Week ending Saturday 1st May
Construction of new track only weeks away
We’re delighted to announce that after a long tender process, we have concluded negotiations with a Contractor to construct our new all weather track. Subject to suitable weather and prevailing public health restrictions allowing construction activity, Midland Sport Surfaces of Killucan, Co. Westmeath will begin construction in the coming weeks. This is the latest and largest and probably the most exciting development at the Club Grounds since the Club first laid out a grass track in 1985. It has come after a lot of planning and effort by Club officials, ably assisted by local firm ORS Consulting Engineers who were engaged to prepare the final design and contract documents so the work could go to tender. The project will receive grant aid through the Sports Capital Programme of the Department of Sport and of course a significant amount of money has to be raised by the Club itself to meet the final cost. We are delighted that a local Engineering Consultancy firm was involved in the design and also delighted that a local Contractor will be carrying out the work.
We always knew that when work started we would have to relocate from the Club and train elsewhere for several months but thanks to our friends in Mullingar Rugby Club, they have generously allowed us to train at their grounds while construction takes place. We’ll announce more details of this nearer the time.
New Athletics Ireland President elected at Congress
At the Athletics Ireland Virtual Congress held last Saturday, delegates elected John Cronin of Tullamore Harriers AC as the President of Athletics Ireland for the next two years. John is a familiar face to many in Mullingar Harriers who have attended competitions in Tullamore over the years. A native of Co. Donegal, John moved to Tullamore in 1983 and over a long career in athletics administration served on numerous committees from Club to National level. John was elected as an IAAF (now World Athletics) International Technical Official in 2013, elected onto the World Athletics Technical Committee in 2015, has officiated at many European and International athletics events since then, and more recently was appointed to the Jury of Appeal and will officiate at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo in July, the first Olympics he will officiate at. John is held in the highest esteem in the athletics community, both in Ireland and abroad. His constant good humour and generosity with his time and knowledge are well known and make him a perfect ambassador for the sport. Congratulations to John from everyone at Mullingar Harriers and we wish him well as he takes the helm for the next two years.
Another person well known to Mullingar Harriers, Ciarán O’Catháin, was honoured for services to athletics and made an Honorary Life Vice President. Ciarán served two terms as President but is best known locally as the man behind the construction of the magnificent Athlone International Indoor Arena. Congratulations to Ciarán.
Finally, congratulations to Catriona Duffy who will be the Athletics Leinster representative on the National Juvenile Competition Committee and to Greg Duggan who will be the Athletics Leinster representative on the Board of Athletics Ireland, both positions being confirmed at Congress.
Big 1,500m personal best for Jack O’Leary
Coming quickly on the back of a great 45 second personal best for 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational just two weeks before, Jack O’Leary continued his very impressive start to the 2021 outdoor T&F season when competing for Iona College at the Virginia Challenge in Lannigan Field, Charlottesville last Friday week (16th April) where he ran 3 minutes 47.83 seconds for 1,500m, a fantastic 9 second improvement in his personal best for the distance.
Welcome return to underage training
We’re all delighted that group training for our underage athletes returns this week. It’s really important that everyone training at the Club has paid their membership for this year, so they are registered with Athletics Ireland and are covered by its insurance. Membership is due every January, so if you haven’t paid this year yet, please do so without delay and you can receive the link to pre-register for training. No one can just turn up to training unannounced, everyone has to pre-register and has to have their attendance recorded too.
Medley Road League concludes …. or does it?
What should have been the final of six rounds of the Virtual Medley Road League took place last week-end. It was originally planned to have a 6k group run in Belvedere as the final round, but of course with Belvedere closed until this week and adults still unable to meet up for group training or runs, it was changed to a 3k solo run, so everyone could compare their times to round one back in early February to see how much they have progressed since the league started. To allow time for the usual age-grading adjustments to be made we’ll hold off reporting the results until next week.
The big question of course is if this was indeed the final round? If a change to Covid restrictions allows adult group training to resume soon, a seventh round might be added, which will be a 6k race over two laps of Belvedere on the first possible Sunday morning after the changes come into force.
Finally, the Executive and members of the Club extend sincere sympathy to Declan Costello and the entire Costello family on the recent unexpected death of his mother Mary, RIP.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.