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

Week ending Saturday 30th March


European Masters Gold, Silver & Bronze for Sean McMullin

The European Masters Indoors took place in Torun, Poland over seven days last week, starting on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the European Masters Indoors but cross country events and some outdoor throws such as javelin are held with the Indoors.

On Monday lunchtime, 21 men toed the line for the 3,000m race walk. The race included athletes across four master categories, among them Sean McMullin. Everyone battled for places in the early laps but as the race settled down, the pre-race favourite, the very fast Ian Richards (GB) opened an early lead but Sean was locked in a great battle with Boguslaw Seidel from Poland for second and third, with Sean positioned nicely in third place, clear of the chasing pack. Continuing to maintain a steady pace over the closing laps, Sean kept up the pressure but was unable to close on the silver medal, though was still very happy to win the bronze medal.

On Tuesday morning, Aidan O’Donoghue competed in the Javelin competition. He threw close to his best in the first round but in the second round he launched the javelin out to 34.25m, adding a massive 2m to his personal best and earning him a great tenth place overall in the competition.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday morning, the 6k cross country race took place in a pine forest adjacent to the Indoor Arena. The ground was very firm and many chose to race in runners rather than spikes. Team places were calculated on combined times rather than places and despite it being only a day after taking bronze in the indoor 3,000m race walk, Sean McMullin was back in action and ran a great race to finish ninth place, the third score for the strong Ireland team that included Martin McEvilly (Galway City Harriers AC) and Richard Mullins (St. Abban’s AC), to take team gold for Ireland.

Aidan O’Donoghue returned to competition on Wednesday for the Indoor Pentathlon, where his goal was to improve on his personal best score of 2,464 points. This he achieved with personal bests in both the 60m hurdles and long jump, and with good results in the shot put, high jump and 1,000m run, he accumulated a total score of 2,535 points, a new personal best, to finish a fine eleventh place overall.

Sean rounded off his Championships with individual silver and team gold in the 5k road walk last Friday morning. With an excellent fault-free effort in this highly technical event he finished second in his master age group to take individual silver. The excitement didn’t end there though, as Sean dropped down an age group to make up a team with Michael O’Connor (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) and David Kissane (St. Brendan’s AC Kerry). Sean was the second finisher on the Ireland team that had a great battle with a strong German team for the gold medals, beating them by only 29 seconds in an exciting race.

As always, the Championships finished with the relays. Aidan O’Donoghue ran the lead leg for Ireland in the 4 x 200m relay in his age group. There were two heats, with the medals decided on the fastest times over the two heats. Ireland was drawn in heat one and Aidan had a great start from the blocks, powering around the tight indoor bends with a very fast split time to set the team up nicely but unfortunately the team was disqualified for a lane infringement, always a risk with indoor sprints, but Aidan was still very pleased with his performance and it rounded off a memorable European Masters Indoors for him [AO’D].

National Juvenile Indoors

Donnacha Doyle was Mullingar’s sole representative on day 1 of the National Juvenile Indoors in Athlone last Saturday where he competed in the u/13 high jump. With 17 boys in action, there were long gaps between jumps, but Donnacha kept his focus really well between jumps. As the bar went up, more and more were eliminated, but Donnacha kept jumping brilliantly to stay in the competition. Eventually he had to bow out but finished an excellent tenth place, out of the medals but a great result in an All-Ireland final [GD].

National 10k Championship

Dunboyne AC hosted the National 10k Championship in association with its annual Dunboyne 10k for the first time last Sunday and it proved a great success. A very well organised and competitive road race took place in splendid weather conditions. The race started on a very narrow section of road, which made for some jostling on the line and for the first kilometre, but it soon settled down and athletes enjoyed a mixed route through the village and rolling country roads before finishing on the club’s track.

Mullingar Harriers was represented by 16 athletes among the nearly 1,300 finishers, some of whom achieved age group results. Vinny Connolly led the Mullingar athletes home in an excellent 21st place in a time of 31 minutes 35 seconds, followed by James Keegan (32:53), Kedagh Geoghegan (34:33) and Alan Crowley (35:40). Eddie Newman was delighted to finish first in his master category in 36:27. Sinead Whitelaw was first of the Mullingar women home, in 37 minutes 19 seconds, an excellent 25th woman overall but second place in her master category to win National silver, just one second off first place. Joan Flynn and Ann Hall finished in 39:15 and 40:14 respectively, to complete the Mullingar master women team that claimed National silver team medals. Mary Stuart ran a strong race to win her master category in 41:35. Other Mullingar finishers included Pauric Brady (38:40), Liam McGlynn (41:42), Padraig Beglin (42:03), Paul Ginnell (44:21), Gemma Kelly (45:44), Anna Broderick (46:02) and Linda Cunningham (46:21) [SW].

April Committee Meeting

The April meeting of the committee will be held next Tuesday 2nd April in the Clubhouse at 8.20pm after training. There’s a full agenda, including planning for the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k League in May, so a full attendance is requested.

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