It begins September each year when athletes begin to consider cross country and as October looms track and field athletes return to the club to prepare for a season at that point months away.
And so because of the various disciplines within the sport it enters a new year with cross countr ,indoor etc and soon attention turns to Easter and we are chasing with a track and field focus until late August.
In the background a series of road events some serious some not so but the challenge is there for all.
Thus this weekend National Masters in Tullamore , English AAA under 17 in Bedford ,competition in Liverpool and the obligatory road race in Brockagh.
Meanwhile Sarah Collins no doubt excited and nervous completes her packing and is off to the New World to Providence and our best wishes go with her.
That was the year that was and there was the memorable matter of an Olympics Games that nobody will ever forget.
Tullamore attracted a strong representation from Valley and those that have for so long carried the flag for us excelled once again.
Their enthusism and committment over the years has been exemplary . Top of the list former national senior long jump champion Shauna Carlin winning long jump ,100m,shot and just giving way in high jump on countback and another 6m long jumper from some years ago Sinead Mc Laughlin wins long jump ,javelin and silver in high. Well done to both.
In the mens section Dominic Bonner 2nd in 5k – isn’t he always there or thereabouts in championship events?; Jim Hines 2nd in 5k and 1500m reminds me of the earliest days of Donegal athletics which the Ballindrait man was very much a part of.
Bosco Reid from the Cross now living in Buncrana for many years has relished the challenge of the throws year on year and this time wins shot, silver in discus and hammer and bronze javelin.
Pat Mc Crudden who lives just yards from the Valley Centre in Mulreany Terrace a double silver in 200/400.
And the man of many parts in the day to day life of the club a bronze in 800m 2.06 – namely Ciaran Carlin 4th in 1500m.
Well done all and Seamus Mc Granaghan and Neil Martin on duty as officials.
In Liverpool Dempsey Mc Guigan broke the club and county senior record in the hammer with a 60.37m throw noteworthy to get over the 60m as a junior . Congrats to him.
John Kelly has had a long busy yet rewarding season and topped it off with a bronze in the AAA under 17 shot in Bedford, his best effort 16.25 which came in the 3rd round. It is suffice to say everyone in the club is very proud of the achievements of the young St Johnston man.
That was Saturday and on to Sunday morning an exciting hammer competition involving Fellan Mc Guigan. The result was a win for an English lad at 67m Fellan 2nd on 66.90m,and Adam King from Kerry 65.90 – simply a great competition.
What a performance also from Kelly McGrory, Donegal Town Tirconnail AC silver in the 300m hurdles in 42.91, an impressive mark and Kate McGowan in the 80m hurdles with a personal best and a silver medal. Summed up it’s a great return from Bedford – 4 out of 4 for McGrory, Mc Guigan, Kelly and McGowan .
That obligatory road race was the annual 4 mile in Brockagh promoted by Neil and Mary Martin with the help of the usual suspects – and once again an enjoyable event well organised in every respect.
We now bring our attention in this sphere of the sport to a 10k in Ballyare next Friday evening open to runners and walkers promoted by Patrick Hegarty.
Finally sympathy is extended to the Hegarty family, Mountain Top, Letterkenny on the death of Phyliss, mother and grandmother who in the early years of her family’s involvement in athletics was a regular attender at various events and took great pride in the exploits of Patrick and Pauline both of whom competed internationally indeed other members of the extended family as well . May she rest in peace.