in was Maura Dervin in 25:53 to win her master category, then Michelle O’Sullivan (34:33) and PJ Ballesty (47:03). After the race and cool down, the Mullingar group could enjoy the customary excellent hospitality and post-race refreshments provided by Navan AC.

Awa Fane selected to compete at the IFAM Relays

Awa Fane will compete with the Irish junior women 4x100m relay team at the International Flanders Athletic Meeting in Oordegem, Belgium on Sunday 26th May, looking to achieve the qualification standard for the European Junior T&F in July. This is Awa’s debut at Junior level in an Irish vest and everyone at the Club wishes Awa and the Irish team the very best of luck.

Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k

In years gone by, before the surrounding area was developed for housing, the Club grounds had been used several times as a base for cross country events but on Wednesday evening 8th May the grounds were race HQ for the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k. Parking, start and finish all located at or very near the grounds greatly helped the logistics for the event. Parking at the grounds was well supplemented thanks to the generosity of our near neighbours Mullingar Educate Together National School and Mullingar Presbyterian Church.

While the runners in the 5k warmed up, there was a 1,500m race for boys and girls u/16 on an out and back course, so no one could go astray. First to finish was Philip McCartan, followed by Callum Costello and Conor Liston. First girl was Aisling Lane, Lydia McDonnell second and Síofra O’Reilly third. Once all 30 youngsters had finished and received their finisher medals, they returned to the Clubhouse for some well-earned refreshments before heading out again to support the adults in the 5k race.

The Gardaí were out in good number to help control traffic where required and with lots of our own members in orange bibs dotted strategically around the course, runner safety was assured. Leading the runners out – silently – was a Hyundai electric car, so no fumes to choke the lead runners, and taking up the rear was Gerard Flynn cycling behind and keeping a watchful eye on the back markers. Westmeath Civil Defence was also on hand in case first aid was required. The weather wasn’t great for the time of year and wet blustery conditions made it slightly difficult for the runners. Despite the conditions, a straightforward left turning two lap course on relatively flat terrain ensured times would be quick, and race winner Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) certainly showed that, with a fine winning time of 15:29, ahead of Andrew Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) in 15:42, just holding off the very quick finishing Paul Mitchell (Tullamore Harriers) in 15:44. It was a home victory for Mullingar too in the women’s race, and a home 1-2-3, thanks to Elizabeth Carr (17:31), Linda Conroy (18:15) and Michelle Bohan (18:55).

Finishing right outside the grounds, most chose to cool down on the perimeter gravel trail around the track before going into the Clubhouse for refreshments and something to eat, of which there was more than enough thanks to the contributions of sandwiches, buns, cake, biscuits and treats dropped in by Club members, parents and friends earlier in the evening.

Right through the field of runners there was competition in the junior races and in the various master categories, with close finishes in some cases. All the results are available on www.myrunresults.com or HERE. After the race, while everyone was tucking into the refreshments, the prizes were presented to the various category winners including the Pat Finnerty Memorial Trophies for first man and first woman presented to Timmy Murphy and Elizabeth Carr.

This concluded a successful first staging of a new 5k race on a new fast course with good numbers registering for the event. The success of the race is due to the very many volunteers who gave up their free time, under the guidance of Race Director Michael O’Sullivan and his team. These are the people who took registrations, organised car parking, stewarded the course, organized prizes, and did all the other tasks required.

Many thanks again to the Gardaí, Westmeath Civil Defence, Mullingar Educate Together National School, Mullingar Presbyterian Church, and the many parents, members and friends that contributed food and refreshments. Also thanks to Ronan and Eimear from My Run Results for looking after the results in a professional manner. Finally, thanks to Hyundai Mullingar for their generous sponsorship of the event, but especially thanks to everyone who took part. The next big event for the Club will be the Mullingar 10 Mile road race in July.

Leinster Novice & Master Road Championships

Gowran AC has hosted and expertly organised the Leinster Novice & Master Road Championships for many years on the May Bank Holiday Monday and this year the event on Monday 6th May brought athletes from all over Leinster in search of individual, Club and County medals. Among them was our own Eddie Newman who was running the Master Men 6,000m only a week after running a terrific 2 hours 49 minutes at the London Marathon, so he wasn’t entirely sure how his weary limbs would hold up. The 6,000m race was four laps of the 1,500m course, providing spectators with plenty of action to enjoy in the pleasant cool overcast conditions. As it turned out, Eddie needn’t have worried, settling quickly into his running and covering the distance without any problem to finish well up overall in 21 minutes 24 seconds and comfortably winning his master category by nearly a minute.

Limerick Marathon

On a very warm sunny morning in Limerick on Sunday 5th May, despite the near oppressive conditions, Joan Flynn produced a brilliant run in the Limerick Marathon to finish in 3 hours 2 minutes and 18 seconds. This was good enough to finish 46th overall of over 800 finishers, but more significantly, to place 3rd woman and take an individual senior prize.

MAAC Outdoor T&F Championships

Making his track debut over the distance, Jack O’Leary competing for Iona College put in a strong performance over 10,000m at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Outdoor T&F Championships held in Monmouth University in New Jersey on Sunday 5th May, finishing second in 29:21.96, which is over 50 seconds inside the European u/23 T&F qualification standard. This is the second Euro u/23 standard that Jack has achieved, to add to his 5,000m standard achieved a little over two weeks ago, and it shows that he is really coming into form for the outdoor track season.

CSIT Games selection for Sarah Glennon

Celebrating International selection is Sarah Glennon who was named on Saturday 4th May on a strong Athletics Leinster team to compete in the 3,000m Race Walk at the CSIT Games in Tortosa, Spain in early July. Congratulations to Sarah on her selection.

AAI National 5k Championship

Seeing Aine O’Reilly finishing well up among the huge entry of nearly 900 for the Irish Runner 5k, which incorporated the AAI National 5k Championship, in the Phoenix Park on Saturday 4th May, and with great support and strong finishing from Michelle Bohan and Michelle O’Halloran, it was a fitting reward for their hard work that the Mullingar women finished 3rd Club in their master category to win All-Ireland bronze team medals. Emer O’Hanlon had the honour of leading our other team home and with terrific support from Eileen Kenny and Brigid McCabe this team finished 2nd Club and won the silver team medals in their master category.

Aine finished 6th woman overall, 1st in her master category, to win individual gold, Michelle Bohan was 5th in her category, Michelle O’Halloran 4th in hers, Emer O’Hanlon was also 4th in her category, Eileen Kenny was 1st in her category and Brigid McCabe 3rd in hers, so with such excellent performances all round it was no surprise that both teams won medals.

Coralstown 5k

A lovely sunny but cool evening on Friday 3rd May made perfect conditions for the Coralstown 5k, where Mullingar was well represented among the more than 250 runners, joggers and walkers that took part. Starting and finishing at Coralstown National School, the course took was a mixture of quiet country roads and long stretches of the Royal Canal tow path. With plenty of marshals and stewards, the course was very safe for everyone. As Coralstown is so local, it’s no surprise that plenty from the Club took part.

Always in contention and though he ran quicker than last year, Andrew Nevin ultimately had to settle for 2nd place with 16:33 in a close finish. Coming in behind him in third was James Keegan, closely followed by Matthew Glennon in 5th, the 1st junior man to finish. There followed a steady stream of athletes in the familiar Mullingar maroon and white singlets, including Alan Crowley, Patrick Muldoon, Enda Seery, James Cribbin, Andrew Glennon (2nd junior man), Robin Jackson, Mervyn Kennedy, Rachel Glennon, Jane Creevy, Michael O’Sullivan, Joanna Tyrrell, Linda Cunningham, Criona Reid, Patricia Broderick, Michelle Kavanagh, Christy Creagh and Cora Macken. Once finished, everyone retired to the school hall for the customary fine spread of food, post race post mortems and the presentation of prizes.

Euro Race Walking Cup selection for Oisin Lane

Among the Irish team announced on Thursday 2nd May to compete at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on Sunday 19th May is Oisin Lane, who will compete in the Junior Men 10k Walk. This is a great achievement for Oisin who has previously represented Ireland at underage level including the European Youth (u/18) last summer, but this will be his debut at Junior (u/20) level in his first major championship and an important step-up for Oisin.




London Marathon

Going through the half way point just inside 1 hour 23 minutes, Eddie Newman knew he was on for a good finish in the London Marathon on Sunday morning 28th April, which took place in cool dry conditions, a little windy in places, but otherwise perfect for running a marathon. Keeping focused on the task, Eddie pushed on to finish in 2 hours 49 minutes 18 seconds, just outside the top one thousand places of the more than forty thousand that finished the race, an incredible entry and marking London as one of the most popular city marathons in the World. This is the fifteenth time in succession that Eddie has run a sub-three hour marathon, and the sixth time under 2 hours 50 minutes. It seems like a distant memory since he first broke through the 3 hour mark a few years ago and he seems to be getting better with age!

Leinster 10 Mile Championship

In contrast to last year’s wet, cold and miserable conditions, the “Battle of Clontarf” 10 Mile in St. Anne’s Park, Raheny on Easter Monday 22nd April took place in perfect Summer-like conditions. The event, expertly hosted as always by Raheny Shamrocks AC, incorporated the Leinster 10 Mile Championship and numbers were well up on last year, with nearly 450 finishers. Patrick Muldoon put in a strong performance and finished well up in 17th place just outside the hour mark in 60:34, to place a very creditable 5th place in his master category. Also competing and finishing well up was Pauric Brady (66:29) and only for a third man, Mullingar would definitely have been competing for team medals.

Noel McManus Memorial 5k and 10k

Participants in the Noel McManus Memorial 5k and 10k on Good Friday morning 19th April enjoyed perfect very warm and sunny conditions and spectacular scenery as they wound their way around the rolling hills in the beautiful grounds of Lough Rynn Castle in Mohill, Co. Leitrim. Finishing the 5k in 22:06, Emer O’Hanlon placed eleventh overall of over 170 finishers to easily win her master category by a big margin. The longer 10k race attracted over 120 entrants and the best of the Mullingar group was the in-form Michelle Bohan, seventh overall and first woman in 42:16, followed by Joan Hickson (48:43) first in her master category, Michael O’Sullivan (51:17) first in his master category and Ann Hall (52:37) second in her master category, so all the Mullingar athletes took a prize home with them from Mohill!

Bryan Clay T&F Invitational Meeting

Competing for Iona College at the Bryan Clay T&F Invitational Meeting at the Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa Pacific University, near Los Angeles in California on Thursday evening 18th April, Jack O’Leary finished an excellent eighth place in the 5,000m in a new PB of 14:11.96, which is inside the qualifying standard for the European u/23 T&F Championships in Gävle, Sweden in July. Congratulations to Jack on achieving the standard so early in the season; he can now give his full attention to his preparations to be in the best possible shape for July.

AAI National 10k Championships

On a dry but cool and windy day in the Phoenix Park, Mullingar Harriers were represented by nearly 30 athletes at the AAI National 10k Championships on Sunday 14th April, which was run in conjunction with the Great Ireland Run. Over 3,000 competitors crossed the finish line but to the fore were the Mullingar Harriers Senior Ladies who topped the podium in a very close race.

Grouping together during the early stages of the race, Elizabeth Carr, Sinead Whitelaw, Aine O’Reilly, Michelle Bohan and Jenny Algar started out with great determination and one target in mind, to win the National team title. At the halfway mark there were 4 clubs in contention, but by the time the Mullingar ladies crossed the finish line they had done enough to secure gold. Elizabeth Carr and Sinead Whitelaw finished 10th and 11th in the ladies race and Aine O’Reilly finishing just a few seconds later, picking up an individual silver medal in her Masters category.

Eddie Newman led the large Mullingar contingent home and was third in his category, earning an individual National medal. Eileen Kenny also had a great race and won her masters category. Geraldine Walsh who, despite being knocked to the ground at the start of the race and picking up an injury, went on to win her category and Des Walsh finished third in his age group.

Mullingar Harriers had four teams entered in the Master’s events. Maura Dervin, Eileen Kenny, Vera McCool and Emer O’Hanlon all finished towards the top of their categories and it wasn’t unexpected when it was announced that they finished third team, taking home bronze medals. Joanna Tyrrell, Criona Reid, Linda Cunningham and Siobhan Farry represented the F35 team and although they put in a number of personal best performances they were unlucky to finish out of the medals.

Joining Eddie Newman on the M50 team were Paddy Daly, David Fagan, Paul Ginnell and Paul McCool who combined successfully to finish third team. Patrick Muldoon, Ken Whitelaw, Pauric Brady, Brian Collentine, Gerard Brady, Robin Jackson, Mervyn Kennedy and Joe Fagan represented the M35 team with great performances in a very large and competitive Master’s field but were unlucky not to finish with a team prize.

This is the first time the Mullingar ladies have won a National Senior team title and the Harriers first National Senior title in 20 years. It completes the set of team titles giving Mullingar a National victory at every available age category from under 11 to senior in both male and female events.

Lough Boora Half Marathon

On a perfect morning for running the 519 entrants for the Lough Boora Half Marathon on Sunday morning 7th April covered the distance in the picturesque and flat Lough Boora Discovery Park 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 and were very pleased to win a prize.

Poděbrady Race Walking Festival

As usual, the Poděbrady Race Walking Festival in the Czech Republic on Saturday 6th April included the Czech National Championships, an International match and it was a European Athletics Race Walking Permit Meeting, giving the event a real top class International flavour. Oisin Lane and Matthew Glennon were among the contingent from Ireland with coach Michael Lane and they competed in the Junior Men 10k Race Walk. Matthew was in brilliant form and really rose to the occasion with a terrific seventeenth place finish in 47:04, a big personal best time but much more significantly it is inside the qualification standard for the European Youth (u/18) Olympics Festival (EYOF) that will take place in Azerbaijan in July. This is a big breakthrough for Matthew and comes on the back of the long hard hours put in at training under Michael Lane’s watchful eye. Oisin finished eleventh in 45:23, which is also a new personal best and is the second time this season he has finished inside the standards for the EYOF and the European Race Walking Cup in Lithuania in May but it is also inside the standard for the European Junior T&F in Sweden in July, so it was a big step for Oisin too.

Irish Universities T&F

It seems bizarre, but while the juvenile indoor season was concluding in the warm comfort of the indoor stadium at Athlone IT on Saturday 6th April, only a very short distance away, the outdoor season was underway with day two of the Irish University T&F at the AIT outdoor track, where some of Mullingar’s third level student members were competing for their Colleges and Universities in cool and windy conditions.

On Friday afternoon 5th April, Claire Fagan (DCU) used her trademark fast finish on the final lap of a tactical 5,000m to pull well clear and with a big smile on her face she crossed the finish line well clear with a comfortable margin to win the Inter-Varsity title. Also on Friday afternoon, Vicky Harris (AIT) won her heat of the 100m and finished second in her heat of the 200m to qualify automatically for Saturday’s finals, but unfortunately Patrick Leydon (NUIM) didn’t advance from his heat of the 200m. No problem for Colin Smith (DCU) in his heat of the 800m to qualify for Saturday’s final.

First into action on Saturday morning, a gap opened up early in the 3,000m and Linda Conroy (DCU) led the chasing pack in fourth place for much of the race, but slipped back to fifth in the closing laps where she remained to the finish. Colin Smith looked smooth in the early stages of a tactical 800m final but when the big burn up came with 200m to go he was pushed back out of the medal places and despite battling hard to the finish he had to settle for sixth, out of the medals, but a great effort. Vicky Harris was back for the 100m final where she put in a great performance to finish fifth, only three thousandths of a second away from fourth, and followed this by going one better with a fine fourth place in the 200m final, and she rounded the day off on the podium when she helped the AIT team to third place and the bronze medals in the 4x100m relay.

All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors, day 3

When Kyle Faherty took the baton in the lead of the u/13 boys 4x200m on the final day of the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors in Athlone IT on Saturday morning 6th April, we knew it was in safe hands and he duly brought the team home in first place to win the All-Ireland title in 1:51.63, and being a new event this year, becomes the Championship Best Performance. Of course, the victory wasn’t down to just Kyle, it was down to a great team effort, and with fantastic running by Matthew Molloy, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace, leading at every baton pass, the team richly deserved their gold medals. To think, Criostoir Ormsby was unable to run as he had hurt his knee during the week, so young Matthew Molloy took his place; imagine how much further ahead the team might have been if Criostoir has been fit to run! Of course, as a valued member of the team, Criostoir joined the others on the podium and was presented with his gold medal too.

Another victim of recent injury was Shauna Leydon but she was still anxious to compete in the u/18 girls triple jump where she put together a strong set of jumps to finish a creditable fifth place, only fifteen centimetres away from bronze, a very good result in an All-Ireland final.

Omagh Half Marathon

Among the very big entry of more than 2,300 participants in the Omagh Half Marathon on Saturday morning 6th April were Kedagh Geoghegan who finished in 1:33:14 and John Kilroy in 1:41:44. Both were very happy to finish well up and very happy with their races over the relatively flat Co. Tyrone course in cool but excellent running condition.