Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dublin Marathon 2010

A record number of athletes, over 13,000, turned out for the 2010 Dublin City Marathon on Monday last. With such a huge number taking part it was only reasonable to assume that a large amount of athletes from County Sligo would also be undertaking the challenge. For some it was simply their maiden voyage in the hope that they would get around the challenging distance, for other more experienced athletes the challenge was to better their previous attempts. In order to check on your own times or simply to see how a colleague or friend fared out please click here to be directed to the official marathon website. The club would like to congratulate all participants who undertook this challenge and hope that all gained the reward that they hoped and deserved with all the training that was undertaken. A specific mention goes to Sligo AC athlete Martin Conroy (pictured), who attempted his 1st marathon and finished in a very respectable time of 2:35:48. This finishing time helped the Sligo AC team move up the pecking order in the National Marathon Championships which was run in conjunction with the Dublin Marathon. Conroy was hoping to achieve a time of 2:30 minutes but suffered cramp in the latter stages of the race. Regardless he placed 43rd overall out of over 13,000 competitors thus it can be regarded as a very successful achievement.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sligo AC News; Running Shoes

We know that we are about to embark on long winter nights when we realise it’s Dublin City Marathon time again. Yes, many Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo athletes will make the annual pilgrimage to the capital city next weekend for this annual race which incorporates the A.A.I. national marathon. While a lot of people making the journey will be very experienced athletes with very little to learn, a certain percentage will be first time marathon runners. I always say that running the actual marathon is the easy bit. It’s the training for the marathon that’s the difficult part. The last six days leading into the race, however, can be very crucial. While carbo loading and hydration are very important, it is also important to keep running every day and while the volume of running would be much less than the previous weeks it’s not to stop altogether. This was brought home to me during the European Championships in Barcelona during the summer. Rob Heffernan raced the 20kms very hard and was unlucky not to win a medal; eventually finishing 4th. Three days later he was due to race the 50kms which is some five miles longer than a marathon. He trained in the days between the races. Less than 24 hours before the 50kms he went to the track and did 5 x 200 metres fast. I would advise intending marathon runners to do something similar on Sunday next. A session such as this will stimulate muscles and wake the body up for the gruelling race that lies ahead. It also gets the mind ready because running a marathon is almost as much about the state of your mind as the well being of your body. As I mentioned, this is the A.A.I national marathon and individual and team prizes are on offer. Sligo Athletic Club will have a senior team lining up at the start. Martin Conroy, who is better known as a track runner, will attempt his first marathon. Having run a 72 minute half marathon a couple of weeks ago, he will be well prepared. Seamus Somers likewise makes his marathon debut. Those two along with experienced marathon runners like Mel Casserly and Trevor Hunter will spearhead a strong team. Good luck to them and all North West athletes who take part.
The Gerry Farnon cross country races in the Phoenix Park, Dublin usually tick off the cross country season on the national stage. It was heartening then to see three young Sligo runners on the starting line last Sunday afternoon. North Sligo athlete Thomas McBride is working his way back to top class competitive action and can be happy with this outing. Tommy Casey paid the price for an ultra fast first mile but this race will bring him on a lot for the tough tests that lie ahead in the coming months. The revelation of the race was the other Sligo A.C. athlete Alberto Gomez who finished 7th overall.
Congratulations to Sligo A.C. athlete Eimear O’Brien who led home 140 women in the Sligo 5k women’s only race. This was another very successful Sligo Athletic Club promotion which was held in conjunction with Sligo Sports partnership. Finally this week, well done to all the Sligo juvenile athletes who turned out on last Saturday morning for the Sligo County A.A.I cross country championships.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sligo AC Fit4Life: Race two

Race two of the autumn fit4Life league took place yesterday evening in the Racecourse, Cleveragh. Although the weather was very unpredictable, with showers of rain and a cold wind, a large number of athletes, 139 in total, showed up to test themselves on this undulating course. As usual the entrants set off on a handicapped basis & already some athletes are showing signs of improvement from Race one of this autumns league series. Seamus Somers recorded the fastest time of the evening, finishing 10th overall at the finish. Seamus will be competing in his first Dublin Marathon next monday and on the evidence of the current shape he's in should fare particularly well. Other Sligo AC athletes such as Martin Conroy, Mel Casserly, Mark Burns, Eamonn Dunbar, Damian Kennedy, Steven Finnegan, Enda Dineen, Paul Deering, Declan Foley & Trevor Hunter are also geared up for the event thus the Club will be well represented. Good luck to all Sligo AC Athletes, both male and female, competing. Top ten results for Fit4Life Race two are as follows;
Teape,Bernadine: 1st 16.50
Clarke, Corina: 2nd 17.01
Unregistered athlete 3rd 40.00
Tivnan, Pj: 4th 20.59
Keane, Ronan: 5th 15.36
Johnson, Kimberely: 6th 18.45
Hayes, Sara: 7th 25.37
Hayes, Evelyn: 8th 25.39
Kelly, Greg: 9th 12.56
Somers, Seamus: 10th 10.21

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sligo AC Womens 5k Road Race & Running School workshop

The Sligo Womens 5k took place on Sunday 17th October over a demanding course starting at the entrance to Mitchell Curley Park, taking in Strandhill Road , Barnasraghy Woodville and finishing in the Park itself with victory going to Sligo AC's Eimear O Brien. O'Brien lead from the off and had built up a substantial lead by the time she broke the tape at the finish, completing the course in 18.30. Sligo AC's Cindy McCarthy was next home in a time of 20.31 altough the pressure was on with North Sligo's Aishling van Rensburg following closely taking third place in a time of 20.44. 137 female athletes took part in this challenge with many following on from their continued involvement in the successful Fit4Life Series. The latest round of this series has already begun with Race 2 (2 miles) scheduled for Tues 19th Oct at 6.15pm in the Racecourse, Cleveragh. Registration , presentation and refreshments took place in St Marys Clubhouse, ballydoogan and thanks to the club for providing the facilities and also the Gardai who assisted and all the Club members who marshalled and compiled results.
A new Running School has recently opened up in Castlebar. As such they are having a free workshop in Sligo I.T.on Friday 29th of October at 7pm and would like to invite club athletes to the event. They will be looking at improving running technique so that athletes can reduce injury and improve speed in both sprint and endurance disciplines. This event is for elite and recreational athletes alike and cater for both senior and junior grades. The main presenter on the night will be Martin Mc Intyre (MSc Sports Injury (Medicine), MSc Gaelic football, BSc (Hons) Sports Science and a H. Dip Science and football). He has 10 years experience in the field and with Kerry at Seniors/ U-21 and minor levels. He also worked with the Roscommon minor team (2006-2008) and is currently working with the Roscommon senior team. The Running School are offering free Biomechanical Analysis (BMA`s) worth 175 euro. If 20/30 club members are in attendance at the workshop we would then be able to avail of free BMA`s. This maybe worth quite a bit to the club. More info can be seen at and Any other enquires you can call 086 8139266.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club: Running Shoes

Research carried out by the E.R.S.I in 2005 showed that less than 1 in 5 women in Ireland spent the recommended 30 minutes of exercise daily. While some three quarters of women at that time did some physical activity it was done with insufficient regularity or intensity of effort to meet the minimum standard. That 2005 report stung people into action and bodies such as the Irish Sports Council have put a lot of planning and resources into the Women in Sport Initiative. The objective of the Women in Sport programme has been to raise the overall physical activity levels and to support women’s roles within sporting organisations. Sligo sports partnership have been very active in promoting the Women in Sport programme and recently over 80 cyclists completed the 40k tour of Lough Gill. Next Sunday runners get in on the act with Sligo Athletic Club promoting the women’s only 5k road race. Over 100 nubile women are expected to line out at the starting line in Ballydoogan. The race will take a route around that area. Local Sligo lady Eimear O’Brien, who has returned from her 3 year scholarship in the USA, is one of the leading contenders to lead the women home. These are awards in all categories including the walking section. Entries will be taken in St. Mary’s GAA clubhouse from 11am. People who have entered online can also collect their numbers in the same venue.
A lot of the participants in Sunday’s race will have gotten a chance to limber up in Tuesday's first leg of the Fit 4 Life road league. The venue was Mitchell Curley Park and the distance 2 miles. This autumn league will continue every two weeks and will conclude in Early December.
Over 750 primary school children recently competed in a very successful relay competition at the athletics track at Sligo I.T. Most of the schools Sligo County had teams which is very encouraging for our sport. Well done to Sligo A.A.I. County board officials who turned out to organise the event which was held in conjunction with Sligo sports partnership.
A lot of the same children turned out last Saturday for the Sligo County cross country and race walking primary schools races. Held in balmy weather conditions on a splendid cross country course in Calry, there was some great competition and some very impressive performances. The leaking teams and individuals have now qualified for the Connaught finals which will be held in the same venue.
At a very enjoyable function in Sligo Southern hotel on Saturday evening last. Sligo Athletic Club honoured all national medal winners in the 13 people in juveniles. Seniors and Masters brought home national medals in a year. This is a wonderful achievement and is testimony to the good coaches at the club. It is hoped to make this an annual event and let’s hope that we have as many or maybe more recipients in a year’s time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sligo AC Awards Night!

Athletes, parents and coaches enjoyed a social gathering on Saturday evening last at the Best Western Sligo Southern Hotel to celebrate our club doing very well over the track season most especially our juvenile athletes. A special momento was presented to all National Competition medal winners in recognition of their achievements. A total of 20 national medals (5 gold; 8 Silver; 7 Bronze) were won by 13 athletes across juvenile, senior and master categories. Club Chairman Ray Flynn congratulated all of our athletes and highlighted their wonderful achievements and outstanding performances as testimony to the dedicated coaches at the club. It is hoped to make this an annual event and let’s look towards having as many – or maybe even more – recipients in a year’s time. Many thanks to Sligo Credit Union for their sponsorship towards the evening.
Caeloinn McGonigle; Silver – u13 600m National Indoors, Nenagh and Gold – u13 Cross Country Community Games. Stacey Kerr; Bronze – u14 100m Community Games. Dylan Carty; Silver – u15 1000m Walk National Indoors, Nenagh, Gold – u15 2000m Walk, National T& F, Tullamore & Silver - Junior Boys 1200m Walk, Schools T&F. Nicola McGoldrick; Bronze – u15 1500m Cross Country, Boyle. Annia Bednorz; Silver – Intermediate Girls Triple Jump, Schools T&F. James McGeogh; Gold – u16 1500m National T&F, Tullamore. Anna Reddin; Silver - Junior Womens 1500m National Indoors, Nenagh & Gold – u19 3000m National T&F, Tullamore. Tommy Casey; Gold – Senior Boys 1500m Schools T& F
Emmet Dunleavy; Bronze – Senior Mens 3000m Irish Indoors, Belfast & Bronze – Senior Mens 3000m Steeplechase National T&F Santry.
Kevin McGloin; Bronze – Mens 60m Masters Indoors, Nenagh & Bronze – Mens 400m Masters Indoors, Nenagh. Lucy Brennan; Silver – Womens 4000m Masters Cross Country, Boyle. Caroline Carty; Silver – Womens 100m Masters T&F, Tullamore & Silver – Womens 200m Masters T&F, Tullamore. Stephen Reynolds; Bronze – Mens Hammer Masters T& F, Tullamore.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sligo AC News: Running Shoes

Robert Horman of Australia and Helen Klein of the USA are two names from the athletics world that probably don’t jump off the page at anyone in terms of being household names. However they are two very formidable people in their own right. Robert Horman holds the world best time for a marathon in the over 80 category. His time of 3hrs39min18secs would do justice to a man half his age or indeed would not disgrace anyone who attempts to run this classic distance. Similarly the 4hrs31mins42secs run by Helen Klein also an over 80 competitor would constitute a good time for any lady who would just want top go out and complete a marathon. I mention those two special people as we just have celebrated active ageing week in this country. The running boom in this country right now is populated by many people who are the wrong side of 40. Athletics is one of the few sports who actively cater for people in this age bracket. One of my favourite events that I officiate at is the AAI master track and field championships both outdoors and indoors. The enthusiasm and energy expended at those championships needs to be seen to be believed. Patrick Naughton a sprightly man who is over 75 had just finished 3rd in the 100mts last August in Tullamore. He came to me at the finishing line and proclaimed that he had just won his 200th masters medal. His time of 17.74secs would give most young fellows who play our so called national game a run for their money. Padraig Maye is a south Sligo man on the wrong side of 70 and he won the gold medal in his age category in 15.80secs. And what about John Ryan a sprightly 82year old man from Derry who ran the 200mts in an incredible 29.28secs. The many road races now taking place in our region all have generous prize structures who cater for people of all ages. I will just cling to the dream of being the first one hundred year old to complete a marathon.
The Sligo fit4life series of races which has been so successful in the last few years kicks off again soon. The Autumn races will start on Tuesday evening October 12th at 6.15pm. The first venue is the Mitchell Curley Park and is held over a distance of two miles.
Where better to kick off the cross country season that in the home of athletics in Sligo, namely Calry. This is exactly what is happening this weekend with the staging of the Sligo primary schools cross country and race walking championships. Hazelwood is the venue and the race walking will take place on the track while the cross country action will be in the adjoining fields. The action starts at 1pm on Saturday and schools are asked to get there early to collect numbers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sligo AC News: Fit4Life league resumes!

The first race in the Autumn Fit4Life League kicks off on Tues 12th october at 6.15pm in Mitchell Curley Park. All participating athletes have been sent emails showing handicaps and group letters. If you are on the list please remember your number, start time and group letter. If you are a new participant please come along and you can be added on the day. As this is the first event please register before 6pm at the Park in Kevinsfort which can be accessed from the Strandhill road and also up from St Marys GAA pitch, Ballydoogan. Please be aware that the main gates close at 6pm so dont park your car inside the gates. Access is by two pedestrian entrances. The first event is two miles approx , three circuits of the outer pathway in the park.
Tues 12th Oct: 6.15pm. 2 mls. Mitchell curley park
Tues 19th Oct: 6.15pm 2 mls. Racecourse
Tues 2nd Nov: 6.30pm 2 kms. Smyths Toys
Tues 16Nov: 6.30pm 2 kms. Smyths Toys
Sat 4th Dec: 12 noon 2mls. Hazelwood forest
Sat 11th Dec: 12 noon 2 mls. Hazelwood forest
Presentation and light refreshments at 7pm Sat 11th dec at a venue to be announced.