At the Offaly Senior Men’s Cross Country held in Charleville Demense last Sunday on a beautiful morning , Ferbane AC emerged as winners of the team cup from Tullamore Harriers by the narrow margin of two points, 19 to 17.
Congratulations to the Ferbane team in winning the title, thus becoming the first team in some 30 years to take the honour other than the Harriers. Fittingly, two members from that last Clodiagh Valley team of the early eighties; Ray Condron and Johnny Feery were present to witness the titantic struggle between Ferbane and Tullamore.
The men’s race was run over 10,00m and Ferbane’s Paul Buckley and Steve McKeigue lead from the start with Catch Grennan maintaining a close persuit.
Dave Fox and Jason Donegan battled hard and strong staying with the leading group for the first 5000m but perhaps paid for the fast early pace and then had to drop back a bit. Despite the gallant efforts of our Tullamore athletes, we had to forfeit the team title. Performance of the day must go to John Harkin who put on a display of fight and determination, closing in on the rivals with each stride to win the silver medal. Paul Buckley (Ferbane AC), was 1st man across the line with fellow Ferbane athlete, Steve McKeigue, taking bronze.
The ladies race was run over 6000m with Mary Bracken and Sinead Rigney taking the lead from the start. Mary looked unperturbed throughout and ran a fine steady race, increasing the lead and winning the event to claim the Offaly Senior title. Sinead was 2nd lady across the line, Evelyn Herlihy and Olivia Grant battled for 3rd place and it was the final two hundred meter sprint that earned Evelyn the bronze. Well done to all 11 ladies and 19 men who lined up.
Mens 10k; Paul Buckley (Ferbane AC) 35.50, John Harkin 36.20, Steven McKeigue (Ferbane) 36.33, Catch Grennan 36.40, Paul Mitchell (Ferbane) 37.14, Dave Fox 37.24, Jason Donegan 38.06, Niall Kelly (Ferbane)38.24, Richie Galvin 39.43, Liam Dunne 39.57, Jody O’Reilly 40.46 , Dave Murray 41.44, Dave Brophy 42.28, Richie Faulkner 43.28, Maurice Fitzgerald 44.47, Dermot Herlihy 46.07, Brendan Temple (Ferbane) 46.25, Andy O’Grady 47.51, Jim Langan (guest) 40.36 (6k).
Womens 6k: Mary Bracken 28.02, Sinead Rigney 29.09, Evelyn Herlihy 30.20, Olivia Grant 30.26, Charlotte Abbott 32.49, Mags Grennan 33.57, Tracey Mills 34.15, Claire Davis 36.29, Carmel Hamill 42.41, Mary Mann 47.18, Barbara O’Connell 49.41.
Bristol Cross Country
Liam Brady, who continues his good running form, competed in the McCain Cross Country Challenge, held in Bristol , UK, on Sunday 28th Oct. He was 17th overall in the senior men’s race, this being his first time to run at senior level in this competition. His time was a credible 31.34 for the 8.29k course. The race was won by Dewi Griffiths in 29.44.
Sydney Games for Liam
Liam Dunne recently returned from Sydney, Australia where he participated in the World Firefighter Games, a biennial event, which unites firefighters the world over ,to compete in a variety of sporting competitions and disciplines. Liam has been training diligently over the past 8 months with this event in focus, and his improved fitness level and performance is certainly evident. His results in Sydney were a testimony on his hard work. Well done Liam.
Events ; Half Marathon 1.25.21 (1st o50), Cross Country 8k, 31.46 (1st o50), 5000m track, 18.34.33 (2nd o50), 1500m track, 5.13.13 (2nd o50).
Cross Country International
Best of luck to our Tullamore Harrier athletes representing Ireland , in the Home Countries Cross Country race next Saturday (10th November), in Stormont, Belfast; Decan Fahey, John Todd and Jim Langan.
Leinster master titles for Mullaney and Fahey
Well done to the Tullamore Harriers athletes who competed in the Leinster Novice & Masters cross country races on the last Sunday in October, in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. The races were held in the scenic grounds of Avondale House where conditions were very cold and wet for most of the day, with the mud rapidly increasing with each race.
First off were the Novice Women who ran two laps of the 2k loop. Here we had Nita McLoughlin (50th) 18.12, Tracey Mills (52nd) 18.22, Mary Casey (57th) 20.07 and Jane Conlon (58th) 21.03. This was the first time running for the club in cross country for Tracey, Mary and Jane and while the team was out of medal contention, they should be very pleased with their individual efforts in difficult conditions.
The Masters Ladies ran the same course and the team of Michelle Mullaney, Mary Bracken and Martina Conlon earned 4th Club and 3rd County places. Michelle and Mary(in their debut masters race), were with the leading group from the gun and held their place for the entire race with Michelle finishing in a brilliant 2nd place and Mary in 5th. Both girls earned individual medals, 1st and 2nd in o35 age group also , and Martina 4th in her age group.
In the Novice Men’s 6k race, the trio of Dave Fox (14th)19.44, Mick Murphy(26th) 20.32 and Dave Murray(44th) 21.28 raced strong and steady and were unfortunate to be without a 4th member for vital club and county points.
The final race of the day was the Masters men’s 6k race. This had one of the largest entries with 106 athletes on the start line. The course was more difficult at this stage following the unrelenting wintery weather of the day. Our leading man, Declan Fahy, made light work of the underfoot conditions and stormed home in 3rd place and 1st o40, scoring club silver and county bronze with team mates, Catch Grennan (9th), Richie Galvin(22nd) and Brendan Abbott (51st). Dave Brophy(60th), too had his first run for the club and put on an impressive display with Leonard Owens running well and finishing strong. The o50 race was run in conjuction with the Masters race and here too we didn’t field a team unfortunately. John Todd ran a plucky race , having recently been out of action due to injury, winning the o60 age group with a time of 22.24. Andy O’Grady finished in 25.45 (6th o55).
The next cross country race, Leinster Intermediate, is next Sunday, November 11th in Dunboyne, Co Meath.
Tullamore Harriers wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family of the late James McDonald who recently passed away. RIP
Sat 10th, British and Irish International Cross Country, Stormont Belfast.
Sun 11th, Leinster Intermediate Cross Country, Dunboyne , Co Meath
Thurs 15th, Winter League round 1, 3k on Tarmac @ 7pm
Thurs 15th – Registration Night
Sun 18th Winter League , round 2, 5k cross country, Charleville, 10am
Sun 25th, National Inter Counties Cross Country, Rathoath, Co Meath
Thurs 29th, Winter League, round 3, 3k on Tarmac @ 7PM
Sun 9th, National Novice Cross Country, Adamstown, Co Wexford
Tues 18th, Grand National Club race @ 7pm
Christmas Day – Goal Mile
Mon 31st --- Midnight Run @ 12md
Training for adults every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 8.30am except on race days. New members always welcome. Contact John O’Connell 0879253739 or Mary Daly 0861906747 or any club member.