The Monivea Half Marathon and 5km took place today, Saturday 28 June.
The 5km is in its 6th year and the half marathon in its 3rd. The half marathon was the official County Galway AAI Championship Half for 2015 and Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in addition to the usual cash prizes in all categories.
I think it all started a long time ago when I was in 3rd class in school, the school sports day was coming up and we had to pick the events we wanted to enter. As a 7 year old you were expected to go in the 60m 80m and 100m, maybe chance the long Jump or the high jump.
Bullaun's 8km saw approx. 130 athletes participate last Saturday evening (20 June). Mark Walsh was first across the line in 28.43. Hot on his heels was Craughwell ACs Damien Larkin in 28.46 with Athenry ACs Gearoid Rohan finishing 3rd in 29.30.
Another member of Athenry AC Jane Ann Healy was first woman home in 29.57 (and 5th overall). There was only seconds between Tammie Corrigan 35.28 and Sinead Martin 35.33 who finished in 2nd and 3rd place.
Saturday 13th June 2015... Portumna hosted their annual event. This year, athletes from Athenry AC took part in every distance, half marathon, marathon, 50km and 100km. The latter started at 7am as Jim Leahy took on the challenge of running his first 100km race setting himself the target time of sub 10hrs. We all believed Jim could do it, and he did, running the race of a lifetime. For months Jim has been pounding the roads around Athenry and Craughwell, clocking up the miles in preparation for the big day.
6 months previous, I had agreed to run walk the Listowel marathon with my best friend as she was getting back from injury and thinks marathon running is great. So with little to no proper training, 18th April 2015 arrived. Our training had involved. Michelle doing the Tralee half in 3hrs 5 mins. I had done a half marathon in Ballybunion two weeks earlier in 2hrs 7mins. But prior to this April morning, my longest run was 15 miles for the Cork to Cobh race in 2009.
Wexford town held its first marathon today and Valerie Glavin was there to make history! The race started and finished in the Faythe and the route took athletes out of Wexford town, through some of the most scenic countryside. The course was an out and back route which took the runners up through Kerlogue, past Johnstown Castle, onto Murrintown, and then looped around Forth Mountain, and back to Murrintown and in to town along the same route, finishing with a nice 4-5 mile section of a slight downhill giving a fast finish.
The 6th and final race of this years Galway 5km Series was hosted by Tuam AC. Almost 80 athletes from Athenry AC made up a field of 632 for tonight's race. The weather (which provided an additional challenge to those running in Cork City Marathon and the VHI Womens Mini Marathon at the weekend) was kinder to us providing a pleasant evening. Although not warm for June the conditions were ideal for running.
The VHI Women's Mini Marathon is one of the biggest all women's events of it's kind in the world. This year 37,000 women ran, jogged and walked the 10km route through Dublin City. There was no escaping the inclement weather, the wind and rain were prominent throughout the run adding to the challenge but not spoiling the mood of the race now in it's 32nd year. (Last year saw a record field of 41,006).
2007 saw the return of Cork City Marathon after 21 years (1986). The five marathons in the 80's attracted substantial participants, peaking in 1984 when 1,138 runners took part (including our very own Martin Keane pictured above!). Today saw over 7,000 athletes run through the streets of Cork City defying the bank holiday's wet and windy weather. Athenry AC had representation in both the Marathon and Half Marathon events. Conditions were tough. Cork is a city of hills and valleys and the rain and wind provided an additional challenge to all.
The penultimate race of the series brought us to Galway Airport in Carnmore. A new location this year so nobody really knew what to expect!
We assumed it would be flat and as it was open ground it would probably be windy. We were not disappointed! After the race someone described it as "it wasn't flat but it wasn't hilly! It presented a different challenge and some enjoyed the unique opportunity to run on a runway!