Former Olympians to run in Ballyhaunis 8k
Entries are fast coming in for the 4th Annual Ballyhaunis 8k Road Race in East Mayo which takes place on Saturday evening (4pm), September 24th. Former Irish Olympians Jerry Kiernan, David Matthews and Noel
Berkeley have each accepted an invitation to run in this Ballyhaunis event- the eighth and final race in the 13th Mayo AC C&C Cellular Road League.
“There was a thriving athletic club in Ballyhaunis back in the late 1960s and two of that original team, Padraig Keane and Frank Greally were selected to run on the Irish men’s senior team in the 1972 World
Cross Country Championships in Cambridge,” Ballyhaunis 8k Race Organiser Martin Fitzmaurice said. “Both of these former athletes will be taking part in the 8k event which is attracting a lot of interest both locally and nationally.”
Two of Ireland’s most prolific road racers- David Brady (Raheny Shamrock A.C) and Nuala Reilly (Drogheda & District) will also be in action Ballyhaunis in what should be a memorable event.
Jerry Kiernan, who finished 9th in the Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984, was a long time Clonliffe Harriers team mate of Padraig Keane who hails from nearby Ballinlough and the pair are expected to run together over the 8km distance. It has been a long time since Jerry Kiernan took part in a road race but the former Olympian still runs
regularly. David Matthews, who still holds the Irish men’s senior 800 meters record of 1:44.82, now works as a personal trainer and he is looking forward to his first visit to Ballyhaunis. Noel Berkeley – known in running circles as The King of Ballycotton- will travel West from his home in East Cork. He is still making an impact in local road race events.“We are expecting a bumper entry for the race and we can guarantee an great Mayo welcome to all of our visiting runners,
”Martin Fitzmaurice said.
Matt Bidwell (GCH) and Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC) have already won the Road League titles this year with unbeatable points totals. However, they will be racing all comers in Ballyhaunis, as will many others still contesting the various league places and categories. League tables after the seven previous races will be available on www.mayoac.com
Prizes in all categories seniors, juniors to M70/W55. Commemorative t-shirt. Race HQ is at Rugby Club – dressing rooms, refreshments, prize giving. Entries (€20) are open online at www.runireland.com and there is also a race website- www.ballyhaunis8k.comYou contact the Race Organiser, Martin Fitzmaurice at 087-2455989. Early entry is advised.