The 5k series juggernaut rolled into Claregalway last Tuesday evening with almost 700 runners on board. One or two of the Tuam regulars were sidelined by injury but that didn’t affect a fantastic team performance, and we are delighted to report that every Tuam runner finished in under the 30 minute mark.
Enda Mannion led the way for Tuam AC when he finished in 6th place in 16mins 30 secs. It was a great run from the off and Enda was with the lead group all the way round. The race was won by Matt Bidwell from GCH in 15:45 who is in great form after his recent fine achievment of running the London Marathon in 2hrs 30mins where he was 4th in his category. A major result in one of the World’s biggest races. Enda was followed by a host of Tuam runners who all made significant improvements on their times the previous week in Athenry but it must be noted that conditions in Claregalway were almost perfect for running and they were far from ideal in Athenry. Tommy Joe Whyte finished in 18.44 followed by Dave Mullins 19.05 and the fast improving Alan Thompson who finished in 20.01 (over a minute faster than his time in Athenry) and is sure to break the magic 20 minute mark before the end of this series. David Watts also went very close finishing in 20.13 and Padraic Burke was just a few seconds behind him in 20.39. Sean O’Rourke ran a stormer to finish in 22.23 and he also improved by over a minute on his Athenry time. Sean was followed by Aidan Brady in 23.06 and Michael McLoughlin in 23.22 whilst the Iron man himself John Mongan ran a magnificent 23.31. The legend that is Roger Rushe showed that you’re never too old to get better. Roger ran another great race as expected and finished in 24.24 – 20 seconds ahead of his time in Athenry. We in Tuam AC were all delighted to see John Brinn back in action again, and John finished in 24:26.
The first lady home for Tuam AC was Rachel Conlon in 24:41, bettering her Athenry time by 46 seconds. Maura Meenaghan was next in 24:37 – an improvement of almost a minute on her Athenry time. Maura was followed by Lorraine Steede in 25:03, Claire Murphy in 26:56 was fourth for Tuam and Kathryn Antweiler was 5th in 27 mins. A special mention must go to two runners who ran extremely well on the night. “Chairman of the boards” Paddy Gilmore made a return to the 5k series last year after a long absence through injury. Paddy has continued to improve and after a very good run in Athenry last week he was hoping to eventually get back to sub 30 minute running by the end of the series. He will have to re-set his targets as he smashed the 30 minute mark by almost 30 seconds last Tuesday bettering his time in Athenry by an astonishing one and a half minutes. Paddy was joined in the sub 30 minute club by newcomer Ursula Brady who finished in 29:58. Ursula probably didn’t realise a few months ago when she took up running for fun that she would soon be a competitive athlete and we all hope she has a great season ahead of her.