Monday, 5 September 2011

Midleton Athletic Club Senior Section

by Peter Gunning

Pride of place this fortnight must go to Neilus Aherne for his outstanding performance in the National Half Marathon in Waterford last Saturday. Neilus clocked a most impressive 1:22:20 to take silver in the O-55 category. After a frustrating injury-plagued season which saw his eleventh hour withdrawal from the Rotterdam marathon, this was a wonderful consolation for one of our finest athletes. Joining Neilus in Waterford was Darragh Canavan whose 1:23:58 finish augers well for his future plans to run a sub 3 hour marathon. The ever-impressive, Anna Doris ran a very satisfying 1:37:20 with Philp Kierans and Danny McCarthy also impressing in 1:46:23 and 1:48:36 respectively.

Denis Kelleher made the long journey to Longford last weekend and was pleased with his 1:49:30 half marathon run. Further west on the same weekend our never-say-die quartet, Trish Murphy, Marion Carroll, Shirley Garde and Rosarie Griffin took part in the gruelling multi-discipline Gaelforce event. Kayaking, bog-trotting, hiking, biking and running up and down Croagh Patrick certainly tested both the physical and mental resolve of all competitors. Our foursome did us proud. Next up a 26 miler in Dublin, ladies and you can leave the canoes behind.

Closer to home and a little less gruelling saw the final event in the Ballycotton 5 miler series in the picturesque fishing village on 25th August. On the night there was some superb running from several of our athletes. Kevin Smith’s 28:28 marked his fastest time of the series smashing his finish in Churchtown South by 22 seconds. Marc Dalton and Darragh Canavan both comfortably broke the 30 minute barrier with Adam Duchnicz, John O’Connell, Tom Cody and Fergal OMeara finishing in their slipstream. The aggregate scores for all four races in the series determined the presentation of the much-coveted top-50 finisher T-Shirts for the men and Top-20 for the women. Take a bow and give us a twirl, Kevin (9th overall) Marc (15th), Adam (26th) Tom (39th ) Michael Furlong (41st) and John Cashman (45th). Looking equally resplendent over on the ladies catwalk were Ann Geary (7th), Breda Cahill (9th), Club Captain Sally Drennan (10th), Anna Doris (14th), Mary O’Keeffe (17th) and Marie Murphy (18th). Well done to all our members who completed all four races in this wonderful series.

Last Friday night the team bus headed to Liscaroll for the final race in the Ballyhoura Summer Eight Race Series. This 10k took place on an excellent course. Tom Cody again won first prize in the O-55 category. His time of 39:30 would have also won him a prize in the 0-45 and0-50 categories. Fergal O’Meara is determined to ensure he has a PB mentioned in every edition of this column and with a 40:13 he is bang up to date. Sean O’Sullivan ran his first race in six weeks after recovering from a back injury and recorded an impressive 41:24. Peter Gunning and John Carey completed a great night’s running for the club, coming home comfortably in 44:28 and 45:01 respectively.

Well done to Sally and the social committee for organising the recent barbeque in the Rugby club. Great fun was had by all on the afternoon and much later into the night and early morning according to the circulating rumours.

As the countdown for the Dublin Marathon begins in earnest our athletes are stepping up their preparations with long weekend runs, stockpiling of gels, Vaseline, and dioralite sachets and abstinence from marathon-unfriendly vices. Top of the must-do list for these endurance runners, will be entry in the forthcoming half-marathon events. The Annual Cork Half-Marathon takes place in Blarney next Sunday 11th September at 11 am while in Charleville the following Sunday sees a 10am start for the same distance. If you are entering Dublin please email Peter at with your estimated finishing time, marathon history and any other information and we will profile you as part of the Midleton AC Marathon team before and after the race.

Until next time keep running....