Success at Home and Abroad for Athenry Runners

Published in Club News on 29th May 2006

Luxembourg Half Marathon - Brian O'Connor
Luxembourg Half Marathon - Brian O'Connor Alan Burke - Luxembourg Half Marathon
Alan Burke - Luxembourg Half Marathon Gary Doherty - Luxembourg Half Marathon
Gary Doherty - Luxembourg Half Marathon Peter Lowney & Gary Raftery - Luxembourg Half Marathon
Peter Lowney & Gary Raftery - Luxembourg Half Marathon

There were some great performances at home and abroad for Athenry AC runners in what must have been one of the busiest ever for the club with action at home and abroad, on the track and road.

On Friday evening the County Galway Track and Field Championships kicked the weekend off in great style. There were good entries in almost all of the under age and senior events. There was a fantastic atmosphere around the track and the senior 3,000m kicked off the programme. Loughrea’s Jason Broderick took the honours in a time just a fraction over nine-minutes. There were good solid performances from James Lundon and John O’Connor in the same event. Two other Athenry runners Mick Rice and Philip Magnier unfortunately missed the race start time due to traffic chaos in Galway that evening. The highlight of the evening from the perspective of the Athenry Senior Club came later in the evening as John O’Connor picked up silver in the 400m relegating clubmates James Lundon and Mick Rice to the back of the field in the process.

On Saturday, five of our number, Brian O’Connor, Gary Doherty, Alan Burke, Gary Raftery and Peter Lowney took part in the ING Luxembourg Half-Marathon with spectacular and conspicuous success. Brian was third runner across the line in a PB of 1:19:05. Although it’s probably fair to say that Brian is capable of running a faster half-marathon he has to be pleased with his finishing position in such a prestigious event. Our other runners ran fine races with Gary posting 1:28:24, Alan, 1:30:22, Gary Raftery 1:33:30 and Peter Lowney 1:57:13. This success is a huge boost not only to Brian but also to the club in general. Sincere congratulations are due to all involved and we can’t wait for the race reports.

Sunday morning saw four club members line up in Craughwell for the last in their highly successful 10k Handicap series. James Lundon, Owen Curran, Philip Magnier and Mick Rice were representing the club on the day. There must have been something in the air this weekend as there were some fine Athenry performances. James Lundon pulled a fantastic personal best out of nowhere with a lightening run of 40:22. Surely with a little more training and some luck in ‘running’ the forty-minute barrier will fall for James before the summer is out. Although Philip was more than a little unfortunate during the race, Owen Curran had a great day at the races running very close to 39 minutes, another new personal best time for him over 10k. To wrap it all up Mick Rice ran 36:25 to claim the fastest race of the series award.

On the same day, across the ocean in Canada, Mark Flannery was flying the club flag in the Ottawa Marathon. Mark came home in 4:11:58 having passed through halfway in 1:49:21. Although we haven’t heard directly from Mark yet the figures would indicate a tough day at the office, particularly towards the end of the race. Hopefully Mark will have a story to tell soon and we send our congratulations on completing another race over the classic distance.

Whew! What a weekend!