2013 was an outstanding year on the road running circuit for
Claremorris native and Mayo AC athlete Paula Prendergast. Paula is from Ballybrehony South and lives and works in Dublin. She was named most Improved Female runner in Mayo, an annual award sponsored by Ballyhaunis native Frank Greally, editor of ‘Irish Runner’ magazine, in
recognition of her performances in both the 2013 Mayo AC League and other events.
Paula was a prominent underage runner with Claremorris AC. She took a break from the sport for a few years but made a major comeback in 2009 when she was the surprise women’s race winner of the Galway Bay Half Marathon in 93:20.
Since then she has been a leading member of the Mayo AC Women’s team clocking up a marathon PB of 3hrs :7: 49 in Dublin in 2010 among other achievements. Last year was her most successful year to date, when she won or placed in numerous road races in the West and in Dublin, and ran PBs over a range of distances.
However, her finest hour was in the AAI National Half Marathon Championships in August when she led our Senior Women’s team who won Bronze medals behind Leevale AC and Raheny Shamrock, with Paula taking over 3 minutes off her PB finishing in 84:29. Her targets for 2014 include staying remain injury free and a sub 3 hours
marathon. Her next big outing should be in the National 10k in the Phoenix Park on Sunday April 6th.
While on a trip home recently Paula met up with her Mayo AC Half Marathon teammates Ann Lennon and Mary Gleeson to collect her award.
(edited version of article by Michael McGrath)