The past two weekends have seen some mighty running, throwing, jumping, and cross countrying at two national events for masters athletes.
Masters, or veterans, athletics starts at the over 35 age bracket and continues at 5 year intervals, up to...well, pretty much indefinitely, assuming someone turns up to compete.
The indoor championships take place every year at Nenagh, County Tipperary; the journey from Athenry barely takes an hour and a half, on to Portumna and due South. Connacht athletes would know some of the athletes very well. Martin McEvilly took a couple of golds in his age bracket at 1500m and 3000m. Brian Geraghty won gold at the Over 65 1500m, the first year he has participated at that category I believe.
The bould Tom Hunt from Mayo couldn't make up his mind which event to complete in so he just competed in all of them, I kid you not. Well, more accurately all the track events, he passed on the shot putt and the jumps. I understand that it has been several decades since he competed in a sprint, the 60m in this case. Even so, he managed a bronze in his O60 category, as well as bronze in the 400m, silver in the 800m, gold in the 1500m, and gold in the 300m. Well done, Tom.
It's a pity that some of our own Athenry athletes don't make the trips to compete at either of these great championships. However, the outdoor track and field Masters Championships take place on Saturday 9th August in Tullamore. I'll add details on entering to our Events section soon. In addition, the World Masters Track and Field Championships take place over two weeks in Slovenia, beginning on the 26th of July: there is NO qualifying standard to participate and represent your country. Again I'll put up details on this Web site soon.
For a flavour of the indoor event, see Photos, "2008 Master's Indoor Champs, Nenagh".
Woodie's DIY Masters Indoor Champs, Nenagh: http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/?p=3420
Woodie's DIY Masters Cross Country Champs, Wexford: http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/?page_id=160