Some races have a special buzz and the Craughwell 10 Mile race certainly presses that button. Many targeted this race as their main Spring outing and nervous tension along with vigorous arm waving were all there in abundance before the 1 pm start.

No one -- and I mean no one -- missed their warm-up on this chilly, bone-freezing day. What is amazing to behold is the difference in how people tog out in this kind of weather. Some ran in bare shorts and singlet; some had more layers than a North Pole explorer. A few had light scarfs over their faces. (I did think that stuffing a hot-water bottle down your track suit was a bit over the top though).

Well over 600 toed the start line. The included a very high-performing contingent from Dublin club Raheny Shamrocks, always welcome to County Galway. Raheny won the men's race with Mick Clohisey, 51:16, and the women's with Eilish Kelly, 57:44. Eilish was 7th overall and just beat her team mate Barbara Sanchez. Former Olympian Pauline Curley came third.

Gerry Ryan of the home club took third among the men after a tough race with Michael Shannon, whom he led at the 8-mile marker. Gerry will be 50 next birthday; there really can't be many in the World of that age who are even close to his times. He registered 52:38 on this occasion.


Athenry AC certainly had over 50 finishers. The exact figure is not in yet as some members aren't listed with their club affiliation. Despite the truly skin-numbing wind as they turned back towards home after 5 miles, many of them registered PBs.

Among those who did were Jane Mangan (1:30:08), and Orla McCluskey (1:31:59), who finished in the company of quite a few Athenryers between the 80 to 90+ minute times. They included Mary Rohan, Nicola Condon, Richie Humphries, Mairéad Sullivan, Clare Mitchell, MJ Conlon, Elaine Quinn, Martin Keane, Shirley Quinn, Michelle Tooher, Anne Lyng, Liz Broderick, Anne Hunter, Caroline Mitchell, Yvonne Dowling, and Marie Finn.

We had an amazing 12 runners who beat 70 minutes. Averaging under 7 minutes a mile for 10 miles is quite a feat for amateur and -- dare I say it -- slightly aging runners. That list includes Ray Somers, Frank Burke, Owen Curran, Gearoid Rohan, Jim Leahy, Adrian Fitzmaurice, Brendan Buckley, Sinéad Foran, Patrick Forde, Chris Deakin, Martin O'Hara, and Pat McDonagh. Also beating 70 mins. was Sinéad Brody with a fine 68:35. Club chairperson Deirdre Hassett was on 70:46.


PBs there for Frank, Gearoid, Jim, Brendan, Sinéad, Patrick, Chris, Martin, and Pat. The latter two took many minutes off previous bests. And what can we say of Mr. Curran? He was 44th overall with very limited training and got under 65 minutes, great stuff.


Congratulations to our A teams: the men won a bronze (Ray Somers, Frank Burke, Gearoid Rohan, Adrian Fitzmaurice), the women won a silver (Sinéad Foran, Deirdre Hassett, Miriam Wall, Maria Lambe). Note that this race serves as the County Galway 10 Mile Championship.

Those we haven't seen quite so much recently (welcome back) included Tomas Ruane, Maura Treasa Beatty, Brigit Murray, Tony Daley, and Miriam Wall.

Other Athenry club news includes two pregnancies, a baby (Emma, congratulations JaneAnn), an arm broken in two places, some bruised egos, various unrequited love affairs... life goes on...  ;-)

Photos at: Results at



11 years ago

Just a small word of thanks for an impeccably organised race in Craughwell last Sunday afternoon.  A pity about the wind but that's only a pitiful excuse when compared to my lack of fitness at the minute ;-).