John Byrne was the clear winner of the Maugherow 10k on Sunday in 33.33. The race was run over a picturesque figure of eight course on the north Sligo coast, from the local church to the causeway with a tough second half and an uphill finish. Lucy Brennan (Sligo AC ) was first woman in 38.08, less than two weeks after her victory in the Cork Marathon. Mayo AC's Andrew Lynskey was third in 36.34. Tom Hunt 40.36, PJ Hall 42.25, Ann Murray 45.07, Christy O'Malley 46.05, Sarah Syron 48.50 all had good workouts on a humid afternoon. Other finishers included Breege Staunton and Fit4Life participants Chris Clarke, Clare Walshe from Claremorris, and Michelle Reynolds from Ballina.
The Ballyhaunis 8k is race two in the Vodafone C&C Cellular 2009 Mayo AC Road League. It takes place on Saturday June 27 at 5pm and is part of a Ballyhaunis weekend Festival of Sport organised in conjunction with Mayo Sport Partnership, Ballyhaunis VEC, and Chamber of Commerce. The course is almost the same as last year apart from one change — the final few hundred metres to the finish will be along Doctor's Road towards the race HQ at the rugby club.
Last year's winners John Byrne (25.29 ) and Mary Gleeson (29.59 ) will be in action again but will be severely tested this year. Robert Malseed and Catherine Conway were the clear winners of race one, the Carramore 10k, and both look to be among the top contenders for the league title if they complete the minimum six of the nine races. John Byrne is in fine form as shown by his easy win in the Maugherow 10k last Sunday. However there are a lot of challengers and the final race in December is a long way off yet. Age category places also generate serious competition. Billy Gallagher (Mayo AC ) currently leads the over 50 men and was first in that category at the recent Enniskillen 10k in 37.07. It will also be another opportunity for the various Fit4Life groups to measure their progress and this 8k will be a very useful test. There is also a 3k walk/run event open to all age groups and abilities, especially focused on family participation.
Mayo AC would like to extend their deepest sympathy to the Reilly family of Lehinch, Hollymount, on the death of Tom Reilly, RIP. Tom was a well known athlete in the west of Ireland in the sixties. Together with his brother Sean, he helped establish the Hollymount Road races in 1966 — they are still going strong. Tom was based in Liverpool for many years. In 1976 he organised the first bus/boat trip from there to Hollymount for the annual road races. This trip has taken place every year since, and is a major event for the local community who welcome visitors and athletes every November. Many top British athletes ran in the races and Tom travelled back each year, sometimes competing and often officiating with his brother, Sean. His detailed race commentary from the lead car will remain in people's memory for years to come. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.