Two weeks after completing almost a marathon distance in the World Trail Championships in Connemara, John Byrne was back in race action on much firmer terra in the Bog Trotters Marathon on Saturday. He won the race in 2.43.48. The out and back course was over mainly tar roads with some boggy grassy tracks from Strokestown to Rooskey. “It was very hilly with rough roads but enjoyable,” said Byrne afterwards. Andrew Lynskey completed a Mayo AC double winning the half marathon in 121.52. Tony Gleeson is making great progress during training and has been a consistent participant in the recent Fit4Life 5k series. He finished this tough half in 1.48, following his 1.51 finish in the recent Achill Half. Christy O'Malley had a painful day, after doing well up to half way in the marathon (1.51 ) when he hurt his knee and had tortuous journey back from Rooskey to finish in 4.50.
The 19th Annual Balla 10k race four in the C&C Cellular Mayo AC Road League, took place on Saturday evening. Conditions were tough - warm, calm and humid. This traditional value for money race has an extensive prize list; no mean achievement in these lean times.
There was an excellent turnout with some 250 runners and walkers participating. As usual the undulating Balla course (recently accurately measured with an adjustment of 140 metres plus ) provided a real challenge.
Martin Conroy (Sligo AC ) was the clear winner in 32.30. The Ballina man won the first race in the league at Kilmovee. “They don't come any tougher,” was his comment on the Balla race.
He was 13 secs ahead of Carramoe 10k winner Matt Bidwell (GCH ). Michael Canty (Ballina AC ) ran strongly in third place.
Ailish Kelly (Raheny Shamrock AC ) headed the women's field all the way winning in 37.11. League leader Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC ) showed she is in great form - finishing second in 37.22 and she is now well on the way to a record fourth league title. She was followed in third place by clubmate Colette Tuohy in 40.20.
There were many outstanding performances and personal bests and a strong showing of Fit4Lifers.
Full details and Balla 10k results at www.mayoac.com