Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sligo AC Update: Running Shoes!

A captivating European athletics track and field championships ended in Barcelona last week. Attending those championships as chairman of the Irish athletics federation high performance committee brought its own pressures and expectations with a large team of 34 athletes, team leaders and coaches. The target set by us was to win 2 medals and six top twelve placings. A brilliant silver medal win by Derval O’Rourke was our only medal win but we had a total of 11 top 12 finishes and in the process some outstanding performances. Throw in the fact that we had 6 Irish records and it will give some idea of the success of the championships from an Irish perspective. Brilliant and all as the medal win was you have to look at what Robert Heffernan achieved in Barcelona to get an idea of what real commitment and dedication to your sport means. He competed in two of the most gruelling events in the championships namely the 20k and 50k racewalks. Very unlucky to finish 4th in the 20klms he came out just 3 days later to claim 4th place in the 50klms. Rob epitomised the spirit of our team in Barcelona. Despite what criticism the media might have given athletes like David Gillick and Paul Hession, I still think they performed admirably. Ten years ago if someone said we would have three athletes in sprint finals at a European final they would have been laughed at. The fact that we were disappointed at a 5th and 6th place tells its own story. Altogether it was a very successful championships and gives us a great foundation as we head to the world championships next year and London in 2012. It was good to meet so many athletic fans from Sligo in Barcelona and in particular some young athletes. Let’s hope they were inspired by the Irish performances.
Next Saturday our county track and field team head to Tullamore for the National League Final. The target is promotion from the first division to the premier. With teams of the calibre of Ferrybank from Waterford, Tallagh from Dublin and Limerick county all vying from promotion places this will be no easy task. However with experience athletes such as David Kelly, Emmett Dunleavey and Martin Conroy coupled with the youthful enthusiasm of Tommy Carroll, Tommy Casey and David Burke we have every chance. Our field athletes will be crucial for picking up vital points and Aaron Murtagh and Alan Reynolds will hope to be in top form. It will take a supreme effort from all the team to gain promotion but I’m confident the team is up to the task.
Finally this week well done to Sligo AC athlete Emmett Dunleavy who ran a personal best time of 14mins36secs for 5000mts on route to victory in a race in Brussels on Saturday evening.

Dunleavy smashes club record!

Sligo AC athlete Emmett Dunleavy smashed the club record for 1500 metres at a race meet in London earlier in the week. The previous record of 3.48.34 which Dunleavy set in Birmingham in 2006 was lowered to 3.47.89, a fantastic achievement for the Dromore West native. That Dunleavy was in great shape was never in any doubt after he lowered his pb for 5000 metres in Brussels the previous week to 14 minutes 36 seconds. This kind of form augers well for the Sligo Athletics team entered in the final of the National League which takes place this Sunday, 15th August, in Tullamore, Co.Offaly.
A growing Sligo team has already excelled in rounds one and two of the national league; with a good showing at the weekend they may gain promotion. Athletes such as Kevin McGlynn, Aaron Murtagh, Dermot McDermott, David Kelly, Tommy Casey, Martin Conroy, Ryan Monaghan Gary Hynes, Stephen Reynolds, Conal Boal, Ciaran Collins and David Heath have all performed to a very high standard in their respective events. Once again with athletes the calibre of Emmet Dunleavy & Tommy Carroll joining in this will no doubt help push this growing Sligo team to the summit of team athletics in Ireland. We wish them all the very best of luck.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Faulkner wins Mullaghmore 3 miler!

The annual Mullaghmore hospice 3 mile walk/run took place as usual on Sunday evening last with possibly the largest field ever for this event. Event director, Tir Connaill athlete Pat McManus and his team were delighted with the turn out and thanked everyone for making the effort and for their contributions on the day. Letterkennys Neil Faulkner (pictured) lead the pace from the off with Sligo AC's trio of Seamus Somers, Danny Hannon and Mel Casserly in hot pursuit. Indeed this was the way the top four crossed the finising line after keeping a relentless pace over the undulating course. This is an unusual event in that there are no prizes or spot prizes and all the funds donated go directly to the North West Hospice, a cause close to many hearts in the area. A large number of local athletes from South Donegal and North Sligo from juveniles to senior, turn out in large numbers to support this event. Several athletes had also competed on the Friday evening, just up the road at the Gleniff Horseshoe 10k while some more ran the Danny McDaid 15k earlier that morning. Well done to all athletes who took part.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Kearins wins inaugural Horseshoe 10k!

Well done to all 160 athletes who competed in the inaugural Horseshoe 10k in Ballintrilick yesterday. Sligo AC and North Sligo were well represented with both male and female local athletes toeing the line on this testing course. Alan Kearins (Sligo AC) posted a great victory, powering through the field and in the closing stages of the race pulled away from his nearest rivals with 500 metres to go. Eamonn McAndrew took second spot with North Sligo's Thomas Kelly in third position. Top 6 as follows; 1. Alan Kearins 37.09. 2. Eamonn McAndrew 37.18. 3. Thomas Kelly 37.19. 4. Seamus Somers 38.04. 5. Danny Hannon 3820. 6. Tom Meehan 38.42. We'll endeavour to have full results as quickly as possible. Please forward full listings to if you have already got them and we'll forward them from here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Countdown on for the 2010 Dromahair 4 mile run and walk.

The annual Dromahair four mile run and walk takes place at 3pm on Sunday 22nd August, with proceeds in aid of S.T.O.P. The event is once again being organised by local running enthusiasts, in association with North Leitrim Athletics Club. The race starts and finishes on Main Street in the beautiful north Leitrim village. Registration will take place in the function room in The Blue Devon from 1pm on the day, with a €10 entry fee. Once again, the organisers are hoping for a large turnout for this event which continues to grow in reputation each year. Walkers and runners of all abilities are encouraged to participate. As usual, there will be lots of trophies to be won in a wide selection of categories. As well as the main four mile race, there will also be the usual children’s races, which start at the earlier time of 2pm. The entry fee for the children’s races is €3, and every child that takes part will be given a medal.Refreshments and prize giving will take place after the main race, in the function room in The Blue Devon. For further information, contact Tom or Violet Cullen on 071 9134697.Proceeds are in aid of an extremely worthy charity, S.T.O.P. (Suicide,Teach,Organise,Prevent). S.T.O.P. offer assistance and support to people who are feeling suicidal or are in distress. They also support those who have been bereaved by suicide. ( )