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

Week ending Saturday 2nd March


Excellent performances at Leinster “B” Cross Country

The Athletics Leinster “B” Cross Country and Juvenile Mixed Cross Country Relays took place in a cold but dry and bright Stradbally Hall in Co. Laois last Saturday, a venue better known for the Electric Picnic Music Festival in September. This was the second year of the event and numbers competing were up on last year, so it’s an event that is growing and among the competitors was a number from Mullingar Harriers.

The “B” races were confined to those that didn’t win an individual, club or county team medal in Leinster cross country last autumn, so given Mullingar’s success in Leinster cross country, most from the Club were ineligible to compete but we still had athletes in five of the eight races on the programme. The mixed relays of two girls and two boys per team were open to everyone, so we really should have had teams in every event, but we only had one team entered.

The day started with the relays and in the 4x250m u/13 mixed relay, Amelie Kelly, Joel Kelly, Liadan Gavin and Oisin Clarke combined really well, keeping in contention throughout and despite everyone giving every ounce of effort they were very unlucky to finish in fourth place, just out of the medals in a close race to the finish but top marks for effort and team work.

Seeing Lyla Lennon Currill racing hard all the way to the end and finishing well up in the u/11 girls 1,000m, followed in quickly by Roisin Keane and Aoife Dunne not far behind her and Laura Buckley having a great race too and providing the vital fourth score for the team, it was no surprise that the team finished in the medals, third Club, only a few points off the silver medals, so a great team performance from these young girls.

Amelie Kelly led the Mullingar girls home in the u/13 girls 1,500m with a fine run and with great support from Liadan Gavin and Muirin Dunne it’s a terrible pity we didn’t have a fourth girl, as the team would definitely have finished third Club, possibly even challenging for second, but they can still be very proud of their performances.

Having run the mixed relay earlier in the day, Oisin Clarke and Joel Kelly took to the start line of the u/13 boys 1,500m. Oisin kept right up with the leading group from the start and consolidated his position in the medal places over the last 500m to come home with a fast finish in eleventh place to win an individual medal. Also running very well and finishing strongly too, Joel can be very satisfied with his efforts.

Lisa O’Brien was our sole representative in the u/15 girls 2,500m where she put in a very strong performance and was very unlucky to finish just of the top-12 medal places but has to be very satisfied with her performance. We finished the day back in the medals again courtesy of Lydia McDonnell who stuck to her task in the u/17 girls 3,000m and was rewarded for her efforts with an excellent sixth place finish and a well-deserved individual Leinster medal.

Excellent 20k Racewalk by Matthew Glennon in Spain

Matthew Glennon finished well inside the top half of a quality field at the Spanish National 20k Racewalking Championships last Sunday morning in Zaragoza. Spain has the greatest in-depth standard of racewalking in Europe, so Matthew’s nineteenth place finish in a season’s best time of 90 minutes 25 seconds is very satisfying. He walked a controlled race, keeping a good safe technique throughout. Matthew can now look forward to breaking through the 90 minute barrier in the season ahead.

Turgesius Island 10 Mile & 5 Mile

Hosted by our near neighbours, North Westmeath AC, the fourth edition of the Turgesius Island 10 mile took place last Sunday morning. With a stiff breeze blowing, the race started just outside Collinstown. The route took the runners along the rolling hills on the first half, and on the second half uphill all the way to the finish at The Cut on the shore of Lough Lene, overlooking Turgesius Island. This year the organisers added a 5 mile to the event and Mullingar was represented by young Alex Sheridan who finished seventh in 35 minutes 39 seconds.

In the 10 mile event, James Keegan bettered last year’s second place performance and leading the field of nearly 190 runners from gun to tape, took the win in 56 minutes 50 seconds. Kedagh Geoghegan put in a fine performance, breaking away from the chasing pack in the last two miles to finish second in 57:41 to give Mullingar a 1-2 finish. Just outside the hour mark, Alan Crowley (60:09) and Eoin Clarke (60:10) sprinted for the finish for fifth and sixth place, giving them second and third in their master category. Next to finish was Eddie Newman (61:45) to win his master category, just ahead of Kieran Nolan (61:54). Others performing well on the day were Val Bohan (67:01), Gemma Kelly (79:00) third in her master category, Caroline Mullen (80:20) and Ray Smyth (87:41). In the team competition, James, Kedagh and Alan combined to finish first Club by a very big margin.

Duleek 5k

Two Mullingar women, along with over 330 others, took part in the Duleek 5k last Sunday afternoon. Organised by Duleek & District AC, the race took place in windy but dry conditions. Happy to take to the road again after the cross country season was Linda Cunningham, finishing in 22 minutes 5 seconds, and Kelly Dunne improving her personal best time by one minute with 25 minutes 8 seconds, and both were delighted with their performances at the event.

Big weekend of indoor action ahead

This coming week-end, the Leinster juvenile indoors will take place in Athlone. This is the first chance for most juvenile members to compete indoors this year. Though Mullingar Harriers has 165 juveniles eligible to compete, only a quarter of them have entered, a very small squad of 42. They’ll compete in a total of 70 individual events and we wish those entered the very best of luck.

Leinster Indoor closing date

Entries for the Leinster u/20, seniors and masters and for the juvenile relays on 9 and 10 March close this Thursday evening (29 Feb). If anyone has any problems with the entry system, don’t hesitate to contact Greg for assistance.

March Committee Meeting

The March meeting of the committee will be held next Tuesday 5 March in the Clubhouse at 8.20pm after training. There’s a full agenda, including planning for the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k League and the Westmeath Road Championships, so a full attendance is requested.

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