Paul McNamara In Action in Connemara in 2005

For the first time in recent years there were two Galway runners in action in the senior men's race at this weekend's World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh. Both Galwaymen carried their green singlets with pride and distinction. Athenry AC's very own Paul McNamara ran superbly well to finish as second Irishman past the post in 129th position overall and Galway City Harrier, and three-time Fields of Athenry 10k champion Gary Thornton, was close behind in 145th place. Unfortunately as two other Irishmen, Vinny Mulvey and Alistair Cragg, had to withdraw from the race the Irish team did not achieve a place in the team competition.

Andrew Ledwith was the first green singleted runner home in 67th position, a hugely creditable run, Paul McNamara was next (129th) and Mick Clohissy was close behind him in 136th. Brian Maher was only a further five places back in 141st and Gary Thornton was next home in 145th.

There was a huge traveling Irish supporting contingent including members from both Athenry AC and Galway City Harriers. Irish flags were visible all along the tough Edinburgh course.

Gary Thornton - Stormont 2006

Gary Thornton - Stormont 2006

Paul ran his usual well-paced race and moved forward in the field on each on the six laps. After the first circuit he was in 161st place and moved forward in subsequent rounds to 148th, 141st, 139th and 133rd before reaching his eventual final position of 129th at the finishing line.

This event is perhaps the most competitive that world athletics has to offer and the Irish athletes competed with great determination and bravery. Everyone in Athenry sends sincere congratulations to all the Irish team on their performances but are particularly proud to see two of our own so close to the fore in a race of this stature.

Congratulations all.

More detail from the Athletics Ireland Web Site here:-

Race Report from the IAAF


16 years 2 months ago

well done to paul and gary. Such a great honour to be able to line up with the best in the world and give it your all. a proud day for both of them, their families and supporters, congrats

Peter Delmer

16 years 2 months ago

You both did us proud again. It's fantastic to have our clubs represented on the world stage. Take a bow.