Athletes gear up for cross country championships

Fergal Walsh, winner of the Carna 10k.

Fergal Walsh, winner of the Carna 10k.

The first day of the Galway County Cross Country Championships will take place at the Palace Grounds in Tuam on Sunday (October 7 ), with a start time of 1pm.

The juvenile programme will see races for U10 up to U18 age group, across the following distances; U10s,1000m; U12s, 2000m; U14s, 3000m; U16s, 4000m, and U18s and Junior, 4000m (girls ) and 6000m (boys ).

The senior ladies will race over 4km and any one of Caron Ryan of Craughwell, Aine O Farrell of Athenry, and Emma Grimes and Niamh Hennelly of GCH, could be the winner, with a strong GCH team tipped for honours in the team event.

The senior men’s race will be decided over a testing 8km on the famed rolling hills in the Palace Grounds. Among the medal favourites will be Brendan McDonnell, Joe Tannian and Peter O'Sullivan of GCH, Jamie Fallon of Craughwell, and Castlegar's Stephen Casserly, with the team title expected to be hotly contested from Castlegar, Craughwell and GCH. The junior men's race has the makings of an exciting affair, with many of GCH’s national title winning team expected to be in action, such as Thomas McStay and Eanna Folan, with new signing Jack Maher also likely to feature well.

Loughrea Grey Lake 10k

Loughrea AC held its annual Grey Lake 10k Road Race on Sunday as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. First home on the day was Kenneth Rodgers of St John's AC in Clare in a fast 32.17. Rodgers finished well clear of Eric Llaurado in second in 36.17, and third home was Hugh McArdle of Roscommon Harriers. The first woman was Denise Barrett in 44.30, with Mary Kealy of Athenry AC second, and Corofin’s Eimear Bray third.

Carna 10k Conamara

Fergal Walsh of Athenry AC stormed home to win the Carna 10k in a time of 35.25 on Saturday in the scenic Connemara village. He finished ahead of Ronan Mac an Iomaire and Bernard McLoughlin, in second and third respectively. The first woman was Maureen Linnane, with Ciara Ni Choribin of Castlegar AC in second place.

Galway Bay Races

The Run Galway Bay series of races event takes place on Saturday, with the programme including a full marathon, (at 8.30am ), a half marathon, which sets off at 12 noon, and a 10K race at 10.30am.

This event is a sell out and will see some of Ireland's top athletes set to compete, including Sergio Ciobanu of Clonliffe, Streets of Galway winner John Travers of Donore Harriers, and GCH ladies Elaine Walsh and Grainne Ni Uallachain who will expect to do well over the half marathon.

Galway Schools Races

Almost 2,000 pupils from 90 plus schools competed at a hugely successful Galway Primary Schools Cross Country semi-final day held on Tuesday on a perfect course in Renmore. Some 400 runners made it through to the finals which were due to be held this week.

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