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

Week ending Saturday 4th July


Phased return to training of all members begins this week

This week, Ireland begins phase 3 of the Government’s revised roadmap for reopening society and business. This phase will allow groups of up to 200 people to train outdoors and for children aged 12 years and younger to return to the club, though we will be phasing in their return, starting with those born in 2008 and 2009 from this week, and then moving on to those born in 2010, 2011 and 2012 hopefully in a few weeks time. Athletics Ireland, working with Sport Ireland, has developed guidelines for athletics clubs, coaches and athletes to assist in their return to training and these are available to view on www.athleticsireland.ie and on the club’s website. Of particular relevance to athletes and parents is the “Athlete’s Guide”, which is a short document, and we’re asking everyone to please read it and make themselves familiar with its contents.

Many health and social safety measures will be in place during this phase. To best adhere to these measures, the club is temporarily changing the training times for what has been the “6.30pm group” up to now. To avoid congestion when entering and exiting the club, we have to stagger the arrival and departure times of the various groups. From Tuesday June 30th, boys and girls born in 2008 and 2009 (under 13 and under 12) will train from 6pm to 6.45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. We understand that the change from the usual training time might be inconvenient for some but given the circumstances it is the best option available to ensure the club can accommodate this group of athletes. A word of caution though, you cannot just turn up at 6pm and expect to train – you have to book the session in advance or you will be turned away.

All sports clubs are required to electronically record everyone attending training. This is essential to comply with the “contact tracing” element of the guidelines. The club has created an online training registration form to fulfil this requirement. A link to the registration form will be emailed to all current members in the relevant age groups. The form must be completed for EACH session that an athlete wishes to attend. In addition to registering their intention to train, attendance of all club members at sessions will be recorded. Once again, this will be done electronically. It is very important that club members report to the main doors of the clubhouse and inform a coach of their presence. Athletes must not join a training session until their attendance at the club has been recorded.

Unfortunately, for now the club is not in a position to bring our youngest members born in 2010, 2011 and 2012 back to training just yet. The club is short on coaches and volunteers and unfortunately cannot accommodate the large number of juveniles in these age groups to the required safety standards. We hope to recommence training for these age groups from the week beginning 13th July if we can ensure we have sufficient supervision and the appropriate number of coaches available. If any parent or guardian is in a position to volunteer during training, either in a coaching or supervisory role, please send an e-mail to info@mullingarharriers.com. Many of our coaches and volunteers are parents just like you and had little or no experience before their first day helping. Supervision may simply mean an extra pair of eyes and you will be attending alongside an experienced coach who will lead the session.

Phase 3 also allows for the use of clubhouses and indoor facilities provided they are cleaned to a high standard. Mullingar Harriers does not currently use any professional cleaning services and lacks the volunteers willing to carry out such a service. The club will therefore not be opening the changing facilities, the hall, or the gym during this phase and all members are asked to turn up ready to train. There will be access to toilets during training sessions if necessary.

Sincere thanks to Weir’s Pharmacy

Mullingar Harriers is extremely grateful to Weir’s Pharmacy Mullingar who kindly donated hand sanitizer to the club to assist us with the next phase of reopening. Hygiene is a critical element of the guidelines we must follow to ensure a safe environment for everyone using the club, so this donation is extremely timely.

Please confirm contact details

If the club doesn’t have your correct e-mail address you will not receive the link to register for training and you will not be allowed to train at the club. It is interesting that in the under 12 and 13 age groups, we have received confirmation of e-mails from only about a third of their parents and some of those e-mails have changed, so there might be others that need to be updated too. If you’re a paid up member and waiting for the link and haven’t received it, that’s likely to be the problem. If you haven’t already done so, please send an e-mail to info@mullingarharriers.com, using “contact” as the subject, with phone number, e-mail address and home address (with Eircode, if known).

T&F fixtures

With the easing of restrictions, there will be three Dublin Graded Meetings to give those 16 years and older an opportunity to compete before the Leinster and National T&F finals. The graded meetings will be on 22nd July in Santry, 5th August in Tallaght and 12th August in Santry. There will be online entries only, no entries on the day, and there may be limits on the number of entries. The Leinster juvenile under 17, 18 and 19 T&F will be held on 1st August, and the Leinster  junior, senior and masters T&F on 8th and 9th August. The National T&F finals for seniors and under 23 will be held on 22nd and 23rd August, for juveniles under 17, 18 and 19 on 29th and 30th August, for juniors on 5th September, for masters on 6th September, and for combined events on 12th and 13th September.

What were we doing this time last year?

At last year’s All-Ireland u/12 and u/13 T&F Finals, Matthew Molloy easily wore the mantle of pre-race favourite in the 600m u/12 and right from the gun attacked the race by going straight to the front and as the clock ticked by he slowly opened a lead that was just impossible to close and in the final few metres he allowed himself a quick look behind to make sure he was well clear before raising his arms in victory as he crossed the line to record a fine win and another All-Ireland title. Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace were right in the mix from the very start of the 600m u/13. Hitting the front just before the back straight, Jamie was full of running and pulling clear of the field. He was caught and passed on the back straight but he kept his form and pushed on hard, leaving the rest of field behind. Conor made his move into third place with 200m to go and chased hard after Jamie but the gap was too much to close and Jamie held on to second place, followed closely over the line by the very fast finishing Conor in third.

The Mullingar 4x100m u/13 relay team looked impressive winning their heat easily, but Midleton AC from Cork was equally impressive in theirs, running slightly faster than Mullingar, setting the two Clubs up for a great battle in the final. Led off by Luke O’Leary, there was nothing between Mullingar and Midleton at the first change to Conor Liston who powered down the long back straight to pass the baton to James Flynn with the two teams still very close together. James absolutely tore around the final bend and passed to Kyle Faherty marginally in front and it came down to a furious sprint finish with Mullingar narrowly beaten into second place in a thrilling race.

There was nothing easy about the hilly course for the Derravaragh 5k and 10k Road Races last year where Mullingar athletes were out in force and won plenty of prizes, including a clean sweep of top prizes in both the 5k and 10k races thanks to Aine O’Reilly (10k 1st woman), James Keegan (10k 1st), Andrew Nevin (5k 1st), Linda Conroy (5k 1st woman).


The Executive and members of the Club extend sincere sympathy to Tommy Archbold and the Archbold family on the recent death of his uncle, Anthony (Tony) Archbold in Dublin, and to the family and friends of Eileen Hughes originally from Knockaville, Mullingar, who died in Sligo last week. Eileen ran with the Club in her younger days and will be remembered by older members of the Club. Also, we wish to extend sincere sympathy to Peter and Rory Mooney on the death of their father, Tony (Anthony) last Friday. Peter and Rory are not members of the club but have a long association with the club and have been long time supporters of our road races. Tony started taking photos at road races all over the Country over 20 years ago and Peter and Rory and their mother, Patricia, continue to do so. We’ve enjoyed seeing the fruits of their efforts with excellent photo records of the Pat Finnerty Memorial 5k and the Mullingar 10 mile for many years, capturing the action and photographing every participant for posterity. May they all rest in peace.

New Arrival

Finally, it’s nice to end with a bit of cheerful news. Congratulations from everyone at the club to Michelle and Val Bohan on the recent birth of another son, Toby.