Mayo AC open road race league hits round seven

The C& C Cellular Mayo AC Open Road League continues on Sunday October 12 with race seven of the nine race series. This four-miler takes place at Ballina and is a one lap course starting near the track at Beleek Park, going out via 'Dunnes' to join the 10k route on the Killala road, turning right and across to rejoin Beleek Park, finishing close to the track. The 'Terry Fox' run takes place annually at venues all over the world in support of the Terry Fox Foundation which raises funds for Cancer Research in memory of a brave young Canadian. Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 18, and had to have his right leg amputated above the knee in 1977. While in hospital , Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. The legacy of this heroic Canadian is that, to date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide in his name.

This year the race will not have a prize fund as all money raised on the day will go towards the Terry Fox Foundation. The race starts at 3pm. Entries (€10 ) will be taken from 1.30pm at the track clubhouse. Entry fee is €20. All entrants will receive a commemorative T-shirt. The top 25 men/women finishers will get points in the Road Race League. Last year's winners were John Byrne (20.40 ) and Mary Gleeson (24.05 ). They both top the 2008 League after 6 races. See attached table of top 15 men/women. Local man Michael Rice and his team of helpers have organised this race at Ballina for the past 16 years. Mayo AC are very happy to support the great work done by Michael in his fund-raising effort. Enquiries Michael Rice: 087 6611975; Michael McGrath (Mayo AC ) 086 8534729. Refreshments available afterwards at Murphy Brothers Bar/Restaurant beside the river Moy on the Sligo Road.

Good Mayo performances at Loughrea five-mile road race

Loughrea AC's classic five-mile road race has been a landmark venue over the years attracting top Irish and international stars. Brendan Foster, Sonia O'Sullivan, Sebastian Coe and Paula Radcliffe are just some of the athletes who have taken part over the years. On Sunday last, they celebrated their 40th anniversary and over 350 athletes were on the start-line outside the excellent new race HQ, at the Loughrea Hotel & Spa on the Galway road. The new course covered familiar ground apart from a fast downhill half mile from the start, which became a stamina sapping up-hill finish.

Brian Farrell (Slí Chulann ) was the winner in 23.48 - amazingly averaging about the same mile pace as the great Haile Gebrselassie did earlier in the day when breaking his own world record for the 26.2 miles in Berlin in 2.03.59.

John Byrne (25.27 ) was Mayo AC's top finisher in 9th place just seconds outside his PB and maintaining his fine recent form. He was led by 10th placed clubmate Robert Malseed in the first three miles but overtook him to finish 20 seconds ahead on the line. Timmie Glavey put in a fine personal best run in 14th place and Anthony Devaney was 17th. This ensured that Mayo AC were winners of the team prize ahead of GCH and Craughwell AC. Mayo AC also had three age category prize-winners as detailed below. Mayo's top junior Daniel Murray (Ballina AC ) knocked 34 seconds off his Ballyhaunis 8k time to finish with a PB in 28.29. Olympian Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers ) won the women's race in 29.02. Loughrea AC's own Olympian, Olive Loughnane was on hand to present the prizes. She was Ireland's top athlete in the Olympics, finishing a brilliant 7th in the final of the 20k walk in Beijing.

Fund-raising quiz

Mayo AC held a successful and entertaining fund-raising quiz night recently at the Sheebeen Bar, Balla. Many thanks to all who participated and especially to the excellent hosts - the Sheebeen Bar and to quizmaster, Johnny Rouse. Another quiz night is planned for later in the year.

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