The ninth and final race of the Vodafone C&C Cellular Mayo Road Race League takes place in Westport on Sunday December 27. It looks like being an exciting finale to another successful race series. Ninety eight men and 112 women athletes have won points in the eight races so far. The 2009 Race League has proved an excellent testing ground for the Fit4Life members who started their programme back in February. They have been training weekly at the five group sessions organised by clubs in conjunction with Mayo Sports Partnership. The Westport 5k will include a Fit4Life team challenge among the five groups.
Mary Gleeson looks certain to retain the title she won in 2008. She has won three of the seven races she contested thus far and her best six have earned her 147 points. She could be pipped for the title if Catherine Conway were to win the Westport race. However Conway, who is recovering from injury, has chosen to run the 10k at Athenry on St Stephen's Day. Breege Blehein has had a great year since her return to competition and is currently in second place ahead of Cathy Connolly.
Currently Robert Malseed looks the most likely winner of the men's league, he has finished in the top four in all the races but has only won once - the Carramore 10k. However he could finish in second place to Gerry Ryan if the GCH athlete runs. Martin Corcoran and Robbie Matthews are well in the running for the other top senior places, with Corcoran almost certain to be the first o40 if he does not get a place among the first three seniors. The flat and fast Westport 5k course is always a great spectacle as the race heads out through the grounds of Westport House and around the Quay before returning to the finish near Hotel Westport. Entries for the event cost €15 and will be taken from 12.30pm on the day at the track in Westport. The race starts at 2pm sharp. Prize presentations for the race and the league, plus the Irish Runner most improved athlete award, will be at Hotel Westport near the finish area from 3.30pm.
Westport athletes tipped for greater success in 2010
Westport Athletic Club held its AGM at Hotel Westport last week and celebrated yet another year of excellent achievements by club members. The club currently ranks as the number one club in the region, and is also noted nationally as one of the top-performing clubs. Looking forward to an even more successful year in 2010, head coach Ernie Deacy said that the standard of athletes in Westport Athletic Club seemed to be improving every year.
There are currently 140 members in the club and an invitation was issued to parents of children in the club to also get involved in activities, with studies showing that parental participation actually improves club performance. Tributes were paid to head coach Ernie Deacy for his work throughout the year and to the club’s other coaches, Gerry Kilroy, Rob Kennan, and Mary Chambers. The full list of new committee members elected for the upcoming 2010-2011 term of Westport Athletic Club are as follows: Bernie Ludden (transport ); Breffne Gannon (treasurer ); Cora Sadik (assistant secretary ); David Fallon (fund-raising ); Ernie Deacy (head coach ); Gerry Kilroy (coach ); Joan Geraghty (PRO and fund-raising ); Josephine McGreal (child officer ); Liz Chambers and Stephanie Heneghan (competition secretaries ); Lorna Harper (vice-chairperson ); Mel King (chairperson ); Pauline Costello (secretary ); Rob Kennan (coach ); Sandra Hyland (assistant treasurer ); and Sean Langan (president ). For more information on the club see www.westportac.ie