Letterkenny Athletic Club had runners at the weekend in race venues as diverse as Coney Island in Sligo and the roads of Amsterdam.
The 2016-17 cross country season entered its 3rd weekend, with Donegal runners having competed in Ballybofey and Trialougha on the previous 2 weekends. Sunday’s Autumn Cross Country moved from its traditional home in Phoenix Park to the new, purpose-built cross country course in the National Sports Campus at Abbotstown, Co Dublin.
Within the high quality race, the Masters’ International trial race was subsumed. The trial was to choose the Irish Masters’ teams for the 5 Nations Masters’ Cross Country International in Glasgow’s Tollcross Park on November 14th. Annmarie McGlynn, who led the Irish F35 team to Gold in last year’s international, guaranteed her place. She had a tremendous run and her time of 21.14 for the 6K gave her 1st place in the F35 category. Fionnuala Diver also had an excellent run and was the 5th F35 in 23.00. Fionnuala, who also ran last year, will have a place alongside Annmarie in Glasgow. The overall race winner was internationally renowned Fionnuala McCormack (Britton), in 20.30. The conditions were windy during the women’s race.
In the highly competitive M40 category in the men’s 8K, the tremendously consistent Ciaran Doherty took 1st place in 26.44. Ciaran, who has run several times for his country in the 5 Nations International, will be guaranteed a place again this year. In the ultra competitive M35 category, Raymond Birch ran 29.34 and Daniel Hannigan clocked 30.34. Luckily for the male competitors, the wind abated during their race. The sand and mud combination made parts of the course very heavy underfoot. However, the morning rain had gone when the races got underway, making for pleasant overhead conditions. The overall verdict of the new course was very positive.
On Saturday, Kevin Kiely ran the tough Coney Island 10 mile race. Kevin ran 1.12.07 in heavy rain, which was enough to give him 1st place in the M60 category. There was sand as well as very deep water on the road to Coney Island.
On Saturday morning, Peter McGlynn was to be found in his usual haunt, Letterkenny Townpark, where he ran 26.43 in his 27th time competing in the Letterkenny parkrun 5K. This week, Peter was joined by club mate, Paul Lee, whose time of 21.44 gave him 3rd place overall and 1st place in the M45-49 category.
Noreen McGettigan was the furthest travelled of LAC’s runners. She travelled to the Netherlands, where she recorded a time of 3.43.23 for the Amsterdam Marathon. The time gave Noreen 61st place in the W40 category, which had a huge number of competitors. Speaking immediately afterwards, Noreen said that “following a summer of injury and 4 weeks training, I’m so thrilled”.
Congratulations from all at Letterkenny AC go to club runner Charlie O’Donnell and his wife, following the recent birth of baby daughter Ava.
LAC will be organising the ‘Michael Murphy Newmills 10K’ on Sunday October 23rd. The race registration will be at Aura Leisure Centre from 10.00am and the 10K has a 11.30am start. There will be chip timing for the race which has an entry fee of €8, a generous prize list and a fast, flat course.
Letterkenny AC PRO.