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

Week ending Saturday 22nd April


Leinster 10 Mile team medals for Mullingar women

St. Anne’s Park in Raheny was the venue for the “Battle of Clontarf” 10 Mile on Easter Monday, which incorporated the Athletics Leinster 10 Mile Championship, adding to the competitive edge of the race. The course was two laps of the park, which remained open to other users, but the organisers and host Club, Raheny Shamrock AC, made sure there were plenty of stewards around the course to keep the course clear for the runners and in fact the casual users of the park made excellent spectators as they cheered the runners along, adding to the atmosphere. This race returned last year after a two year absence due to Covid restrictions, when just over 300 took part, but this year numbers surged and nearly doubled to 560, marking an excellent return to normality after Covid. The weather was quite mild and good for running, though the early morning persistent drizzle wasn’t ideal. However, just as the runners were called to the start, the rain suddenly stopped and the race was run in dry conditions, which was excellent for the runners and spectators. Being dry also meant that the runners could gather at the finish after the race to cheer others in and to hold the post mortems normal after every race. Being dry also meant the runners weren’t tempted to cover up with dry clothing and get away as quick as they could and once they had done their cool they could stay for the presentation of prizes and medals.

There are some tricky parts of the course, with twists and bends, especially around the Rose Garden, so not a course necessarily for fast times, but all the Mullingar athletes turned in solid performances in pursuit of Leinster honours. Eddie Newman had hoped to run under an hour but despite a great effort in the finish straight with his eyes firmly fixed on the timing clock over the finish gantry, he finished just seconds outside the hour, in 60 minutes 3 seconds, but was still happy with his effort, which placed him second in his master category. Close on his heels and also finishing with a very fast and determined effort was Alan Crowley in 60 minutes 12 seconds, a lot quicker than last year, to place well up in his master category but out of the medals. Mullingar had six women in action and were targeting team honours. Aisling Corcoran led the Mullingar women home in 69 minutes 39 seconds, and with great support and team packing by Gemma Kelly (75:30), Linda Cunningham (78:21), Caroline Mullen (79:17), Marie Louise Johnston (79:28) and Patricia Broderick (88:00), the master women team of Aisling, Gemma and Linda finished fourth Club, but when all six were combined, they finished a terrific third senior women County team, so they all earned Leinster medals for their efforts.

Congratulations to all the Mullingar athletes on their efforts in what was an excellent Leinster Championship race.

Breakthrough 10,000m PB for Cormac Dalton

Cormac Dalton was in superb form racing over 10,000m at the Bryan Clay Invitational Meeting at the Cougar Athletic Stadium, California last Friday morning, finishing in fourth place in a superb time of 28 minutes 04.29 seconds. This was a personal best time by 46 seconds for Cormac and ranks him fourteenth on the Irish all-time list of performances. In a high class race, Cormac positioned himself in the lead group with some of the best collegiate athletes in the USA and finished very strongly to deliver a real breakthrough run. He reached 5km in 14 minutes 13.8 seconds and ran the second half of the race in 13 minutes 50 seconds, highlighting scope for even more improvement over both 5,000m and 10,000m.

Cormac has represented Ireland at Senior level in the past two European Cross Country Championships and the European Cup 10,000m and performances like this will help create the platform for a distinguished International career. He will now turn his attention to the NCAA regional qualifiers where he will bid to gain qualification for the NCAA national collegiate finals.

A not-so-great “Great Ireland Run”

An unfortunate error by race stewards at the Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park last Sunday morning meant the entire field of just over 1,800 runners missed a turn resulting in everyone running only about 8.5k instead of 10k. The race incorporated the National 10k, so those results were thrown into chaos as a result of the error and it’s not clear if the National 10k results will stand or not. Given the shorter race distance, the finish times are irrelevant but leading the Mullingar squad home and finishing well up was Johnny Morrissey, followed not too far behind by Eddie Newman placing third in his master category. Following them in was James Cribbin, Pauric Brady, Mary Stuart placing second in her master category, closely followed by Maura Dervin taking third in her master category. Also competing was Paul Byrne, Emer O’Hanlon, Linda Cunningham, Paul Ginnell and Clodagh Foley. Given the error in distance, the results simply recorded finish times – for what they were worth – and places, but no team results have been published at the time of going to press and we don’t know if Eddie, Mary and Maura will receive National medals.

Clara 5k

Race three in the Offaly 5k Race Series took place last Sunday when the Clara AC 5k was held on a flat fast course on closed roads for added safety, starting at Clara GAA and taking the just over 300 runners through the town before looping back to the GAA to finish. Finishing very strongly and well up in fifth place in a very competitive race was Conor Sherwin in 16 minutes 20 seconds, winning a prize for first junior man. Nicky McCabe finished in 25:32 to take second prize in his master category. In the women’s race, the Mullingar group was led home by Caroline Mullen in 22:40, and with support from Brigid McCabe (22:35) first in her master category and Joanna Tyrrell (24:05), the Mullingar women finished a very creditable ninth Club. Also running well and enjoying their races were Olivia Cooney (24:13), Nuala Moran (24:28), Pauline Troy (25:11) and Claire Lennon (25:42).

Moynalty 4 Mile

Moynalty AC staged their annual 4-mile road race on Easter Monday around the surrounding Co. Meath roads with a start and finish in the Community Park, adjacent to the centre of the village. Heavy showers and blustery conditions were the order of the day. With 308 runners passing through the finish line, Enda O’Carolan was delighted with a third place finish in a fast 23 minutes 28 seconds. Young Alex Sheridan was also very pleased with his run, finishing in 27:46.

Athletics Ireland Congress

The Athletics Ireland Congress was held in Tullamore last Saturday, where delegates could meet in-person for the first time in two years. Over 50 motions were debated and voted on including changes to the Constitution, bye-laws, administration of the Association and a number of changes in competition rules.

The most notable rule changes are the introduction of mixed relays in T&F and cross country for all ages, and changes in cross country race distances, so that males and females run the same distances in all ages, in line with the principle of equal distances, as recommended by European Athletics.

Congress also included the elections to principal committees and it was great to see Catriona Duffy elected to the Juvenile Committee, Ciara Dillon elected to the Finance and Risk Committee and Greg Duggan remaining on the Board of Athletics Ireland for a further term as the Athletics Leinster Representative.

Congress ended with the inauguration of John Cronin from Tullamore Harriers AC as President for a further term of two years. John has been a popular and hard working President and his re-election, unopposed, was testament to his very high standing in the athletics community.

Catch up on previous races

We didn’t get to report on some road races where Club members took part in recent weeks.

The annual Ballyliffin 10 Mile Coastal Challenge took place two weeks ago (8th April). Starting in the picturesque village of Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal the course winds its way through the Inishowen Peninsula with spectacular views out across the Wild Atlantic Way among the rolling hills and finishes on the beach adjacent to the village. Among the 611 finishers was Mullingar Harriers and Donegal native Maria Doherty. The showery and windy conditions did not detract from her efforts and Maria was well pleased with a finishing time of 1 hour 20 minutes 47 seconds.

Tommy Byrne made the long trip to Westport three weeks ago (1st April) to compete in the Westport Half Marathon held in conjunction with the marathon on the roads around the Mayo town. He was pleased to return a time of 1 hour 35 minutes 51 seconds on a day of mixed weather conditions with plenty of sunshine and showers and a strong headwind to greet the nearly 800 runners over the final 5km back into the town centre.


Finally, the Executive and members of Mullingar Harriers wish to express sincere sympathy to Gerard and Joan Flynn and the entire Flynn family on the death on Easter Sunday of Gerard’s mother, Anna May, and grandmother to Roisin, Oran and Donnacha. May she rest in peace.

Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.