The highlight of this weekend has been the Leinster junior, senior and masters track & field championships held down at the Institute of Technology’s athletics facility in Co. Carlow.
We had a few standout performances in the event which took place over 2 days. Rhianna McCarthy won both the senior women’s 100m and 200m races, the first on the Saturday of the meet in a time of 12.09 and well clear of the field of 5 other runners. In the 200m, which took place the following day, Rhianna ran 25:05. Other gold medal winners included Karen Conway who won 1st place in the O/40 category in the hammer with a throw of 33.08m. Karen also appears to have gone on to win her age category in the discus with a throw of 20.09m. Lisa Shine took gold in the O/35 category of the 3,000m walk, whilst we may have won gold in the men’s O/55 category in the shot put, with a throw of 11.29m. However, the win was attributed to Fearghal O’Hare (which is clearly incorrect for our senior 800m runner!). Other great performances were recorded by Mary Horgan, who this week took part in the 1,500m and won the silver medal in a photo finish (Mary’s time was 4:32.99, with the winner, Avril Deegan of Ballyroan Abbeyleix recording 4:32.40), and Phillipa Conway who placed 2nd in the senior women’s discus with a throw of 32.18m (behind the winning throw of 34.96m). Phillipa had earlier placed 5th in the senior 4kg hammer with a throw of 28.34m. Killian Barry also had a super result in the senior men’s 7.26kg hammer where he took silver with a throw of 55.62m (the winner from Clonliffe threw 57.18m). Having earlier unfortunately false started in heat 2 of the 100m, Conall Gallagher gave himself a boost in the 2nd heat of the senior men’s 200m by taking 2nd place in a time of 22.91. It is possible, however, that this did not provide a medal as there appeared to be no final and the faster heat overall, being the first heat, may have taken the podium places. Other podium positions were recorded by Fearghal O’Hare in the men’s senior 800m where he (correctly!) placed 3rd in a field of 8 in 1:55.35, and by Alan Kavanagh who ran in the masters’ 800m, placing 3rd O/35 in 2:46.59. The previous day Alan had placed 4th in the masters’ 1,500m in a time of 6:02.15. Donal Swift also took bronze in the O/70 category of the 200m where he ran 38.27. Finally, another solid performance came from Fiona Shine who ran 5:14.08 in the O/35 category of the 1,500m for 5th place. Many congrats to all who took part. Full results can be found here: http://live.athleticsleinster.com/menu.html
Sticking with the track, coaches Mike McGovern and Susan Walsh organised a night of 1,500m mixed time trials for the club's members last Tuesday. 5 races were held and, in total, we had 56 runners bursting their lungs on the evening in Irishtown stadium. Several of us had not run a competitive 1,500m before and there would have been a few PBs recorded on the night. The races themselves took place in relatively benign conditions and it was not too warm.
Each of the races were arranged with the intention of having runners of similar levels racing against each other. Unfortunately, under current rules only 15 runners could sign up for each event and, therefore, those faster runners who couldn’t get into the later (faster) fields found themselves booking into slightly less popular races which they would inevitably dominate. It still, nevertheless, made for exciting watching. Interestingly enough, several of the races were dominated by newcomers to the club. In the first, William Holton came home in a time of 5:24 to lead the field of 6 runners, with Mairead de Faoite, like William another newcomer, being the lead woman in 6:21. In the 2nd race, Maurice Kelter ran out of his skin to record a time of 4:40 ahead of new clubmate Ethan Foster who ran 5:00. Paula Bradshaw did well to be the first woman home in 6:00. The third event was led home by James Cottle in a time of 5:28 in his first ever 1,500m race, having miscounted the laps required and pushing for the line a lap early! Just behind James came Kathryn Gibbons, also new to the club, in a time of 5:37. Karl Walsh led the field home in the next event with a time of 4:47, followed by yet another new arrival, Cian Coughlan, in 4:50 and by the O/60 1,500m specialist, John Healy, in a super time of 4:51. Maura Mahoney ran 5:16 to lead the women’s contingent home. The last event, for those expected to run sub-5 minutes, was convincingly led to the finish by Michael Kiely who ran 4:17. He was followed by Daragh O’Reilly in 4:23 and the women were, unsurprisingly, led home by Niamh Allen (4:27) with Kate O’Malley running a solid 4:58. Both Daragh and Kate have recently joined the club. It is brilliant to see new blood having a great impact and showing such promise right across the board, together with some super performances from longer-standing members. Again, well done to all who took part. It was a fun and novel experience for many of us!
There are two other events on which to report. IMRA staged another midweek race last Wednesday. Once again down in Co. Wicklow, this time it was a race with a loop that took in the summit of Brockagh in the Wicklow mountains. The race measured 11km, with a start and finish on a forested trail leading up to a loop (5k up and down) of the mountain, a climb of some 450m. We had 4 Crusaders in the 123-strong field. They were led home by Donatus Jocius who placed 10th in a time of 56:57, behind race winner Ruairi Long who ran 47:52. Raghnall O’Donoghue was next in 60:31 for 21st place, followed by Becky Quinn who ran 62:15 for 2nd place in the women’s race and 26th overall. Becky was also the first female O/45 runner home too. Finally, Gavan Doherty was not too far behind in a time of 66:03 for 75th place.
Then, on Sunday, a race was held by IMRA in Co. Laois, in Oughaval Woods. The race distance was 8.5km and involved running an anti-clockwise loop of a wooded area with a 200m climb, so not technically too demanding. We had two Crusaders in the race. Once again, Donatas Jocius was up there, placing 6th overall and 2nd M35 in a time of 40:24, whilst Geraldine Clements also ran, placing 48th overall, 14th female finisher, and 2nd F50, in a time of 59:59.
Brockagh (IMRA race) (123)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Ruairi Long 1 00:47:52
15 Sarah Brady 1 00:59:26
Crusaders AC runners
10 Donatas Jocius 00:56:57
21 Raghnall O’Donoghue 01:00:31
26 Becky Quinn 01:02:15 (2)
75 Gavan Doherty 01:06:03
Full results here: https://www.imra.ie/events/results/id/2051
Oughaval Woods (IMRA race) (58)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Enda Cloake 1 00:36:34
7 Grace O’Rourke 1 00:41:55
Crusaders AC runners
6 Donatas Jocius 00:40:24
48 Geraldine Clements 00:59:59 (14)
Full results here: https://www.imra.ie/events/results/id/2054