Athenry AC News
In just a few days time we will all become experts in converting Irish time to Rio time so that we can plan our viewing around the upcoming Olympics. However, before we sit in anticipation to chart the progress of the Irish team in Rio there is a somewhat significant display of domestic elite athletics that will be of great interest to us in County Galway. The GCH mens team and the Galway ladies team have both comfortably qualified for the National Track and Field League Final in Tullamore Stadium on 7th Aug (from 11.30am). These are 2 incredibly strong teams consisting of many National Champions and international athletes and both are in with a real chance of securing progression to the European Team Championships.
However, as is often the case at the Irish domestic T&F competitions, there are no supporters and athletes run with very little cheering or support. It would be really nice if we can go some way to change this, and the Galway County board would like to do everything it can to get behind its two fantastic teams and get supporters of high quality T&F there on the day. Supporters can often be the difference between the teams winning or losing. There is a real chance of history being made here, no team from the West ever has ever won a League medal but with your help the teams will give it everything they have got and I can promise, the rest of the country will know the West is awake when it comes to T&F.
If we can get enough people committed to going, then the Galway County Board will provide transport to and from Tullamore on the day - all you will need to do is pay your entry. If you are interested in going, then drop me an email: email@example.com.
Thank You.Category: Athenry Club News
The 11th iteration of the new infamous Burger Run successfully place around the old Athenry 10KM course last evening, Friday, 23 July 2016.
Thirty six hardy souls toed the start line shortly after 8PM under the watchful eye of starter, Mick Rice. James Corbett again laid out the logistics, refreshments and prizes, with the expert help of MTB & BAW as well as young Michael & Sean Rice. John O'Connor was there to capture the event! A full album will follow on Flickr's 77EdenHill in due course.
All the runners had to do was turn up and run, which some did faster than others. No one got lost either, thankfully.
Damien Larkin (how could anyone forget him?) of Craughwell AC was first home in a speedy 37:25, followed closely by another Craughwell AC guest, young Jack Miskella. Athentry were delighted to have guests from both Craughwell AC and Tuam AC at the event.
A result could not be finalised until such time as everyone was home and hosed, as this is an event where even the last on the road can be first on the podium. As it was, most of the winners were the mid-packers, as the attached result shows when it is sorted by finishing time and not by absolute time difference.
The main winners were Kieran Guiry (AAC male), Caroline Moore (AAC female) and Joe Coyle (Craughwell AC guest...and pride of Belmullet).Category: Race Result Attachments: 2016_club_10km.pdf
A few of us headed in the direction of Mullingar this Sunday for the annual Mullingar AC 10 mile road race. We knew from my better half Esther, who had participated the previous year, that it actually takes place outside the town of Mullingar in a little place called Dalystown, so Google Maps was our navigator.
Technology is great when it works…... it can also be argued it’s only as good as the person using it but we won’t dwell on that. Suffice to say there are at least two Dalystowns in Co. Westmeath, one that hosts an annual 10 mile race and another that’s a townland of fields down a lot of very narrow, weaving back roads. The lack of race day directional signs had us worried about two minutes before we arrived at our destination - a very fine looking farm with lots of cows but a worrying lack of humans in running singlets - located about twenty kilometres west of Mullingar.
Fortunately we still had an hour to the starting gun and some genuinely excellent directions from locals had us at the other Dalystown, fortunately not too far away, with 30 minutes to spare. It was just enough time to warm up - or, in my case as driver after our diversion, cool down - before the race started.
While the very breezy and warm twenty-three degree summers day was not ideal for running it was definitely a nice change from the unseasonal weather of the last few weeks. Almost 300 people lined up for a rolling route through the lovely Westmeath countryside. Not surprisingly there were plenty of Mullingar AC singlets around and the proliferation of maroon tops made us feel kind of at home.
Given my starting position relative to Jane Ann, Gearoid and Chris I had the comfort of knowing I wasn’t going to be caught from behind by a club mate. The sun and head wind kept things interesting for the first half of the race, and the second half of any race is always interesting in itself so the miles ticked down nicely. The three mile and seven mile water stations were welcome sights. The Athenry half in Monivea got compliments from a fellow runner who noted my singlet (as he passed) and even though it was around the eight mile mark I managed to gasp a thanks.
A shout out from the club mates with 300 metres to go helped me finish my first ten mile race at around my guesstimate so I was very happy. Jane Ann was the first female and Gearoid and Chris finished well up the rankings making it a very good day out all in all.
Despite the technology.
Report: Donal LeahyCategory: Race Reports
Athenry AC Annual Burger Run takes place on Friday 22nd July at 8pm on the old 10km Fields of Athenry course. It starts about 200 meters from the gates of St. Marys GAA clubhouse in Carnaun and finishes just outside the gates of the complex - one full lap but not into the town, turning right before the level crossing and back out the Tuam Road.
It is a guess-your-own-time race i.e. no watches or other timing devices and closest to their estimated time wins! It is open to Athenry AC members and also there will be some guests invited from neighbouring clubs. There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd man and woman, quickest time and closest guest.There is a BBQ organized after the race. E5 entry fee. Always a great event! Hope to see you there!Category: Running News
The latest in an occasional series...
Congrats to Ailbhe Madden on her art win at the recent Athenry Agricultural Show.
Look what she is wearing though!Category: Athenry Club News
"What am I doing this for?"
Despite the number of times that question had popped into my head over the last few weeks, the only time on the day of the Ultimate Trails 55km that it crossed my mind was standing on the start line in the rain. I've been fearful of running long distances in wet weather after becoming close to hypothermic at the end of the legendary 2012 edition of the Greater Manchester Marathon and the thought of many hours in Lake District rain didn't fill me with much enthusiasm. That feeling was made even worse by the race director ending his safety briefing by telling us the course was actually more like 58km.
"Am I fit enough? Have I done enough hill work?"
I guess, these were the underlying questions. I'd run 50km before, twice, but on loops around basically flat courses in Irish forest parks. Ahead of me was a distance I didn't know if I could complete plus climbs to Kirkstone Pass, Grisedale Hause, Silver How, Blea Tarn and Loughrigg. As it turned out the climbing was fine, but my nemesis continues to be rocky descents. Having sprained my left ankle in both 2014 and 2015 on this kind of terrain I was determined to finish and paid for tentative, unpractised off road downhill running by losing places and time.
"What am I doing this for?"
Why would I risk this kind of terrain again? Ever since discovering that there was such a thing as mountain ultra running while working alongside Lizzy Hawker, the five time Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc winner (go and read her book "Runner" for some inspiration) I've wanted to see if I could do one. One of my dream races is the UTMB's little sister, the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamomix race. And on the start line in Ambleside there was the promise of qualifying points awaiting at the finish.
And how was the race?
The weather never managed to make its mind and I ran changing in and out of my waterproof all day. The climb to Kirkstone was entirely runnable thanks to numerous repeats of Letteragh Road in the weeks before the race. I even briefly found myself running in the top ten, before the technical descents started and I slipped back in the field. I had a bad, tired patch at about 20km just before the second check point. But the sandwiches and coke at the feed zone helped me through and on to the biggest climb of the day. Again, a few places lost on the technical portion of the descent but most of them were made up between check points three and four on a beautiful loop of Lansdale with some of the best views that England has to offer, even in the rain. I took some time at the final feed zone to make sure I'd eaten and drunk enough to get to the line. Yet even in the final 10km I was able to move strongly across the two climbs along the way back to Ambleside. About a mile from home, with only a steep tarmac descent left the noise of the finish line was obvious and I could push on to get in in 29th place from 449 runners in 7:06:27.
Would I do it again? Yes. Am I still dreaming of the CCC? Absolutely!
Report: Adam LeadbetterCategory: Race Reports
Many years ago when the children were young, we decided to go on a family holiday. So one morning with the exception of the kitchen sink we loaded everything and everyone into the car and didn't stop going until we landed somewhere in the middle of France. On arriving there we were amazed at the long straight roads and the miles of vineyards growing in the fields. Soon we were to discover that the grapes growing in the region we were in were the ones used in the making of brandy and that the town of Cognac, home to the Hennessy and Martel distilleries, were only an hour’s drive away. When they finally convinced me to drive on the wrong side of the road, that was our destination for a day’s outing.
While we were doing the tour the guide explained to us that when the brandy is distilled it is put into oak barrels to mature and as it is ageing, it loses a small percentage to evaporation every year, and that goes up to the heavens and it’s called the 'angels share.' Those of us veteran runners know full well that we too lose a percentage every year, and in my case I'm fully aware that the barrel must be nearly empty now…
Maybe that was the reason why this year I decided to have a go at the European Non-Stadia road races which this year were held in Portugal, in a seaside resort called Monte Gordo and that it was beside a bigger town called Vila Real San Antonio, something like Galway and Salthill. Nearly 40 Irish competitors travelled out on different days to it. I went late Wednesday evening, 18th May. On Thursday we went to the Yellow Hotel for to collect our numbers. This was done with military style efficiency. First you produced your passport then they gave you three numbers: one for the front, one for the back, and one for your bag. Then they put a orange band on your wrist, which I presume was some kind of accreditation but also a blue one on the other wrist, which I believe was their way of saying 'thank you'' or 'obrigado' as I was to learn later.
That evening a few of us decided to book a restaurant for a meal. On arriving, we were pleasantly surprised to find the staff had laid a few tables with green and orange table mats and white napkins. They try hard to get the business!
Competitions started on Friday morning with the walking events (Peadar, where were you?) and in the evening the 10K road race. As I wasn't running 'til Sunday morning I decided to go for a walk into Vila Real which was only a bit over two miles away. It was a very nice town on the banks of the river Guadiana, which is very wide river only crossed by a ferry. The river separates Portugal and Spain. The day was very hot and as I was walking home I felt my finger joints swelling up, which I was told the following morning was due to dehydration.
On Saturday the relay events were held, and in the evening the longer walking races. Sunday morning was into the trenches for me as I was doing the half-marathon. On the start line I feared the heat would prevent me from finishing and, or course, I thought I would be the last one to finish. A mile or so into the race, I took that dreaded look over my shoulder. Thank goodness there were a good few stragglers behind me. From there on, without being passed by anyone, I might have overtaken 9 or 10.
Sometime after the race, while a few of us were having a coffee outside a restaurant, our attention was drawn to the loudest cheer of the day, which was kept for a 93 year-old Swiss runner called Albert Stricker who was coming into finish. Albert could have opted for the shorter 10K race...like hell he did.
That evening all the Irish gang assembled for a celebration dinner in the Ocean restaurant, as the team had won 16 medals. Most of them had gone for either the walking events or the 10K, so as I said it was in Monte Gordo, my only bragging right was 'at least I did the Full Monty.’ I had an arrangement with a hackney company to take me to the airport Monday morning, which was about 50 miles away, and for a 9:45AM flight they insisted on picking me up at 5 30AM.
I was happy enough with my race time of 2:03 (page 30 of the linked PDF), which was my best at the distance for a few years but *IF ONLY* those angels would return all the energy they have belonging to me maybe I'd have done better!
To all the Irish contingent Thanks You for your company, especially that vocal support in the last half mile, when it was needed the most. To team manager Michael Fennell, a man who thrives on peoples needs, thanks Mick or should I have said 'obrigado'!
This race will next be held in 2018 in London. If God is still willing and there's a little sup left in the tank, I might do it all again!
Editor’s Note: Martin has since dipped under two hours for the half, in Monivea a few weeks ago, but that is a story for another day!Category: Race Reports
RedTagTime provided timing services for the 12th running of the Headford 8KM yesterday, Saturday 2 July 2016. See here and attached!
Over 250 finished in what look like a decent evening's running, over what is not that easy a course. It is the exactly same route that was employed the first year out back in 2005 and has stood the test of time since!Category: Race Result Attachments: headford8km_2016.pdf