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.

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