The 4th Mayo AC 5k Series starts in a few weeks – details here shortly. In advance of that here is an update from our Ballyhaunis members sent in by their leader Martin Fitzmaurice. It outlines the history of their formation and progress so far. It may have appeared in some local media this week (or maybe not, given the post Salthill print tsunami). Ballyhaunis is the venue for the final 5th race and Series prizegiving.
“Ballyhaunis Meet & Train” (Fit4Life)
Ballyhaunis Meet and Train Group is part of the new national initiative called Fit4Life. We were formed just over a year and a half ago. With the help of Tracy Cunnane who is a professional Personal Trainer in the town, the new organisation was set up. Martin Fitzmaurice, Anne Cunnane and her sister Tracy are the founder members. Ballyhaunis is rich in abundance of sporting clubs and organisations, rugby, Golf, GAA etc, but there was no organisation for the neutral walker & runner. While a lot of people do their own thing, we felt we could make more progress in an organised manner. We decided to go for it and announced a time and place for an initial outing. Tracy made the greatest initial contribution, showing us how to warm up, stretch and cool down. To this day, I believe it is the most important aspect of progress. As time moved on, more people turned up on a regular basis and we added a second outing for the week. We also progressed from walking to jogging. Over the course of the last 18 months, a number of people have come and gone. Some people find what they want in our group and some people still prefer to work on their own. I would personally, never have made it to this level on my own.
Recently we decided to try to improve our identity and arranged to have our own shirts made with our own logo. They have just been produced by Frank Brown Clubkit in conjunction Fordes of The Square. We now have approx 30 registered members who join us on a regular basis. We go out on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm and Saturday mornings at 9 am from the Ball Court in the Friary Field. Everyone is not free every time we go out and therefore we would have approx 15 people going out on Tuesday and Saturday. There is no strict regime of having to go out twice a week and you can come and go as you please or as you are free. Presently we are breaking up into three groups : A walking group, a jogging group and a group who want to do a bit more….
Once someone joins, they are assisted in the techniques of warming up, stretching and cooling down until we establish what they want to do. Then its off out the road…..
Anyone is welcome to join us. There is a membership fee of €40 which entitles you to membership of Mayo Athletics Club and Athletics Ireland for insurance purposes. We take nothing out of membership fee and all assistance is given voluntarily. As people join, we would encourage their input as the group must try to satisfy everyone’s aspirations in as far as possible. You can join at any level of fitness. Even if you just want to come along and join us for one day to see what we do, you can give it a try and see if its for you. As part of Mayo Athletic Club, we are involved in two annual road race series; the Summer 5k and the Mayo A C league which is an 8k. The 5 k takes place this year on 16th July and the 8k is in September. Why not set a target for one of those and we will help you prepare for it. Michael McGrath of Mayo Athletic Club and Ann Ronayne of Mayo Sports Partnership, have both been very helpful along the way.
Prior to Ballyhaunis Meet & Train, I had never done any running and never really played any sport. Presently I am capable of completing 10 k and would like to do a little more. This is thanks to the help and encouragement given to me by Tracy Cunnane, Jim Donnelly and Anne Cunnane. Everyone of us in turn, now assist anyone new coming in to take them where they want to go. So why not give it a try. If you want any more information, you can give me a call at : 087 2455 989. You can check us out now on our new Facebook page also.Stay fit, Stay Healthy.