A few photos from Gort last Sunday (courtesy of Gordon Thomson) that I'd like to share. This great shot just after the start - I particularly like the tractor parked on the side of the road!
And this one just as I took the lead:
There is over 800 athletes entered for the Woodie’s DIY Intermediate and Master Championships of Ireland scheduled for this Sunday, 23rd of February in Dunboyne, Co. Meath. There is a further 700 athletes entered in the juvenile development cross country championships with twelve races on the programme.
Andrew Connick (Ferrybank AC) finished a close second behind Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC) at the national novice championships in Waterford before Christmas. Tobin who is now based in America will not be competing on Sunday, leaving the way clear for Connick to claim the title. Others to watch out for include Dermot McDermott (Sligo AC), the 2012 national novice champion. McDermott has raced sparingly on the lead up to this event with his last cross country outing coming at the national inter counties in November where he finished in twentieth. Mark Dooley and Eric Keogh both of Donore Harriers AC lead a strong Dublin contingent while St Abbans AC athlete Stephan Lawlor spearheads the Laois challenge.
Michelle McGee (Brothers Pearse) will start as the clear favourite to capture the women’s intermediate title. McGee is the current national novice challenge and recently recorded an impressive victory at the 2014 Ras na hEireann to put herself over a minute clear of the second place athlete. Kate Cronin (Raheny Shamrock AC) finished second behind McGee at the national novice championships is the likely challenger to McGee on Sunday.
Raheny duo Eilish Kelly and Annette Kealy are set to battle it out in the master women’s race while the master men’s race is set to be the biggest race of the day with over 300 athletes entered. Peter Fleming (Rathfarnham WSAF), Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC) and Mick Traynor (Raheny Shamrock AC) are all likely to feature in the men’s race.
The juvenile’s races begin the day with the U11 girls starting at 11.30am and the master men conclude proceedings at 2.40pm.
National Indoor League Round 2.
Away from the action of the cross country the second round of the league will take place in AIT International Arena, Athlone on Saturday, 22nd of February. Many of Ireland’s top club teams will come together to battle it out for a place in the league final on Sunday, 16th of March. The objective of the league is to provide Irish athletes with more competition on home soil.
The first round of the league saw St Abbans AC top both the men’s and women’s table. In the men’s event St Abbans recorded a score of 56 points to hold a slight lead over Dublin clubs Raheny Shamrock (54 points) and Crusaders (45 points) in third. Their women’s team scored 34 points with Le Cheile AC (24 points) in second and Craughwell AC (23 points) in third.
In the guest event section of the competition watch out for the likes of Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC), Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea AC), Karl Griffin (UCD AC), Catherine McManus (Celtic DCH) and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dundrum South Dublin AC) who are all set to compete.
Leevale 2014 Sports will be held on April 5th & 6th at the CIT Arena in Cork. The meet is a great opportunity for athletes to start their preparations for the upcoming outdoor season. The April date is the weekend before the Intervarsity T&F Championships, which will be held in WIT this year and should serve as good preparation for that event.
Like previous years, the meet will be a two-day event; the junior and senior programme will be on the Saturday, juvenile events on Sunday. The Leevale meet provides a great opportunity for athletes seeking standards for international selection and has come up trumps for many athletes in recent years. Once again it promises to be a great weekend of T&F action in Cork!
Programmes for the Saturday and Sunday events are attached and are also available on-line www.leevale.org.
Online entry for senior and junior events will open in March.
We look forward to seeing you there once again.
+353 87 2508100
The usual 3km warm-up and then into 6 x 1km off 85 seconds. I was running them in 3:05 and hence the 85 seconds recovery to keep the maths nice and easy (starting each rep every 4 mins 30 secs). I felt good today and interesting to note how the HR slowly creeps up at the end of the rep each time (it was high 140's for the first couple but up over 150 by the end of the session).
And then a 3km warm-down to give me 12 clicks on the knocker.
More snooker in the evening. In the first frame I resumed from where I left off 2 weeks ago - I was on a break of 64 with 3 reds still on but ran slightly out of position and left myself nothing. Shame as all the balls were on for a biggie. Played okay in the remaining frames with a further break of 35. I'd be a much slower player now than when I used to play as a young lad - I used to get down and crash the balls in but now think about it a lot more - especially the positional side of the game which is what's all about to be honest. The plan is to have my own table before I turn 50 - I just need to win the lottery first...
The Athletics Ireland Technical Committee is pleased to publish an updated list of Irish medal winners from Major Championships 1900-2013.
This is the first time many of these medal winners have ever been publicly recognised by the sport in Ireland including the 1930 Commonwealth Games and Ultra & Mountain Running events not previously listed.
Athletics Ireland salutes all our medal winners and their coaches and looks forward to updating this list on a regular basis in the future.
The list was compiled by Pierce O’Callaghan, Killian Lonergan, Cyril Smyth, John Cronin and Liam Hennessy.
In the Crowne Plaza hotel today Athletics Ireland hosted an Education Day for Youth and Junior Athletes. The seminars and speakers covered topics from Media and Communications to Nutrition, Anti-doping and the High Performance (HP) Programmes.
The Athletics Ireland Marketing and Communications Team pulled together a comprehensive educational programme for athletes around understanding and dealing with the media and communications. Sinéad Galvin, Marketing and Communications Manager gave a brief overview of the media landscape and how the marketing department interacts with the media.
David Gillick came on-board to provide a very useful insight into dealing with the media from the athlete’s perspective. While Niall O’Flynn from RTE TV and Cliona Foley from Irish Independent Newspapers provided the athletes with the media’s perspective. To close there was an interactive section dealing with reputation management by Declan Conroy with tips on interview skills right through to the pros and cons of social media.
Rachel Maguire from the Anti-doping unit gave a short seminar around anti-doping and our High Performance Nutritionist, Ruth Kilcawley gave a talk around Nutrition and performance. The HP Programme, carding and performance services were also discussed.
Are we going to see a new course record on Sunday 23rd March 2014 in Craughwell for the Craughwell AC 10mile road race?
The men's course record is currently held by Sean Connolly of Tallaght AC in a time of 49:12, while the women's course record is held by Eilish Kelly of Raheny Shamrock AC in a time of 57:44.
Log onto www.activeglobal.com/running/craughwell-ireland/craughwell-10-mile-galway-2014/205052 to enter.
I picked up a new pair of Asics GT 2000 2 - the 2 at the end indicates the second release in this current series. I liked them a lot and they felt very comfy - and I even went up half a size to a UK11. You'd think after nearly 15 years of running I'd get to know my size...
The Munster Middle Distance Performance Squad enjoyed a 3 day training camp at Banna Beach over the past few days. A total of 18 athletes (Boys & Girls aged u17-u20) attended the camp along with some of their personal coaches. The group enjoyed the superb facilities at Banna Beach in Kerry and were once again greeted with perfect weather for duration of the camp.
The group arrived on Saturday evening, some having competed at the National Senior Indoor Championships in Athlone that day. There was a team meeting at 9.30pm with coach Steven Macklin detailing the plans for the camp. On Sunday morning the group headed for the beach and a long run followed by stretching and recovery in the pool. That afternoon the group undertook a core conditioning session followed by some recovery in the pool.
Monday was a busy day for the group beginning with a morning run followed by drills & strides. At 12pm a workshop was delivered by Sports Performance Psychologist Canice Kennedy. Late afternoon the group were treated to a superb workshop with coaching legend Br John Dooley. Br Dooley was as always an inspirational presence at the camp mixing with the athletes and offering words of encouragement and advice. In the evening the group had their final workshop tackling a core strength & conditioning session with expert Joe O Connor. Joe brought the athletes through a demanding session, doing individual screenings and offering advice. On Tuesday morning it was clean up time for the athletes in each house, before the group departed for the track in Castleisland. All the athletes were put through a tough track workout in preparation for the up coming All Ireland Schools XC Championships. Athletes also went through some video analysis to help them with their running form & technique.
It proved to be a hugely successful weekend with everyone learning new information/tips, getting to know each other better and getting in some great training. A special thanks to Banna Beach Hotel, Canice Kennedy, Joe O Connor, Br John Dooley, all the athletes for their superb behaviour and great focus towards the training and to the personal coaches in attendance Ray Shanahan and Noel & Geraldine Curtin. This group really worked well together over the duration of the camp and were especially buzzing after hearing former squad member Sean Tobin broke 4 mins for the mile in the US. A tough act to follow but with many National Champions and a European Gold medalist in the group, there are certainly a few future stars in the making.
The next squad training for the race walking group part of the Munster Performance Squad, takes place on Sunday 23rd February at the RSC Track Waterford from 10am-1pm. This is just for the race walking group only, not the other event groups. For further details please contact head coach Frank Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0868282689.
Olympic gold medalist, Ashton Eaton, heads international field competing in Athlone on 26 February
Ashton Eaton, the Olympic decathlon champion and world record holder, is the headliner at the AIT International Arena Grand Prix on 26 February.
The 26-year-old, who was dubbed “the best athlete to ever walk the planet, hands down” at London 2012, is part of an international field – including Eaton’s wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton – that will compete in the AIT International Arena, Athlone.
One of the highlights of the evening will undoubtedly be the Senator Eamonn Coghlan Mile, which is sure to attract a top-calibre field looking to run the first four-minute mile in the Athlone venue. A prize fund of €500 is on offer for the winner of the race if he achieves the elusive sub-four minute time.
Amongst those already signed up to compete in the race are John Coghlan, John Travers, and Joe Warne.
President of AIT, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, said: “The grand prix is attracting a growing list of national and international talent. People are really excited about the opportunity to see athletes who have succeeded at the highest level, whether that be in the Olympics, the World Championships or the European Championships. We’re really confident that this will be a sell-out event,” he said.
The AIT International Arena has established a reputation as a fast track, something which Prof. Ó Catháin says is proving to be “a decisive factor in attracting the sporting elite” to the midlands venue. “In the year since we opened the International Arena, new records are continuously being set, including most recently a new world record for over-60 in the 800m set by Joe Gough, as well as Mark English’s new national senior and u-23 indoor record in the 800m. Just last Friday, 12 indoor athletics intervarsity records were broken. That bodes well for some really keen times at the Grand Prix,” the president said.
Events confirmed for the meet include the 60m, 400m, 600m, Senator Eamonn Coghlan Mile, 3000m, as well as the long jump, shot put and 60m hurdles.
Amongst the international athletes competing at the AIT Grand Prix will be: Ashton Eaton (Olympic decathlon champion and world record holder), Brianne Theisen-Eaton (heptathlete, 2012 Olympian and 2013 World Championship silver medalist), Tabarie Henry (three-time World finalist – 400m), Shara Proctor (2013 Diamond League Champion, British indoor and outdoor record holder, 2012 World Indoor Bronze medalist – long jump), James Ellington (London 2012 Olympian, current 2xBritish 200m champion), Donald Sanford (fourth at European Championships in 2012 – 400m), Damar Forbes (2013 NCAA Champion and World finalist – long jump), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (member of GBR 4×100m relay that won bronze at World Championships), and William Sharman (Captain of the GB athletics team and World 110m hurdles finalist).
Further information about the AIT International Arena Grand Prix can be found at www.aitsport.ie. The event starts at 7pm on Wednesday 26 February.
Tickets are priced at €10 for adults and €5 for children, and will be on sale on the door. Highlights of the event will be shown on Setanta Ireland.
Galway are sending a huge number of athletes to the National Masters XC on Sunday which is great to see. I'm going to make up the numbers and I'm not expecting much - especially if it's a mud-bath which is more than likely given all the recent rain and flooding. The location is called Cow Park in Co Meath and that doesn't conjure up images of nice, flat, firm meadows for running. I had a conversation with Owen on the weekend where I made the point that in my mind, XC running is so far removed from road running that I see it almost like a different sport (at which I'm no good). As you can see I'm getting my excuses in very early doors...perhaps all this negativity stems from those cold, wet, wintry runs we were forced to do as a junior in school (which everybody hated). Perhaps I need some form of counselling?
One of the best races of the year is on Sunday when the annual Kilconiern Charity 5 mile road race takes place. This race has raised over EUR20,000 for local charities in the last 6 years and we cannot recommend it highly enough. Please make every effort to support this great local event. All the details are below and we would also like to wish all the best to our runners who are taking part in the Masters All Ireland Cross Country championships in Dunboyne on Sunday. Registration for the 2014 Kilconieron Charity Run is now open on Run Ireland. The 5 mile run is on Sunday 23rd February at 12pm and all proceeds this year will go to ACT For Meningitis. To enter go to www.runireland.com/active/all-events and scroll to February 23rd where you can enter now for EUR15! There is also a special discounted rate this year for walkers of just EUR10. Entries will also be taken on the day at Kilconieron GAA grounds. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kilconieron.charityrun and look out for our new website which is coming soon (www.kilconieroncharityrun.com ). See you on Sunday 23rd February and thank you for your support! For more info contact Niall Callanan – 087 6773983.
The provisional program for the Connacht Indoors on the first weekend of March is as follows-
The U12-15 events are all on Saturday 1st while U16 and older are on Sunday 2nd March.
Age group coordinators will be seeking entries early this week. Note there are no Connachts for age groups younger than U12.