Even without a couple of the hills at the start of the traditional 10k course, the Balla 8k proved to be a stern test. After a fast downhill start, the field hit a wall of reality as they headed up over the railway bridge in the first kilometre. Winner Matt Bidwell led Roger Barrett all the way to the finish, but could never really relax as Roger maintained the pressure just seconds behind. Sean Gallagher and Anto Devanney had their own battle for third until Anto went to the front in the closing stages.
Mary Gleeson was the clear winner of the women's race, carving out a consistent 29.30, as she does these days regardless of terrain. Colette Tuohy in second place had a couple of hard races recently including victory in the women's 10k in Castlebar and win in the Loughrea 5k (18:29 ) on the previous Tuesday. The well organised event was a relatively low key prelude to what is expected to be a highly anticipated 20th Balla 10k on July 29 - the next league race. The mens o51 was won by Hugh Duffy with Billy Gallagher second, while Richard Heneghan won the mens o60 and Sean Donner was second. The junior mens win was taken by Tadagh McGinty with Laura Beston taking the junior women’s prize. Joan Walsh was the winner of the women’s o35 with Michelle Reynolds second, while Jackie Flemming was the winner of the women’s o45 and Ann Murray came second. Last but not least Margaret Glavey was the winner of the women’s o50 section.