Week ending Saturday 9th September
An easy Half Marathon in Dingle, and then some!
The spectacularly scenic Dingle Peninsula played host last Saturday morning to both a half marathon and a full marathon. Four of our club athletes made the long trip on Friday to Dingle and were among a very big entry of 1,462 runners in the Dingle half marathon. The Slea Head coastline route out of Dingle was closed to traffic for the day, and glorious morning sunshine greeted the runners as they traversed the peninsula around the roads to and from the west Kerry town. The breathtaking scenery and rugged coastline were at their most appealing as the athletes set out in perfect weather conditions with clear blue skies, a very light wind and temperatures quickly rising towards the 20degC mark just before the 9am start time.
First home was John Meade (St. Finbarr’s AC) in 1:13:17 with Olympian Aoife Cooke (Eagle AC) winning the ladies race in 1:24:51. All four Mullingar Harriers athletes were treating the half marathon as their weekly “long slow run” in preparation for the Dublin City Marathon at the end of October. First home was Mary Stuart in 1:35:44, with Criona Reid continuing her very good form of recent months with a time of 1:42:07. John McNamara (1:52:46) and Joan Hickson, running in her own backyard (she is a native of nearby Lispole) with 1:55:55 were equally satisfied with their races. Indeed all four were seen to head off for an extra 9k run along by Slea Head after the race to clock up some extra mileage in preparation for their marathon challenge in 8 weeks.
Tullamore Half Marathon – team medal update
We forgot to note last week that the team of Sinead Whitelaw, Jacintha Reilly, Mary Stuart and Maura Dervin finished an excellent second Club in the open race at the Tullamore Half Marathon, where it was teams of four to score, rather than three to score as in the National and Leinster team competitions.
As noted last week, in addition to individual and Club team medals, there were also County team medals to win in the Leinster competition, where Mullingar athletes were competing alongside athletes from Athlone AC and Coralstown Kinnegad AC who had a good number of athletes competing. Sinead Whitelaw, Jacintha Reilly, Mary Stuart and Maura Dervin (together with Theresa Hughes and Monika De Almeida from Athlone AC) finished second senior County. Criona Reid and Caroline Mullen (together with Lisa O’Rourke and Eileen Kenny from Athlone AC) finished second master County. Finally, Eddie Newman and Gerard Gavin (together with David Watson (Athlone AC) and Andrew Bracken from Coralstown Kinnegad AC) finished second master County. These County team medals added nicely to the total haul of eighteen medals won by Mullingar Harriers at a very memorable Tullamore Half Marathon.
Official Opening of the new all-weather track
It’s exactly two years ago this week that we said goodbye to our good friends in Mullingar Rugby Club and returned to our grounds to enjoy the new track. The Rugby Club had been extremely generous hosts for three months in the summer of 2021 while our new track was being constructed, allowing us full use of their great facilities and only for them, our youngest members in particular might have had to stop training altogether.
Two years later, we’re delighted to hold the official opening of the new track on Thursday 14th September at 6.30pm. We’re honoured that John Cronin, the President of Athletics Ireland, has agreed to perform the opening ceremony and everyone associated with the Club, current and past members and generous sponsors, is invited to attend and witness this memorable occasion and to stay on for some light refreshments after in the Clubhouse. Mark the date in your diary.
Westmeath Schools cross country in Belvedere
Invites have been sent to every school in Westmeath and it’s only three weeks to one of the highlights of the year, the Westmeath Schools cross country on Wednesday 27th September. Of course, that means we have only three weeks to get everything ready, and top of the list of jobs to do is to lay out the course. This weekend we’re looking for a bit of muscle to help put together the course in Belvedere, particularly the start and finish areas. The more help we have, the quicker we’ll get the job done. If you can spare a couple of hours, please let Margaret, Greg, Vera or Declan know at training this week.
Craughwell 10 Mile
Craughwell AC in Co. Galway hosted the thirteenth edition of the Craughwell 10 mile last Sunday morning. The popularity of the race was evident with over 1,100 taking part, attracted by a relatively flat and therefore a fast course. Enda Seery was very happy with his race, finishing well up in twenty second place overall in an excellent 67 minutes 46 seconds.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.