Week ending Saturday 25th December
Christmas greetings to all members and friends of Mullingar Harriers
The officers of the Club extend Christmas greetings to all members and former members of the Club, particularly those who have returned home to Mullingar for Christmas. Also to the very many people who helped in any way during the year, especially our sponsors, the local press, all our volunteers, our grounds man for all his work maintaining the Clubhouse and grounds and to the Principal and Board of Management of Mullingar Educate Together National School for the use of their car park on training nights.
Superb race walk performances by Mullingar athletes
St. Anne’s Park, Raheny hosted the World Athletic Race Walking tour last Sunday. The main event was the 35k race walk and incorporated the AAI National 35k Race Walk Championships. There were also 20k and 10k races on the programme for athletes looking to try a longer distance ahead of the 2022 season or seeking an early qualification for forthcoming championships, including a number from Mullingar Harriers.
For Mullingar Harriers the standout performance was the brilliant personal best by Matthew Glennon of 43 minutes 58 seconds in the open 10k held in conjunction with these Championships. This gave Matthew a clear victory by over three quarters of a minute from his nearest rival from the UK. Matthew’s target was to qualify for the World Cup of Racewalking and this he did comfortably by over a minute and a half. He can now look forward to competing in this event in Muscat, Oman in early March next year. Andrew Glennon, his younger brother, also had a big personal best when finishing fifth in 48 minutes 53 seconds and this time puts him within striking distance of the 2022 European Youths (u/18) qualifying standard.
Also having her first attempt at the 10k distance was Aisling Lane who walked 52 minutes 53 seconds, which is an excellent debut for a 15 year old at this challenging distance. In fact each of Aisling’s 5km splits were faster than all of the athletes who walked just a 5km itself, and augurs very well for her main competitions in a few months. Also making a big jump in competitive distance was Oisín Lane who attempted his first ever 20k. Oisín achieved his goal with an 89 minute 51 second performance and the third fastest 20k time ever by an Irish Junior Racewalker. He too can look forward to the 2022 competitive year.
As well as our Junior and Youth walkers displaying excellent form, the evergreen Sean McMullin proved once again that with focus and determination, age is not a barrier to performance or achievement as he finished third Master overall in the masters 10k event in 64 minutes 47 seconds, and a clear winner in his own age category to achieve another podium performance for Mullingar Harriers. He too can look forward with confidence to the 2022 top international Masters competitions.
Drogheda & District Christmas 5k
Drogheda & District AC hosted their Christmas 5k at the Lourdes Stadium last Sunday. The race started on the track and then the course took the large entry of more than 530 out through the streets of Drogheda, with some sharp turns and gentle hills, turning half way to come back to finish the last 500m on the track. Mullingar was represented by Gerard Gavin, whose finish time of 16 minutes 48 seconds secured him a prize for second place in his master age category. Linda Cunningham expressed her delight when a fast finish brought her a personal best time of 22 minutes 17 seconds.
Christmas arrangements at the Club
The younger 6pm groups finished up last week for Christmas. The 8 and 9 year olds will stay on a break until February but the 10 and 11 year olds will break only for the school holidays and will return to training in January when the schools are back. For everyone else, training will continue, as usual, including at the Club on the usual training days, which is especially important for those targeting cross country and the indoor season in the New Year – Covid health restrictions permitting.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.