There was success for the Athenry women again on Saturday in both the 5k & Half Marathon distances in Monivea. On another glorious day for running (How does Tony K manage it??) Mairead Sullivan took her maiden win of the year in the 5k with a time of 21.43 & a deserved reward for her increased training since the turn of the year. Laura Garvey, also of Athenry, was second in 22.36, a strong run on her first appearance since last October due to injury. Josephine Heffernan was a further 30secs back in third.
Fresh from a new 5k PB in Tuam Matt Bidwell knew he came into this race with some decent form, but with some unfamiliar faces on the start line, including some from overseas, he was far from sure of the win. In the end it came down to a battle between Matt & American Jon Hager of the Atlanta Track Team (USA) with Matt winning out by 8 secs (15.48 & 15.46). Nicolae Buceanu was third in a time of 17.11.
The club also had some members completing their first races today with Susan Finnerty, Claire Davoren Olivia Morris & Marie Kearns, recent Fit 4 Life recruits, enjoying the exhilaration you get as you cross the finish lie for the first time. Marie Cronnelly was also glad to get that feeling again as she completed her first race since picking up an injury whilst training for the Dublin Marathon last year - Great to see you back Marie!
In the Half Marathon Jane Ann Healy added to her titles for the year with a comprehensive 4min win (1.25.43) over Sinead Brody of GCH (1.29.50). Claire Morrissey, originally from Athenry but representing London Heathside, completed the podium a further 6mins back (1.35.22).
The mens half marathon win was taken by Craughwell's Oliver Mullins with a time of 1.18.12 followed by Tullamore Harriers' David Murray in 1.19.09. Less than a minute later was Athenry's Ray Somers who prevailed in the much anticipated club head to head with Mick Rice with Mick less than 40secs back in fourth (1.19.56 & 1.20.32).
There were impressive performances throughout the field from members with many taking their 5k Series form into the race. Dave Meehan, following on from his sub 18 in Tuam, ran a 1.27.14 in only his 2nd half marathon, a PB of 9 mins. Dee Grady ran a 1.37.52 on her first outing for the club whilst Janet Clancy ran 1.42.08 for a 6 min PB & Mairead Blake ran a 1.44.42 for a PB. In his first attempt at the half marathon distance Brian Burke was delighted to beat his sub 2hr target with a 1.56.53 whilst Anne Lyng was also delighted to dip under the 2hr mark with a 1.59.22. There were also big PB's on the day for Maire Leader & Jeanette Murray.
In all we had 29 members taking part in the half marathon (25% of the field) with a further 19 completing the 5k.
Results located here.
A small selection of 5k photos located here.
Half marathon photos located here &  here.
John O' Connors photos of the day are located here.