Drogheda's Junior men take control at Carlingford 5K
The lure of a lightning-fast out-and-back course, coupled with the chance to race against some top-class club runners, tempted a large group of Drogheda & District athletes to toe the line at the Carlingford 5K, hosted by Glenmore AC last Friday evening.
Conditions on the night in this picturesque little village on the Cooley peninsula couldn't have been better and the pre-race atmosphere was electric as the athletes put the finishing touches to their warm-up and the starter called them to the line.
The village was packed to capacity and once the gun went more than 550 athletes charged along the seafront, led by the eventual winner, Yared Deresse from Carrick AC, who won easily in a swift 14:26, taking three seconds off the previous course record.
Three of D&D's top Junior men were hungry for action and their trio of Tadhg Donnelly, Tadhg Everitt Thompson and Liam Mulligan lost no time in picking out a good running line as they made their way towards the front of the field.
Over the next 16 minutes or so this trio kept the pace up, knowing that they were in with a chance of claiming the Junior Men's team prize, but they were going to have to work hard every step of the way.
Coming round the last right-hand turn, where they gained sight of the finishing line, Tadhg Donnelly had worked his way up to 10th place overall and drove his tired body across the line in a noteworthy 15:53, which also earned him a third-in-category prize.
Backed up by the fast-finishing Tadhg Everitt Thompson - 36th in 16:47 - and young Liam Mulligan, who delivered a superb run to finish 53rd in 17:17, this trio took top prize in the Junior Men's team category.
Meanwhile, Abigail Tegart was putting it up to her opponents in the Junior Women's category and her aggressive running was well rewarded as she won in an eye-opening 19:20. On this showing there's more to come from her before the road racing season ends.
In the senior section, D&D's first finisher in 76th place was Aonghus O'Connor, who went so close to cracking the 18-minute mark when finishing in 18:03, and one look at him would tell you that he's putting the miles in during the week!
Not far behind was Martin Russell, who had a blistering run on his way to a superb new PB time of 18:19, finishing in 89th spot.
Also running well was Paddy Murphy, who was second in category in a useful 18:50, and his smile when receiving his prize said it all about the satisfaction his chosen sport gives him.
Yann Mahuet, 'The Flying Frenchman', lived up to his name, with his run of 20:43 putting him well up the field, while Gerry Carroll took a third-in-category prize in the Men's Over-70 section, with his run of 26:52, leaving many of his younger opponents in his wake.
In the ladies race, Yvonne McMahon held good form to finish strongly in 22:00, with Barbara Byrne close behind in 22:18. Ieva Ofmane made a welcome return to good racing form when finishing in 22:35, followed by Angela Townley and Yvonne Lambe.
Closer to home, at last Saturday's Oldbridge Parkrun, Stephen Kelly made light work of the challenging 5K cross-country course as he sped round in 16:28 to get the win once again, while clubmate Rodney Thornton was third in 18:06.
Oliver Adamiak had a great run to finish ninth in a new PB time of 19:20, followed by Shane Brodigan who was 14th in 20:44, while Tony Corcoran was 26th in 23:22.
D&D's first female finisher was Ieva Ofmane who was running her second race in two days, and her finishing time of 23:32 when placing 30th overall is a sign that the strength is coming back into her running.
Linda Bowe was the club's next woman across the line in 62nd spot in 26:32, while Deirdre McFerran was 67th in 27:07.
Closer to home, the Boyne AC Open Sports Day took place at the Lourdes track on Sunday, where a small contingent from Drogheda & District took part on what was a very warm, sunny afternoon and a very well organised event.
Danni Nolan was first up for the club in the U-9 60m sprint, making her final but narrowly missing out on a medal when finishing fourth in a competitive field.
Jamie Reilly was next up, setting a new PB in the Boys U-12 long jump of 2.91m and also running well in his 100m sprint.
Sophie Kinsella and Gemma Delaney both ran well in their U-14 100m, while Harry Delaney ran strongly in the Boys U-15 100m to finish in second place.
Danni Nolan was back on track for the 200m but again was unlucky to finish just outside the medals.
In the 600m races Ciara O'Connor (U-12) made it onto the podium for the second week running, while Gemma Delaney also picked up a medal when finishing second in the Girls U-14 in a race which also saw Sophie Kinsella running well to finish in fifth.
Kate O'Reilly was next up and picked up a gold medal in the U-17 800m and Harry Delaney finished off the afternoon and made it back onto the podium after his 800m race where he ran strongly to finish second in an impressive time of 2:24.