Letterkenny Athletics Club Notes

Letterkenny Athletic Club were well represented at the highly prestigous Irish Life Health National Road Relay Championships in Raheny, Dublin on Sunday afternoon. The journey was well worthwhile with LAC’s runners cementing the club’s status and reputation  as one of the country’s elite athletic clubs.  The Masters’ women’s team, comprising 3 in-form runners, picked up Gold in their event. In the process, they broke  the course record for Masters’ women. Irene McFadden showed the benefits of her recent warm weather training by getting LAC off to a flying start when she ran 5.47 for the 1 mile first leg. Annmarie McGlynn destroyed the rest of the field by running 10.43 for the 2 mile second leg. This put the club into a commanding position and Monica McGranaghan ran a very strong 3rd leg of 6.02 which ensured gold medals for the  team. There was a comfortable margin of 29 seconds between LAC and the team finishing 2nd, Crusaders AC. The time was 22.32.
Letterkenny AC’s senior women’s team also picked up medals. The team finished 3rd,  behind Queen’s University and UCD AC. Nakita Burke got her team off to an excellent start by clocking 5.23 for the 1st leg. Annmarie McGlynn showed her amazing stamina and why she’s an Irish International. After running the middle leg for the Masters’ team, she did likewise for the Senior team and did it in 10.29, 14 seconds faster than  she had run earlier. Noeleen Scanlan’s strong run of 5.23 in the last leg ensured bronze medals for the club. The team’s overall time was 21.15.
The Masters’ Men’s 50+ team put on an excellent performance. Barry Mackey got the club off to a good start when he clocked 5.56 for the 1st leg. Martin Gormley had a strong run in the long leg and recorded a time of 11.57. John Hughes ran well in the final leg, finishing in 6.02 which gave the club an aggregate time of 23.55. The M50+ team were just outside the medals.
Eoghain McGinley got the Senior Men’s team off to a flying start by clocking 9.39 for the 2 mile leg. Pauric Breslin went round the 1 mile second leg in an impressive 4.51. Danny Mooney had a superb run in the long 3 mile third leg, when he clocked 14.29. Young Donal Farren ensured the team finished strongly when he came home in 10.15 for the final leg of 2 miles. There was an extraordinarily high standard in the race and despite 4 excellent performances, the team were outside the medals.
On Easter Monday, track specialist Brian Boyce celebrated his 40th Birthday a day early. At the Finn Valley Centre, he had a double success in the Donegal Track and Field Championship. He was 3rd in a time of 25.26 secs in the 200m and went one better in his preferred 400m distance when he came 2nd in 55.83s. Brian has had a very successful indoor season and, as a M40 athlete, can now look forward  with confidence to the outdoor track season.
Pauric Breslin, a renowned road athlete, showed his versatility by finishing 2nd in the 1500m in 4m18s.
Kevin Greenan was another man celebrating a birthday in style on Easter Monday.  He travelled to Boston to mark his 60th Birthday by running in the Boston Marathon, one of the world’s iconic road races and a race which has been run for 120  consecutive years. Kevin, one of the  large number of 177 Irish runners, crossed the line in 4.13.17.  Speaking afterwards Kevin described the event as “the most amazing experience. The temperature was 26 degrees Centigrade so the heat took its toll.” Kenyan, Geoffrey Kiriu,  won the Marathon in 2.09.37.
Adrian Callaghan ran in the Ardravan Series 5K in Buncrana for the second consecutive Tuesday. Following on from his time of 21.00 on the previous Tuesday, he turned in a sub 20 minute performance, coming home in an excellent time of 19.46. The race was won by David McMenamin of Inishowen AC in 16.09.
Martin Gormley was 1st in the M50 category in Thursday evening’s O.N.E. St Eunan’s Branch 5K in Carrigans. Martin’s time of 18.49 saw him finish 7th overall. He was followed by LAC club mate, Brian Ferry, who clocked 18.54. The race winner was Donegal man, Gary Murray who now runs with Dublin club, Clonliffe Harriers. Gary finished in a very fast time of 15.18, which left him a full 2 minutes clear of his nearest challenger.
Ciaran Doherty was an impressive winner of Friday evening’s Milford Community Games 5K. Ciaran ran a very fast 15.23 with fellow LAC man, Raymond Birch, coming home in second place in 16.45. Shauna McGeehan’s time of 20.43 gave her 3rd place in the senior women’s race. Irene McFadden was the 2nd  F40 runner in 21.17.
Richard Raymond continued his domination of the M60 category, with his time of 21.49 giving him 1st place his age group. LAC warhorse, Philip Connolly, came home in 25.13.
The 5K was very well organised, like all events organised under the auspices of Milford AC. James Gibbons and his many helpers ensured the event went smoothly. Aidan McKenna’s efficiency made sure that the results were made speedily available.
Noel Lynch ran 24.59 in the Letterkenny parkrun, which gave him a top 10 finish and 1st place in the M45-49 category. Fionnuala Larkin, a parkrun regular, finished in 26.55.
Linda Cronin ran 56.42 in the Martina Maguire 10K in Ardara on Sunday. It was only Linda’s third 10K and her best time to date Linda is a daughter of  Val Cronin, who represented the club with distinction over a long period of time. The winner of the scenic but tough 10K was Tir Chonaill’s Ronan Matthews in 35.41.
Several LAC runners turned in excellent performances in the Letterkenny Tri a Tri event on Sunday. Shauna McGeehan, Sinead Peoples, Fionnuala Larkin and Peter McLean put on good displays.
                                  Hugh Gallagher.
                               Letterkenny AC PRO.