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

Week ending Saturday 6th July


Harriers in the medals at National Senior T&F

It was cold wet and miserable in Santry last Saturday morning on day one of the National Senior T&F Championships. First event on the track was the men 10,000m race walk where Oisin Lane went out hard and led from the gun, settling quickly into his rhythm. He had hoped to break the u/23 record but a few early warnings and a red card meant he had to be very careful and temper his effort but he was still more then quick enough to win comfortably with over a lap to spare to win his first outdoor Senior title in a new personal best of 40:25.99, just 10 seconds off the u/23 record. Matthew Glennon raced hard behind and was rewarded for his efforts with third place in 43:41.02 and the bronze medal, followed home by Andrew Glennon finishing strong in fourth place in 43:55.94, a huge personal best.

There was no living with the early pace of Kate Veale (West Waterford AC), the eventual winner of the women 5,000m race walk, but Aisling Lane took control of the chasing group and when the time to push for home in the closing laps she pulled away smoothly and went on to finish in 24:30.51 and win the silver medal.

Eoin Quinn and Conor Liston were drawn in the same heat of the men 800m, where only the first two plus the next two fastest times over the four heats would advance to Sunday’s final, so competition was fierce. Eoin used all his experience to time his finish perfectly, surging through the pack on the home straight to move into second place by the finish line and earn a place in the final. This was Conor’s first time competing in a National Senior T&F Championships where he looked very much at home but despite a great effort in the closing stages he finished out of the qualification places but will take a great deal from the experience.

With only to first four in each of the four heats of the men 1,500m to advance to Sunday’s final, it was always going to be very tough. Colin P Smith kept himself right up with the leading group in his heat, a very tactical heat, and was rewarded with fourth place and a place in the final. Colin D Smith was very unlucky to be drawn in the fastest heat and though he was always in contention, was run out of the automatic qualification places on the home straight, finishing in sixth place in a time that would have easily won the first two heats.

There were five heats of the men 400m, with only the winners of each heat and the next three fastest times advancing to Sunday’s final. Patrick Leydon ran an excellent race and powered strongly to third place in his heat, unfortunately not quick enough to advance to the final but he was still delighted to record a new personal best of 48.88 seconds.

It was great to see three Mullingar men in the 5,000m A final. The pace was very steady up to the 3k mark but two surges at the front in relatively quick succession broke the field up. Keeping with the breaks, Cormac Dalton stayed with the leading group of three, with Jack O’Leary close to the front of the chasing pack, and Vinny Connolly not far behind. A furious burn up over the final kilometre, especially over the final lap, sorted the medal places and Cormac had to settle for third (13:55.01) but a National bronze medal was a fine reward for his efforts. Jack finished strong in 14:11.00, followed by Vinny in 14:33.75, not far off his personal best for 5k on the track, so a very solid performance.

There was a significant improvement in conditions for day two on Sunday as overnight rain gave way to clear skies and lovely warm conditions. After a slow opening lap of the men 800m final, Eoin Quinn found himself at the back of the field going through the bell, which meant he was a bit of touch when an injection of pace on the back straight left him an awful lot to do. Eoin battled hard to get back on terms, running wide on the home straight to make up ground but the line came too soon and he crossed in seventh place in 1:52.01.

The men 1,500m final started at a very cagey pace and the big field was still quite bunched coming up to the final lap, with Colin P Smith in an awkward place in against the kerb. A serious burn up over the final 400m quickly split the field but Colin dug deep and continued to work hard, finishing down the field, but in a respectable 3:50.61, and the experience of competing in a Senior final will stand to him.

We finished the day with the women 5,000m where Mullingar eyes were on Claire Fagan. Going out fast from the gun, the field quickly spread out and the pace began to hurt and several dropped out between 2k and 3k, but Claire stuck patiently to her own race plan and wasn’t drawn into the fast early pace, running steadily in the second of two chasing groups. With two laps to go, Claire made her move and earlier patience paid off as she had lots in reserve to move steadily through the field and make up a lot of ground to finish an excellent fifth place in 16:12.26 [GD].

Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals

The Westmeath Community Games T&F Finals were held at the Club Grounds last Sunday. A great bonus with the new track is that we only had to mark and line the infield area for the sprints and hurdles events. Thanks to the Trojan work of a few volunteers, everything was in tip top shape for the Games.

The weather played its part and early morning rain quickly cleared and the Games were held in fine dry conditions, with the sun making a welcome appearance just as the short sprints were finishing. Attendance was very good and the programme ran very well to time thanks to the many volunteers who gave up their time to help. Finally, thanks to those Club members who turned out to officiate and ensure the smooth running of the event.

Congratulations to all the athletes who have qualified for the National Finals. In order that they are as well prepared as possible to represent Westmeath, they and their coaches and team managers are very welcome to train at the Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays between now and the finals, which is particularly important for the technical events like hurdles, relays and field events.

Northern Ireland Masters T&F

The Northern Ireland Masters T&F took place in beautiful sunny conditions at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast last Saturday. Aidan O’Donoghue was very happy to run sub-30 seconds for the 200m for the first time, finishing in a new personal best of 29.16 seconds to place fourth, narrowly beaten on the line for bronze. Aidan had no problem in the high jump though where he won gold, and likewise he won gold in the 100m hurdles, and he rounded off a terrific day with bronze in the javelin [AO’D].

On the road

Among more than 400 finishers at the Clonee 10k last Thursday evening was Enda Seery, crossing the line in 38:45. Organised by Dunboyne AC as part of their track re-development fund raising, the event was very well supported by athletes from Co. Meath in particular. It was a stiff course with a number of challenging inclines. Enda was happy with his run and he now turns his attention towards preparing for the Dublin City Marathon later in the year [MO’S].

St. Coca’s AC welcomed over 500 athletes to the streets of Kilcock last Friday evening for their annual 5k. Recognised as a fast and flat course, there was Mullingar Harriers interest and some fine running. Conor Sherwin placed fourth place overall, first u/20 man in 15:07, followed by James Keegan (15:49), Stephen Campbell (16:39), and our three Mullingar women finishing well up in the women’s race, Glenda Shaw (18:16), Ann Hall (18:33) and Joan Flynn (18:46). There were no team prizes for the Mullingar contingent but everyone was satisfied with excellent times on the evening [MO’S].

Roscommon Harriers AC staged the annual 10 mile road race last Saturday morning. The race took place on the outskirts of Roscommon Town on a fast, flat scenic route. Wet conditions didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of nearly 450 participants. With exceptional hospitality not only in terms of the post-event food but also local support encouraging runners along the route, the difficult conditions were overcome, with some exceptional times. In the mix were a number of Mullingar Harriers athletes. Susan Glennon was the first of our finishers, placing well up overall and sixth woman in 65:54. She was followed by Jacintha Reilly (68:47) returning to her hometown for the event. Next was Padraig Beglin (70:03) and just behind him came the fast-finishing Criona Reid (70:31), winning her master category. Paul Purdy (81:43) was fourth in his master category and happy to get back to competition after a recent lay off due to injury [MO’S].

July Committee Meeting

The July meeting of the committee will be held in the Clubhouse next Tuesday 9th July at 8.20pm after training. With no meeting in August, there’s a full agenda, including arrangements for the Westmeath Road Championships at the end of July and early planning for the Westmeath Schools Cross Country in September, so a full attendance is requested.


Finally, the Executive and members of Mullingar Harriers wish to extend sincere sympathy to Matt Mullen and the entire Mullen family on the recent death of his wife, Rose. Matt and his now adult children Ann, Caroline and Ian are former members of the Club. May she rest in peace.

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