Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club News: Running Shoes

Two an a half weeks in the sunshine in Johannesburg at 1800 metre altitude as once again given me an insight of how hard our elite athletes train. The good weather, the good food we are eating, the unique culture of this beautiful country and the privilege of look after such committed athletes is something i treasure. However there is a downside to everything, and the downside to this trip for me is that that i miss the Sligo weekender award night which will take place in the Clarion hotel Sligo on Friday night next. This occasion is always one of the greatest sporting celebrations of the year in Sligo all the top sporting personalities from the different sport will be honoured with the special guest being the legendary John Giles. With no disrespect to any of the sport stars being honoured on Friday night the two athletic personalities will stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of achievement. Emmett Dunleavey is the male athlete being honoured while Mary Cullen wins the female athletics award. 2009 was a tremendous year for the young man from Sligo. While Emmett is not a full time athlete, he trains like one. He leaves the comfort of his bed at 6a.m before work in Bank of Ireland Dublin. His main training is completed when he returns home in the evening. On returning to Dromore west at the weekends he can be seen running on the roads running between Easkey and Drumard. Winning a medal at a National Senior championship is any athletes dream and Emmet achieved this with a stunning run in the aai 3000metre steeplechase and was only a couple of metres of winning Gold. He went on to help the Sligo team win bronze medals in the A.A.I Inter counties cross country championships in kilbeggan in November. What more can i say about Mary Cullen that has not be said already. Mary had a brilliant 2009 and who will ever forget that wonderful medal winning performance in Turin in the European Indoor Championships. Her performance at the A.A.I.cross country championships in Kilbeggan had to be seen to be believed. She not only won the race she annihilated the high quality field. Giving Mary an award at this Gala Function seems only a token gesture to the greatest sportswoman sligo has ever produced. However i have no doubt that the good people of Drumcliffe will soon erect a statue in her honour in Oxfield park. Here's wishing everyone a very enjoyable night on Friday in the Clarion Hotel.

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