In this Olympic year, it is now four years since Pauline Curley became the first Offaly woman to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games.
In recognition of Pauline’s contribution to female participation in sport, Offaly Sports Partnership continues to host the Pauline Curley Marathon Relay for post primary school girls.
This year saw the third running of the event, and for the third time in a row the girls from St. Brendan’s Community School in Birr emerged victorious, setting a new record for the event in the process. In a departure from past practice, schools were offered a number of different days on which they could run their local events in order to accommodate their busy timetables and other extra-curricular activities at this time of year.
The girls from the Sacred Heart in Tullamore were first up and they set a high standard for other schools to follow completing the run in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 41 seconds.
This run was within five minutes of the winning time recorded by the Birr team that had won the 2010/2011 event and would prove to be the closest margin between first and second ever recorded for the event.
On the second day of the event, teams from Killina Secondary School and the St. Brendan’s team took part.
Killina recorded their fastest ever time completing the challenge in 2 hours and 16 minutes. But the girls from Birr broke the record from last year by over one minute romping home in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 38 seconds.
At one stage in the run it seemed like they might break the two hour barrier but that proved too much to expect as fatigue set in during the second half of the run.
The third and final day for the running of the events saw teams from Tullamore College, Banagher Community School and Gallen Community School Ferbane take part. Running the event in horrible weather conditions these schools were always going to be at a disadvantage.
Tullamore College recorded a time of 2 hours 21 minutes and 12 seconds; Banagher completed the run in 2 hours 27 minutes and 19 seconds while the girls from Gallen, who were literally running through muck by the end of the run, completed their marathon in 2 hours 31 minutes and 4 seconds.
Offaly Sports Partnership is very grateful to Pauline Curley for her continued endorsement of this event and to the six participating schools and the 200+ girls that took part in the event. For further information on the Pauline Curley Marathon Relay for Girls or other athletics based programmes of Offaly Sports Partnerships contact Eamonn Henry on 057 – 9346843, mobile 086 - 7948054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org