Drogheda so four-midable
Two long months of dedication to training and an endless series of interval sessions were finally put to the test when a large group of Drogheda & District's track specialists made their way to the AIT Arena in Athlone for last weekend's National Masters Indoor Track Championships.
Competition was intense and the standout performances came from gold medal winners Mark O'Shea, Kieran McGrath, Pat O'Grady and Ricardo Lera.
O'Grady won his 3K event in some style in 10:06 and a couple of hours later completed the double by winning his M55 1500m in 4:47.38. Also winning his M45 1500m was O'Shea who ran a quality field into the track over the last lap to win in 4:10.70.
McGrath coped well with the tight bends to win his M40 800m in a lively 2:03.43, with clubmate Nicola Di Marni placing second in his M45 category.
One of D&D's newer members, Ricardo Lerda, gave a glimpse of what he's capable of when winning his M40 1500m in 4:13.78, with McGrath fourth in 4:23.37 and Fintan Maher fifth in 4:24.52.
Mary Leech took home a bronze medal in her 3,000m W40 category thanks to her run of 10:32.39.
Karl Carton had a third-place finish in the M45 60m in 7:96. Frank Cruise was fifth in his 60m but ran a good bend to get bronze in his M55 200m in 29:04. Mary Flanagan got up in the last few strides to take third in her W60 200m.
Club coach Gerry O'Connor delivered the goods when placing third in his M50 400m in 1:01.70, while Paul Stuart was fifth in his M35 400m in 57:62. Nicola Di Marni was third in his M45 400m in 57:47.
In the 800m, run over four laps of the track, Hugh Callan raced well to claim a bronze medal in his M35 category in 2:08.13.
Running a half marathon is never easy, especially so in the blizzard-like conditions which descended upon the Bohermeen Half-Marathon on Sunday morning. In the circumstances, members delivered commendable performances and some even recorded new PBs despite the cold conditions and swirling wind.
Run of the day for the men belonged to Colm Leonard who gave a strong display of running to finish 47th overall in a fast 1:19:13 against some useful opposition.
D&D's next finisher was Colm Reilly in 1:25:39, followed by Niall Lawlor who was 181st in 1:28:08.
David Campbell made a welcome return to racing when running a solid 1:28:26, while Brian Guilfoyle clocked 1:43:12.
Yasmin Canning didn't disappoint as she coped well with the conditions to take over a minute off her previous best time when running 1:31:44 to win a third-in-category prize.
Nuala Reilly pushed hard over the last few miles to finish second in her category in 1:43:49, just 13 seconds behind the winner, and she'll go well in the upcoming World Masters Championships.
There were also some fine performances from David Birch (1:43:49), Sinead Weldon (1:46:22) and Edel Victory (1:57:43) who all ran new PB times.
Tadhg Donnelly had the run of his life when competing in the All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country Championships at Clongowes Wood College in Clane last Saturday. Running a year out of age in the Senior Boys 6K, Donnelly hung in there with the big guns and finished a magnificent ninth.
Some of D&D's junior athletes were in action at the NIA Live Indoor Meeting in Abbotstown last Tuesday and they'll soon be putting it up to their senior counterparts given their current form.
Muirne O'Connor was third in her heat of the 200m in 30:04, while training partner Abigail Tegart was also third in her 800m event in 2:35:18. Sean Toner held good form to finish 10th in his 1500m in 4:56, while Cormac Canning won his 400m race in 56:20 and James Nolan took third in his event in 55:02. These two then doubled up by racing the 800m, with Canning winning in 2:02:36 and Nolan second in 2:03:28.
At the Oldbridge Parkrun, D&D's first finisher was Jordi Romera in sixth place overall in a solid 20:44. Paul McDonnell was the club's next finisher in ninth spot in 21:19, followed by Tony Corcoran who was 11th in 21:43.
For the ladies, first across the line was Laura Roche - 34th in 24:25 - with Marta Herrera Royuela 48th in 25:43.