Published in Other News on 7th March 2014
Three Generations of Galway Athletics Launch Race Series
Galway’s Athletics Clubs came together at the Athenry Physiotherapy & Performance Clinic on Thursday night to launch the ‘Galway 5km Race Series’ for 2014.
This hugely successful series of races, aimed mainly at new runners, has been going since 2006 and attracts around 800 entrants every year. The race series was formally launched by three outstanding athletes representing the past, present and future of athletics in Galway.
Young Shauna Bocquet, who competes in a wheelchair for Craughwell AC, joined forces with elite distance runner Regina Casey from Galway City Harriers and the legendary Tommy Madden of Derrydonnell AC to kick off the race series.
These three generations of Galway athletics represented the thousands of others who have competed in the series since its inception in 2006. Tommy Madden said, “I think these races are a really great idea. There was nothing like them at all in the 1950’s when Derrydonnell were going. Two of my children take part in the series now and they love it.”
Regina Casey of Galway City Harriers has long been a supporter of the series. She said, “It’s a great chance to meet other runners from around the County and to get some training done in a race setting. There’s always a great mix of familiar faces and newcomers. That’s part of what makes the series special.”
In addition to providing a training, racing, and social outlet for hundreds of runners, the series raises essential funds for the Galway County Board of Athletics Ireland. Funds raised in earlier years have supported the participation of Galway teams in provincial and national competition and the purchase of athletics equipment.
These 5km races take place around Galway City and County and each is hosted by one of the Galway Athletics Clubs under Athletics Ireland rules. Entry cost Euro 30.00, which covers all six races and will be available online at http://www.activeglobal.com/from Thursday the 13th March at 8:00pm. Entries are expected to sell out quickly.
This year’s will take place as follows;
Tuesday 29th April 2014 @ 8:00pm – Athenry
Tuesday 6th May 2014 @ 8:00pm – Loughrea
Tuesday 13th May 2014 @ 8:00pm - Maree
Tuesday 20th May 2014 @ 8:00pm – Claregalway
Tuesday 27th May 2014 @ 8:00pm – Galway
Tuesday 3rd June 2014 @ 8:00pm - Tuam
Emerging Athlete Profile – Shauna Bocquet, (Craughwell AC) Shauna came to track chair racing after being spotted at a number of IWA-Sport Junior Wheelchair basketball blitzes. She was advised to take up the sport and, in August 2012, IWA-Sport gave her a loan of a track chair. Shauna took part in her first 5km in September 2012 in Claregalway and immediately fell in love with racing.
After getting in touch with Craughwell AC Coach Michael Tobin, Shauna joined the club and has been racing and training since.
Shauna won the Wheelchair Category of the Cork Women’s Mini Marathon in 2013, completing the four-mile course in a personal best time of 32:50, smashing her previous best by almost 6 minutes. Two weeks later, she ran her fastest 5km yet at the SMRC Urban Run in Limerick, in a time of 24:54.
These great results have led to Shauna being selected into the National Track Racing program run by IWA-Sport and she took part in her first session in Irishtown Stadium in Dublin on Saturday the 16th of November 2013.
She is the youngest athlete in the panel and yet has gained considerable experience in mixing and training along with other elite wheelchair racers from around the country. Elite Athlete Profile - Regina Casey, (Galway City Harriers)
Galway City Harriers Regina Casey has been a regular presence on the Galway road-racing and track and field scene for a number of years. Although Regina’s a member of that small group of elite racers who regularly win some of the best races in the country, some of her athletics achievements are less well known.
Amongst Regina’s many honours are;Outdoor T&F
- U16 National Champion 800m (2.16)
- U23 National Silver Medallist (2.13)
U17, U19 and Junior 800m ChampionInternational Appearances
U23 Celtic Games, Cardiff, Wales.Road Racing Personal Best Times
- 5km - 17:29
- 8km – 29:24
- 10km 37:50
- Athletics scholarship recipient from NUIG, 2000-2003
- Five Intervarsity titles at 800m both indoor and outdoor
Tommy Madden was a founding member, and a star performer with, the famous Derrydonnell AC which dominated Galway Athletics during the 1950’s and 1960’s.A star of track & field, cross-country and road racing, Tommy pioneered athletics in Galway alongside his illustrious Derrydonnell team mates which included Willie Morris, Bernie Rohan, Mick Molloy, Bernie Feeney, Kevin Ryan, Bernie Ruane and many others.
Tommy Madden won four individual senior Galway cross-country titles in Derrydonnell colours as well as countless other cross country, road and track championships. Derrydonnell AC won the Galway Senior Cross-Country team championship on an amazing fourteen consecutive occasions from 1956 to 1969. In 1959 Tommy was just beaten, by Joe Cunningham, for the All Ireland one-mile title on a grass track at the Iveagh Grounds in Dublin. Three weeks after that Joe Cunningham set a new Irish mile record of 4:13.
Derrydonnell broke new ground for Irish Athletics when they became the first Irish Athletics club to compete in America. Their visit to New York in 1961 demonstrated that they were prepared to innovate and to compete outside of the confines of local or even national boundaries. The club also visited and raced in London in 1963.