GCH Running star Gary Thornton produced another fantastic performance whilst rereresenting Ireland in the Belfast International UK Cross Challenge at Stormont on Saturday last. Competing in the senior men's race Gary finished hot on the heels of Clare's Seamus Power in an impressive 11th place. Gary's running has improved out of all recognition this year and he's running well in elite company.
The Galway Board of the AAI organised a well attended and successful County Indoor Championships last Saturday the 6th of January. Events ranged accross the age groups from U12 to senior athletes. Although full results are not to hand yet a few events are noteworthy.
In the 3,000m Loughrea's Jason Broderick once again stamped his authority on the field coming home in front of Craughwel's Mark Davis and Athenry's young star Seamie Gilhooley. Rumour has it that Mark set off at a blistering pace from the gun but was forced to a premature halt by a lace that had become untied.
The Connaught Masters, Junior & Senior cross-country championship, which had been scheduled for the 8th January in Ballina, has been moved to 21st January at the same venue.
The indoor action next weekend, for Galway based athletes both young and old, will be at the indoor arena in Nenagh, Co.Tipperary. The championship kicks off with a senior race over 3,000m at 11:00am on Saturday the 7th January.
Enquiries from Galway based athletes to PJ Coyle (Sec Galway County Board) at [email protected]
Well, we love 'em, our spouses, don't we, but what do you say when you are training for a marathon and you hear "Don't run too fast"! ...
I had planned to make a bid for a goodish time in Dublin this year for my first marathon but a bad chest infection in early Summer meant that I couldn't train so the time schedule fell back a little and I scoured the Internet looking for the very last European marathons for the calendar year 2005. Fortuitously, RyanAir opened a new flight to Nantes in southern Brittany and just bit further south on the coast, I saw that La Rochelle was planning one for Sunday Nov 27th, so that had to be the one. It gave me the bare 18 weeks that many consider the minimum training time needed. Dublin was four weeks earlier so I could run a slowish one there to prove to myself that I could run the distance.
Ray O'Connor, Race Director of the hugely successful Failte Ireland Connemara Marathon races (www.connemarathon.com), has decided to award a small number of complimentary entries to the 2006 running of his events to successful runners in this year's Proactive Fields of Athenry 10K road race.
Complimentary entries will be made available to the first man and woman past the post on St.Stephen's Day in Athenry and also to the first man and woman past the post who can claim to have participated in all previous Fields of Athenry 10k races. According to our records the select band of runners who can claim to have taken part in all three previous versions of the race to date are as follows;
Entries for next year's Failte Ireland Connemara Marathon Races are well ahead of last years numbers even at this early stage in the build up to the races.
Race director Ray O'Connor said today, "We've been blown away with the level of interest from all over the world. We have triple the number of entries on hand than we did at this point last year." The Connemara Marathon, Half-Marathon and Ultra Marathon have rapidly become 'must-do' events for many runners, both from Ireland and further afield. Ray and his race team recently exhibited the race at the 'expos' which preceded both the Dublin and New York City Marathons. "The atmosphere around the stand in both venues was electric", said Ray O'Connor. "We were showing some video footage of last years race and it just seemed to rekindle all the enthusiasm people have for running in Connemara."
GCH Runner Gary Thornton won yesterday's Hollymount 10k International Road Race in fine style relegating many people's pre-race favourite Noel Berkely into third place in the process. This historic race celebrated it's fortieth running yesterday and the field for the senior men's race enjoyed almost perfect running conditions on the day. The scenic route for this fine event takes runners on several loops around the surrounding countryside and when all the 'looping' was done Gary found himself in the lead crossing the line. All in all it was a great day for GCH as Gary's clubmate Gerry Ryan was victorious on the roads of Clare in the St.Cronan's four mile road race.
You know, I haven't really written a proper race report in ages, and I'm not sure if this rambling will end up to be a long or short account of my latest marathon adventures, but here goes anyway. I'll keep this as short as possible. (I'm typing this after writing the full report to apologise for the length)
A look back first to fill you in on the background here.
I started running in April 2000 after giving up 30-40 fags a day and a stressful life. First marathon in November that year - New York in 5 hours 15 minutes! I've done a few since and the intention at the start of this year was to finally have a shot at a 3:30 having posted a PB of