Week ending Saturday 26th August
Road Race Series Team Success for Mullingar
The Peugeot Race Series is a series of eight road races, which took place across the Country since March and it concluded last weekend with a 10 mile race in Cork. The race series has both individual and team competitions; the team competition varying from the norm, with mixed teams of three men and three woman to score in each race.
Mullingar Harriers have once again taken third place in the series, to back up their third place from 2022. This is a wonderful result for the club and a testament to all our athletes who put themselves forward to compete in each of the races.
The Mullingar athletes started their series with a very fast evening 5k race in Kilkenny in April, with a solid showing from Vinny Connolly, Ian McCormack, Kris Foster, Sinéad Whitelaw, Aine O’Reilly and Susan Glennon. This team finished in fourth position, behind strong teams from Dundrum South Dublin AC, Leevale AC and Kilkenny City Harriers AC.
The series then moved into May, with two races within six days of each other, in Johnstownbridge and Tullamore. The Bob Heffernan-Mary Hanley 5k race in Johnstownbridge is always a very competitive road race and the Harriers team was delighted to finish second, led home by Vinny Connolly in third place with a swift 14:51. He was backed up by Andrew Nevin, James Keegan, Sinéad Whitelaw, Jenny Algar and Aine O’Reilly. Another team of six athletes, namely Andrew Nevin, Ken Whitelaw, Andy Boyhan, Sinéad Whitelaw, Susan Glennon and Jacintha Reilly acquitted themselves well in the Ashling Murphy 4 mile race in Tullamore to finish fourth team. At this stage in the series, at the halfway point, Mullingar Harriers was delighted to be lying in third position.
The Michael Manning 10k race in Dunshaughlin in June was the next race, and the Mullingar team finished well in third position, with nice running by Andrew Nevin, James Keegan, Kris Foster, Sinéad Whitelaw, Susan Glennon and Joan Flynn. There was then two 10 mile races within a couple of weeks, in Roscommon and Edenderry, which Mullingar fielded strong teams in. Andrew Nevin, James Keegan, Kris Foster, Sinéad Whitelaw, Joan Flynn and Jacintha Reilly ran well to get second team in Roscommon, while in Edenderry the team line up changed a little again, with Alan Crowley and Kieran Nolan joining Andrew Nevin, Sinéad Whitelaw, Joan Flynn and Jacintha Reilly to finish in fourth place.
Following the seventh race in Edenderry, Mullingar had secured an overall third team place in the series and opted not to field a team for the final race in Cork city last weekend. The club should be very proud of the fifteen athletes who made up the various teams, with nine different men and six different woman scoring on the teams, a testament to the depth of strong athletes in the club. The team race series was won by DSD AC and Clane AC finished in second position.
Aidan O’Donoghue excels in Belfast
Aidan O’Donoghue finished off his domestic T&F season in style last Saturday at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, winning three gold medals and a bronze in his master age category at the Northern Ireland Masters T&F. Aidan won the javelin, high jump and 100m hurdles and placed third in the hammer. This adds to the medals he won in the javelin and high jump at the AAI National Masters T&F the week before, as he continues his preparations for the Europeans Masters T&F in Italy in September.
Kilcock 10 Mile
The Kilcock 10 mile last Sunday morning was another superb race hosted by St. Coca’s AC. Events like this, hosted by strong traditional Clubs with the know-how and experience to give runners the best experience possible, attract great support from other Clubs and show that good Club events are thriving this year.
Nearly 400 finished the race, with James Keegan continuing his excellent recent form with an eleventh place finish in 56 minutes 9 seconds. Following in behind and delighted to finish well under the hour mark was Alan Crowley in 59:07, with Claire Lennon pleased to cover the distance in 89:16. Well done to St. Coca’s AC for another fast race and a very high level of organisation.
Frank Duffy 10 Mile
The tail end of high winds from Storm Betty and occasional heavy showers meant that conditions in the Phoenix Park the annual Frank Duffy 10 mile last Saturday morning were not for the faint hearted. As well as tough weather conditions, the 2,800 athletes had to tackle a tricky winding circuit, which included a mixture of flat stretches and rolling hills. Undaunted, Enda O’Carolan continued his preparation for the Dublin Marathon in October, with a steady run in the testing conditions and was happy with his time of 1 hour 3 minutes 17 seconds, finishing twelfth in his master age category. Martin Fitzpatrick also had a steady run and while a little disappointed with his time of 1 hour 13 minutes 21 seconds, he can look forward to further distance races in the coming weeks to fully prepare for his first marathon in October.
Isle of Man Half Marathon
Patrick Muldoon travelled to the Isle of Man to take part in the annual Isle of Man Half Marathon last Sunday week (13 Aug). This race has regularly attracted runners from Ireland, the UK and across Europe. On race day, conditions were warm and windy for the field of 341 competitors. Starting and finishing in the picturesque town of Ramsey in the North of the island, the route was a one lap winding circuit that included a challenging hill to the high point approaching the 4 mile mark. Patrick finished 25th overall of 341 competitors in 1 hour 29 minutes 27 seconds, which placed him fifth in his master age category.
Good return to cross country training
Last week saw the return to training after a much needed break for our juvenile athletes in preparation for the cross country season, which begins in late September. Most of the younger members in the 6pm groups will train only on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Club, but the older juveniles will train on Tuesdays and Thursday at the Club and on Sunday mornings on the cross country course in Belvedere. They had their first outing in Belvedere for some time with a relatively light session last Sunday morning. There will be an increase in distance and intensity over the weeks, building slowly to the cross country season, so anyone who misses the early weeks may struggle to catch up in the later sessions, so a full attendance at training sessions in advised. It’s only a week in, so still time to get back in action, but don’t leave it too long.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.