Athenry AC News

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Updated: 41 min 18 sec ago

Seamus Sweeney - RIP

Fri, 2015-05-01 20:00

We were all deeply saddened during the week to hear the sad news of the passing of Tuam AC member, Seamus Sweeney.

A huge supporter of both football & running, Seamus worked tirelessly with Tuam Celtic & was a long standing member of Tuam AC. A sub-3 marathon runner in his younger days, he exceled at all distances & was a stalwart of the Galway 5k Series at which was held a minutes silence in his honour on Tuesday evening. Indeed, after taking ill, Seamus had hoped to be back in action in time to take part in this years edition of the 5k Series but sadly it wasn't to be.

All at the club wish to express our deepest sympathy & condolences to the family & friends of Seamus.

Category: Running News

Galway 5k Series 2015 - Athenry

Tue, 2015-04-28 21:24

I thought we don’t get the biblical weather conditions until the Loughrea leg?

At 7.15pm with temperatures hovering at 4 degrees, the only people venturing out into the torrential rain were the hardy marshals with their multiple layer of wet gear. But thankfully, just as the masses were being shooed out the door of the medical centre by a fog horn wielding Valerie Glavin, the rain eased off & with it the biting wind that had put a halt to many people’s warm up for tonight. As bad as it was it didn’t deter the crowds as over 700 turned out for another record attendance at a 5k series leg.

It was never going to be a night for hard racing with underfoot conditions as they were but regardless, tonight’s first leg (Year 10 - Race 52) of the 2015 Galway 5k Series provided plenty of decent times with John Greaney of GCH coming home in 16.45, well clear of Damian Larkin of Craughwell AC & Culan O’ Meara, GCH.

Despite the bad conditions & the fact that a huge portion of the members were helping out with marshalling etc the club again showed its love for the 5k series with a brilliant 71 members completing the course tonight, 18 of whom were sub-20. Gary Doherty remains a stalwart, as do the other two!

Results located here.

Category: Race Reports

2015 Galway U9-U12 T&F results

Mon, 2015-04-27 19:46

Provisional results for the 2015 County Galway U9-U12 T&F are attached.  

Any queries of results should be directed at .

Congrats to all athletes who took part and the hard-working helpers who made the event a huge success.  The weather was fantastic, especially in the afternoon.  Met Eireann need to update their forcasting models if this is the best they can do as we were promised all sorts of bad weather beforehand.

2015x.jpg A montage of 2015 Galway T&G medals! Category: Race Result Attachments: 15galwaytf_u9-12_results.pdf

Weekend News

Mon, 2015-04-27 11:40

We had two members taking part in the London Marathon yesterday with Mary Kealy first home in a brilliant time of 3:21 & Pat Forde finishing in 3:38.

Closer to home our newest piece of kit got its first run out at the Under 9-12s Galway T&F meet in Dangan. With the unsettled weather our new marquee tent was put to good use & I'm sure we'll see more of it in the coming months.

Category: Athenry Club News

Sub 3 - A Dream Come True

Sun, 2015-04-26 17:40


I have been trying since DCM 2008 to break 3 hours, some said “she would never do it” and sometimes I began to think the same….so what happened?

I ignored them and believed in myself.


I have struggled for years with stomach issues since getting Cryptosporidium in 2007, at the time it was a great pre-wedding diet but if only I knew the consequences!

In December 2014 I switched to a strict dairy free, gluten free and one coffee a day diet. The latter being the hardest. I found Agave 9 gels which are vegan sports gels (Amphibian King West) and I did a sub maximal V02 test with Matt Bidwell (fitness analytics).

I sent Gearoid and Chris a little email suggesting Manchester and providing them with my 16 week plan of action. I awaited abusive replies but they never came and we all signed up.

Jan-Apr: I like a plan and will stick to it 100%

Using my new HR zones running became a labour of love. No more easy runs, no more letting myself off the hook- your heart rate doesn’t lie. Every Sunday morning at 7.30 we met for a long slog, hail, rain, sleet, driving winds, yak trax tested us all the way. It is at this point I should apologise to Orla and Mary for 16 weeks of early Sunday mornings and I am sure tame Saturday evenings.

Roseanne, Mary and Esther were always there too but Chris, Gearoid and the Clarinbridge FB training group became my main partners in crime. I’ve spent 16 weeks training hard with these guys and experiencing a new level of pain but also a string of PBs and great friendships.

Personal Bests:

I have had them in every distance since January with my right hand man beside me all the way- Thank you Gearoid. It is easy to switch off in a race if you know you are winning the female side of things but he kept me honest and my watch became and still is my biggest competitor.


My sister Laura came with me as David said he would stay with the girls and track from home. We arrived in Manchester, sussed out the suitable gluten free places and once again I planned my weekend. I won’t bore you with the weekend details but just to say if you are in Manchester you have to check out Tea42 in the city centre, it is a little pink and girlie but the men in our group fitted right in.

Race Day:

I slept like a baby and met Gearoid at 5.30am for porridge and a coffee and then back to relax for a few hours. Race start came quickly and as we all said our goodbyes there was a sense of calm that comes with preparation. We had the work done, lady luck was all we needed and she shone bright.

Race Plan; 22mile training run and then a 4mile race

Gearoid and I had done two 22 mile runs at 2.56 pace so the above was the plan. We had said get to half way 1.27.5X and then to 22miles and go from there. To be honest the first 21 miles were very comfortable that’s when the second half of the race really started.

I remember saying to G “we have it even if we slow to 7.30’s”, we were running at 6.30’s then so confidence was high. The support was great and as I was sixth woman it is easy to spot a female amongst the men. The cheers really were fabulous.

4miles left:

I said to myself “ok Janey this is Abbeyknockmoy 4 mile race- EASY”….Oh how you try to fool yourself!

Mile 23:

“Ok just over 5km left….EASY”

Mile 24:

People were starting to cramp and pull up, this is very hard to watch, you understand exactly what they have gone through to get here and now their race is over…

Again talking to myself “blinkers on, it’s you and the clock”

Mile 25:

Gearoid is step by step beside me and I know it is in the bag, 600m to go and my quads are really hurting but if I have to crawl I had 7minutes to do it!

Finish Line:

I grabbed Gearoid’s hand and strode across that line as proud as I have ever been of myself and my partner in crime. Words cannot explain what it meant to break 3 hours but to see 2.54 on the clock was simply unbelievable.


With our glad rags on we met up for the post race food and cocktails. This is where my story ends as my photos will share the rest.

Lessons learnt

-None of this would be possible without David. He is the best husband and friend and I am one very lucky lady.

-Positive people and great friends are the key to success, so surround yourself with them.

- If you have a dream, go for it.

- All of this is for personal achievement, it doesn’t matter what time you do in a race once you do yourself proud.

-Your children don’t care and are oblivious to what you have done and they will give you the best cuddles regardless.

-Friend are there for you through thick and thin.

-Sisters are the best.

I hope if you have read this to the end that you will put on your runners and go out for a run.

People think I bounce out the door every day running, I wish to clarify that I too have lazy days where I just want to stay inside and have a coffee but my rule is: “Go out and do 15minutes and if you really can’t motivate yourself to keep going then turn back”.

Women get caught up on body image and my final message is, I am not the typical ‘hungry looking marathon runner’ but I have strong legs and so I have learnt to use what I have, forget the weighing scales, focus on health and lifestyle and most of all enjoy it. I do!

“To try is to risk failure, not to try is to guarantee it”

See you on the road soon.

Category: Race Reports

Two Halves of Manchester

Fri, 2015-04-24 10:41

Now for a report with a difference. How else to report on a marathon than in two halves….by two separate people! Mary Rohan & Esther Leahy give a great account of their experience in the Manchester Relay Marathon last weekend.

Part 1 – Mary:

Fancy a weekend away in Manchester? I should have known it was not a romantic proposition but a loaded question from Gearoid. Before I could answer I hear the word Marathon. I had just completed DCM the day before and I thought I'd never walk normally again let a lone run. On further reflection I'm thinking he runs and I shop, great!

Come February, in the midst of training for Craughwell 10 Esther asked me if I would be interested in running the half marathon relay with her. I was heading over anyway, had the miles nearly done, so why not and I'd just have to put the shopping on hold.

We headed over early Saturday morning from Shannon, handy 50 minute flight, hotel perfect location, sun was shining and great company. Things were looking good. We picked up our race numbers at the Old Trafford Stadium and got the all-important photos outside.

Our tour guides, Jane Ann and her sister Laura, arrived the day before & had all the ground work done so we headed for the "last supper" in T4/2. Gearoid and Chris felt very at home with the pink and white decor and the large hen party beside us. The food was amazing! (As in Esther's words "the most important meal of your life")  Kudos Jane Ann.

Sunday morning and weather conditions couldn't have been better. Cool and overcast. Everyone was remarkably relaxed especially the four marathoners.

The marathon relay started 30 minutes after the full marathon got going, just up the road from Old Trafford and I was delighted to get moving. I was soon passing the Coronation Street studio & was hoping to spot a star or two but nothing.

The route was a lot of out and back tracking for the first 3 miles so I could catch a glimpse of the marathon runners. It was good to spot another Athenry AC singlet of Ray O'Connor with a few cheers and a wave as we passed. Things were good!

I began to gain ground on the marathon participants, ticking off groups of runners and the 5 hour and 4.45 pacers. The miles ticked away quickly as I spent the time weaving my way around the runners and the “cheesestring” guy (I find it a great distraction) and taking in the atmosphere. I really enjoyed listening to the many different pronunciations of Athenry as people in the crowd spotted my singlet.

From about mile 9 the marathon starts to pass back on the other side of the road. It was amazing to see the speed of the elite runners zooming past making it look so easy. I came around the next bend to shouts of my name & there was Orla, Laura and Grace in full cheers of support. You couldn't miss them, Thanks Girls!

As I negotiated my way around people and traffic cones watching out the whole time for Gearoid, it was a great buzz to see himself and Jane Ann flying by around mile 16 looking fresh and strong. More cheering and waving (this was fun). Shortly after them Chris flew by and Roseanne hot on the trail. With all the cheering and waving it didn't feel like I was running a race.

Back to my task in hand, now that they had all passed, time for me to knuckle down and get to the finish. Before I knew it I had passed the 12 mile mark. The crowds were getting bigger and the atmosphere was electric. I took the turn for the last 250 meters following the signs for the relay changeover to the angelic voices banging out the tune of "eye of the tiger", a school choir of kids no older than 10. They were fantastic! I knew I was nearly there, I spot Esther waiting and then she explains we must run over the mats together which was more of a sprint in my case. No time to speak as she was ripping up the road with purpose.

I was left looking at my watch in total shock 1:38:46 and a 5 minute shiny PB. With time ticking I made a mad dash for the jam packed tram to get back to Old Trafford in hope I would see a few of the sub 3 hour finishers! I sprinted to the finish line and squeezed my way in and with 2 minutes to spare I watch Gearoid and Jane Ann finish in style in front of the "Theatre of Dreams". Job done, they both smashed the 3 hour mark, a whopping 2:54!! And me looking and sounding like a maniac.

Could this trip get any better? (Now over to Esther)


Part 2 - Esther:

Manchester, where to start… well in this case the half-way point!  I originally had planned to run the full marathon in Manchester but events conspired against me so it was time for Plan B and thanks to Mary the 2 person relay team was the perfect plan.  Travelling with the others who had serious ambitions for the marathon and serious work put in to back up those ambitions the half seemed very modest and well one couldn’t really be seen to be complaining. So on the back of very little training I boarded the plane to Manchester and decided above all else I was going to enjoy the experience.

Travelling to Manchester was almost easier than getting to Dublin for DCM.  A very quick flight, a quick taxi to hotel and we arrived fresh and eager.  Roseanne and I had booked the most perfect hotel; we were the envy of our travelling group.  You could almost see the start/finish line from the hotel’s lobby.  However disaster almost struck when later in the evening we went to check in and handing in my printed reservation slip (so organised) it was pointed out I had booked for August not April!!!  It is safe to say it was not the best news to get while all around us we could hear “not a bed to be had in Manchester”.  The staff at the hotel were beyond helpful and with some frantic clicking of the keyboard a room was found for us.  Disaster averted (and Roseanne is still talking to me). We all met up for a great “last supper” and the mood in camp was totally relaxed with lots of laughs and banter.  We said our goodnights and off for a well needed early night.

Morning arrived and weather was exactly as promised, cloudy and cool – in other words perfect.  Our wonderfully located hotel was the rendezvous point and all were very calm and focused.  Mary and I left the marathoners to their preparations and went to get our bearings on relay start points.  9am the marathoners were off, 9.30am Mary joined the fray.   I then had to make my way to changeover point, this was all very well organised.  Free trams were laid on and took us directly to the changeover point.  I had a good hour to wait but this was nicely broken up as I got to see Jane Ann and Gearoid power through the half way mark looking strong and fresh, closely followed by Chris and on his shoulder Roseanne.  When I saw how strong they all were it gave me a magnificent lift, this was going to be Athenry AC’s day for sure.

Mary had estimated her half marathon time at 1hr 42min so I thought ok be ready 2mins before just in case, it was extremely cold standing around and I was loathe to get rid of the layers too early. Next I look up and here was Mary charging towards me, I was not expecting that, 1hr 38mins.  I started to peel off layers as I ran to cross the mat with her and had barely time to shout “well done”, I was off.  I was really glad to get going and join the party.

I can safely say I ran with a smile and the miles ticked along nicely.  As I had no expectations on time I decided to not even look at my watch and just run and enjoy.  By the time I was reaching the eight mile mark I was surrounded by people who were hitting the 21 mile mark in their marathon, in other words a whole lot of pain was showing.  I think this helped me as I was so fresh and knew I couldn’t possibly think discomfort in comparison to these warriors.  I was doing a lot of weaving and overtaking and was very mindful of not getting in the way of the true heroes, another great distraction.  Before I knew it I was approaching the 11 mile mark, I had a little in the tank and decided to put the foot down.  I felt wonderful running in through the finish gantry, job done and feeling good.  Mary, unawares to me had made her way to the finish line to cheer me in but I had done to Mary what she earlier had done to me and arrived home earlier than expected 1.46.32. I didn’t delay at finish area as we all had agreed to meet at the very well-appointed hotel and I still had no idea if dreams were realised.  I made a dash and as I rounded the corner I could see all the happy faces, I think I was more overwhelmed by their success than they were, once again they were relaxed and fresh looking!!

After much hugging and back patting we all put the heads down for a little recovery before the party commenced in earnest. Once again Jane Ann’s event planning was spot on.  Another great dinner location with the added bonus of cocktails on the menu.  Throughout the night the miles were recounted and the laughs were plenty. The perfect running weekend away.

Lessons learned in Manchester:

·         Manchester and it’s people are great

·         Always double check hotel dates

·         How to spell cocktails (you had to be there)


·         Mojitos are yummy

Category: Race Reports

2015 County Galway U9-U12 Track and Field Championships

Thu, 2015-04-23 22:32

2015 County Galway U9-U12 Track and Field Championships will take place at the Regional Sports Centre, Dangan on Saturday 25th April 2015 at 10am.

Time table for Saturday is attached

Please note for long jump and turbo javelin the first group of athletes should be at the event and check in at least 20 minutes before the event to ensure it starts on time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Relays will be decided by heats and finals, all other events will be decided on times only.

Electronic timing is in operation.

Category: Juvenile Club News Attachments: timetable_galway_juvenile_tf_2015.pdf

5k Series Launch - Tonight 23rd April 2015

Thu, 2015-04-23 10:57

The launch for this years 5k Series is being held in the Athenry Physiotherapy and Performance Clinic this evening preceded by the nuber packing for the series if anyone can help out. There will be talks held this evening from both Amphibian King & Athenry Physiotherapy and Performance Clinic. These two organisations are sponsoring the series in a big way – please give them your full support.

The timetable for tonight is;

06:45 – 07:45 Number Packing

8.00pm - Galway 5km Series Launch

8.25pm - "Runners Knee" preventing& treating (Jane-Ann Meehan)

8.50pm - Amphibian King Oranmore presents you with the latest road racing shoes and the difference between brands.

9.20pm - Chance to pick up your 5km series number and have a free tea or coffee from Mocha Beans.

Category: Running News

120 pairs of shoes...

Tue, 2015-04-21 17:31

Article from yesterday's (Monday, 20 April 2015) Irish Examiner featuring our own Ruthann, fresh from her latest 24 hour adventure.

Poor George ;-).

Category: Athenry Club News

Manchester Madness!!

Sun, 2015-04-19 21:21

As Sam Cooke once sang, It's been a looong, a long time coming but I know a sub-3 is gonna come.........

If ever there was someone who was long overdue a sub-3 marathon it was Jane-Ann Meehan & she delivered in style by smashing it with a 2.54.10 in Manchester today, placing as 6th woman in the process. But she was not alone, there were PB's all round as Gearoid Rohan finished alongside Jane-Ann with a 2.54.10 for his first dip under 3 too. Chris Deakin, who finally wanted to break his 3.20 duck, gave the poor bird two barrells with a 3.12.43 with Roseanne Trehy not far behind with a 3.13.44. Ray O' Connor, on his return to the marathon scene ran a 4.46.55 whilst Mick Rice had to sit this one out due to recent injuries.

Brilliant running by everyone but particularly by Roseanne. She ran a 20 min PB in Dublin last year with a 3.34 & ran another 20 minute PB today. Serious progression & is looking like someone who can surely push on further.

Not to be left out, Mary Rohan & Esther Leahy were taking part in the relay marathon today in Manchester & rumour has it that they may have placed as second team home too.

A fantastic days running by everyone, enjoy the mojitos.

Category: Running News

Result of the Galway Sports Partnership 10KM at Labane

Sat, 2015-04-18 22:23

Congrats to all involved in the GSP 10KM in Labane on Saturday, 18 April.  A lovely event, not spoilt in the least by the strong sun and gusty wind that greeted the runners all the way around the rolling and roiling hills of Ardrahan.

Final result is now attached.

Category: Race Result Attachments: 15gsp10kmlabane.pdf

Claregalway 5KM Result

Thu, 2015-04-16 14:16

Congratulations to Clare River Harriers on a very nice event, where the rain stayed away but not the wind.  A good preparation for much stiffer targets ahead in May!

Report from the event organisers is below:

Congratulations to all of Claregalway and the surrounding areas on the massive turnout on Tuesday last for the Claregalway 5K fun-run/walk in aid of the Claregalway and District Day Care Centre with almost 300 participants taking part in the 5K fun run/walk. 

First past the finish line was Brian Heavey in a time of 18 minutes and 12 seconds, Kevin Carr was second and Alasdair Conway (Athenry AC) was third.

Fiona Duggan (Castlegar AC) won the ladies category with Labhaoise Cassidy (Manuela Riedo Foundation) in second place and Geraldine Nally (Castlegar AC) in third position.

Thomas McStay was the past the finish line from Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Gareth Callan was second and Niamh Heffernan was third.

Full results are available on or here in particular.

Many thanks to all associated with the local Clare River Harriers Athletic club and the Claregalway and District Day Care Centre on their tremendous effort in organizing and staging the 5K and raising the much needed sponsorship.  Thank you to Coláiste Bhaile Chláir for the use of the school for registration and refreshments, to the many students, teachers and parents who raised sponsorship and took part or assisted with the event.

Some fantastic images from the event are here!

Category: Race Result

Weekend Round-Up

Sun, 2015-04-12 20:47

Another great weekend on the roads for Athenry.

In Turin this morning, Ruthann Sheahan finished a brilliant 11th in the World at the IAU 24Hour World Championships. Competing on a 2km loop Ruthann covered 112 laps before having to bow out with 44 minutes left on the clock, coming agonisingly close to her own national record of 229km. Ruthann had kept a steady pace throughout the day to pick off those in front of her & with 2 hours left on the clock was running in fourth position in the world. She placed first amongst the Irish contingent of 5 who travelled over for the race with Susan McCartney following not too far behind & a larger gap to the male team of Eoin Keith, John O' Regan & Eddie Gallen. As this race also doubled up as the European Championships she also place 7th in Europe. Congrats Ruthann on a brilliant performance.

Closer to home Jim Leahy ran a stormer to place as first M50 in the Connemara Ultra. Taking part in his first race over this distance as a training run for his crack at the Portumna 100k this June, Jim ran a steady race throughout & according to onookers was never in any trouble (made it look easy they say!!!) finishing in a brilliant time of 5.41.34. Another brilliant performance over the longer distance by Athenry.

We had three members taking part in the half marathon with Brian Somers first home in a time of 1.36.45, a very credible time in Connemara on what is a positively uphill course (310m of climbing with only 260m of downhill, but not for the life of me can I figure out where those 260m are!!). Don Nyhan finished with a time of 1.44.04 & Jane Mangan came home in 2.06.31. Well done to all for great times on one of the harder courses out there.

Category: Running News

It's Time To Go Long!!

Sat, 2015-04-11 20:35

It's that time of year again when people are looking at Spring Marathons (unless you're Ruthann & Val who run one each week). Again this year we have plenty of members travelling for races & we'd like to wish good luck to all.

Manchester Marathon:

Jane Ann Meehan, Gearoid Rohan, Chris Deakin, Roseanne Trehy & Ray O' Connor

Mary Rohan & Esther Leahy - Relay Marathon

London Marathon

Mary Kealy & Patrick Forde (Taking part in his 20th marathon on the weekend of his 20th wedding anniversary) 

Boston Marathon

Maeve Noone & Siobhan Guinan

Closer to home Jim Leahy is taking part in his first race over 50k as he tackles the Connemara Ultra tomorrow.

New club recruit, Brendan Galvin, ran the Roma Marathon recently & came home with a big PB of 3.25.41. On the other side of the world former club Chairperson, Deirdre Hassett, ran a 3.26 in the Napa Valley Marathon (off very little training & a long run maxing at 14 miles!!) & bagged herself another BQ in the process.

Probably most impressive of the lot was Valerie Glavins 2nd place in the Vartry 50mile event last weekend in a time of 8.23.24, congrats Val.

Looking towards the latter part of the year Seb is looking forward to completing the Marathon du Medoc although in fairness I think that's more a belated stag party than a race :)

Category: Running News

IAU 24 Hour World Championships

Fri, 2015-04-10 21:05

The club wish the best of luck to Ruthann Sheahan this weekend as she takes part in the 11th edition of the 24 Hour World Championships in Turin, Italy on the 11-12th April 2015. The race will also host the 20th European Championships. The race takes place on a 1700m course and starts at 10am local time.

In this event in 2012, Ruthann's distance of 229km set a new Irish Outdoor 24hr record, placed her 7th in the World & 5th in Europe. On recent form I wouldn't be surprised to see that record tumble.

Alongside Ruthann are Eddie Gallen, Eoin Keith, and John O'Regan on the men's team and Susan McCartney on the women's team.

Tracking for the event will be available here.

Category: Running News