Ballyhaunis was blessed with welcome September sun on Saturday afternoon for the fourth annual 8k and final race in 2011 Mayo AC C&C Cellular Road League. Race organiser Martin Fitzmaurice and team put on an excellent, well-marshalled event.
Martin and his team were well supported this year by Ballyhaunis native, Frank Greally, editor of Irish Runner. Frank had brought a national and international flavour to his local terrain, inviting three former Olympians to run as well as his old training partner Padraig Keane. Jerry Kiernan, David Matthews and Noel Berkeley were on the start line, but it was Berkeley who stole the show. He ran in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 in the 10,000 metres. A month ago he was third in the Ballycotton five mile in 26.55. In Ballyhaunis he ran from the front from the start and had enough power at the finish on Doctor's Road, to just hold off a great run by Roger Barrett (Ballina AC ). Berkeley improved his Ballycotton time by a minute to win in 25.54. Roger won second place in the league this year with his finish while Michael Canty (Ballina AC ) continues to improve and was third ahead of Timmy Glavey (Mayo AC ) in fourth place.
Mayo AC's Mary Gleeson is having the best year of her running career. She has been their top runner this year, underlined by personal best times over a range of distances. Mary was the clear winner, running confidently and beating her previous personal best by five seconds in 29.16. This was her sixth win of the eight 2011 Road League races and her maximum 150 points won her a record-breaking fourth title in five years. Colette Tuohy finished second in 30.49 and this gave her enough points (140 ) to take second place in Women's League. Ann Lennon had fine run for third place on the day in 31.28. Kathy Connolly was 4th in race (32.23 ) and third in League with 135 points.
Armstrong and Hynes take home mountain running medals
Hugh Armstrong from Ballina Athletic Club who won a bronze medal with the u18 Irish Mountain Running Team in the British and Irish Mountain Running championships in Llanberis, Wales last weekend. Teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales competed in this competition. Hugh was fifth overall in the race and the first Irish runner home. A great result for Hugh. Not to be outdone Swinford AC’s Rosie Hynes took home a silver medal from the championships in the u16 event. She finished in 9th place over all as the Irish team took the silver medal.
Belleek 5k a great success
Over 55 runners, joggers and walkers turned out for the 5k fun run held in Belleek woods Ballina recently. In a Chariots of Fire moment the first two runners (Bernard Barrett and John Tighe, Ballina ) entered the track with John tacking the lead to win the race with a strong sprint finish. The first home for the ladies was Lorraine Carey whose running form this year has gone from strength to strength.
The race was part of the Elverys Sports staff drive to raise much needed money for the ISPCC. Sandra Finnerty works for Elverys Sports will now go on an compete in a 50 mile run in Galway on October 1 as part of her efforts for the worthy cause.