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

Week ending Saturday 25th May


European Masters Title for Sean McMullin

Sean McMullin travelled as part of a 9-strong Irish masters team to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, north of Madeira, last week to compete at the European Masters Athletics Non Stadia Championships. The events include the road, or “non stadium”, events of 10k, half marathon, cross country relay and race walking, with Sean entered in the race walks.

In warm but tolerable conditions last Friday morning, Sean competed in the 10k walk. Despite being hampered with a niggling problem in his right knee, he was still good enough to finish third, though he would normally beat the Italian man who came second by over a minute, but Sean was still satisfied to win the European bronze medal in his master category. Returning for the longer 20k walk on Sunday morning, Sean had to fight fatigue from the 10k only two days before and dig deep as the temperatures climbed and maintain his form and focus under the watchful eyes of the judges but despite an early warning from the judges, he prevailed to win and claim the European title, a wonderful result for a dedicated master athlete [GD].

Club’s youngest athletes excel in Tullamore

There aren’t many opportunities for our younger members to take part in competition but last Friday evening a huge squad of over 80 girls and boys from Mullingar Harriers AC aged 8 to 13 years competed at the Midland Inter-County Juvenile T&F Match between Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford in Tullamore. The event drew a big entry of over 400 girls and boys from across the midland counties and while it was overcast, it was mild and it stayed dry for the entire event, which is always a bonus. For most of the Mullingar squad, this was their first time to compete in Tullamore, where we hope many will return in June to compete in the Leinster Juvenile T&F.

This is always a very popular event and we were delighted to see so many compete for Mullingar, in fact in some events, we had 8 or 9, so maroon and white was very prominent throughout the evening. The young Mullingar athletes certainly enjoyed it and gave great accounts with lots of them visiting the medal podium during the evening, some more than once, winning a total of 24 medals between them. This was a small step up from the event we held at our own track in April that was confined to our own members, but the emphasis was still very much on fun and participation and just having a go at different events such as sprint, middle distance, shot put and javelin, though the standard of competition was very high. Thanks to the Offaly County Board and to Tullamore Harriers AC for organising and hosting the event, and to the parents and coaches that attended to ensure our youngsters could take part and enjoy themselves.

Among the medal winners from Mullingar were Conor Kiernan (60m u/9), Mia Barry (60m and 300m u/9), Emily Rose Coyne (60m and 500m u/10), Clodagh Keane (80m u/13), Joel Kelly (100m u/14), Aoibhe Martyn (100m u/14), Mel Bohan (600m u/11), Lauryn Smith (600m u/11), Adam O’Donoghue (600m u/12), Chloe Bell (600m u/13), Antonio Bertolo (800m and shot u/14), Lily Walsh (800m u/14), Rian O’Donoghue (u/9 turbo javelin), Ryan Corroon (u/9 turbo javelin), Ella McManus (u/9 turbo javelin), Andrew Bradley (u/11 long jump), Chloe Bell (u/13 long jump), Aoibhe Martyn (u/14 long jump), Saoirse Peters (u/12 shot), Seth Walsh (u/14 shot), Alice Hyland (u/14 shot).

We hope it encourages everyone to compete in the Leinster T&F in Tullamore in early June, the closing date entries for which is this coming Friday, so don’t miss out [GD].

Warning, don’t miss the closing date for Leinster T&F

Competitors in Tullamore last Friday evening need to take careful note that the entries for the Leinster u/9, 10 and 11 (Children’s Games) and u/12 and u/13 T&F to take place in Tullamore in early June close this Friday. There are no late entries, so don’t miss the deadline and as always, if anyone has any difficulty submitting their entries, please don’t hesitate to contact Greg.

Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k Series concludes this week

Round two of the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k League took place in Belvedere last Wednesday evening. Not everyone will take part in all three races, knowing that the best two times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes, so some skipped round two but others registered for the first time, so the total number registered for the event continues to grow. It was another beautiful warm sunny evening, just like the first night, perfect for racing.

The winner of round one, James Keegan (Mullingar Harriers AC) led the charge from the start and slowly built a commanding lead. Coming out of the woods before the final uphill stretch towards Belvedere House around the 4k mark, James still had a good lead and using the final downhill sections to maximum advantage he stayed in front and went on to win in 15 minutes 17 seconds, a second faster that round one, showing great consistency. Dan Morriss (16:59) followed James home, ahead of Kedagh Geoghegan (Mullingar Harriers AC) third in 17:22, running significantly quicker than in round one.

Fiona Gettings (Longford AC) was one of those who didn’t run in round two, so we were guaranteed a new 1-2-3 in the women’s race and a new first woman, a place filled by Sinead Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers AC) in 18 minutes 47 seconds, ahead of Emily Grennan (Tullamore Harriers AC) in 19:05, with Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers AC) running for the first time taking third in 19:40.

As in round one, there was great competition right through the field in the various master categories. Full results of the race are available on www.myrunresults.com. The final round this Wednesday evening will be very interesting and while James Keegan looks to have the men’s race wrapped up, the battle is still on for second and third. In the women’s race, Sinead Whitelaw has the lead and only Fiona Gettings (Longford AC) who won the first round but didn’t run the second round can challenge her, but only if Fiona runs the final round. We expect to see another big crowd and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out last week and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the ever obliging and helpful staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.

With two rounds over, it’s too late to enter the series but individual entries for the final night are very welcome, either online or on the night in the Courtyard Café. Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for round three or your place and time will not be recorded [GD].

Lots of medals won at National 5k

The National 5k was held in the picturesque Phoenix Park last Saturday morning in calm and dry conditions with close to 1,700 finishers. This race is the first instalment of the Athletics Ireland 2024 race series. Leading the Mullingar Harriers home through the demanding course was Andrew Nevin with a fine nineteenth place finish in 15 minutes 41 seconds. Next to finish was Gerard Gavin with a strong run in 17:30 followed by Eddie Newman (17:50) winning a National bronze medal in his master category, then Pauric Brady (18:42), with James Cribbin close behind (18:55). Battling hard for the women’s team was Mary Stuart, leading them home in 20 minutes 10 seconds, earning her a national silver medal in her master category and close behind her was a determined Criona Reid (20.31) delighted to take the National bronze medal for third in her master category. Also running well was Padraig Beglin (20.48), Linda Cunningham (21.58), Brigid McCabe (23.09) sticking to her pre-race plan and winning the National title and gold medal in her master category, and Aidan O’Donoghue (24:59) completed the Mullingar squad. The master women o/50 team of Mary, Criona and Brigid finished second Club, adding to the medal tally for the day. Well done to our athletes who all gave their very best in a very successful National race [LC].

Ashling Murphy 4 Mile

Tullamore Harriers AC hosted the third staging of the Ashling Murphy 4 Mile race on a sun drenched morning last Sunday. Over 700 athletes took to the roads around the town centre and adjoining Business Park for the event. The opening 600m was a steady rise bringing runners past O’Connor Park GAA Ground. The course levelled off and took a left into the Sragh Industrial Estate, reaching 1 mile. It was flat running through the Business Park, on to the 2 mile mark, and beyond with a little downhill bringing the runners to a roundabout on the 3 mile mark where they were welcomed by a traditional music group entertaining everyone in the bright sunshine. A stiff climb past the railway station tested the fitness levels before turning left towards the town centre and then a welcome downhill for the remaining 400m.

Mullingar Harriers was well represented by 13 runners. Kevin Moore continued his recent good form with an excellent twelfth place in 21 minutes 5 seconds, with Niamh McEntegart finishing fifth woman on 24 minutes 37 seconds and leading the women team that Aisling Corcoran (25:59 and fourth in her master category), Jacintha Reilly (26:12) and Orlaith Flanagan (27:03) making up the quartet. This race is part of the Peugeot Series and our mixed team finished fifth with Niamh, Kevin, Aisling, Jacintha and Evan McCormack in a fine 23:52, despite being upended accidentally at the start of the race, and Darren Carroll in (24:43) completing the team.

Our men’s team of Kevin Moore, Evan McCormack, Darren Carroll and Jason McKevitt (25:28) finished sixth Club. Maura Dervin ran a very impressive 27:13 to win her master category, and also competing was Therese Glynn (27:19), John McNamara (28:22), John Long (29:10) and Michael O’Sullivan (31:06) [MO’S].

Fast Lane Half Marathon

The Fast lane Half Marathon took place last Sunday morning. The course was along the scenic settings of the Grand Canal and around the perimeter of Grange Castle Business Park in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin and though it was on the edge of the city, it had a country feeling. A very flat course with long straights, the route had an elevation gain of only 27m over each of two loops, so it was guaranteed to be quite fast. Among the 1,555 runners taking part was James Cribbin and he was pleased to come home under 1 hour 30 minutes, recording 1:29:14 and third in his master category, following on from a fine run in the National 5k in the Phoenix Park the day before [MO’S].

National Senior May Open T&F

Last Sunday in near perfect conditions despite a light swirling wind at the National Senior May Open T&F in Santry, Patrick Leydon made his debut in an outdoor individual 400m and was delighted to dip under 50 seconds, finishing strong in 49.86 seconds. Patrick looked like he had plenty more in the tank, so this performance will give him great confidence for the season ahead. Later in the afternoon, Odhran Cully opened his outdoor season in the 200m and can look forward to sharpening up further for the season ahead [GD].

Leinster Schools T&F

Mullingar Harriers will have four athletes in the All-Ireland Schools T&F in two weeks following some excellent performances at the Leinster Schools T&F held in Santry last Wednesday and Saturday.

Grace Byrne (Loreto Mullingar) finished an agonising fourth place in the Senior 1,500m but made up for her disappointment later in the day when she showed her class in the Senior 3,000m with a convincing win in a new personal best time of 10:10.85 to book her place in the All-Ireland Finals. Conor Liston (Colaiste Mhuire) continues to improve and made another big step in the Senior 800m where he finished second in a new personal best time of 1:55.74. Our race walkers were also in excellent form, with Daniel Glennon (St. Finian’s College) taking silver in the Junior 1,200m walk and John Glennon (St. Finian’s College) winning the Intermediate 2,000m walk.

Other performances of note included Ailbhe O’Farrell (St. Finian’s College) who was fifth in the Intermediate 1,500m steeplechase, Louise Callaghan (Loreto College) Senior 1,500m steeplechase fourth, Jessica Cunningham (Loreto College) Senior 3,000m fifth, Kyle Faherty (Colaiste Mhuire) Intermediate 400m fourth, Luke O’Leary (Clongowes Wood College) Senior 400m fifth, Oisin Kehoe (St. Finian’s College) u/16 Mile fifth, Philip McCartan (Clongowes Wood College) ran a new personal best time of 2:01.74 in the Senior 800m, Matthew Molloy (St. Finian’s College) Intermediate 1,500m, and finally Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Pablo Lozano were members of the Colaiste Mhuire Senior 4 x 400m relay team [GD].


Finally, the Executive and members of Mullingar Harriers wish to extend sincere sympathy to Anita O’Leary and the O’Leary and Farrell families on the recent death of her mother Kathleen (Farrell) in Dublin, grandmother to Matt, Luke, Tianna and Zack. May she rest in peace.

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