Letterkenny Athletic Club Notes

Following on from Ann-marie McGlynn and Nakita Burke’s exploits of the previous  weekend, Maria Ni Mhaollagain was the latest of Letterkenny AC’s hugely talented group of women runners to show outstanding form. In the space of slightly more than 36 hours, Maria notched up 2 victories and, in the process, claimed new PBs over 2 different distances. In Friday night’s Milford 5K, she improved on her impressive performance over the same course 2 weeks earlier. Maria’s time was 17.42 and, apart ftom being first woman, she was also 5th overall as well as being the first LAC runner.  Maria also turned in a phemomenal performance just over 36 hours later in the Convoy 10K, details of  which are provided later in the report.
Fionnuala Diver’s excellent form continued and she won her new category, F40, in 18.47. Liam Ferry ran well and clocked 19.21. Deirdre Diver had an excellent run and came home in 21.16. Hugh Gallagher’s time was 25.39. The race was won by Ben Carr of Finn Valley AC in 16.37.
The organisation of the race was, as with all races organised under the auspices of Milford AC, superb. It benefitted from the organisational skills and experience of race director, James Gibbons. Another aspect of the event was the super efficient race results service provided by Brendan ‘Herbie’ McDaid and the others at North West Timing. The speed with which Herbie produced the results was reminiscent of the speed at which he used to zoom around the track as a 800m and 1500m runner.
Convoy AC’s very popular 10K attracted well over 200 runners for the event which had a 9.30am start on Sunday morning.  Danny Mooney was first across the line in 32.10.4. It was a thrilling finish and credit for the exciting finish should also go to City of Derry’s Conor Bradley, Danny’s training partner. There was only the slimmest of margins, 0.4 second, between 2 of the north west’s most talented athletes.
Another LAC runner, Eoghain McGinley, took 3rd place in an excellent time of  32.39. Raymond Birch’s good form continued and he clocked 34.25. The first M40 runner was the very consistent Ciaran McGonagle in 34.51. Gerard McGranaghan finished in 36.09 and the 2nd M40 runner was Sean McFadden in 36.54. The next M40 runner was Liam Doherty in 37.38.
As mentioned earlier, Maria Mhaolagain produced 2 stunning performances in just over 36 hours. She won the women’s race in Convoy in a PB time of 38.08. The Gweedore based National School teacher originally excelled as a talented 200m sprinter. However, due to her hard work and having a talented group of LAC woman to train with in addition to Sean McFadden’s selfless deducation, she has developed into a highly versatile athlete, who is producing excellent performances and results.
Kevin Kelly clocked 38.40 and Kevin Ferry 40.15. M55 runner, Barry Mackey, showed that he is going to be  hard to beat in that  category when he won in 40.47. Ciaran O’Donnell finished in 41.37.  Monica McGranaghan was the 2nd woman overall and the leading F40 runner in 41.42. John Hughes was the 2nd M55 runner in 41.55. Peter Gallagher clocked 42.20,   Richard Raymond 46.47 and Paul Gibson 47.45. Richard Raymond tripped and fell during the race; hopefully, no damage has been done to the big Kerryman.
The large number  of LAC runners at the sharp end of the race and picking up category awards showed, once again, that the club is in a very healthy state.
Nakita Burke repeated her heroics of last week when she made such a sensational half marathon debut. This weekend, she made her track debut and it was a highly impressive debut. She won the 1500m race at Belfast’s Mary Peters Stadium in  an excellent time of 4.39. It was a tremendous performance in wet, blustery conditions.
Shauna McGeehan had also made an impressive half marathon debut in Omagh. Just 3 days later, she showed her great powers of recovery when was the first woman in Tuesday evening’s Ramelton 5K in a time of 20.17. Frances Judge was the leading F40 runner in 20.50 and her daughter, Jessika, was the first Female Junior in 21.09. The race was in aid of a very good cause- funds for the Transplant Games. The race winner was Finn Valley AC’s Mark McPaul in 16.42.
Regular Letterkenny parkrun competitor, Paul Lee, ran the 5K for the 35th time on Saturday morning. He was 8th overall and first in the M50 category in 21.46. The race winner was Stephen Blakey, of English club Watford Hariers AC, in 18.06.
The winning numbers in last week’s LAC Lotto were 7,  12, 16, 21. There were no Match 4 winners.  4 Match 2 winners won €20 each:
Peter McLean, Michael Galvin, Joe McCullagh, PJ  & Pauric c/o JB.
                                   Hugh Gallagher.
                               Letterkenny AC PRO.