Main pics: Ann-Marie McGlynn and Claire McGuigan
It was a very busy weekend for Letterkenny AC with athletes competing in Omagh, Athlone, Trim, Cookstown and Dubai.
Letterkenny AC men finished fifth in Saturday’s 123.ie National Indoor League Final in Athlone with the LAC women taking eighth spot.
The black and amber athletes created a little nugget of club history with both qualifying for the final, which took place at the TUS Arena.
Sheldon Nyoni hit new personal bests in the 60m sprint and long jumps. Nyoni was third in the long jump with a 6.18m leap and he was fourth in the 60m sprint with a time of 7.17 seconds.
Elvis Okoh’s 12.20m triple jump marked a new PB in the event.
Eoin Kelly’s 50.21 seconds in the 400m represented a PB with Donal Farren running 8:37.33 in the 3000m for fourth and the ever-green Danny Sharkey fourth in the 1500m walk in 11:14.26.
Joseph Aidoo was fifth in the high jump, arching over at a best height of 1.70m while Okoh threw to 4.76m for fifth in the weight for distance and Odhran Grimes’s 7.03m was sixth in the shot put.
LAC were without the services of sprint ace Ryan Canning, but the 4x400m relay won their heat, clocking 3:36.25.
Aidoo, Nyoni and Kelly were joined by John McCallion and ran a fine tactical race.
The LAC men scored 63 points with Clonliffe (87), Ratoath (80) and Leevale (79) grabbing the podium spots.
A largely youthful LAC women’s team, down notable figures in the 3000m, 1500m and pole vault, gained valuable experience at senior level.
Fern Duffy hit a PB of 9.13m in the triple jump and went through the 400m in 63.65 seconds. Duffy also competed in the long jump, recording a best effort of 3.97m.
Erin Friel opened her 2024 season with a 25.72-second 200m, second in her heat, while Emma Bonar finished sixth in the 800m in 2:19.83.
Katie Elliott was third in the high jump, getting over at 1.50 and took on the senior height sprint hurdles, finishing 10.93 seconds in the 60m hurdles.
Elliott, Friel and Duffy were joined by Kathryn McDevitt for the 4x400m. The LAC quartet were second in their heat in 4:10.77.
On Saturday John Hughes made the journey from Letterkenny to Mid-Ulster for the fourth trail race in Sperrin Harriers’ Winter Series. This race was around the scenic Lough Fea between Cookstown and Draperstown. The race was 10k. It was a challenging course as it was narrow and twisting and run in blustery weather. Conditions underfoot were slippy and mucky in parts due to the recent weather. John finished 3rd male 60 in a time of 47.54. Well done to Sperrin Harriers on organising such a successful winter league. On Sunday another of our 0ver 60 runners, Barry Mackey, took part in the Expo City half-marathon in Dubai. Barry finished in 1.29.01 on a course which was apparently 40m short.
The weekend was very successful in terms of our female athletes. On Saturday Claire McGuigan raced in the Omagh CBS 10k and was the convincing winner of the women’s race on a course which had its fair share of hills. Claire’s time was 37.10. On Sunday Ann-Marie McGlynn took the win at the Trim AC 10 miler in County Meath in an impressive time of 56.23. Ann-Marie had almost a minute on the 2nd place finisher Catherina Mullen of Metro/St Brigid’s AC. The windy weather didn’t stop almost 1700 runners from taking to the Meath countryside. Thankfully the rain held off for the most part, but a strong wind greeted the runners on the popular 10 mile route, especially nearing the finish line in Oaktree Business Park.
LAC meets Tuesday 5.15pm and at 6.30pm for an interval running session, Thursday evening for a hill run at 6pm, Saturday morning at 9.30am for a tempo run and Sunday morning at 8am for a long run.
All runs start at the Aura. All levels catered for and encouraged.
Fit 4 Life which is run by LAC in conjunction with the Donegal Sports Partnership takes place every Monday at 5.45pm on the track at the Aura Leisure Centre Letterkenny.
The aim of the programme is to reach out to those who wish to improve their fitness and all are most welcome any Monday they choose to attend.
Fit 4 Life is not about speed but fitness and the coaches from LAC particularly welcome newcomers.