Christmas season brings plenty of action

The adventurous spirit of Mayo AC took some hardy souls to races in Clare and Sligo over the weekend. Three runners took part in the 34th Bernie Meaney Memorial 5k road race at Kilmurry McMahon in Clare on Sunday. They came away with three personal best times and a brilliant victory by Catherine Conway in the women's race. Her time of 17.58 knocked a huge chunk off her previous PB, despite a tough course and frosty conditions. This second win in succession by the Claremorris based-athlete looks promising for a successful end to the year in the final two races in the west, at Athenry 10k on St Stephen's Day and Westport 5k on Sunday December 28 . The men's race was won by Rory Chessor (Ennis Track ) in a fast 14.48. Mayo AC's TJ McHugh finished an impressive fifth in a PB of 15.57 while Dave Huane edged closer to a sub-18-min 5k with a fine run and a PB of 18.08. Meanwhile in Calry near Sligo on Saturday, Mayo AC's Christy O'Malley ran in the Turkey Trot 10k over the fearsome hilly course above Lough Gill. This was his 37th race of 2008 over all the recognised distances from 5k to Marathon.Christy took in all four provinces and a trip to the Edinburgh Marathon in completing his race tally - surely an inspiration to us all as we head towards 2009.

There is just a few days to go before the final race of the year in the west, the Westport 5k on Sunday December 28. The event this year is organised by Mayo AC in association with Mayo Sports Partnership. It is also the ninth and final race of the tenth Annual Mayo AC Road Race League. Almost 200 individual runners have won points in the eight races so far - points are won by finishing in the top 25 - men and women separately. This might be a good time to give your fitness regime New Year Resolution an early start. The credit crunch can be made more bearable by adopting a waistline crunch policy: eat less, exercise more, spend less. And you get the feelgood factor as a bonus. The Westport 5k race will start at 2pm. The flat out-and-back course starts at St Mary's Crescent, goes through the historic Westport House grounds, out to the triangle at the harbour, and back though the grounds to the finish at New Road. The organisers wish to acknowledge the assistance of the Browne family of Westport House.

There has been a lot of interest to date, and it looks like being the biggest Westport 5k field so far. You can run, walk, or jog! So head on over to Westport, end 2008 on an athletic high or get an early start to your fitness programme for 2009. Entry fee is €10. Registration from 12.30pm at Sports Centre beside the track just off Newport Road. After the race, refreshments will be available for all participants at the Westport Leisure Centre (400 metres from Sports Centre ). Presentation of prizes will take place in the auditorium from 3.30pm approx.


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