Monday 19 March 2018

Happy hunting ground for Drogheda athletes


Sunday's Duleek 10k road race proved to be a happy hunting ground for some of Drogheda & District's most prolific road racers.

This very popular annual 10k event is not for the faint-hearted as the second half of the course has some tough hills thrown in to test one's resolve when the going gets tough.

But Stephen Kelly didn't seem to mind as he raced round in a new PB time of 33.48 which placed him fifth overall and third in his category.

Drogheda's next man home was Brian Martin who was seventh in 34.23, with Pat O'Grady 12th in 36.31 which put him first in his category.

These three combined well to win the Men's team event by 14 points from a useful Trim AC team.

Colm Reilly continues to impress and he finished 19th in 37.58, with Artur Kuwik close behind in 21st place in 38.13.

Yasmin Canning, running on home ground, raced round the course in 42.47 and was the club's first woman across the line.

D&D's next female finisher was Michelle Hughes who placed 72nd in 44.48, and Nuala Reilly was 79th in 45.13 which earned her a first-in-category prize.

Canning, Hughes and Reilly made up the winning ladies team, with a mere point to spare over rivals Bohermeen AC.

There were some good performances from John Carlo Orlandi - 71st in a solid 44.27 - and Gary Farrelly who ran 46.20 when finishing 91st. Also running well were Mike Staunton (48.16) and Barbara Byrne who placed 115th with 48.51.

The lure of a fast, flat course and perhaps a PB time saw a large group of our members make the short journey to Carlingford for last Friday's annual 5k road race.

This out and back course always attracts a large number of quality athletes and the medals don't come easy at this level.

Young Sam O'Neill put in a sparkling run to finish 23rd overall in a fast 16.50, picking up the winner's prize in the Junior Men's race along the way.

Not far behind was Cormac Canning, another one of the club's most promising juvenile athletes, Canning ran a very evenly paced race to finish 30th overall in a fast 17.00, some 48 seconds better than his time for last year's race.

John Reilly ran his heart out over the last kilometre in his bid to go sub 18 minutes and just missed out by three seconds when finishing in 56th place.

Men's trio Paddy Murphy, John Cooper and Francis Murray had a titanic battle for club honours and it was only in the closing stages than Murphy pulled away to finish first in 19.10, with Cooper next in 19.23 and Murray close behind in 19.25.

For the D&D adies, Erin McHugh produced the run of the evening when finishing 76th in a very fast 18.32. Yasmin Canning ran a fabulous new PB time of 19.33 and had the smile to prove it when finishing 109th overall. Canning picked up a second in category prize for her efforts.

Nuala Reilly as always put the work in when it mattered and finished second in her category in 21.17.

The D&D ladies team of Erin McHugh, Yasmin Canning, Nuala Reilly and Barbara Byrne retained the cup for the Women's team event by the narrowest of margins, a mere one point.

Also running were Johnathan O'Brien (20.12), Sinead Weldon (22.34), David Thornton (23.22) and Elva Maree (23.31).

Running in the 3000m Steeplechase event at the European Masters Track Championships held in Aarhus, Denmark, was club member David Walsh.

Walsh is a real student of athletics who takes his running seriously and had prepared very well for this event.

Approaching the water jump with just 150 metres to go, Walsh was in the bronze medal position and about seven seconds clear of the next athlete when he suffered a devastating freak injury on landing after clearing the barrier.

Walsh suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on landing and will be out of action for the next few months, and he is wished a speedy recovery and a successful return to competition in the red vest.

For many of the club's track athletes, last Wednesday's Dublin Athletic Board Graded Meeting in Tallaght Stadium was their last chance to record a fast time as their season is almost over.

In the shortest event of the evening, the 100m sprint, Blathnaid Donnelly ran well to finish 5th against some good opposition.

Andrew Kelly ran a useful 11.94 when finishing 2nd in his 100m B1 race. In the C1 100m, Karl Carton ran 12.92 when finishing 5th, with Frank Cruise 8th in 14.26.

Racing in the one lap event, the 400m, club coach Gerry O'Connor was 3rd in a fine 60.14, with Tomas Heriban 5th in 61.97. Frank Cruise, running his second race of the evening was 7th in 69.67.

The 400m C2 race was thrilling to watch, with Brian Pentony running well to finish 3rd in 57.78 when holding off Karl Carton who was 4th in 58.85.

Taking on the challenge of the 3,000m were Mary Leech and Erin McHugh, two of D&D's finest female athletes. Leech had a decent run to finish 6th in 10.34.73 and McHugh ran 10.54.40 when finishing in 9th place.

Last week's Oldbridge Parkrun tempted seven members to toe the line for the challenging 5k cross country race and Tony Corcoran was the club's first finisher in 35th place in 24.49, with Jos Haak 36th in 24.58.

Louise Irvin, who was running her second 5k race in two days, was D&D's first lady across the line in 69th place in 29.49. Nicola Finnegan was 74th in 31.08, with Audrey Corcoran 93rd in 34.35, while also running were Mary Mulligan and David Bradley.

Drogheda Independent