The weekend saw some of the most inhospitable March weather Ireland has experienced for several years.
Therefore, the Letterkenny AC runners who chose their events very wisely were the four club athletes who opted for the National Masters’ Indoor Championships at Athlone IT.
They were able to perform in the warm, dry, comfortable surroundings of the state of the art facilities in the Irish Midlands’ town. Kathryn McDevitt participated in her usual double.
She picked up a bronze medal in the W35 category in the Long Jump. She had the longest jump of 4.01m. Kathryn was 5th in a keenly contested W35 200m sprint, where she ran a very fast time of 29.13s.
Danny Sharkey showed that he has now recovered from his hip problems when he won bronze in the M55 3000m walk in a time of 22m07s.
Barry Mackey transferred his excellent road form seamlessly to the indoors. He was 5th in a very competitive 3000m M55 race in an excellent time of 10.47. Barry had targeted a sub 11 time and expressed himself as ‘happy’ with his indoor track debut.
Brian McBride was 4th in the M65 3000m race, where he came tantalisingly close to a bronze medal. His time of 5.53.48 was a mere 11 hundredths of one second behind bronze medallist, George Maybury of Clonliffe Harriers.
There were no such comfortable surroundings for the LAC runners who braved dire conditions of cold, rain and wind to run in Saturday’s Bundoran 10 mile race. Mark Nee was the first of the 7 strong contingents.
He crossed the line in 1.08.22 to finish 24th in a very competitive M40 category. Liam Ferry was 29th in the same category in 1.10.24 and Aidan McKenna was the 32nd M40 runner in 1.11.04.
Marie Boyle had an excellent run, finishing 7th in the Female Senior race in 1.12.36. Ciaran O’Donnell was 19th in the M50 group in 1.14.01. Gary Price’s time was 1.18.57 and Gary Kearns’ time was 1.19.31.
Despite the conditions, over 1000 runners completed the race. The winner was Sligo based Donore Harriers runner, John Travers, in 51.44.
More than 650 runners completed the 10K, also run on Saturday, which was won by Limerick AC’s Mark Guerin in 35.00. Friday evening’s 5K attracted almost 750 runners and was won by Martin Cox in 16.49.
The Bundoran running weekend attracted 2500 runners in poor climatic conditions and that gives a clear condition of how healthy the running scene is in Donegal.
LAC long-distance specialist, Caitriona Jennings, had a marvellous victory in the Bohermeen half marathon in Co Meath on Sunday. She clocked 1.18.18 to finish two and a half minutes clear of her closest challenger, Sarah Lavery of Beechmount Harriers.
Over 450 women completed the half marathon.
Paul Toner was the winner of Saturday’s Letterkenny Parkrun in 20.14. This was Paul’s 5th first place finish in the event. Dessie Shiels was 2nd. He was just 1 second behind in 20.15. Dessie was the leading M40 runner.
Anthony Farren was 3rd in the M50 category in 23.40. Noel Lynch was the 5th M50 finisher in 24.43. James McBride was the leading M65 runner in 27.33.
Letterkenny AC’s annual and very popular St Patrick’s Day 5K will take place on Sunda,y March 17th. The race will start at 11.30am and the entry fee is €8. Entries will be taken at Aura Leisure Centre from 10.30am.
The club is delighted to have a local company, Letterkenny Glass, as sponsors of the St Patrick’s Day 5K.
Letterkenny Athletic Club would like to offer condolences to a former member, Andy McGranaghan, following the recent death of his father, Andy.
Andy (senior) was a familiar, smiling, friendly face who was well known to LAC members as he was a regular visitor to Aura Leisure Centre.
He took a keen interest in the club’s athletes and loved to chat about performances, times and upcoming events.
Andy McGranaghan, R.I.P.