The sun came out and with it a record response in excess of 500 bringing the 2 day Finn Valley festival of school athletics to just under the 1000 participants the event builds and builds and with excellent organisation it is indeed most encouraging . Meet Director Patsy Mc Gonagle expressed his thanks to the many officials ,teachers /schools and indeed the enthusiastic response of the children as they engaged in long and high jump ,turbo javelin,wheelchair,shot,sprint and midddle distance plus relays . It all went along at a cracking pace with a return to the same venue next Wednesday for finals an 11 am start .
Ireland’s number one 400m athlete Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) will headline a stacked 200m field at the 2014 AAI Open Games. European Junior Silver Medallist Sarah Lavin (UCD AC) continues her transition into the senior ranks as she is set to compete in both the 100m and 100m hurdles events. While 2014 World Indoor 1,500m representative David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) makes his return to competition after a spell out due to injury in the 1,500m.
In an exciting addition to the programme Ireland’s junior men’s relay squad will compete in a 4×100m relay event as they begin their quest to run the 40.10 qualifying standard for the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregan in July (See relay preview below for more details)
All the action from the event will be streamed live via the following: Link
After a successful training stint in America, Gregan drops down in distance to the 200m and faces a strong field which includes Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) and 2014 national indoor 60m champion David Hynes (Menapians AC). Rising sprint stars Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O’Toole AC) and Zac Irwin (Sligo AC) are both competing in what is likely to be one of the closest races of the day.
Lavin in her first year in the senior ranks will start as favourite in the 100m hurdles with rival Catherine McManus (Celtic DCH) also in the line-up. The women’s 100m race is set to be a thriller with Lavin lining up against sprint specialists Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Louise Kiernan (Fingallians AC), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) and McManus. Healy was the outstanding performer of the indoor season setting a new Irish U23 record of 7.36 for the 60m.
Timmy Crowe (Dooneen AC) competes in the men’s 400m having enjoyed a successful indoor campaign which included a 47.29 indoor personal best. Harry Purcell (Trim AC) was the standout performer at the recent Aviva Leinster Schools Championships recording a time of 47.82 is also in the line-up.
McCarthy just missed out on a spot in the final in the 1,500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland in March. The AAI Games marks McCarthy’s first competitive race since then as he lines up in the 1,500m against John Coghlan (MSB AC) and Andrew Corscoran (Star of the Sea AC).
Ireland’s top ranked 800m athlete Laura Crowe (Riocht AC) is the leading name in the women’s 800m. Junior athlete Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dundrum South Dublin AC) targets a fast time over 1,500m in a year where the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregan is her top priority.
Another group of athletes with Oregan on their mind is the junior men’s relay squad with athletes of the quality of Lawler, Irwin and Keith Doherty (Tallaght AC) on the team they could go close to the national record of 40.60. Under the guidance of junior men’s relay coordinator Daniel Kilgallon this will be the squad’s first competitive outing of the season. The next planned race for the squad will be a meeting in Geneva on June 14th. The required qualifying time of 40.10 for the World Juniors will be the squad’s major goal for the season.
In the women’s Pole Vault event Zoe Brown (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Claire Wilkinson (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will go head to head with Ian Rogers (Clonliffe Harriers AC) starting favourite in the men’s event.
Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers AC) and John Kelly (Finn Valley AC) are both over 15m already this year will renew rivalry in the men’s shot putt.
Wednesday the 29th of May is the date for the 11th annual Buncrana 5km Road Race and Fun Run. As ever, sponsored by Sean Furey Insurances of Buncrana and Carndonagh, the 2014 edition of the event promises to be as popular as ever with club runners and recreational athletes alike. Over the last ten years, the race has become a highlight in the Northwest racing calendar due to the proven fast course and the excellent organisation.
2013 was another record breaking year with Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty running a new Irish record for the course of 14.34 mins to win from Spartan Declan Reed on 14.48. It is worth noting that these men are 39 and 40 years old respectively! While the speed of their runs was questioned in some quarters, both ran similar times on the track shortly after. In the same race Scott Rankin ran 15.00 for 3rd place. This year these three are likely to do battle once again. Rankin has just edged out Reed a number of times this year so far and has a recent 8.31 PB for 3k on the track. Reed is also in great form winning the Irish masters Cross Country title this year and last week winning the Dublin 10k track championships in 31.30. Doherty is also in excellent shape and recently went sub 15 mins in the Ballyshannon 5k. Local hopes rest with the evergreen Pauric McKinney who is a former three time winner of the event and was 5th last year. Others to look out for include any of the Annadale Striders or St Malachy’s boys, who, if they make the trip across the Sperrins, mean business. The men’s team race was won very convincingly by City of Derry Spartans last year with 6 in the top 10 and all sub 16 mins. Both Foyle valley and Letterkenny AC will surely have something to say about the team battle in 2014.
Last year the ladies were also in flying form. Lifford’s Anne Marie McGlynn ran an excellent 16.32 last year to finish 18th overall in what was the second fastest performance ever by a female on the course. This year McGlynn has been in even better form and could challenge former Olympian Maria McCambridge’s 2010 record of 16 mins and 7 seconds. Also in the reckoning could be three time winner and no 3 on the all-time list Finn Valley’s Therese Mc Gloin who ran 16.35 in 2010. Interesting to note that McGloin got married to Ciaran Doherty during the year and you wouldn’t get good odds betting against and husband and wife double victory on the 28th. Other contenders include Lifford’s Natasha Adams, Finn Valley’s Helen Stockdale and Springwell’s Gemma Turley. Last year the Inishowen ladies were surprising but deserving winners of the team race.
In 2012 the Buncrana public were treated to a little demonstration of the East African dominance when Kenyan Runner Freddie Keron Sittuk posted 14 mins 18 sec to win. The organisers have deemed Freddie’s time to be an all-comers record for the course with Doherty’s 14.34 being an Irish record. They continue to offer €100 bonus to anyone who can break either record. In addition they offer €200 to anyone who can break 14 mins! Kenyan Freddie Sittuk is back in the country at the moment and fresh from winning the Belfast marathon may be lured down to have another crack at it. The ladies course record is no less impressive. Letterkenny AC’s former Olympian Maria McCambridge broke the record in 2010 running an excellent 16 mins and 7 seconds. The same bonus is on offer for the ladies.
Race for everyone
Despite all this talk of records and the fleet of foot, the main aim of this race has always been to provide competition for all levels of runners and joggers. It doesn’t matter if you have just started jogging and have to take walk breaks every so often, you are more than welcome to Buncrana. The only thing that we ask is that you do attempt to run/jog the 5km. It doesn’t matter if you have to walk a bit in the middle but this is not a walking event. Also worth noting that due to Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI) rules, no athlete under 16 years of age will be allowed to compete.
The race is also number 8 of the Donegal Athletics Board’s Summer Grand Prix series which this year comprises a staggering 55 races. In addition to this, there are literally hundreds of fund raising road events being staged across the NW. Due to the huge number of events happening this year, the organisers of the Furey Insurances Series have decided to cancel the whole series and just retain the Buncrana event. This event is not one to bring the dog on a lead or the wain in the pram to but is designed for ANYONE who would like an opportunity to see where they are at. Don’t buy into the scare mongering that this is only for the speedy ones or that 5k races are “too fast”. Everyone has a right to race/run/jog/waddle the Buncrana 5k. Go for it!
Wednesday 28th May 2013. Registration from 5.30pm at Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, adjacent to Buncrana Leisure Centre. Entry fee €10/£9stg, Chip timing in operation. Race starts at 7.30 sharp. Refreshments provided after in Scoil Mhuire. Showers available in Buncrana Leisure Centre. Pre-race entries can be emailed to email@example.com — simply state your name, gender, age on race day and club! These must be received by 6pm on Tuesday the 27th May. Your race number can be picked up on the night when payment is made. Due to the large numbers expected please help us and yourselves by pre-entering! Any of those who intend to register on the night please get there early as we will be closing registration at 7.10pm sharp and don’t want to have to disappoint you. Thanks
The Sean Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k is organised by Eoghan and Dara Furey with the help of City of Derry Spartans AC, Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Buncrana Leisure Centre and the help of the local community.
This is an event for everyone regardless of what level of runner you think you are. No more excuses - too fast, too far, not far enough (?), I’ve no speed, I’ll be last! We have heard them all and refute them all. If you can cover three miles in training then you have a right to be there! If you have never tried a 5k or feel your PB is up for review then no better place to be.
We organise everything except the weather! How you run is up to you!
For further details contact race directors Eoghan and Dara Furey
ring 00 353 87 9474883/ 00 353 86 6061514
email: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com / website: www.derry-spartans.com
facebook: Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k series page / Race route fly through: www.goodrunguide.co.uk
Belfast International Athletics Meet
Athletes from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and further afield are in the running for the Belfast International Athletics Meet at the Mary Peters Track on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.
Organised by Athletics Northern Ireland with support from Belfast City Council, the event follows on from the 2013 official opening event which followed a £3m refurbishment of the track as part of Belfast City Council’s £150m Investment Programme. It is hoped that the event will become a regular fixture in the athletics calendar for many years to come.
Among the athletes confirmed for the event is 2014 British Athletics Indoor 800m bronze medallist, Katie Kirk of Queen’s University Belfast AC. Katie has enjoyed a strong season of late, running a PB of 2:02.97 last weekend to achieve the Glasgow 2014 consideration standard. Athletics fans in Northern Ireland and further afield will no doubt be keen to see Katie compete against some of the World’s top runners on home soil.
General Secretary of Athletics Northern Ireland, John Allen, said: “This is a fantastic event for everyone involved and provides an opportunity to showcase one of the Country’s top athletics arenas. Taking place just three weeks ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Belfast International Athletics Meet will offer fans an opportunity see world class athletes compete at the home of Athletics in Northern Ireland ahead of the Games.
“The Mary Peters Track is a world class standard venue that is open to the whole athletics community, catering to all levels of the sport from schoolchildren and club athletes to those training to compete at an international level.” he added.
Following the re-opening of the track in 2013, Dame Mary Peters said she was delighted that the track named in her honour would continue to serve Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Ahead of the Belfast International Athletics Meet she acknowledged the importance of Belfast City Council’s continued support along with the work carried out by Athletics Northern Ireland stating “I am overjoyed that Belfast has a truly world-class facility that serves both current and future generations of athletes. The presence of a world class venue ensures a legacy of athletics development for the City for many years to come”.
(Left to Right) Dame Mary Peters, John Allen of Athletics NI and athlete Katie Kirk help launch the 2014 Belfast International Athletics Meet. Following on from the international opening event held at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track in 2013 the Belfast International Athletics Meet on Wednesday 2nd July will ensure a legacy of world class athletics in Belfast for years to come. To find out more visit www.athleticsni.org
The Aviva Connaught Schools Track and Field Championships took place on Thursday the 15th of May in Athlone Institute of Technology. The championships brought together some of the best athletes in the west of Ireland representing their schools.
The Inter Girls was full of strong performances with Laura Ann Costello, Dunmore CS, and Sinead Treacy, St. Raphael’s Loughrea split the sprint titles between them. Costello won the 100m in a time of 12.41. Treacy won 200m title in a time of 25.59.
Michaela Walsh from SM&P Swinford produced a fantastic performance in the Shot Putt with a throw of 14.92m almost 5m ahead of her nearest competitor.
The Senior Girls had its fair share of the day’s double winners. Stacey Kerr, Ursiline College Sligo, took the 100m (12.89) and 200m (26.49) titles.
Alannah Lally, Pres Athenry, was also impressive in her events winning the 400m (57.73) and the 800m (2.20.02).
Eimear Murphy from Gortnor Abbey was dominant in the Shot Putt with a fine throw of 9.26m.
In the Senior Boys, Zac Irwin from Sligo Grammar was successful in capturing both the 100m (10.83) and 200m (21.78) Connaught titles in impressive times.
The Athletics Ireland High Performance unit is committed to supporting and developing, Relay Squads to provide sprinters with a realistic pathway to represent Ireland at the major championships. Qualification of teams for this year’s European Track and Field Championships is seen as important stepping stone towards qualification of teams at the Rio 2016 Olympic. The long-term objective for Irish Relay Squads is in line with the core objective of the High Performance Strategic Plan; to deliver more medals on the World stage.
Three team Relay Co-ordinators have been appointed. Terrie Cahill who has vast experience both as a former International athlete and as a coach will head up the women’s 4×100m relay squad. Cahill coached the women’s relay squad to an Irish Record in 2010. Double European 400m Indoor Champion and Record Holder David Gillick will oversee the Men’s 4×400m team. While Daniel Kilgallon who looks after up and coming sprinting stars in Tallaght AC will coach and co-ordinate the junior men’s 4×100m relay squad.
Support will be provided to Relay Squads that have potential to run/or have achieved the standard set in the qualification policies for major championships. Depth and quality is needed in events with a minimum of five athletes that meet the Individual Relay Standards needed for support to be made available from the relay programme.
In 2014 support will be provided to Senior Women’s 4×100m and Men’s 4×400m with the target of achieving qualification for the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich in August. Both teams will need to achieve a top 16 European ranking to secure qualification. While the junior 4×100m men’s squad are targeting the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon with a qualification time needed of 40.10, the current Irish Junior Record stands at 40.60.
The relay team members are selected from the relays panels. The athletes pre-selected for the relay panels were selected based on the 2013/14 ranking lists, current form in 2014; relay experience and availability and commitment to the relay programme. To be added to the relay panel for 2014 athletes will have to achieve the Individual Relay Standard Click Here For Further Details
Day one of the Aviva Leinster Schools Track & Field Championships took place in Santry Stadium on Wednesday, 14th of May. The event brought together the cream of Ireland’s young athletic talent to compete for a place in the prestigious Aviva All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore on the 31st of May. The following records were broken on a thrilling day of track and field action:
Day 1 Record
U16 Girls 200m Aine O Connor (St. Mary’s Naas) 26.85sec
Senior Girls Steeplechase Alison Armstrong (Coolmine C.C) 5:21:37.
Inter Girls Steeplechase (Killina Secondary School) Emily Greenan 5:25:71.
Minor Girls Relay (St. Vincent’s Dundalk) 52.28
Minor Girls Javelin Kate O Connor (St. Vincent’s Dundalk) 36m.
Minor Boys 800m Mark Milner (Cholaiste Choilm Tullamore) 2:02:51.
U16 Boys Relay 4 x 300m (St Aidan’s) 2:34:99.
Junior Girls Hammer Lauren O’Keeffe (Loreto Balbriggan) 53:02m.
Calling all athletes and coaches who are interested in multi-events. There will be two workshops held in St. Laurence O’Tooles AC in Carlow on Wednesday 21st May and Wednesday 4th of June from 6-9pm each evening.
On the first night the following will be covered:
1. Sprints starts.
3. Shot Putt
4. Long Jump
Athlete MUST do 2 events. In addition there will be a talk on how to be prepared for competition. This will be of interest to both athletes and coaches.
Open to athletes over 13 years and coaches only.
Cost - €5 per Athlete/Coach
To book your place please contact:
Colin Byrne - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Power - 087-9586138
The psychology workshop on Sunday May 11th in UL by Dr Tadhg MacIntyre was both thought provoking and inspiring. Both athletes and coaches were invited to reflect on their own performance(s), asked to think about how they react to certain situations and stimuli as well as consider how they can improve their performance from a psychological perspective.
Two of the main themes that emerged were the importance of both positivity and personal support structures (friends, family, training partners, coaches etc.) and that these were equally important for the coach as well as the athlete. Tadhg facilitated each of the groups in the set tasks, ensuring that everyone received feedback pertinent to them. The workshop was enjoyed by all and everyone left with something that would potentially help them ‘perform’ better, both in training and competition.
Sincere thanks to Tadhg for delivering the workshop.
15 Irish athletes have been named on the Irish Team for the European Youth Olympic Trials in Baku, Azerbaijan from the 30th of May to the 1st of June. The European trials also act as the qualifying event for the 2014 World Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August.
The trials will bring together the best Youth Athletes (16/17 years of age) from all across Europe to compete in a variety of track and field events. The Irish team will be represented across the board with athletes competing in throws, jumps, sprints and middle distance events:
Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown AC) who achieved the qualifying mark in three events (long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles) will contest the 100m hurdles event in Baku. Morland has enjoyed a fantastic 2014 season already including setting a national youth record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.55.
Phoebe Murphy (Clonmel AC) and Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) were members of the gold medal winning relay team at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Utrecht, Netherlands. Both athletes will use this experience as they contest the 200m events at this year’s championships.
Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) who struck gold over 800m at the 2013 EYOF’s will spearhead the middle-distance challenge in Baku as she contests the 800m event. William Crowe (North Sligo AC) another medallist from last year’s EYOF’s goes in the boy’s 1,500m event. Pierre Murchan (Celtic DCH) competed in the recent IMC race in Greystones (10th May) running a time of 8.38.01 in the 3,000m to bag himself the standard and a place on the team.
There will be seven throwers representing Ireland at the championships led by Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) in the Shot Putt. Walsh has been in fine form this season producing a new championship best performance of 15.08m at the national juvenile championships in March. Ann-Marie Torsney (Fingallians AC) will join Walsh in the Shot Putt event as she threw a personal best of 13.06m to secure her place on the team.
Aoife Vaughan-Witts (Borriskane AC), James Williams (Shercock AC) and Adam King (Iveragh AC) will all contest the hammer event after achieving the required standard. Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath) has enjoyed a breakthrough season including setting a new Irish Youth Record of 56.38m in early April. He is joined in the discus by Andrew Barkley (City of Lisburn AC) who has thrown 52.10m this year.
Donagh Mahon (Gowran AC) will lead the charge in the high jump and he will be joined in the event by Keith Marks (Cushinstown AC). Mahon has been in record breaking form this season setting a new Irish Youth Record of 2.10m in March. Mark’s has also been over 2m this year clearing 2.03m to secure his place on the team.
The Irish team’s preparations for the trials have included a warm weather training camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal in April. The camp was overseen by Junior High Performance
Manager Jacqui Freyne and provided athletes with an opportunity to fine-tune their form pre-season. Athletics Ireland would like to congratulate all athletes on their selection and wish them and their coaches the best of luck at the championships.