The Ballina 4 mile race turned out to be another edition of the ‘Matt & Mary Running Show’. It was Race 8 of Mayo AC 2012 C&C Cellular Road League and also the 21st time this event to raise funds for Cancer Research has taken place. Matt Bidwell (GCH) was able to relax and collect top points as he finished first in 21:52 over a minute ahead of Cian Mulrooney (Ballina AC) 23:04, with Stephen Donnelly (Ballina AC) third 23:16.
Mary Gleeson continued her Road League dominance with an excellent 23:44 – a PB and an easy winner. Colette Tuohy looked comfortable in second and was ten seconds ahead of a fast finishing Sarah Syron, third – also a PB 25:21, and ensuring a top three finish for Mayo AC.
Among the age categories Hugh Duffy was first o50 in 23:56 (a few seconds behind Mary Gleeson) and Michael Courell first o60 in 31:33. Ray McNamara has shown improvement with every League race and his 25:40 was a great effort. Among the women, Michelle Reynolds (Ballina) looks like 1st o40 (no age categories shown on results) while Una McGrath finished first o50. On a good day for running, albeit into the breeze on the Killala road, the turnout was very low with 48 finishers.
The final league races are at Hollymount next month. Assuming Matt (121 points from 5 races including Ballina) and Anto (best score 134 from 6 currently) both run at Hollymount, the GCH athlete looks favourite to retain the men’s title. More will be revealed.