There was a good atmosphere on the streets of Swinford on Sunday for the annual road race. Swinford AC organised the fourth race in the 2008 Mayo Road Race League and provided a warm welcome for the participants in the 8k and the children's race which preceded it. Joe McNulty and his team of enthusiastic supporters in this young and successful club made sure the event was a huge success. The streets in the start and finish areas were cordoned off and traffic free, which enhanced the safety and enjoyment of all. This race has gained in popularity and stature and is now a key event in the Western athletics calendar. The main race had over 130 runners from 20-plus athletics clubs.
The one-lap course is generally fast and flat apart from a section on the hard shoulder of the N4. There was a good breeze into the faces of participants for the first 3k, otherwise conditions were good. Declan Fahy (Tullamore Harriers ) set a good fast pace from the start and was soon out on his own. The Ballina man looked very smooth as he came home to win in 26.00. Anthony Devaney (Mayo AC ) tried hard to catch Martin Corcoran (Craughwell AC ) but Martin held on strongly to reverse last week's Balla 10k result - where he was 53 seconds behind Anthony - to finish second in 26.58 with the Ballyvary man eight seconds behind in third. Sean Gallagher (Ballina AC ) is one of many who have improved their times over the series and his excellent seventh place in 27.50 was an example - he was 14th in Balla. Among the 25-strong Mayo AC participants, Paddy Murray second over-40, Tommy Neville third over-40, Ronnie Naylor first over-50 and Michael Killeen third over-50 were the main achievers in the men's age categories .
Regina Casey (GCH ) also reversed the Balla result and always looked more comfortable at the 8k pace to win strongly in 29.44. Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC ), who won in Balla, put in a great effort with a 29.58 PB to finish a very good second. Siobhán Lennon (Ennis track ) is having a busy season and was third in a great time of 32.07. The women's age category winners were drawn from five different clubs in two very competitive sections. Ann Murray (Mayo AC ) won the over-35s in 32.46, while Maire T Beatty (Athenry AC ) won the over-45s in 35.02. There will be another opportunity for athletes to beat their Swinford 8k times at the next race in the League Series at the end of the month - the Ballyhaunis 8k on August 30.
Swinford 8k Results
Senior men: 1: Declan Fahy (Tullamore Harriers ) 26.00, 2: Martin Corcoran (Craughwell AC ) 26.58, 3: Anthony Devaney (Mayo AC ) 27.06. Over-40 men: 1: David Corcoran (Civil Service ) 27.34. 2: Paddy Murray (Mayo AC ) 28.25, 3: Thomas Neville (Mayo AC ) 28.48. Over-50 men: 1: Ronnie Naylor (Mayo AC ) 28.44, 2: Martin Taylor (ind ) 30.19, 3: Michael Killeen (Mayo AC ) 30.38. Junior U19: 1 Sean Gill (Claremorris AC ) 32.18
Senior Women: 1: Regina Casey (GCH ) 29.44, 2: Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC ) 29.58, 3: Siobhán Lennon (Ennis Track ) 32.07. Over-35 women: 1: Ann Murray (Mayo AC ) 32.46, 2: Maura Dervin (Mullingar Harriers ) 33.32, 3: Olivia Feeney (Sligo AC ) 33.35. Over-45 women: 1: Maire T Beatty (Athenry AC ) 35.02, 2: Mary Naylor (Mayo AC ) 36.54, 3: Pauline McDonnell 38.49. Junior U19: 1: Susan Shiel 40.33.