The high esteem in which Neil Cullen was held by all involved in athletics, both within Letterkenny Athletic Club and in the wider athletic world, was clear on the morning of Tuesday December 23rd, at the sad occasion of his funeral at the Church of the Irish Martyrs. A guard of honour was provided by LAC members as well as many of the other people in athletics with whom Neil had connections. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. May he Rest in Peace.
As usual, a large contingent of LAC members gathered on Christmas morning, at the Letterkenny Town Park, for the annual Christmas group training run.
Several LAC members were in action in various venues over the festive season. Ciaran Doherty picked up 1st prize, in a time of 15.46, at the Tirconnail AC 5K, in a race in Donegal town, which was run the weekend before Christmas. To provide a celebration for their 1st Wedding Anniversary, his wife Teresa was first woman home in the race. LAC runners were in action in Counties Donegal, Tyrone and Carlow on St Stephen’s Day. Martin Gormley was the first of several LAC runners, to cross the line, in the Finn Valley 5K, which was won by Thomas Hayes, Kilkenny City Harriers, in 15.09. Martin, making a welcome return to racing, recorded a time of 18.29. Barry Mackey (20.11), Paul Lee (20.23), Kevin Greenan (20.25) and Pauric McGinley (20.47) also had excellent runs. LAC runners Ciaran Doherty (18.35) and Shaun McFadden (21.00) were 1st and 2nd respectively in the Cruit Island 6K, with Rosses AC’s Noel Diver 3rd. Ben George had an impressive run in the Ballon (Co Carlow) GAA 6K. Ben ran 23.00 and achieved his first ever race victory, while on a break with his family in his native Co Carlow. Hugh Gallagher returned to racing, in the Greencastle (Co Tyrone) 5 mile race after an enforced 3 month break, due to hamstring problems. He ran 37.59, on a hilly course in a snowstorm. He picked up 3rd prize in the M60 Category.
Last Sunday, December 28th, Ciaran Doherty was flying the black/amber colours in Co Cork, when he had an impressive 2nd place finish in the Togher 5K, in an excellent time of 15.36. The race was won by Moldovan internationalist Sergiu Ciobanu. Again, to complete the family double, Teresa was 1st woman in 16.42.
Shaun McFadden organised a Charity event in Corravaddy Forest on Sunday, the charity benefitting being ‘Self Help Africa’ . The event was run in cold but otherwise good running conditions and was more about helping a good cause than serious competition. Shaun himself was to the fore in the 10 mile event, with Danny Mooney and Conor Bradley. In the 6 mile event, Ciaran O’Donnell, Barry Mackey and Pauric McGinley were at the front. In the shortest event, over a 3 mile trail, young LAC runners, Christine Russell and Ciara Finnegan had excellent runs.
Letterkenny Athletic Club is organising a 5 mile road race on Sunday January 4th. Registration will be at Aura Leisure Centre, with the event starting near Aura at 11.30am. The course leads runners out towards Newmills, turns and finishes back at Aura. The course provides runners with an excellent chance of starting 2015 with a PB, as it is fairly flat.Tags: