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

Week ending Saturday 23rd March


No half measures at the Mullingar Half Marathon & 5k

The 9th staging of the AON Mullingar Half Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day saw the largest ever field assemble on Pearse Street, just coming up to 10am. The early morning clouds gave occasional drizzle but as the race progressed the drizzle turned to heavy showers at times, which was actually a welcome addition for the large field, as it kept runners nice and cool on what was a very mild day, but not so pleasant for the large number of spectators along the course. With a record sell-out of 1,700 entries, it was a fantastic fundraising success for charity partner TEAM (Temporary Emergency Accommodation Mullingar).

For Mullingar Harriers, it was our biggest participation ever, with 73 finishers, and the majority of the excellent pacers were also club athletes. We will get to the finishing highlights in a moment, but let’s savour the atmosphere, as from the record entry of 1,700 nearly 1,400 runners of all ages and abilities headed off into a light breeze out of town just after 10am. The first 3k brought runners past St. Loman’s Hospital and across the bypass, before turning right and on to Curraghmore. Just after 5k, at the site of the old primary school, was the first of a number of well manned water and feed stations. Well stocked with water and fruit, there was plenty for all who wished to avail of the “goodies”. Heavy rain came in the following few kilometres as the runners made their way through Marlinstown Bog and on through Wooddown. Large crowds gathered at house entrances and at a number of road junctions to cheer everyone on. Indeed, there were several offering sweets and biscuits to help the runners along. Emerging through Greatdown and up “heartbreak hill” to cross over the N4 road and down onto the Canal, the runners reached the 13k mark. Just 8k to go on a Canal route we regularly travel on our Sunday morning long runs. For some participants, the lack of long running on those Sunday mornings was beginning to bite but the comradery of athletes is a joy to behold as in those lung bursting and muscle aching kilometres along the Canal, there was lots of encouraging remarks and sweets offered to keep spirits up. The clock was our enemy, but many were focused on individual targets or to remember loved ones in those last kilometres.

At last, off the Canal just after Saunders Bridge and down into a crescendo of noise along Millmount Road, before turning into the town park. The final 100 metres was pure joy, with family and friends waiting, as athletes reached the finish line. After the finish line the bag with the medal, T-shirt and plenty of more refreshments was gratefully received. This was a superbly organised event, with road closures, top class stewarding and something for everyone on the roads and streets around Mullingar on St Patrick’s Day 2024. We’ll be back!

For the record, Mullingar Harriers won both the men and women team events. Andrew Nevin was second overall in 1 hour 12 minutes 27 seconds, James Keegan was sixth in 1:14:18 and with Kedagh Geoghegan (1:15:37) and Eoin Clarke (1:19:50) third in his master category, they made up the men team. Niamh McEntegart was third woman in 1 hour 25 minutes 40 seconds, and with Mary Stuart (1:32:13) third in her master category, Aisling Corcoran (1:32:32) and Criona Reid (1:32:33), they made up the women team. Eddie Newman won his master category with 1:22:15.

Among the very big squad from Mullingar Harriers were a few men that are currently in the transfer system, so even though not technically members we’ll include them anyway for completeness. Other finishers included Alan Crowley (1:19:59), Enda O’Carolan (1:20:47), Andy Boyhan (1:21:11), Kamil Orenczuk (1:24:04), Tony Doran (1:25:17), Kyle Smyth (1:25:59), Enda Seery (1:27:26), Mick Fagan (1:27:28), Tommy Byrne (1:28:19), Val Bohan (1:28:44), Darren Carroll (1:28:45), Patrick Muldoon (1:29:04), Liam McGlynn (1:31:23), Mark Geoghegan (1:31:42), Dara O’Shea (1:31:46), Tyrone Brunton (1:31:54), Jason McKevitt (1:32:33), Declan Claffey (1:33:37), Brian Collentine (1:33:49), Aelish McGovern (1:34:18), Therese Glynn (1:34:49), Orlaith Flanagan (1:35:37), Aine O’Reilly (1:35:59), Laura Geoghegan (1:35:43), Kieran Dodrill (1:36:00), Jacintha Reilly (1:35:57), Orla McLaughlin (1:36:18), Colm Walsh (1:37:54), Paul Ginnell (1:37:59), Meabh Killalea (1:38:22), Maria Doherty (1:39.09), John McNamara (1:39:39), Richie Kelly (1:40:29), Marie Louise Johnston (1:42:09), Eva McMorrow Byrne (1:42:31), Eithne Spellman (1:43:37), Joan Hickson (1:43:56), Niamh Doherty (1:44:14), Jane Creevy (1:46:02), John Keane (1:46:30), Brendan Rice (1:46:31), Caroline Mullen (1:48:27), Laura Fitzpatrick (1:47:54), Shaun Mills (1:47:58), Aisling Farrell (1:48:58), Sharon O’Dowd (1:50:39), Julie McLaughlin (1:51:50), Terri Greene (1:54:22), Emer Savage (1:54:06), Ray Smyth (1:54:37), Nuala Moran (1:55:10), Patricia Broderick (1:56:33), Andy Quinn (1:56:37), Rodney Farry (1:57:02), Tommy Conroy (1:57:29), Siobhan Farry (1:57:56), Catherine Gavin (1:58:23), Sinead Campbell (1:58:57), Joan Mulvihill (2:02:05), Kevin O’Brien (2:02:08), Brian O’Loughlin (2:03:17), Martin Mullen (2:06:17), Michael O’Sullivan (2:06:36) and Declan Costello (2:21:23) [MO’S].

There was also a 5k race, which attracted an excellent entry of nearly 300, including 30 from Mullingar Harriers. The half marathon started first, followed by the 5k a few minutes after and it finished in the town park where everyone could wait to welcome the half marathon runners back, which really helped to fill the gap of over an hour while the half marathon runners went out into the countryside before returning to finish in the park.

The Mullingar group was led home by Kris Foster taking the win in 17 minutes 1 second, followed by Txema Lozano fifth (19:16), Ailbhe O’Farrell seventh (19:34), Jessica Cunningham eighth (19:35) and Antonio Bertolo ninth (19:42). Following in behind was Mel Bohan (20:29), Noah Morgan (20:54), Paul McCool Junior (21:04), Alex Sheridan (21:05), Conor Mulvany (21:47), Ronan Kelly (21:47), Penny Bohan (22:02), Katie Bohan (22:32), Oisin Kilmurray (23:34), Fionn O’Donoghue (23:38), Huw Keaveney (23:41), Emma Broughan (23:48), Daniel Cosgrove (24:12), Blathnaid Peters (24:17), Vera McCool (24:21), Emma Lagan (24:39), Siofra O’Reilly (25:13), Austin Keaveney (25:35), Aaron Robinson (25:46), Paul McCool (26:26), Clare Cullinan (29:19), Lucy Mulvany (29:36), Luke Cosgrove (30:40), Grace Farry (31:32) and Amber O’Loughlin (31:32) [GD].

Streets of Portlaoise 5k

Another large race took place in the midlands on St. Patricks Day, the annual Streets of Portlaoise 5k in the morning. There was a small representation from Mullingar Harriers, who all enjoyed the fast race through the town. Kevin Moore was the first Harrier home in 22nd place with a time of 16 minutes 4 seconds, followed by Sinead Whitelaw (10th woman) in 18 minutes 1 second. Kieran Nolan (18:42), Ann Hall (19:19), Linda Cunningham (22:15) and Michelle O’Halloran (23:03) completed the Mullingar group [SW].

As this was the first race in the Peugeot Race Series for 2024, Mullingar Harriers had hoped to field a full team of three men and three women, but this proved difficult on a day when so many athletes were racing in the AON Mullingar Half Marathon. The club will now look forward to fielding a full team at the next race in the series in Kilkenny in two weeks.

National Star Award for Andrew Glennon

Andrew Glennon was honoured by Athletics Ireland with the 2023 Juvenile Star Award for Westmeath. This award comes on the back of an outstanding year for Andrew on the track in 2023, finishing second in the u/19 National Juvenile Indoor 1,500m walk and winning gold in the Outdoor 5,00m walk, and gold in the All-Ireland Schools Senior 3,000m walk. The Awards were presented at a star studded event in the Mullingar Park Hotel last Saturday, but as Andrew was competing in Slovakia on the day, his sister Susan accepted the award on his behalf. Congratulations to Andrew from everyone at Mullingar Harriers on receiving this award.

Mixed emotions for Mullingar racewalkers in Slovakia

It was a day of mixed emotions last Saturday in Dudince, Slovakia for the racewalkers of Mullingar Harriers at the Slovakian Gold Level World Athletics Racewalking Tour Meeting. In the cool morning with traces of lingering showers, Andrew Glennon set off with focused determination in search of the World u/20 Team Championships qualification standard of 45 minutes 30 seconds for 10k. With a blistering early few laps  he was right on target at the half way mark. However, the effort took its toll and he lost some precious seconds per lap to finish in 45:50. This was an excellent personal best but an agonising 2 seconds per lap below the required time; a great hard working performance, but still hard luck.

Meanwhile, older brother Matthew Glennon took on the cream of Europe’s u/23 walkers over 10k. In a very much “to and fro” battle, Matthew changed race position several times but at the end he was well clear of fourth place and the rest of the field to earn himself his first ever continental podium position in a time of 45 minutes 3 seconds. Well done Matthew. Also with an eye to the World Team Championship qualification standard for 10k was Aisling Lane. Just like Andrew going before her, Aisling was right on target at half way but struggled to hold the pace. However she still improved her personal best with a 52 minute 43 second performance for the distance.

Later in the afternoon it was the turn of the elite senior men to toe the line in a star studded 20k. Oisin Lane was there with the top athletes but feeling under the weather after a very recent virus. While he held excellent form to reach 10k in 41 minutes 44 seconds, his recent illness came against him and he was forced to withdraw soon afterwards. Hopefully he will be back to full health and fitness very soon [ML].

Fit 4 Five commences next week

A new initiative for the club commences next Monday evening. Fit 4 Five is a 5-week programme to support those who have participated in the Fit 4 Life programme to gear up for 5k races. Aimed at Fit 4 Life and others who are running at least once a week and able to complete a 5k, with the assistance of trained coaches, we hope to have participants ready for events like the Pat Finnerty 5k Memorial League in Belvedere in May. Registration will be at the club house at 6.45pm next Monday (25 March). Full details on our website and social media platforms.


Finally, the Executive and members of Mullingar Harriers wish to express sincere sympathy to the Buckley family on the recent death of Martin Buckley. Martin was a very active member of the club in its early years and continued to support the club in many ways, especially with the Road League in May each year and when we ran the Mullingar 10 in Dalystown. May he rest in peace.

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