It began with the Carramore 10k in May and will reach its exciting conclusion with the Westport 5k on Sunday December 12 it is the Mayo AC, C&C Cellular league which once again proved an outstanding success this year. This is the 12th year that this popular race series has been held and the fifth time to be supported by the C&C Cellular Group. Over the years many runners have been discovered through the league races with many going on to achieve national success since. While some of the league prizewinners are already known there is still a lot of running to be done in Westport before the prizes are paid out at the post race presentation in Hotel Westport.
Mary Gleeson already a winner
In the women’s league Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC ) goes to the Westport race in the nice position of already being declared the winner on the maximum 150 points, having won the most recent six league races, while her club mates Colette Tuohy (143 points ) and Kathy Connolly (136 points ) will finish second and third respectively. In the women’s over 35 category Chris Gallagher leads on 121 points. Angela O’Connor, on 107 points from five races to date, could overtake her if she runs and gets a good result in Westport. Third place in this category could be claimed by any of the following: Joan Walshe (Mayo AC ), Helen Corbett (GCH ), Anne Egan and Michelle Reynolds (both Ballina AC ). Anne Murray Mayo AC on 110 points looks likely to take the over 45 prize ahead of Bernie Kelly (GCH )
Roger Barrett leads the way
Whatever happens in the Westport 5k one thing is certain, the Ballina AC members will pick up a number of major prizes in the men’s league after numerous consistent performances throughout the year. Roger Barrett has been in outstanding form and leads with 140 point for his best six races, he is closely followed by team mate Michael Canty on 125 points, while last year’s league winner Gerry Ryan (Craughwell AC ) lies in third place on 123 points from five races, this ensures the result in this will certainly go down to the wire.
Ballina AC runners are also featuring prominently in the men’s over 40 category with Sean Gallagher on 117 points and Tommy Neville on 100 points. Third place in this category is very open and could be any one of the following: Peter Hynes (Swinford AC ), Dave Mullins (Tuam AC ), TJ White (Tuam AC ), Gerry Galvin or Hathugh Duffy (both Mayo AC ). Mayo AC runner Ronnie Naylor (59 pts ) leads the over 50 section ahead of club mate Billy Gallagher while Denial Murray of Ballina AC is the clear leader of the men’s junior race.
Leenaune five mile road race
In the recent Leenaune five mile road race Mayo AC athletes were in pole position. Finishing first overall was Mayo AC’s Anthony Murray in a time of 28:28, clubmate
Brendan Gill finished in second place in a time of 29:10, with the third Mayo AC athlete Andrew Lynskey finishing third in 29:59, Michael Mc Neela finished in the top 10 in 32:04, Brian Cusack in 33:21, Christy O’Malley in 37:12. Yvonne Byrne ran a strong race to finish in 40:33, and Sarah Creighton finished comfortably in 42:20.
Ballina Athletic Club hosts Fit4Life leader course
Ballina Athletic Club hosted a Fit4Life athletic leaders course in the Courthouse Hotel, Ballina last week. The course was given by Paul McNamara RDO Athletics Ireland. Fourteen adults from Ballina Athletic Club and five from Mayo Athletic Club completed the course. The course covered running for fitness, variety in training, communication in coaching, specific warm ups and drills for those taking on a leadership or coaching role for adult runners, joggers, and walkers. Ballina Athletic Club hopes to recruit new or lapsed members in the new year who are interested in the Fit4Life programme - walking, jogging, or running.