Headford 8km

Published in Reports on 5th July 2015

Headford 8km took place on Saturday 4th July in Headford town.

This charity event now in its 11th year saw almost 240 athletes complete the distance in very mixed weather. All proceeds from the race go to charities supporting children with disabilities. To date the race has raised over €35,000 and provides valuable additional funds to support children in their own communities by providing short breaks, respite and in-home supports.

Matt Bidwell GCH claimed victory for the third time in as many years crossing the line in 26.28. Frank Hayes finished in second place in 27.35 and only seconds behind Ciaran O'Dwyer took third place in 27.42.

Athenry's Jane Ann Meehan finished 14th overall while winning the ladies race in a comfortable 29.57. Siobhan Egan was second 31.35 and Claire Rowe 33.07.

Others taking part from the club include David Meehan finished in 10th place in 29.43, Mary Kealy 34.27, James Lundon 35.08, Valerie Glavin 37.16 and Fiona Doughan 37.55.

Photos on FB here.  Result is here and attached.

Club Relay - 30th June 2015

Published in Reports on 29th June 2015

The club is hosting a relay event on Tuesday 30th June which promises to be very exciting! There are approx 23 teams (3 runners per team) taking part! Race Director Mr Jim Leahy has put a lot of time and effort in to organising this event. He has given great consideration to team names which I hope does not reflect our performance (Turtles, Sloths). Meeting at the Church Car Park at 7.45pm to collect our name badges and "formulate our race strategy" we will be briefed on the "do's" and "don't" before running to the starting point on the link road. Promises to be an enjoyable event! Results will be posted following the race in addition to names of anyone who "misbehaves"!

Monivea Half Marathon & 5KM Results and Report

Published in Reports on 27th June 2015

Official result and prizes attached!

The Monivea Half Marathon and 5km took place today, Saturday 28 June.

The 5km is in its 6th year and the half marathon in its 3rd. The half marathon was the official County Galway AAI Championship Half for 2015 and Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in addition to the usual cash prizes in all categories.

There was a very impressive turnout from the club with over 40 athletes taking part. The maroon and white singlets were everywhere to be seen! Some members of Fit4Life ran their first 5km race today which was a great achievement considering the short length of time some of them have been running. For others it was their first time running a Half Marathon, again no mean feat!

The 5km saw approx 15 athletes from the club take part in this year's race. Three members of Fit4Life, Claire Brady, Stephanie McDonagh and Sonya Broderick ran their first 5km race and all finished very strong. Well done ladies! Mark Walsh from Leevale AC was first to cross the line in 17.56 with Athenry's Ray Sommers in second place 18.45. Hot on Rays heels Danny Carr GCH was third in 18.53. In fourth place but also first M40 was David Evans 19.04. This was the second year Cathal Duffy ran the race and his first race since Claregalway 5km series. Despite being out of training Cathal enjoyed the run and completed the race in 26.11. Tammie Corrigan finishing 9th overall and took the honours for the ladies 21.36, Rena Stankard was second 24.33 and Athenry's Sheila Kelly claimed third place in 25.16. Brenda Lennon was first F40 in 27.25. Claire Brady (first 5km race) 31.15, Olivia Gilmore 31.19, Fiona Loughnane 31.43, Lorna Joyce 31.43, Pamela Lee 32.21, Diane Collins 32.44, Sonya Briderick (first 5km race) 33.30, Stephanie McDonagh (first 5km race) 34.58.

Approx 40 members from the club ran the Half Marathon. The route remained the same as last year with a few unexpected surprises en route! Everyone faced the challenge of strong winds and rolling hills on parts of the course. In addition a number of runners had to contend with a herd of cows crossing the course despite the best efforts of lead cyclist Jim Leahy to hold them back!! Oliver Mullins from Craughwell AC completed the distance in 1.21.02 securing a gold county medal. Adam Leadbetter Athenry AC was a very happy man having earned a silver coming home in second place in 1.21.32. Longford AC's Kevin Ward took bronze in 1.22.13. Gearoid Rohan Athenry AC finishing fourth overall also won 1st place M40.

Jane Ann Meehan took the gold medal for the ladies 1.23.37, Roisin Farragher was second in 1.30.43 and AIT AC's Deirdre Kenna ran 1.34.04 to take the bronze medal. Clare Rowe GCH was 1st W40 in a time of 1.36.05 with Athenry's Mary Kealy finishing first W50 only seconds behind Clare in 1.36.13. Rodney Bell completed his first half marathon, feeling better than expected at the 9 mile marker Rod continued to push on and finished in 27th place overall in 1.34.14. Well done Rod! Ollie Kyne was targeting a sub 2.30 half but ran a very strong race and was delighted with his finishing time of 2.09.14. Well done Ollie! Patrick Forde's race didn't go according to plan but despite than he still enjoy the race. Before the race Patrick met many old friends and some new friends and said "the craic was great!!" Patrick finished in 1.48.04. Orla McCluskey ran a very strong race which resulted in a PB 1.54.40 (nice one Orla!).

There was plenty of post race nutrition available in the community hall afterwards. And a variety of Glenisk Yogurts were readily available in a variety of flavours which Patrick Forde described as a real thrill! And to complete the event there was the presentation of county medals to both race and category winners. Well done to all and hope to see you back again next year! Photos on Facebook.

Portumna 100km - Jim tells his story

Published in Reports on 21st June 2015

I think it all started a long time ago when I was in 3rd class in school, the school sports day was coming up and we had to pick the events we wanted to enter. As a 7 year old you were expected to go in the 60m 80m and 100m, maybe chance the long Jump or the high jump.
But I knew for me these would not be an option as I would only be getting up to speed as the finish line approached and dead last. No I have to go long, so it was going to be the 600m and the mile. Unfortunately the teachers didn't see it that way these 2 events were for the boys of 5th and 6th class, a small schroney lad from 3rd class could do himself damage, no they weren't having that so it was back to the 80m and 100m and last in both races.

So as you can see long distance running has always being lurking around in the back of my head. For a long time it lay dorment there, almost completely undisturbed, with only watching the odd marathon on the tv. Then 3 year ago I made a huge mistake, I joined Athenry AC this was the first mistake, I only joined to do speed and I can still remember the conversion with Frances (I’m only doing speed nothing else). Then came mistake number 2 and I went for a couple of Saturday morning runs and started to meet up with people who seem to have been out all night running, they were training for the 50km in Portumna. They looked normal enough, they even sounded normal but they weren't even training for a marathon they were going to run over 31miles. I had to go and see this, so when the day came we went to Portumna to watch and it was fantastic, they were brilliant they were gods, elite, I was truly in awe of these people, but the monster had well and truly being awoken. The summer wore on and before we knew it the club was in full Dublin city marathon mode.

With very little persuassion I decided to do Dublin and the long runs started and I loved it. Dublin came and I ran it with Kieran and Deirdre, and it was brilliant except a small hiccup at mile 20. The next June we were in Portumna again, this time it was to watch a true legend of distance running the great Ruthann Shehann in the 100km and boy what a sight. She made this distance look effortless, it was amazing to watch. That was it, one way or another I was going to do this I had to, it just wouldn't go away I couldn't get it out of my head.

Last year wasn't a good year on the running front for me, I seemed to be injured or sick all the time. I think it was during the summer that I truly made up my mind it was going to be this year. At the Athenry AC Christmas party I meet Ruthann and talked to her about doing it. She filled me with confidence, so in January with help from Ruthann and Jane Ann I formulated a training plan. It wasn't too bad at first, a few runs a week but then came the new plan, I needed to do back to back long runs of 20 miles plus. This was different, now my weekends were gone, with this life changed, life was very simple for me, Eat, Sleep, Train, Work, Eat, Sleep, Train, Work, there was nothing else. What ever else had to be done Frances had to do it, I was never at home and if I was, I was eating or sleeping. The other problem was food, I was starving all the time Frances would cook dinners for 2 days, and go to speed I would come in and eat the lot thinking it was only 1 dinner.

With the help of Jane Ann and her magic hands I almost managed to stay injury free but as part of training I did the Limerick marathon and ran ridiculously fast in the second half, but it felt great and the following Tuesday ran a fast 5k in Loughrea. The next day my shin was sore so I decided no training till Friday I had a big weekend planned, half marathon on Friday and 2 back to back 50km's on Saturday and Sunday this would be the pinnacle of my training. Friday and Saturday went ok, shin was a bit sore but the usual routine, stretch, roll, cold bath, food, sleep should take care of it.

Sunday morning I set off and everything seemed ok other than the weather it was foul, heavy rain windy and cold After about fifteen miles I could feel the shin and by 20 I was limping, the problem was I was in Derrydonnell and had to get to Craughwell. By the time I made it home the leg was starting to go from under me but I made it, 78 miles done since Friday. I should be ecstatic but this shin business was bothering me. Luckily I had an appointment with Jane Ann for Tuesday. By this time I was expecting the worst news as the swelling had not gone down, I couldn’t see how I'd be ready to run 10km never mind 100km.

So in to Jane Ann, she looks at me coming through the door and say’s your not moving too well. She has a look at it and a poke around and then ask’s how long to Portumna. 23 days, ok she says we need a plan and proceeds to hatch a plan. I couldn't believe it, the 100km was still on, there would be no running for a week, so Jane Ann says seeing as you won't be running for a week I can go a bit harder on you! If you ever hear these words from Jane Ann RUN, run as fast and as far away as you can get, she is about to kill you or at least think she is. But as always she works her magic and a week later I did my last long run, Craughwell to Carnmore airport for the 5k series, I had learned my lesson and this was a very easy 5k, 26 minutes but very happy no complaints, I was ready for Portumna.

The day had finally arrived, it seemed I had waited all my life for this and here it was. A beautiful morning no wind, pleasant not too hot a little chilly if anything. I meet up with Janet as planned and we found we weren't the only Athenry runners there. Mary Kealy and Adam Leadbetter were going in the 50km aswell. Just after 7 am we were off and it felt great to be finally running. For 4 laps of the 5km course myself and Janet ran together at a nice steady pace, every lap Frances had my food ready for me but there was some thing wrong, I could't figure it out I didn't want the food. In all the training runs since Connamara ultra I had followed the same routine, eat every 5km and it was a great way to keep going, every 5km I get to eat again.

On lap 3 I didn't eat, just couldn’t eat and on lap 4 the wheel seemed to come off the wagon, I was feeling dizzy and absolutely no energy. I came to a small wall at about the 2km mark and sat down and thought this is not good. I am 17km into a 100km run and I have no energy and can't eat. I decided to run the rest of the lap back to Frances but when I got to the water station at the marina I found they had coke, 2 glasses of coke and I keep walking. Suddenly I had energy I could run again, got back to Frances and said no more food just coke and red bull.

I didn't know how long this would last I figured this new diet would surely make me sick so I was trying to drink as little coke as possible (I thought this is the way to do100km's) while carrying a bottle of red bull as some sort of comfort blanket in case I run out of steam half way around the course. As the day wore on more club members started to arrive and it was great to see and hear from them, the encouragement was brilliant. I remember Dave Noone running beside me and checking to see if I was alright or needed anything, one more lap and you will be counting down, this was great it's amazing how the little things keep you going.

Then there was a changing of the guard at the second water station Maeve Noone was in charge with Tieran in support. This was great now, I had a big group of supporters at the start line, and when I reached the other end of the course a pep talk from Maeve was fantastic. After another few laps I was beginning to feel that I could make it to the end on just coke and was happy enough with the situation. I knew I was running out of energy as I was having to walk the 100m up the very small slope to Maeve's water station but I was ok as Maeve would come running down with coke and words of encouragement to get me back to Frances for more of the same.

At some point people were getting worried that I wasn't eating and were trying to encourage me to eat when a shout come's from the back I HAVE SAUSAGE ROLLS HERE, Mairead Quinn, wouldn't you know if I had anything in me to throw up it would definitely come up at the thought of sausage rolls.

The next problem was the shin, l had 4 laps to go and was starting to limp at times. I metioned it to Maeve in one of the pep talks, and it was simple, as far as she was concerned take neurofin now, you will be sick later but what the hell you'll have your 100km. The last lap was great, the roar from the gang as I left was worth 2 kilometres at least but it will be a while before I FORGIVE Kieran. Just as I'm leaving he says there are three 100km runner's just ahead of you and you can get them. I can hear the words ringing in my ears you can get them, 3 places higher up the leader board and I also had a quick look at the clock as I passed the finished line 9 hours 29 minutes I could make the ten hours and the 3 places.

Push Jimbo it’s only a 5km easy peasy I can do it. I pushed as hard as I could my legs were wobbling a bit but I knew they were ok and would last. I caught up with the 3 lads and as I passed each 1 asked them what lap they were on, all had to 2 to go (thanks Kieran). But it did help me get the time. The last 3km were wonderful, all the way through the race I didn't look at the km signs because they could drive you mad but I looked at them on the last 3km, 97, 98, 99, and then nothing. Just thought of all the training runs, the wet days, cold days in and out the Dublin road, all the people who ran with me it was amazing. Then when I turned off the track for the last time and you see the finish line it was unbelievable and then you cross that line.

It’s over I have done it, and then suddenly there was everybody all my club friends, my sister Aideen, my Dad, and Frances, the brilliant Frances who for a full 6 months had put her whole life on hold to let me train for this. Handed me my breakfast, had all my meals for the day ready to go, my gear bag packed so I could run home in the evening what ever I needed Frances was their with it. So what can I say, that’s the story of my 100km. I would like to dedicate it to my parents who taught me I can achieve anything I want to in this life, its just about finding the way to do it. My wonderful mother would always say to me you can do it, you can do it. So if you have that thing at the back of your head don't give up on it, you can do it. And what did I learn from the 100k. Never give your kids coke I ran 70 kilometres on just 2 litres of it, no wonder kids are bouncing off the walls. And live in a bungalow if you want to do this sort of thing because stairs are hell the next day.

Jim Leahy

Bullaun 8km - Sat 20th June 2015

Published in Reports on 21st June 2015

Bullaun's 8km saw approx. 130 athletes participate last Saturday evening (20 June). Mark Walsh was first across the line in 28.43. Hot on his heels was Craughwell ACs Damien Larkin in 28.46 with Athenry ACs Gearoid Rohan finishing 3rd in 29.30.   Another member of Athenry AC Jane Ann Healy was first woman home in 29.57 (and 5th overall). There was only seconds between Tammie Corrigan 35.28 and Sinead Martin 35.33 who finished in 2nd and 3rd place.   Four Athenry men also had a close finish with less than 40 seconds between them. In 7th place David Noone clocked 31.32, Chris Deakin 31.37 (1st man over 40), Michael Duane 31.41 and Drew Davison 32.09.   Also completing the 8km was Francis Bourke 33.05, Maeve Noone 2nd Athenry woman home in 37.13, Derek Conerney 37.35.   Photos on Facebook here.   ++   The inaugural Bullaun NS 8K took place last Saturday evening 20th June. A 1k fun run kicked off the evening with 150 children taking part.  The main 8K event took place in perfect weather conditions on a local loop road around Bullaun and attracted a strong field of competitors. DJ Corky along with the local community created a fantastic atmosphere at the finishing line for all the runners to enjoy. The race was won by Mark Walsh in 28.43 minutes just 3 seconds ahead of Damien Larkin from Craughwell Ac. The ladies’ race was won by Athenry AC Jane Ann Healy with Tammy Corrigan in a close 2nd place. Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC, a wheelchair athlete had a very strong race and improved her personal best  by 5 minutes.    

A Day To Remember - Portumna Marathon 2015

Published in Reports on 14th June 2015

Saturday 13th June 2015... Portumna hosted their annual event. This year, athletes from Athenry AC took part in every distance, half marathon, marathon, 50km and 100km. The latter started at 7am as Jim Leahy took on the challenge of running his first 100km race setting himself the target time of sub 10hrs. We all believed Jim could do it, and he did, running the race of a lifetime. For months Jim has been pounding the roads around Athenry and Craughwell, clocking up the miles in preparation for the big day. On congratulating Jim after the race, he immediately referred to Frances his wife and spoke of the great support she has given him over the past few months. He said he had the easy job "I just had to go out and run"!! And he did...lap after lap Jim maintained a steady pace throughout finishing in 9hr 58mins achieving his goal. Frances manned the base at the finish line. She supported Jim with words of encouragement, giving him water, coke and food as she kept track of the number of laps, average lap times etc, that's multitasking for you!! And if that wasn't enough Frances also looked after the supporters from Athenry AC, providing delicious Flap Jacks, Coconut Balls and biscuits, coffee was also available! Orla McCluskey added to the feast and her Brownies disappeared in no time! Jim ran 20 laps of a 5km circuit. With 16 laps in the bag we said he has "only" 4 laps to go! Easier said than done, there was still another 20km, almost a half marathon. There was nervous excitement in the camp. A small group headed to the marina to help shorten the remaining laps for Jim. It was great to see Jim's Dad and sister join us for the finals laps to support Jim and to celebrate his achievement. It was a great day all round and a great turn out from the club. Chris Deakin finished 3rd in the half marathon with a PB 1.28.27. Tomasz Kadzielawski finished in 10th place in 1.32.58. Jane Mangan crossed the line in 2.01.45. and Noel Fox completed the race in 1.48.43. Mick Rice was second home in the marathon in 2.58.35. David Noone was 11th in 3.34.11, things didn't go according to plan for David this year after his first sub 3 hr in last years marathon. 50km - Adam Leadbetter finished 2nd in 3.34.03 while Mary Kealy also took 2nd place in the ladies race finishing in 4.20.06. Janet Clancy was in 4th place with a PB of 4.32.28. Jim Leahy finished in 7th place in 9.58.45. Congrats to all on a great days running. Photos on Facebook

Listowel Marathon - Biddy tells her story

Published in Reports on 10th June 2015

6 months previous, I had agreed to run walk the Listowel marathon with my best friend as she was getting back from injury and thinks marathon running is great. So with little to no proper training, 18th April 2015 arrived. Our training had involved. Michelle doing the Tralee half in 3hrs 5 mins. I had done a half marathon in Ballybunion two weeks earlier in 2hrs 7mins. But prior to this April morning, my longest run was 15 miles for the Cork to Cobh race in 2009. Michelle has had a prior attempts at the marathon distance with Dublin in 2012, with 6hrs 6 mins and a damaged IT band as a result. So the plan was to walk the marathon with bits of jogging.

At 5am, the alarm goes off. An uber cheerful Michelle descends the stairs to cook porridge. She is followed by a sullen bleary eyed Biddy who descends the stairs for breakfast to face the day ahead. In the kitchen l'm greeted by the smell of overcooked porridge and unphased Michelle, who normally doesn't cook porridge. Good start but breakfast on marathon day is essential. So porridge, brown bread with peanut butter and banana and tea are consumed for the best possible start. While Michelle fluttered about organising the babysitter, the bag of gels, jelly babies and sesame sticks, I grunted and groaned (not being a morning person) that this was going to be a long day. The only thing I did in prep for the race was buy a bottle of lucozade sport to drink before the race.

The Listowel marathon was organised by marathon club Ireland, who decided a 7am start would give us a good run at the day.

MCI course was a mini loop of Listowel, then a 12 mile loop, and two shorter 7 mile loops.

There were three start times for walkers or joggers at 7, joggers and runners at 8 and elites at 9.30. With a half marathon at 10.

Checked in and was greeted by 5 more happy go lucky participants. So at 7am on Bridge Road in Listowel, we took off in a walk. Michelle immediately wanted to jog, I obliged and we were joined by Sheila from Cork. After initial introductions, a new plan formed we were going to jog for as far as we could. Considering our (Michelle and I) varying fitness levels the opening pace of a steady jog proved to be a bit more than Michelle had planned for. So like the awesome best friend that I am, I left her for dead. I was grand at Sheila's pace and when that for too much, I would fall back and find Michelle.

The rest of the marathon was Sheila guiding me around the course since she had learnt that this was my first marathon.

Since myself and Sheila were leading the race for a good hour, we got to explore the course first. The highlights were the gentle but long pull ups and patches of uneven road surface, the water stops stocked with Jaffa cakes and jellies, marvellous weather and Kerry co-op tanks that take up the whole road.

Sheila influence! Take all the jellies that are offered, you will need them. So I gobbled jellies and Jaffa cakes at all water stops until l hit the Jaffa cake wall at the second last. I might have gained weight running a marathon, opps.

Pacing, I'm a great one for starting out fast and slowly getting slower for very subsequent mile. Sheila the pace keeper informed that we were going a bit faster than her usual pace, that we should keep it in check. We were at 10.15 pace, usual pace for Sheila was closer to 10.50. We didn't want anyone to blow up. Shelia told me to go off at my own pace if it suited me. I didn't as the company was good and what would actually happen if I went off by myself, I would be a head for a bit then the slowing would start and I would be in turn overtaken in a mile or two. No idea how to pace.

All the while in the back of my mind on this run was what would happen to me after 13 mile. So entering the last lap, with a fistful of sesame sticks in my gob, Sheila and I drifted apart due to different running strategy. Sheila needed to walk for 20 metres here and there, and I knew that stopping would make me feel every step more. My strategy was one foot in front of the other, over and over again. The last lap was the most populated with half marathon passing me. Being lapped was awful, they were all bouncy runners with plenty of energy where I was huffing and puffing my way around. The sweetest thing was Sheila was still looking after me and had told people as they were passing her that they would be passing a first timer and to give me a shout out.

At the second last water stop, picking up some coke, there is a runners adage - don't do anything new on race day and in the past that has hit me sorely in the pit of my stomach but not today, on race day coke is fine.

While looking back the road I saw my brother Anthony racing down the road doing the half marathon, I waited for him to past before going again. He shouted "I know you" when he passed. No time for talking while running.

Starting back after that water break was the most painful, the stop was too long, the legs had started to stiffen but again one foot after the other and no more Jaffa cakes. I hit the Jaffa cake wall at this point too.

I knew that it was bridge, grotto, sharp bend, water stop, flat road, old school, through town and square and downhill to finish. All I had to do was get to each of these and I would be fine. After the water stop, I lapped Michelle, she was having a tough day on the course, and still had to start her final lap. Her spirits were still high and she encouraged me to head on for home. ( Michelle trotted home in 7hrs 56mins with five ghastly blisters for company.)

The last bit of the race I was bitter, it was tough and I went through the town cursing silently at everybody, happy half marathoners, the lady at the SuperValu water stand and the race steward who got a grimace rather than a smile. They were all too happy.

Finally the finish line was in site, Anthony was telling me what time was on the clock, I had minutes but it felt like seconds to cover metres rather than miles. But each metre could have been a mile at this stage. I finished at 4.53 ish, delighted medal in hand. I have just enough time to say hi to my brother before I'm shouting Sheila over the line. Delight beaming from us, Sheila had gone under 5 hours (4.58) for the first time in either 2 or 3 years. It was an awesome day.

I was pumped and dead on my feet afterwards. Would I do it again? Yes.

That's all folks,

Biddy Kissane.

20 Questions - Adam Leadbetter

Published in Members on 7th June 2015

1. What running shoes do you train in?
Currently, Brooks PureFlow for training. I’ve just come back to Brooks shoes after a bit of a break and they suit me well. I have some Brooks racing flats as well which were great in the 5km series, and Inov-8 Mudclaw fell racing shoes which haven’t had any use (yet) since moving to Oranmore from the north of England.

2. How many miles did you run last week?

3. What’s your favourite racing distance?
I prefer distances where there’s a bit of time to settle in and “enjoy” the racing. Either the half-marathon or marathon are my favourites.

4. Where’s your favourite place to train?
In Galway, it’s somewhere I can easily run to from home in Oranmore. Renville Park is lovely, but I have a route that heads up behind the station, up to Galway Clinic and then back along the coast road which has some stunning views.

Back in the UK, somewhere with lots of hills and footpaths - either the Lake District, or the Pennines from my parents-in-law’s house.

5. What’s your favourite event or race each year?
I always look forward to cross-country season as well, which goes back to getting into running as a teenager through being picked for the school team.

I’ve not done many races more than once, but of the ones I have the Lakeland Trails marathon at Coniston is my favourite.

6. What annoys you most at races?
This might not be a popular answer, but I don’t like people wearing headphones during races which I think comes from a marathon when we were heading down a narrow country lane I was constantly getting nudged the runner next to me who couldn’t hear I was running next to them.

Another niggle I have at races is when people just throw their water bottles or empty gel packets to the side of the road - please wait and drop them in the next bin.

7. What race, that you haven’t yet run, would you most like to take part in?
There’s lots. London (I’m in for 2016), Berlin and Zegama-Aizkorri marathons are high on the list and I’d love to do some of the classic long fell races, particularly the Isle of Jura and the Lakeland 50.
But if I was told I only had one more chance to run in a race then the event I’d pick would have to be the Boston marathon.

8. What was your best-ever running performance?
Strictly in terms of best performance, probably my 17:34 at Galway Airport in the 2015 5km series.

The two results I’m most proud of though are both from 2013: finishing 16th at the Lakeland Trails marathon in July and then going under 3 hours at the Chester marathon in October.

9. What was your worst-ever running performance?
Exactly one week after my best performance: missing the start of the Tuam 5km by six minutes or so after getting stuck in traffic on the drive up, and only getting a time from the finish mat as they’d taken up the timing mat at the start by the time I got there.

10. What’s the strangest thing that you’ve ever seen on a training run?
While I was doing some track training last summer, one of the Warrington Wolves rugby players waiting patiently for me to pass before he went to retrieve a ball that had gone from infield where they were training across the track. He wouldn’t have noticed if I’ds run into him as he was about twice the size of me!

11. Favourite piece of running gear?
Apart from my running shoes, it’s probably the pack I use to carry water, food and extra clothes on my longest training runs: an Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest.

12. Who would you most enjoy beating in a sprint for the line?
For me, beating anyone in a sprint finish would be an achievement - I can’t sprint for toffee.

13. What was the best bit of training advice you were ever given?
Being shown how to stretch properly and use a foam roller after a nasty bout of IT band trouble.

14. In ten years’ time will you still be running?
I hope so.

15. If for some reason you were told you could never run again, how do you think you’d react?
Initially, it would be gutting but as long as I could still be active I’d be ok and would probably take up cycling to keep moving.

16. Have you ever been bitten by a dog while running?
No, but several dogs have had a fair try.

17. Have you ever had to stop for an emergency "Paula" during a race?
Not during a race...

18. Favourite post-race food?
After a long race I like a freshly cooked, quality burger.

19. Most embarrassing ever running-related moment?
Spraining my ankle about a mile into the six-mile Heptonstall Grand Depart Fell Race last July. The embarrassment really came the next day as we were taking our daughters (at the time they were four months and two-and-a-half years) to watch a stage of the Tour de France. I could hardly walk, let alone carry either of the girls, so my wife ended up carrying one her back and one on her front for most of the day. Sorry Eleanor.

20. The greatest Irish athlete of all time is / was?
Being a cross-country runner, I’d say Fionnuala Britton.

Wexford Town's First Marathon - Val makes history!

Published in Reports on 7th June 2015

Wexford town held its first marathon today and Valerie Glavin was there to make history! The race started and finished in the Faythe and the route took athletes out of Wexford town, through some of the most scenic countryside. The course was an out and back route which took the runners up through Kerlogue, past Johnstown Castle, onto Murrintown, and then looped around Forth Mountain, and back to Murrintown and in to town along the same route, finishing with a nice 4-5 mile section of a slight downhill giving a fast finish. There were 2 sections on the course where the athletes had to climb for about 1 km, but the long stretches of downhill and the stunning views made it very worth while! Congrats to Valerie who has now completed her 4th marathon since the May Bank Holiday weekend! Race report to follow.

Also congrats to fellow long-time club member, James Corbett, who despire quite a serious injury finished in 4:02.  Better is yet to come.

Galway 5km Series - Tuam 2nd June

Published in Reports on 3rd June 2015

The 6th and final race of this years Galway 5km Series was hosted by Tuam AC. Almost 80 athletes from Athenry AC made up a field of 632 for tonight's race. The weather (which provided an additional challenge to those running in Cork City Marathon and the VHI Womens Mini Marathon at the weekend) was kinder to us providing a pleasant evening. Although not warm for June the conditions were ideal for running.

The route remained the same but there was a slight variation at the start and finish. The run in to the finish line was long and seemed never ending. And just when you thought you were there you had to round another corner which caught alot of people by surprise! But finally there it was the timing clock and finish line, both a welcome sight! There was great support along the route as the locals turned out in force to support all athletes.

John Greaney GCH was first man home crossing the line in 15.59. Brian Furey, Rathfarnham WSAF finished in second place clocking 16.17 with another GCH man John Devlin taking third place in 17.02. Back from holidays in Portugal Jane Ann Meehan took the honours for the ladies in 18.17. Registering the same time in second place was GCH's Barbara Dunne and fellow club mate Siobhan Egan took third place in 18.28.

Following the race a big crowd made their way to the Ard Ri Hotel for the traditional post race refreshments. As always the hospitality was excellent and the food delicious! Now that this years 5km series has come to an end, many of us will miss the routine created over the past 6 weeks of travelling to races and running on Tuesday nights. But don't despair I am reliably informed that "Speed" will recommence next Tuesday 9th June at 8pm. If you have never been, Tuesday is a good night to start! I have not doubt Jane Ann will have a nice session planned for us all!

Congrats to all who took part in some or all of the races over the past 6 weeks. Roll on 2016!

Photos on Facebook