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

Week ending Saturday 25th July


Possible delay on return to competition

The numbers everyone involved in athletics are familiar with are times run, distances jumped, distances thrown, personal bests, season’s bests, records etc, but in these Covid-19 times, we’ve also become very familiar with the R-number or reproductive rate, of the virus, which unfortunately is rising again. This week we should have entered phase 4 of the Reopening Roadmap, and the increased limit of 500 persons at an outdoor event would allow the Leinster T&F competitions scheduled for the August 1st, 8th and 9th to be held. However, with phase 4 paused until Monday 10th August, if the events proceed, numbers attending will be restricted to only 200 persons, with obvious implications for the Leinster fixtures. Athletics Leinster is meeting this week to review the situation and consider the possibilities, which might include going ahead as planned but with a reduced programme, limiting the number of entries per event, rescheduling to later dates, or abandoning the fixtures altogether. Some of our older juvenile, junior, senior and master members should have been eagerly awaiting the return to track and field competition in two weeks time but unfortunately, we’ll have to await the decision of Athletics Leinster later this week, so for now, entries are on hold.

Welcome return of youngest members to training

This week, the Club is delighted to welcome back its 8, 9 and 10 year old members to training at the Club. This marks the final step of the Club’s re-opening and will see all Club members back training at the Club again. This youngest group has been out of action for nearly four months and it will be great to welcome them back and we know that their high spirits, energy and enthusiasm – and noisy chatter! – will be a welcome addition to training sessions.

Current paid up members will have received an e-mail with a link to the booking system, which must be completed for each session. Please don’t just turn up at the Club to train without pre-booking the session, because if you do, you will be turned away.

What were we doing this time last year?

This time last year, we were putting the final preparations in place for the Mullingar 10 mile road race in Dalystown and on the track we had Club athletes in action in Sweden, Wales and Tullamore.

Jamie Battle lined up for Ireland in the 5,000m of the European u/20 T&F in Borås (Sweden) last year, his debut on the track at this level. He had already competed at European and World u/20 Cross Country Championships, so had plenty of experience at this level of competition to draw on. It was never going to be about medals for Jamie, his focus being to give as strong a performance as he could and to gain as much experience as possible for future events, and that he certainly did as he gave a great account to finish an excellent fourteenth place, only a few seconds off his personal best This was a very strong performance from Jamie, one that he can be proud of, and it showed that he is well able to perform up to his best in a Championship.

Swapping the gold of the St. Finian’s vest for the green of Ireland at the Schools International T&F in Swansea (Wales) last year, Matthew Glennon race walked to victory and the gold medal in the 3,000m race walk and earning maximum points for Ireland in the team competition.

At last year’s AAI “B” T&F and Juvenile Relays in Tullamore, Orla Manning ran strongly in the girls 600m u/13 and even though she finished out of the medal places, a very respectable eighth place, improving her personal best by a whopping eight seconds was good consolation. Alex Lynch impressed in the boys 600m u/13 as he kept right in contention for much of the race and with a very determined performance he finished in fifth place, though he really deserved more from the race, such was his effort. Looking strong for much of the boys 800m u/14, Conor Sherwin was very unlucky to finish just out of the medals in fourth place, but he really ran a great race and left nothing on the track.

Qualifying as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers from the heats of the u/14 boys 4x100m relay thanks to fine running from Kyle Faherty, Callum Costello, Philip McCartan and Conor Liston, the Mullingar team drew the tight inside lane one in the final. A recurrence of a recent foot injury saw Callum substituted by Jamie Wallace in the final and though the boys ran to their utmost, they finished out of the medal places, but as most of the team was underage, they were always up against it, but top marks for effort.