Hehir wins 20th Balla 10k in new course record – Video of race included

20th Balla 10k Road Race presentations sponsored by C & C Cellular , front l-r; 2nd women’s o45 Angela O’Connor, Mayo AC, 1st women’s o45 Ann Lennon Mayo AC, and 1st women’s o35 Ruth Carney Mayo AC, Back l-r; Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer Mayo County Council, Tom Lavelle representing C & C Cellular and Michael McGrath, organiser . Photo © Ken Wright Photography 2012.

The sun came out to celebrate the 20th Balla 10k. After yet another showery day conditions were good for running, a light breeze cooling the brows of 265 finishers as they turned at 5k. Balla was in festive mood –  Barry Campbell and his van was in position, music in the air, announcing the arrival of finishers as they battled fatigue in the traditional fast downhill dash to the yellow balloon arch on Balla’s main street. The line up at the start included many top club runners and former winners. Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham AC) led them off, with only his fellow Clareman Jason Fahy (BMOH) able to keep contact as they headed out of town at the 2k mark.

Sean Hehir with Jason Fahy on the horizon

Hehir was never headed and looked strong all the way as he won in 31:32, a new course record. Fahy was second in 31:54, and Garrett Coughlan third in 33:02. Last year’s Balla winner Matt Bidwell was fourth and first over 40 in 33:11. Among many clubs represented, there was small contingent of Raheny Shamrock AC runners in the field and they won the men’s team prize finishing 7, 8, 12th in a combined time of 104.58. In the women’s race Raheny Shamrock AC’s Elish Kelly, retained her Balla title in fine style in 37:09.  Mayo AC’s Mary Gleeson and Colette Tuohy both ran strong races to finish second and third in almost identical times to 2011. There was a host of excellent performances down the field with Mayo AC dominating then women’s categories and easily winning the club team prize. Ruth Carney came back to racing to win the o35 category. It was great to see so many other Fit4Life runners taking up the 10k challenge after the recent 5k series. Balla got well deserved support this year and it was encouraging to see this in the face of so much competition in the current racing calendar and difficulties with sponsorship. Full credit to Brendan Conwell and his team’s energetic work over the last 20  years in putting Balla on the national racing map. Mayo AC’s Mary Gleeson (secretary) and Mary Moylett (treasurer) made a presentation to Brendan in recognition of his major achievement in organising the event since 1992.

results (provisional) PDF: Balla10km2012 ,XLS: Balla10km2012

A Video of the race can be found by clicking on this link (copy link into Internet explorer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fDf-aeJJqE

1 Sean Hehir (Rathfarham AC) 31:32 (course record)
2 Jason Fahy (Bridge Milers/Olympic Harriers)  31:54
3 Gareth Coughlan (Unattached) 33.02

o40 men:

1 Matt Bidwell (GCH)    33.1812 D Martin (Raheny Shamrock AC) 34:20

Over 50 Men:
1 Billy Gallagher,  (Mayo AC)   39:42
2 Hugh Duffy (Mayo AC)  40:54

Over 60 Men:
1 Seamus Gaughan (Mayo AC) 39:54
2 Sean Whelan (Ennis Track)   45:18

Junior Men:
1 Cian Mulrooney, (Ballina AC) 36:05 , 2 Tadgh McGinty (Swinford AC) 39:04

Peter Gaughan, Aideen Clarke, Angela McVann

1 Elish Kelly, (Raheny Shamrock AC)  37:09
2 Mary Gleeson, Mayo AC   37.33
3 Colette Tuohy, (Mayo AC)   40:04

Over 35:
1 Ruth Carney (Castlebar) 44:44
2 Joan Walsh (Mayo AC) 45:49

Over 45:
1 Ann Lennon (Mayo AC) 40:32
2 Angela O’Connor,  Mayo AC   41:44

Over 50:
1 Pauline Moran (Mayo AC) 44:54
2 Margaret Glavey (Mayo AC) 46:50

Junior Women:
1 Rosie Hynes (Swinford AC) 47:47
2 Dawn Regan (Mayo AC) 50:15

Club Team winners (combined time top 3) : Men 1 Raheny Shamrock AC 1:44: 58; 2 GCH 1:46:27; 3 Mayo AC 1:48:51

Women 1 Mayo AC 1:15:09; 2 Ballina AC 2:16:11; 3 Swinford AC 2:26:08

The next race in the League is the Swinford 8k next Sunday 4th August.

Ann McDonnell + shadow pacer

Christina Regan

Katie Concannon (Ballyhaunis Meet & Train) and Laura Jean Butler

Upcoming Events