Wishing all of our members both young and old a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year. It’s being a fantastic year for the club on both the competitive and non-competitive scene.
Our membership numbers have gone through the roof (if we had a roof !), we’ve become the biggest juvenile club in Ireland ahead of all of the large urban centres, have the 26th largest adult membership and combined are the 4th largest club in the country – a remarkable achievement for a club in a rural location.
I will post a separate article on our superb competitive performances throughout the year but want to focus on progress with facilities in this article and to sincerely thank all who have supported our fund-raising efforts to date.
I just noticed that the Craughwell 10 has reduced entry for the next 13 days. Ten miles is a different distance - pace wise it feels like a 10k, but you get endurance challenges that are more like a half marathon. One definition of threshold pace is "the maximum pace you can sustain for an hour". For faster runners, this is 10 miles which explains why it's so challenging at that level - basically you are right on the edge for as long as possible. For slower runners, you get the endurance challenges that just dont come in shorter distances and people often surprise themselves by setting 10k bests en-route to a 10 mile time.
Anyhow if you are thinking of running the Craughwell 10 this year and want to save a fiver, head on over to the active europe site to sign up for 20 eu. It might help us moderate the christmas festivities!
It was a very wet start to the third and final leg of the Davitts 5K Winter Series in Irishtown on Sunday morning. Tuam AC was once again well represented and had a great result. Dan O’Rourke was in top form when he finished 1st overall for the second week in a row. He was followed in 2nd place by Derek Naughton in a new personal best time of 18.54. Tommy Joe Whyte was 4th overall. Jarlath Monaghan was very happy with his finish time of 21:14 despite the inclement weather.
Aidan Doyle represented TuamAC in the Ballinderreen 10km where he ran a very impressive 47:38
Juvenile training is taking a break from Sunday morning training fro the Christmas and will return on January 11th 2015.
The club had a very enjoyable night on Friday in The Ard Ri Hotel where thy held their annual social. Many thanks to Andrea Ridge for organising the event.
Entries are flying in for the 11th annual club 8k race and the famous 3 pack of Kelanji running socks are disappearing fast. Please use the following link to guarantee yourself a pair of socks – http://www.runireland.com/events/tuam-ac-8k. We will be taking entries on the day but we can not guarantee socks. Looking forward to seeing you all in Tuam on Sunday 18th Jan 2015.
Here are the standings after the National Novices cross country where our ladies team did the club proud bringing home a national bronze team medal. Not a lot changed at the top of the standings but Alvy Carragher, Barbara Dunne and Helen Corbett showed they would be serious contenders for the Club Challenge title if they put their mind to it. Niamh Hennelly had another great run on the country and looks like she can't be stopped now. Still plenty up for grabs though with the other placings and the age category awards.
On the men's side Martin Kearney, recent recruit to the M60 category, can technically still be denied the the overall award but it will take a perfect storm of results for this to happen. St. Stephen's Day in Athenry will decide all.
The Galway Indoors will be held in Athlone IT's fabulous international arena on Sunday 18th January at 9.30am. I will be finalising the timetable for it in early January but it will be structured such that u13s to seniors compete in the morning commencing at 9.30am and u10s to U12s compete in the afternoon, concluding at 5pm.
The events available in each age group will be as follows:-U10s 60m 400m 4x100m Long Jump U11s 60m 600m 4x100m Long Jump U12s 60m 600m 4x100m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt U13s 60m 600m 4x100m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt Hurdles U14s 60m 800m 4x200m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt Hurdles U15s 60m 800m 4x200m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt Hurdles U16-17s 60m 800m 4x200m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt Hurdles 200m U18-19-Senior 60m 800m 4x200m Long Jump High Jump Shot Putt Hurdles 200m 3000m
Next start date for Beginners to Fit4Life is Monday 12th January 2015. 7pm Westside Library. Any queries to Bernie 087-7504066
TuamAC held it’s A.G.M. last Thursday at 8pm. The meeting was well attended by club members. Chairman Paddy Gilmore welcomed everybody to the meeting and commented on the successful year the club has had. Brendan Monaghan followed with the secretary’s report and Patricia Monaghan gave a summary of the club’s finances. Each was unanimously voted in to their positions again for the upcoming year. New positions filled on the committee were: – Child Welfare Officer – Joanna Kiley Junior Liaison Officer — Martin Kenny Club P.R.O. — Sean O Morain On Sunday morning the second leg of the Irishtown 5k series took place and Tuam AC were well represented again. This time the course was reversed from the previous week. Dan O’Rouke was first overall in 18:11 and Ger Hartnett finished 2nd in a time of 18.27. Derek Naughton finished in a time of 18:55 and Jarlaith Monaghan completed the Tuam AC lineup in 21:11 Almost 200 runners ran the Carnmore Hurling Club 5k Turkey Trot on Sunday afternoon and TuamAC had a big number members attending. Ian Egan led the Tuam men finishing 10^th overall in a time of 18:16 followed by a close fought battle between Tommy Joe Whyte and Padraic Burke with only a split second separating them crossing the finish line. Padraic’s ever improving form afforded him yet another PB. Brendan Monaghan, Mark Rabbitte and Sean O Morain completed the male members. Clare Rowe led home the ladies in a time of 21:11 followed by Ann Maire Miskell and Andrea Ridge. Andrea led out the Sunday morning 10k run and then headed to Carnmore to run an impressive 28min 5k. While Roger Rushe togged out and began warming up he felt that he wasn’t fully over his cold and decided to concentrate on getting fully recovered for the Athenry 10k on 26^th December and the Tuam annual 8k road race. The juvenile section of the club visited the indoor athletics track in Athlone. Everybody was impressed with the facilities and really enjoyed their day out. Training continues every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with the emphasis being on getting in top shape for the annual club 8k road race. This year’s road race is on Sunday 18^th January at 2:30pm
Jamie Fallon, Bronze Medallist in the National U19 Cross Country in Santry
Jamie Fallon had a huge run in Sunday's U19 6000m cross country where he led the race for much of the first 3k in a tight battle with 3 other athletes and eventually held on to a magnificent 3rd place to seal his first individual podium finish in National cross-country.
Jamie's achievement comes on the back of extraordinary dedication from a young age. As an U10 in 2006, Jamie stepped up to the U11s where he placed 35th in the Connachts. Our younger readers should take note of that statistic, 35th as an U10 stepping up to U11 in the Connachts would translate to 120-something in the Nationals - and 8 years later Jamie claims National bronze against many of the same athletes!
In recent years, Jamie edged his way to the podium, placing
- 6th in the U16 boys in 2012
- 5th in the U18 boys in 2013
- 4th in the U18 boys in 2014
- 3rd in the U19 boys in 2014
Jamie is a nephew of the legendary Galway runner Jimmy Fallon who represented Ireland in cross country on numerous occasions and was a scholarship student in Providence College in the US. Jamie's performance had earned him his third international vest for the Celtic Games which will be held in Ireland next January.
In the same U19 race, Damien O'Boyle had a strong run to take 24th place while Conor Gillen continued his comeback from injury to take 52nd place. Unfortunately we only had the 3 lads in action - a 4th scorer in 66th place or better would have earned team bronze. In the U19 girls 4000m, Ciara Greene had an exceptional run out-of-age to take 28th place.
In the Novice Men's 6000m, Neil Greaney and Rob Hogan had incredible runs to finish as 2nd and 4th Galway athletes home with Neil taking 41st place in a time of 22:06 and Rob not far behind in 65th place in 22:27.
Earlier in the day, Adam Stewart was the star of the show with a 13th place finish in the U11 boys 1500m. It was a remarkable run from Adam off a relatively small amount of cross country training, definitely a bright future in store for him if he can fit it into his busy sports schedule. Adam was followed home by Eoin Byrne 102 Luke Flynn 108, Conor Hoade 118, Darragh McCartin 122 and Evan Hallinan 172. It was a tough race but good experience for the team as it was their first taste of National cross country. The team placed 12th with 341 points.
The U11 girls placed 10th with 266 points in another tough battle. The team were led hom by a strong run from Caoimhe Connolly in 49th place, followed by Emily Miskella in 59th, Rebekah Flynn hot on her heels in 62nd, Aoibhe Carr in 96th, Jade Moorhead in 124th and Saoirse Moore in 144th. Saoirse had the misfortune of developing a pain in her side before the race started which lasted right through the race and destroyed the race for her on the day after such a fine series of performances in the Galway and Connacht championships. But there will be plenty of other days in the years ahead for this super athlete. Particularly well done to the U10 boys and girls who stepped up an age into the U11 teams. Its a tough race when you are the right age and even tougher when most of the field is a year older. Both teams did themselves proud and a small improvement in individual placings would take them very close to the leading teams.
The U13 girls had another big battle at such a high level of running and they did great to finish out the gruelling 2500m distance. The team were led home by Ailbhe Miskella in 86th place with Sarah Woods 134th, Mia Waters 145th and Aoife Kelly 155th. Penny Wells battled bravely but had to withdraw midway through the race.
U13 Girls Cross Country Team
at the National Championships in Santry
U13 Boys Cross Country Team
at the National Championships in Santry
In the U13 boys race, the club had mixed fortunes with a superb team in action. Sean Connaughton had a tremendous run to take 22nd place overall. Kyle Moorhead was also well placed in the early stages just behind Sean but suffered a heavy fall and was unable to continue. It was unfortunate for Kyle who has had a great year with numerous Galway titles to his name but he will bounce back stronger and this team has the nucleus of a superb team and team success will almost certainly come their way in the future. Gavin Lee was next home in 54th place followed closely by Liam Leen 68th, Sean Cotter 69th, Sean Cannon 94th and Finbar McFadden 127th. The team placed 7th with 239 points.
In the U15 boys 3500m, misfortune hit us again when Oisin Lyons had to withdraw in the early stages of the race. Oisin had been ill with a chest infection the night before and bravely took to the line but due to severe breathing difficulties, had to withdraw after 800m. Conor Lee led the team home with a fine performance in 50th place, followed by super runs from William Fitzgerald in 64th, Patrick Noonan 88th and Gavin Forde 122nd. Luke Finn was also in difficulty with breathing and had to withdraw in the latter stages of the race. The team placed 11th with 324 points, but nonetheless with some very encouraging performances for the future.
The U17 girls had a strong run in their 4000m with Caron Ryan in excellent form to take 30th place followed by Dearbhaile Walshe in 56th, Grainne McDaid in 72nd and Ciara O'Boyle in 88th. The team placed 8th with 246 points and placed 4th in the county competition. This was the first time that the club has contested the team event in the U17 girls and in fact the girls are now the oldest girls team to have represented the club in National juvenile cross-country - great progress for the girls and the club.
So overall it was a mixed day for the club - some superb performances and some mishaps to athletes that messed up their day. But there's always ups and downs and its fantastic that our athletes are able to go out and participate at this level of running. The highlights of the season were the tremendous silver medals for the U12 boys team and the superb individual bronze for Jamie Fallon - our highest individual placing ever. That wraps up the club cross country action for the year so its onwards now to the indoors for most and of course also the secondary schools cross country for some.
Well folks (as Michael would say)
It's finally official Michael Tobin is the BEST child mentor/coach in Ireland.
We in Craughwell A.C. have always known this, but now most of Ireland have also found out.
What a wonderful way to celebrate the excellence of a man who lives, eats and breaths the sport of athletics.
He nevers misses a training session often arriving late to, or leaving early from meetings.
How many of us have emails with 3am times on them. Does this man ever sleep Who knows???
So many young people have the honour of saying they have been trained at some stage of their athletic lives in Craughwell A.C. by Michael. That is something they never forget.
How many of us who originally agreed to help out occasionally are now qualified coaches, among other roles we have taken on due to his gentle persuasion!!! Boy is he good at all the roles he has in the club, but he shines as a coach.
He has been the driving force behind the great new 8 acre site we now proudly own and has not stopped driving forward in developments to ensure we will keep moving forward through the project.
WELL DONE MICHAEL A TRULY WELL DESERVED TITLE. We are all so proud of you.
Best of luck to all of our athletes in action tomorrow!
Athletics Ireland have posted course map and detailed time-table at:-
Bear in mind the much larger numbers at an All-Ireland make it harder to find people, walk the course, etc so please arrive extra early.
Directions to Santry track are here:-
Note AAI in the info they have posted are asking that people park (for free) in the Airport Green Carpark from where shuttle buses will go to/from the cross country.
Tuam AC prepared for their upcoming AGM on Thursday evening in The Ard Ri Hotel @8pm by getting busy on the roads over the weekend.
First off was Brendan Monaghan who traveled to Westport on Saturday morning to run a 5k race on the Greenway. The first half of this race is slightly downhill and he tried to take advantage of it and had a healthy lead at the halfway mark but the second half of the race was a different story and although he held the lead up until 4k it was inevitable that the younger runners would catch him and he eventually finished in 3rd place in 19.40. Pat Staunton won in 19.21 and John Fahy was second in 19.39 (both of Westport AC).
On Sunday morning the first leg of the Irishtown 5k series took place and Tuam AC were well represented. Ger Hartnett continued his very impressive form when he finished 2nd overall in a new personal best time of 18.04. Dan O’Rourke was 4th overall in 18.25 and he was followed in 6th place by Tommy Joe Whyte. We are delighted to report that Dave Mullins is back on the road racing scene and he had a great run finishing just outside the 20 minute mark. Dave is bound to improve on that time in the coming months as he is one of the finest runners Tuam ever produced and loves representing his club. Jarlath Monaghan also had a fine run and they are all looking forward to the second leg of the series which takes place on Sunday morning at 10am.
The other big race on Sunday is the annual Carnmore 5km Turkey Trot which takes place at 1pm from Carnmore Hurling Club. This is a race where anyone can be a winner as Andrew Talbot and his team secure a number of premium quality fresh Turkeys just in time for Christmas. The winners are selected from a draw at the end of the race so absolutely everybody is in with a chance of winning their Christmas Dinner on Sunday. It is a great event and the weather forecast is looking good so please support.
Congratulations to Alanna Lally, of Galway City Harriers and Presentation College Athenry who last week was presented with the School Girl's Athlete of the Year award.
The award was presented by Michael Hunt, President of the Irish Schools' Athletics Association, during the National Athletics Awards Ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Co. Dublin.
A big well done to Cathriona on receiving the Galway Bay FM Athletics Award 2014 at the weekend at the awards ceremony in the Loughrea Hotel. Cathriona was a close runner up in the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award, just missing out by 12 votes in the public text-voting competition which was won by powerlifter Olivia Lane. With over 5000 votes cast, it was a close battle between the 2 athletes.
Cathriona is pictured below along with the Hurling Award winner Conor Cooney, Powerlifting and Young Sportsperson Award winner Olivia Lane and their strength and conditioning coaches Padraig and Tom from the French Vanoli Gym in Oranmore.
Round 1 of the penultimate club challenge event was the Inter-County Cross Country in Dundalk IT last weekend. It produced a big move in the women's challenge. Niamh Hennelly has leap-frogged to the top of the leaderboard and it will take some fancy footwork and equally fancy mathematics to dislodge her.
In the men's challenge things were largely unchanged at the very top but Gary Thornton, Keith Fallon, Brian O'Connor and John Cronin made great strides up the leaderboard. But have they left their dash too late?
Round 2 of the penultimate event is the National Novice Cross Country Santry on 7th December (best of this and the Inter-counties to count). Of course, the Club Challenge wraps-up with the Fields of Athenry when it looks like final positions could still be up for grabs.
In tough conditions, Craughwell AC Seniors delivered fantastic performances in both National and International competition on Sunday.
In the National Inter-County XC, Rob and Ollie made their debuts - both had smashing runs, both finishing in scoring positions of 4th and 5th in the Galway team respectively and well up in the field. There's a surprising lack of pictures from the event on facebook - Rob send on those pics lad! In the meantime here's a shot of Ollie unmuddied proudly wearing the Galway singlet for the first of many times:
Ollie found the going tough, but showed his mental strength to hold the pace for the full 10km and finish with a very solid poisition of 89th in an impressive 36:45. Rob Hogan, showed that he can also run on surfaces stickier than an Oregon golf course with a fine time of 35:36 and a 76th position. Afterwards Rob said the thing that stuck with him was how important the start is in XC - when he found his position it didn't really change for the remainder of the 10 kilometers, how true it is!
Over in Nottingham, UK Peter defied a chest infection to score 3rd on the Silver medal winning Irish M40 team. This was a fantastic run in the circumstance from the tough Rowveagh man, and continues his long record of medalling in the event. Ireland actually took Silver medals across the board, which shows the relative strength of the Irish veteran running scene.
I'd just like to mention again how impressed I was with the Junior performances from the weekend - Jamie and Neil had absolutely storming runs, Damian continued his strong level of performance and Paul Joyce also did amazingly well for a man that hasn't been training to his usual level this year. I hear Paul has just passed his driving test so no excuses not to make it to training now Paul!! :P
Two very good reasons to celebrate this weekend after the Clarinbridge 10k on Sunday. Firstly we have Ian Egan back to very nearly top form after his recent Volcano Marathon and despite traveling half way around the world and running one of the toughest if not the toughest race on earth just two weeks ago he was still able to run 38.07 on Sunday. He is now building towards his hometown race the Tuam 8k which takes place on Sunday 18th January 2015. Our second reason to celebrate is Padraic Burkes superb sub 40 minute 10k personal best on Sunday. Padraic has put in some serious training lately with a view to breaking 40 minutes before the end of the year but it all paid off on Sunday when he finished in 39.56 and things will just keep getting better from now on as he is in great form and is really looking forward to The Fields of Athenry 10 on St Stephen’s Day. We are also delighted to report that our juveniles are training better than ever at our Sunday morning sessions in St Jarlath’s and the colder weather doesn’t bother them at all. They are a great bunch of dedicated young athletes and have a great future in the sport. Finally a reminder to all members that the Tuam AC AGM will take place on Thursday 4th Dec in the Ard Ri Hotel @ 8.30pm.
Aidan Conneely (centre) competing in the 200m at the Irish Schools Multi Events in Athlone
A small group of Craughwell AC athletes travelled to Athlone to represent their schools in the Irish Schools Combined Events Championships recently.
Top performances of the day came from Aidan Conneely who was representing his school Calasanctius Oranmore. Aidan’s scores were 9.38 hurdles, 9.23 shot putt, 5.98 long jump, 23.40 200m, 2.11.27 800m for an overall points total of 2993. Aidan’s 800m time was particularly impressive for a sprinter. He placed 7th overall and has an outside chance of making the international team for December,
Michelle Duggan and Laura Cunningham competed in the Junior Girls category representing Presentation Athenry. Following a new PB of 1.45m in the high jump, Michelle had to withdraw from the event due to a knee injury. Laura put in another very impressive performance in the high jump, clearing in the 1.50s for the 2nd time in a fortnight with a 1.51m jump. She went on to record 10.89 hurdles, 8.86 shot putt, 4.49 long jump and 2.59.96 in the 800m for a points total of 2211 and 11th place overall Her shot putt was a huge PB as was her 800m – knocking 17 seconds off her Connacht time.
St Raphael’s Daniel Callanan-Forde was our last athlete in action. Daniel put in a string of good performances to take 11th place with a score of 2342 points. Long jump was his strongest where he leaped 5.37 followed this up with 9.44 hurdles, 8.03 shot putt, 25.30 200m and 2.31.40 800m.
Laura Cunninghan and Michelle Duggan
Competing at the Irish Schools Multi Events in Athlone
Jamie Fallon is edging closer and closer to the top 3 in National cross country. In 2012 Jamie placed 6th in the U16 boys. He went 1 better in 2013 when stepping up to the U18 boys where he placed 5th. And today in Dundalk, Jamie took another place off that with a fine 4th place finish in the U18 boys 6000m.
Neil Greaney had a fine run also in the Junior Men's 6000m where he had his best finish yet in a National cross country with a 13th place finish - just shy of the top 12 medalling winning athletes. Neil had a storming last lap where he passed 25 athletes and it all augurs well for the future. Also in strong form, Damian O'Boyle placed 31st in the U18 race while Paul Joyce took 37th place in the Junior Men's race. Fantastic for the club to have 4 athletes of this calibre competing at the highest junior levels in Ireland!
In the U14 girls race, Rachael Hughes was the 9th Connacht athlete home when taking 83rd place while in the U18 girls 4000m Ciara Greene was our sole competitor when placing 47th and 3rd Connacht athlete home.
Athletics Ireland have temporarily put the results on dropbox so I have pulled them here in case you cannot access them there:-
News just coming in over the airwaves that the U12 boys cross country team have claimed National silver team medals! Fantastic result and a huge well done to the lads in what is one of the toughest races they will ever run. The team raced superly to finish just behind Ennis Track and just ahead of Westport in a close battle. They were led home by Gavin Lee in 20th followed by Liam Leen 22nd, Sean Cotter 30th, Gavin Kelly 65th, Jack Farrell 73rd and Oisin Davis 153rd.
A huge huge achievement for all of the lads!
It is impossibly difficult to medal at National level in cross country and something the club has achieved only a handful of times. The last time was in 2012 when our U17 boys made history by becoming the first Galway boys team in at least 15 years in older age groups to win National cross country team medals – winning team bronze with 82 points (8 Jamie Fallon, 16 Conor Gillen, 27 Nicholas Sheehan, 31 Damien O’Boyle, 32 Matthew Moran, 46 Keelan Ryan).
- In 2011 the U13 boys struck team gold with 73 points (11 James Cahalane, 14 Matthew Barrett, 15 Liam Moran, 33 Brian Loughnane, 43 Ben Sharkey, 88 Sam McArdle
- In 2009 the U13 boys took team bronze with 107 points (11 Damien O’Boyle, 22 Oisin Doyle, 33 Jamie Spellman, 41 Gavin O’Toole, 56 Cillian McDaid)
- In 2005 the U11 boys took team silver with 121 points (21 Jack Raftery, 22 Brendan Gallagher, 45 PJ Kelly, 47 James Greaney, 58 Patrick Prendergast, 80 Padraic Hannon)
- In 2002 the U11 girls took team gold in their 800m with 109 pts (6 Rachel Finnegan, 27 Cathriona Farrell, 36 Rebecca Helebert, 40 Sarah Helebert, 57 Ashley McDonnell)
Logistics for tomorrow's cross country are at:
Best of luck to all of our athletes who are travelling :-
- U12 boys team
- U14 girls: Rachael Hughes on the county team
- U16 boys: Brian Loughnane on the Connacht team
- U18 girls: Ciara Greene on the Connacht team
- U18 boys: Jamie Fallon and Damien O'Boyle on the Connacht team
- U20 Men: Neil Greaney and Paul Joyce
- Senior Men: Ollie Mullins and Rob Hogan on the county team
The races get underway at 11.30am with the u12 girls followed by the u12 boys 11.43. Full timetable and course map is at:-