Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club: News Update

The inaugural running of the Sligo AC 8K Road race in Rosses Point on Saturday was an unqualified success with over 300 runners and walkers taking on what proved to be a testing course due to the stiff North Easterly winds blowing from the sea over the last kilometre of the event. The winds did nothing to dent the performance of Emmet Dunleavy , who simply ran away from the field as soon as the white flag was raised for off and had put two minutes between himself and his nearest pursuer Brian Phelham of Letterkenny by the end. Emmett is training hard to improve on his previous silver and bronze medals in the National 3k steeplechase to be held in August and these runs over longer distances can only improve his strength in the weeks ahead. Lucy Brennan in the ladies race was an equally convincing winner and showed no ill effects from her trip to Crozon France midweek where she lifted gold in a local 15 k race incorporating Beach, Hills and Trail Running. Helen Corbett of Galway followed Lucy home at a respectable distance some 4 minutes approximately behind with Lorraine Forde in third.
In the mens race there were some fascinating local struggles for bragging rights as Ultan McNasser edged out Alan Kearins and Seamus Somers with Eamon Mc Ellin in sixth and Shane Hayes in seventh showing a good deal of promise. This particular group are new to Athletics with little mileage on the clock and with a structured plan could greatly enhance the club strength of Sligo AC and be a competitive group in Novice and Intermediate Cross Country next season. In the Ladies section Aisling Cawley was just outside the awards in fourth place. The Masters Categories produced local winners in most categories as Eamon Dunbar held off Martin Mc Geough in the over 40s while Steve Finnegan won the over 45s. Terry Mc Gowan just held off Declan Byrne and Eamon Reddin in the over 50s. Vincent Flannery won the over 55s while Mayos Tom Hunt deprived Sligo AC of a clean sweep as he held off Willie Parke in the over 60s.
In the Master Ladies Cindy Mc Carthy returned to her best form to win her section from Philomena Gallagher of Tir Conaill and Sligo AC clubmate Cathy Mc Carthy in third. Rose Tully was just ahead of Martina Sherlock and Pauline Mc Loughlin in her section while Marie Rooney of Tir Conaill was a clear cut winner in her category and Rose Young completed the category winners by taking first in her section. Rachel Flynn was a clear winner in a top class demo of Walking , although there were no awards due to the difficulty of judging such an event to ensure correct procedures.
The Sligo Yacht Club kindly made their facilities available for registration and a veritable feast of drinks, sandwiches, scones and biscuits after the event all generously provided by club members and friends and very much appreciated. Non active members also stewarded the course and thanks to the support of the local Gardai everything went smoothly. Unfortunately one of the main movers behind the race Michael O Connell was absent as he recovers from surgery to his foot but he can be well pleased with the outcome of a good days sport.

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