Week ending Saturday 25th February
Thrills and spills at National Senior Indoors
An action packed National Senior Indoors took place at the National Indoor Arena in Dublin last week-end where on Saturday afternoon, Aimee Wallace nearly came a cropper on the kerb in her 1,500m heat, thankfully surviving unscathed, but Euan Lagan wasn’t so fortunate and he injured himself when he hit the kerb in his heat of the 3,000m. Such incidents aside, it was a good Championships for the small group from Mullingar that competed.
Continuing his preparations for the Leinster Juvenile Indoor in two weeks, Kyle Faherty lined up on Saturday morning in the fourth of seven heats of the 200m. With only the fastest six times across all the heats advancing to the final, the competition was fierce but Kyle looked very much at home in this company and ran extremely well for someone so young competing at this level and while his competition ended at the heats stage, the experience will stand to him for the season ahead.
Shauna Leydon admitted to feeling slightly off colour before her heat of the 800m and showing that you need to be at one hundred percent at a National Finals, despite being in a good position going into the final lap, she knew it wasn’t her day and unfortunately had to step off the track and was unable to finish. Nothing serious we’re assured and we wish her a speedy recovery.
Despite going out a little bit too hard with the eventual winner in the opening laps of the 3,000m race walk and admitting to suffering a little in the closing stages, Aisling Lane was in a different class and was never under threat for the silver medal, and with an otherwise faultless display in this tough technical event finished comfortably in second place with over a lap to spare to win the National silver medal.
The entry for the 3,000m was so large, that the field was separated into two heats, with the medals decided on the fastest times over the two races. Going in the first heat, Euan Lagan was full of running after one kilometre and deciding that the pace was too slow, he moved to the front and pushed it on. He looked strong and relaxed in the front, but disaster struck with less than three laps to go when he stumbled slightly on the back straight, and with an unfortunate misstep he hit the inner kerb. He recovered his footing quickly and appeared to be alright but less than half a lap later suddenly pulled up, clearly bothered with a sore ankle, sadly ending his race. After the race he remained confident that it was a minor enough injury and stopped only as a precaution, which is a difficult but ultimately very wise decision.
Running her first 1,500m in several years, Aimee Wallace looked comfortable and full of running in her heat. Going into the final bend she looked certain to finish in the top five places and qualify automatically for the final but disaster struck when two other runners came around her on the outside and collided with her. Pushing her into the kerb, Aimee was forced to step into the infield momentarily before quickly recovering and moving back out again but the lost momentum cost her a place and she finished sixth, just outside the automatic qualifying places. However, an appeal was lodged, the video reviewed and while not resulting in disqualification for any other athlete, the judges decided that Aimee had been impeded and she was given a place in Sunday’s final. In Sunday’s final, Aimee went to the front right from the gun and with two laps to go had opened a sizeable gap on the pack. However, with two laps to go, the pack began to close her down and despite giving it her all she was caught and passed and finished seventh, out of the medals, but was rewarded with a massive 16 second personal best of 4 minutes 34.73 seconds and there’s surely more to come this year.
Big Half Marathon PB for Andrew Nevin in Barcelona
Andrew Nevin certainly made his trip to Barcelona last weekend to run in the Barcelona Half Marathon extremely worthwhile. Finishing well up in an excellent 166th place of the more than 19,000 that toed the line early on Sunday morning, running in very pleasant partly cloudy conditions and 16degC, Andrew started relatively conservatively and passed the 5k mark in 17 minutes 24 seconds, but from that point on, each subsequent 5k marker point saw him running sub-17 minutes 5k splits, and he slowly increased his pace slightly over the course of the race to finish in a fantastic 1 hour 11 minutes 29 seconds, a very big personal best for the distance. Congratulations to Andrew from everyone at Mullingar Harriers on this terrific performance.
Other road races
Hosted by our near neighbours in North Westmeath AC, the Turgesius Island 10 mile road race last Sunday morning started in Collinstown Village before taking the nearly 150 runners along scenic county roads in the North Westmeath area and finishing at The Cut, on the shore Lough Lene, overlooking Turgesius Island, which of course gives it name to the event. Being a local race organised by an athletics club, athletes from Mullingar Harriers were delighted to run in support of the event.
Finishing strongly in third place in 55 minute 33 seconds, James Keegan led the strong Mullingar group home and our first woman was Jacintha Reilly crossing the finish line in 68 minutes 30 seconds, delighted to take the prize for second woman. Following James was Kedagh Geoghegan (59:37), Eddie Newman (59:54) first in his master category, Enda O’Carolan (62:42), then Jacintha Reilly, followed by Declan Claffey (72:56), Orla McLaughlin (77:57), Brian Boyle (81:43), Avril Keane (81:56), Frank Lynam (88:54), Caroline Boyle (89:34), Martin Mullen (91:26) and Raymond Smyth (91:26).
Nearer to home, The Downs LGFA Valentine’s 5k and 10k last Sunday attracted good entries. Among the nearly 100 runners in the 5k race was a big number from Mullingar, especially of our juvenile members. Finishing in first place was Conor Walsh in a swift 19 minutes 2 seconds, followed by Conor Geoghegan third (20:53). Lily Walsh was fourth in 20:55, the first girl by a long way. Next in was Gareth Glennon (21:02), Daniel Glennon (21:08), Conleth Mullen (21:24) and John Glennon (21:24). Also taking part was Aoibheann Smyth, Andrew Bradley, Aoibhe Martyn, Isobeil Murphy, Tiernan Smyth, Cillian Martyn, Bernadette Martyn, Ava Meehan, Isabelle Smyth and Caoimhe Shanley.
The 10k race was a smaller affair and attracted just over 40 runners, and was won by Alan Crowley in 36 minutes 51 seconds, Tony Doran was third (38:04), Enda Seery was fifth (39:48), followed by Tommy Byrne (41:52), Susan Glennon (42:55) second woman to finish, Colm Walsh (45:14), John Bannon (47:33), Criona Reid (47:44), Terri Greene (49:41) and Nuala Daly (50:51).
Winter League Round 3
The third round of our winter league took place on the track last Wednesday evening. This time it was a 3,000m race and forty one took part, when in perfect conditions James Keegan led them home in a fine time of 9 minutes 21 seconds. In a great battle for runner up, Kris Foster just got the better of Kedagh Geoghegan, coming home in 9:55 with just two seconds to spare. Aine O’Reilly was first woman home in 11:15, with Michelle Bohan in 11:37 taking second and Aisling Corcoran just holding off Jacintha Reilly for third in a time of 11:45.
Team positions have altered again after round three with team 8 now in the lead on 29 points, team 9 are second on 32 points, followed closely by team 4 on 32.5 points. The remaining team places are team 4 on 33 points, team 1 on 33.5 points, team 3 on 38 points, team 7 and 10 both on 40 points, team 2 on 41.5 points and team 5 on 46 points.
The final night of the league takes place on the track next Wednesday evening (1 March) when the distance will remain at 3,000m giving everyone an opportunity to match or hopefully beat their time from last week.
The Executive and members of Mullingar Harriers wish to express sincere sympathy to Aaron Conroy and the Conroy family on the death of his grandfather, Ollie. May he rest in peace.
Finally, on a happier note, congratulations to Laura Geoghegan on her wedding last week to Ger Glennon. We wish Laura and Ger every happiness and best wishes for the future.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.