Several Letterkenny Athletic Club runners travelled to Phoenix Park, Dublin, on Sunday for the Autumn Cross Country races. These races are open but also contain the trial races to choose the Irish teams for the 5 Nations cross crountry International, being held in Santry on November 14th.
It proved to be a fruitful journey. In the 5K, Natasha Adams was 1st in the W35 category and Fionnuala Diver finished 3rd in the same category. As a result, both women have guaranteed their selection. Annmarie McGlynn is also likely to be on the W35 team, meaning that 75% of the Irish W35 team will be from LAC. Annmarie ran in the 8K and was first woman home. Danny Mooney ran well and showed his versatility on a course and over a distance radically different from the  1500m track races at which he normally excels.
Ciaran Doherty had a superb run and his 1st place in the M40 category rubber stamped his International place. Daniel Hannigan’s good form continued and Raymond Birch finished well in a very competitive M35 category. Hugh Gallagher was 6th M60, 2 places away from selection. Peter Gibbons had a good run in the Junior Men’s 6K.
As was reported last week, LAC’s USA based Garvan McCloskey ran 3.24 for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday October 11th. When Garvan had recovered from his exploits, he spoke to the club and emphasised how proud he was to wear the black/amber of LAC among 45,000 runners in one of the world’s iconic road races. Garvan  summed up the day as an ‘amazing experience’ and that a feature of the race was the huge number of spectators all along the course. He described the course as flat with quite a few turns. Conditions were near perfect  and, due to the 7.30 am start, it didn’t get hot until the end. Garvan was pleased with his time but said he said he faded slightly during the last 8 miles. Garvan has now run in 3 of the 6 World Marathon Majors and  is  looking forward to participating in the Boston Marathon in 6 months time. His Chicago time has earned him a guaranteed place in Boston, a notoriously difficult race to get a place in due to the huge number of applicants.
Darren Beecroft was also in marathon action. He ran 3.30.07 for the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday. Darren’s preparation had been badly affected by injury and, speaking afterwards, he expressed his satisfaction and said that the time was just 10 seconds down on his time in the same race a few years ago. His pre race objective had been to get as close to 3.30 as possible. He ran an even paced race but said he flagged in the last 5K, a feeling most marathoners get at that stage.
The marathon was won by Kenyan, Richard Kipyego, in 2.06.19.
2 LAC runners were in action in the recent Mulroy 46K Adventure Race, a multi disciplinary event. Eugene McGettigan finished a highly creditable 8th in a time of 2.25.03. A new course record was set by Belfast native, Mark Diamond; the previous record had been held by LAC’s Sean McFadden. Fin Begley produced a good performance, to finish in 1st place in the Elite Women category, in a time of 2.44.32.
Letterkenny Athletic Club is organising the  annual New Mills 10K on Sunday October 25th. The race starts at 11.30 am and registration is at Aura Leisure Centre from 10.30 am. The excellent autumnal weather combined with a fast, flat course should encourage a large turnout of athletes. The entry fee is €10 and there will be chip timing and an extensive prize list. Further details are available from Brendan McDaid.
The club extends best wishes to club athlete  Richard Raymond and family. He became a grandfather last week- to baby Jude, who was born in Tralee.
                                   Hugh Gallagher
                                        LAC PRO.
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