Norah Newcombe and Sara Doohan at the finish line

The 8th annual Charlestown 10k took place this morning (Saturday September 19). It was hosted by the local athletics club, East Mayo AC led by Gemma Leetch.

Racing conditions were good with a gentle breeze and welcome late summer sunshine as we head towards the autumn equinox.

The popular course starts at Lowpark, heads out through the town centre to a rural 8k loop, and then back via Lavey to the finish  outside the GAA grounds.

There was an excellent turnout (148 finishers) from near and far – all brilliantly marshalled and organised by East Mayo AC to meet the current requirements – and all  eager for a live race.

The winner was Seamus Somers (Sligo AC) who led from start to finish. He came home in 32:32 – he didn’t realise he so close to Matt Bidwell’s 2016 course record (32:28) until he crossed the line. Paddy O’Toole (Westport AC) was second 34:17, still recovering from a Charleville Half marathon last week. David Tiernan from the local club was closing on Paddy in the later stages to finish 3rd in 34:24 – almost two minutes faster than his 2019 time .

Top 3 : l-r David Tiernan 3rd, Seamus Somers 1st, Paddy O’Toole 2nd

In the women’s race there was a great contest all the way between Norah Newcombe (Mayo AC) -looking fresh after her Charleville half last week- and Sara Doohan (Corran AC). They were never more than a few metres apart with Norah leading. Although Sara finished strongly, she was just pipped on the line both recording the same time 36:12. Norah was just two seconds outside her pb. Sara’s effort was rewarded with a significant new pb – down from 36:36.

Caitlin Hughes (Swinford AC) finished 3rd in 39:48.

Tony O’Malley was the second Mayo AC finisher with great time – 36:28 and he was first M40 home.

Paula Donnellan crossed the line in 42:16, fourth woman overall and first W40.

Other prizewinners:

M40 2: Alan Wallace (North Sligo AC) 36:35

W40: 2 Sandra Carroll (Boyle AC) 42:41

There were some great performances also by the other Mayo AC finishers:

Neil Carroll leads a group as they head out on rural loop

Neil Carroll 38:04

Claire Charlton 53:46

Ann Marie Clarke 48:30
Ray Clarke 44:47 pb
Dee Corcoran 46:26 pb
Johnny Cribben 40:37
Tadgh Hanrahan 38:07
Gerry Kirrane 38:20 –  pb by six minutes
James Murtagh 55:16
Patrick O’Dowd 40:09
Congratulations to the Mayo AC prizewinners and well done to all finishers.
It was good to meet up with John Walshe M65 (Road Runners Club). He came home in a creditable 52:31. He’s a well known writer on athletics and for many years led the organisation of the famous Ballycotton 10. John ran the Dublin Marathon 31 times.