The Athenry Fit4Life 5K race took place on Sunday and Tuam AC had two runners in action. Stephen Brady continues on the comeback trail and finished in 21 mins while Una Browne followed her great run in Corofin last week with another very impressive 29 mins.
The National Half Marathon is one of the most prestigious races on the calender and this year we were very lucky that our great neighbours in Athenry AC were awarded as hosts. This race is exactly what it says on the tin, the best runners from all over Ireland made their way to Athenry on Sunday to compete in the All Ireland Championship and medals were on offer for all of the different age categories but it would be very hard for any club to leave with any medals as the competition is fierce. At the end of the day Tuam AC were delighted to leave with at least three All Ireland medals, as some results are still coming to hand, and we would all like to congratulate All Ireland Champion Kathleen Hogan and our two Silver medallists Andrea Ridge and Martin Hynes.
There were a number of other outstanding performances on Sunday including Ger Hartnett who was running his second half marathon in a week, Siobhan Ryan who made a last minute decision to run and absolutely flew around the course to be the first Tuam lady home. Hilary Maloney also put in a great performance along with Kathryn Antweiller and our two great sisters Maura and Assumpta Meenaghan who were running their first half marathon and made it look very easy. A special mention must go to our Chairman Paddy Gilmore who ran a great race and was just outside of the medals in his category.
Almost 500 competitors lined up in Athenry which is a major achievement for athletics in County Galway as almost 2500 competitors were taking part in the Galway Ironman at the same time on Sunday so we must be well on the way to being the fittest County in Ireland. In fact many of our own members were taking part in the Ironman and all did extremely well.
All roads lead to Athenry this weekend as the National Half Marathon championships of Ireland take place in the town on Sunday morning. Athenry AC are the host club this year and they are no strangers to organizing major events as they host one of Galway’s biggest and most successful road races every year on St Stephens Day and they also recently held the All Ireland 10k championships.
Online entry is available via the Athletics Ireland website for only €20 which is great value for a half marathon and a limited number of entries will be available on the morning of the race in Athenry. Everybody is welcome in Athenry on Sunday and every runner, jogger and walker should take the opportunity to compete in an All Ireland championship and enjoy the experience. Full details are avaiable at www.athenryac.com or www.athleticsireland.ie
The running season really burst into life last week with the start of the 2012 5K Road Race series. The first race was in Newcastle, Athenry and a record crowd of 630 runners lined up in very unseasonal weather for the first day of summer. Tuam AC were very well represented and we had a few members making their debut in Tuam colours and also welcomed back runners returning from injury lay offs. The Newcastle course is tough but fair and the wind was very strong between 3 and 4km so times were expected to be a bit slower than previous years but that didn’t stop the Tuam runners from giving maximum effort all the way round.
Tommy Joe Whyte was the first Tuam AC runner home and he was followed by Tom Connelly who we were all absolutely delighted to see back running for Tuam again. Brendan Monaghan was the third Tuam AC runner and he was closely followed by three club mates who are improving all the time – David Watts making his debut in the green vest, Padraic Burke who was only one second behind him and Alan Thompson. All three ran extremely well and will surely get faster as the series goes on. There was also a very close battle between Sean O’Rourke, Aidan Brady and Michael McLoughlin with only 20 seconds between them and they were closely followed by the one and only Roger Rushe who has been running for Tuam AC for over 50 years and is an absolute legend in the running fraternity.
Tuam AC was also very well represented in the ladies race with Lorraine Steed making a fantastic comeback to serious racing, Maura Meenaghan proving that she is as good a runner as she is a cyclist only 3 days after completing the Croi 75 mile cycle around Lough Corrib. Maura was followed by Rachel Conlon who helped her Dublin Marathon preparations by posting a very good time. Claire Murphy who was also making her debut for Tuam AC ran an inspired race and is a great addition to the club and Ursula Brady was also in great form and was very happy with her time.
A special mention must go to Paddy Gilmore who is back in great form and ran a fantastic race and his time was over 5 minutes quicker than last year.
The action moves to Claregalway this week with a promise of better weather.