The sun came out to welcome everyone to the lovely rural setting of Irishtown, for the Padraig Cullina Memorial 8k road race on Saturday. Club athletes and the local community came in their droves to pay a fitting tribute to Padraig. Every kilometre was marked with the green and red colours of Padraig's club, Mayo AC. Padraig took up athletics in 1980 and made an outstanding contribution to the sport as an athlete, coach, administrator and event organiser. For 30 years Padraig competed across the spectrum of athletics from track and field, indoor and outdoors, to cross country and road racing, winning numerous Mayo, Connacht and National medals in the process. He was also a leading light in his local community and he was heavily involved in almost every committee throughout his years in Irishtown.
Bidwell sets early pave
Matt Bidwell (GCH ) took up the early running and had a substantial lead at the halfway mark. However, John Byrne put in a great second half, made up a 50 metres gap and overtook Matt before the 6k mark. In the process he ran a negative split and won in a very fast time of 26:04. It was their third head to head in three weeks racing with John Byrne coming out top twice. Second home was Matt Bidwell in 26:22 and Brendan Gill (Mayo AC ) finished third in 27:51. The women's race saw Mayo AC fill the first three positions. It was won by Mary Gleeson who dipped under the 30 minute mark, winning in 29:59, second was Sarah Syron who ran a PB of 32:05 and in third was Angela O’Connor 32:10. The other category winners on the evening, were M40 Gerry Galvin (Mayo AC ) 31:18, W40 Joan Walshe (Mayo AC ) 35:33, M50 Hugh Duffy (Mayo AC ) 30:39, W50 Pauline Moran (Mayo AC ) 37:13, M60 Seamus Gaughan (Mayo AC ) 32:44, W60 Mary Summers 80:14 Youth – Boys Ethan Henry 62:36, Youth – Girls Rebecca Waldron 62:00. There were 191 finishers.