Week ending Saturday 4th September
Mullingar Harriers is coming home!
“Football’s coming home” didn’t work out well for the England team at the European soccer championships this year but that’s not the case for the Mullingar Harriers team that is delighted to be coming home to Grange this week. We must express a sincere thank you to our friends in Mullingar Rugby Club who were extremely generous hosts for the last three months while our new track was being constructed. We had full use of their great facilities, and only for them, our youngest members in particular might have had to stop training altogether. This week we return to our own grounds, delighted to see the fruits of the construction work. The track isn’t completely finished, but only the top surface and the lines have to be done, and that should be completed this week, so we’re very nearly there and will be able to enjoy the new track for very many years to come.
The grass track and infield areas will be out of use until the grass grows back fully, which will be next spring or summer, but we still have the outside gravel trail, the existing sprint lanes and of course the new full sized all-weather track to use until then. The new all-weather track has been a long time coming and we’re delighted to be able to see the end in sight. Credit must be given to all our members for their patience while the works were going on. Thanks are also due to ORS Consulting Engineers of Marlinstown Business Park for managing the project and to the Main Contractor, Delaney Sport Surfaces of Killucan for their dedication to completing the work in what has been a relatively short time. The project would not have possible without funding from the Sports Capital Programme of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and of course the support of all our members and friends that contributed so generously to our fundraising efforts.
800m breakthrough for Colin Smith
Colin (D) Smith made the most of two race opportunities to record two personal best times over 800m in the final week of his track season. Colin travelled to Manchester last Tuesday for the British Milers Club Gold Standard meeting at Trafford. He raced well in a competitive field and was rewarded with a personal best of 1 minute 52.14 seconds. Following this, he travelled to Belfast last Saturday for the “Run with the Wind” meeting at the Mary Peters Track. An aggressive racing strategy rewarded Colin with another personal best of 1 minute 51.93 seconds. This concludes an excellent season for Colin during which he revised his 800m personal best no fewer than four times.
Mullingar Women Team Success in Meath
Overcast and cooler made conditions much more favourable for running last Sunday morning for the Bohermeen AC 5 mile. Bohermeen AC is located just outside Navan in Co. Meath and is well known for hosting very competitive and fast races. This race was no exception and as expected it attracted athletes from all over Leinster and beyond. As is customary under Covid-19 health requirements, to keep everyone safe, the just over two hundred athletes were split into two waves at the start, with the quicker athletes starting in the faster first wave. Among the runners was a number from Mullingar, eager to run well and get among the many overall and age category prizes on offer, not to mention the team prizes too.
Taking advantage of the excellent race route and first Mullingar athlete to finish was Enda Seery in 31 minutes 3 seconds, delighted with his race, which will set him up nicely for the Mullingar Half Marathon in September. Coming close behind was Michelle Bohan (31:47) and Jenny Algar (32:03), winning prizes for fourth and fifth woman respectively, just ahead of Amy Mahony (32:25), and with Gemma McMullin (41:05) providing the vital fourth team score, this put the Mullingar women team on top of the podium to receive the Nicky Phillips Memorial Cup for first woman team..
Well done to Bohermeen AC for getting this race off the ground and up and running. Hopefully there will be many more to come.
Big performance from Timmy Murphy in Antrim
Timmy Murphy posted an excellent 71 minutes 9 seconds for his debut half marathon at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Despite not having raced over the distance before, Timmy showed great pace judgement to keep his pace around 5 minutes 25 seconds per mile for the entire race. Timmy actually recorded a 10 mile personal best of 54 minutes 19 seconds en route. It is a most deserved personal best for a very dedicated athlete. The event attracted a record entry of nearly three thousand and among the large entry were two other Mullingar men. Andrew Nevin was targeting 74 minutes but knew by the halfway point that he was going to miss it, undeterred though, he worked on and finished in a good 76 minutes 33 seconds. Finally, Michael Clinton recorded 94 minutes 22 seconds and has to be very satisfied with his performance too. The half marathon is a tough race, so well done to all three Mullingar men on their performances.
Summer Scorcher in Celbridge
The Celbridge AC 5k took place on a very warm and sunny evening last Thursday. Starting at the Celbridge AC grounds, the race took place on a fast course on the roads around Celbridge. In line with current public health guidelines, numbers were strictly limited and the 331 runners were let off in two waves, based on predicted finish times, with the faster runners in the first wave. Given their quality, it was no surprise that the four Mullingar athletes were assigned to the first wave and after an excellent race, the Mullingar quartet was led home by Stephen Campbell in twentieth place in a time of 16 minutes 25 seconds, a few places ahead of Alan Crowley (16:41), followed by Ken Whitelaw (18:33) and Sinead Whitelaw (18:33).
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.