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

Week ending Saturday 2nd September


National and Leinster honours at Tullamore Half

National and Leinster Championship medals were on offer at the annual Bord Na Mona Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon, which incorporated the National Half and the Athletics Leinster Half, held last Saturday morning. Early morning rain cleared to leave largely dry if somewhat windy conditions for the 1,175 athletes who took to the roads around the Offaly town. While it was into the wind in the opening 5 miles, turning back towards the town outside Mucklagh, shelter was provided on country roads, and it was with the wind at their backs that all headed towards the Tullamore Harriers club grounds. A lap of the track tested the resilience for the final push to the finish line.

Ryan Creech (Leevale AC) was the overall winner in a new course record of 1 hour 5 minutes 47 seconds, with Natasha Adams (Letterkenny AC) winning the women race in 1 hour 18 minutes 15 seconds. Mullingar Harriers had 31 athletes participating. Johnny Morrissey was first home in a very fine 1:17:31 and showing his preparation for the Dublin City Marathon is well on track. There was success for Mullingar individuals and teams in both the National and Leinster competitions. In the National competition, Jacintha Reilly (1:27:23) won bronze in the senior category, master bronze went to Sinead Whitelaw (1:21:39), it was gold for Mary Stuart (1:30:41) and bronze for Maura Dervin (1:33:33) in their master age category. In the Leinster competition, Sinead won senior bronze, Mary master gold, Maura master bronze and Eddie Newman (1:20:14) won silver in his master age category. The senior women team of Sinead, Jacintha and Mary won silver in both the National and Leinster Club team events, as did the master women team of Maura, Criona Reid (1:37:21) and Caroline Mullen (1:43:49). There was also County teams in the Leinster competition and Westmeath teams were hopeful of taking medals, but the results weren’t available when going to print, so we’ll hold them over until next week.

The other Mullingar Harriers who took part were Ken Whitelaw (1:18:48), Gerard Gavin (1:21:15), Evan McCormack (1:23:20), Andy Boyhan (1:28:27), Tommy Byrne (1:28:26), Murty Hanly (1:33;56), Darren Carroll (1:34:22), Niamh McEntegart (1:34:58), Aisling Corcoran (1:36:04), Aeilish McGovern (1:37:30), Paul Ginnell (1:39:06), Mark Dunne (1:42:44), Linda Cunningham with a whopping 10 minute personal best (1:43:46), Marie Louise Johnson (1:43:42), Gemma Kelly (1:46:31), Eithne Spellman (1:46:28), Richie Kelly (1:47:28), John Bannon (1:52:17), Brendan Rice (1:55:31), Ray Smyth (1:59:06), Martin Mullen (2:03:14), Kelly Dunne (2:05:29) and Joan Mulvihill (2:06:18).

Elsewhere on the road

Tara AC held their annual Tara 5k on quiet county roads around the village of Skryne, near Navan, last Friday evening. The course took in Skryne Castle and the Hill of Skryne that overlooks the Hill of Tara. It was a hilly enough course and the race was held in showery and windy conditions. John Glennon and Susan Glennon were among the 243 finishers, Susan taking third place in the senior women race in a time of 19 minutes 46 seconds, while John just missed a podium place when finishing fourth in the Junior men race in a time of 18 minutes 26 seconds.

Run on a fast course around the roads of Celbridge last Thursday evening, the Celbridge 5k attracted a field of 430 athletes. Mullingar Harriers was represented by three athletes. Training partners Glenda Shaw and Ann Hall had impressive times of 19 minutes 12 seconds and 19 minutes 27 seconds respectively to place them second and third in their master age categories. Enda Seery was happy to be back to racing after a busy recent schedule, including a significant role in the Fleadh. He came home in a very steady time of 18 minutes 19 seconds

Good return to cross country training

We’re seeing a good return to training after a much needed break for our juvenile athletes in preparation for the cross country season, which begins in late September. All our juvenile members train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Club, but everyone is encouraged to also train on Sunday mornings on the cross country course in Belvedere, especially if they’re serious about competing in cross country. 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 still early yet, so still time to get back in action, but don’t leave it too long.

September Committee Meeting

The September meeting of the committee will be held next Tuesday 5th September in the Clubhouse at 8.20pm after training. There’s a very full agenda, including planning for the official opening of the new track in two weeks and preparations for the Westmeath Schools cross country in Belvedere later in the month, so a full attendance is requested.

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