Mayo AC 4 miler a great success (results)

First three finishers in women’s race: l-r 2nd Maura Ginty, 1st Norah Newcombe Pieterse, 3rd Martina O’Connor

On Sunday afternoon in Foxford a wonderful crowd of runners and walkers assembled at the Leisure Centre for the inaugural Mayo AC 4 miler.

 

The race was held in memory of Ann Murray & Mickey Ruane, stalwarts of the club who tragically passed away in the last few years.

Mayo AC clubmates, other club runners, friends, and neighbours gathered for this sporting occasion – a mark of poignant respect by both the athletics and local communities.

Red and green bunting outside the Leisue Centre race HQ  added to a lovely atmosphere. The atmosphere was enhanced thanks to Pat Boyle who provided music and helped with finish area announcements and at prizegiving later.

As the runners and walkers made their way to the start of the race,  there was the usual excited atmosphere and nervous anticipation.

It was a good day for running – 15°C –  local light drizzle held off on an overcast autumn day.

 

The one lap race route had sentimental significance for both Ann & Mickey – they both competed in a 4 mile race on the same course in 2006 –  which passed through their home village of Rinnaney.

 

Race starter John Byrne (Mayo AC chairman)  ran a lifetime best 4 mile time of 19.53 on that day. There was a prize for any runner who could beat his record this year – it wasn’t!

There was a massive turnout, with club runners setting off from the start at pace at the head of the field followed by groups of walkers.

First three finishers in Mayo AC 4 miler: l-r 2nd Stephen Donnelly, 1st Dan Charlton, 3rd Michael Canty

Michael Canty Moy Valley AC led out and was headed at halfway by Stephen Donnelly Ballina AC, with Danny Charlton Mayo AC in close contention. In the final mile Danny overtook Stephen to come home for a comfortable victory by just under 20 seconds in 21:03 It was his first outing in a Mayo AC vest – a significant milestone for the Kiltimagh based athlete. Stephen Donnelly finished in 21:20, and Michael Canty 21:56. Behind them club runners from around the province made for some exciting and competitive finishes along the Moyside promenade.

Among them was Robert Malseed Castlegar AC in fifth and first man over 50 in 22:43.

It was good to see Norah Newcombe Pieterse back racing, and she was the clear winner of the women’s race in 24:06, making it a Mayo AC double.

Maura Ginty Sportsworld AC was next home in 25:28 – the Ballycroy runner was followed closely across the line in a great finish by Martina O’Connor of Mayo AC in 25:32. Clubmate Pauline Moran was first woman o50 in 27:02,  adding another to her impressive list of recent prizewinning finishes.

Prize presentation

Prize giving was held in the Leisure Centre after event. Prizes were presented for 1st, 2nd, 3rd men & women as listed above. Women’s race winner was also presented with the Ann Murray Perpetual Cup by Daniel and Lorcan Murray. Dan Charlton received the Mickey Ruane Perpetual Shield from Mary Moylett.

There was a great turnout by Mayo AC and we’ll list their finish times in another post.

A number of additional prizes were presented based on a random draw of all participants.

Regina Mullaney and Mary Murphy won €25 vouchers, Joan Walsh won lunch at the Foxford Woollen Mills Cafe, Bridie Howley got a voucher for North West Fitness, Season tickets to Straide & Foxford fixtures were won by Christine Horgan, Sinéad Durkan and Damien Glacken

At the prizgiving John Byrne said it was an important day for the club – “it was great to see the event so well supported in memory of  two fabulous people from the local community –  testament to the turnout on the day”.

On behalf of Mayo AC he said they were  grateful for the generosity of a range of  sponsors who supported the event: Pamex Ltd, John O’Donnell’s Pharmacy, Season Master Double Glazing Ltd, Clive’s Butcher & O’Hara’s Bakery. He also thanked the volunteers, the Boyle family and the Leisure Centre.

Mary Moylett thanked all on behalf of the Ruane family. She said it was great to see so many people they had not seen for years and the many athletes who ran and supported.

On behalf of the Murray family Daniel thanked Mayo AC for organising the event and the local community for their support. He looked forward to a repeat of the event in a year’s time.

Massive thanks to the Mayo AC race committee. They have been working on the project over recent months and their planning,  dedication to detail and hard work was well rewarded. Andrew Hayes led the team brilliantly with excellent support from Ann McDonnell, Sarah Byrne, Eamonn Joyce, James Murtagh and John Byrne. Thanks to their efforts It was a very successful day for the club.

There was also wonderful support from the local community – a significant contribution by over thirty volunteers, including many from the club, who were on hand to marshal the course. Another crew in the Leisure Centre served celebratory refreshments for all finishers and their friends at the prizegiving.

Huge thanks also to local Gardai led by Sergeant Jonathan Petrie and to the Civil Defence who provided safe passage through the area. Thanks also to Ollie Boyle who drove the lead car.

The Mayo AC 4 miler was organisied as a fundraiser in memory of Ann and Mikey to support the Family Centre in Castlebar.

All proceeds (excluding event expenditure) will go directly to this valuable local service.

Mayo AC will post details of the total amount raised when they make a presentation  to the Family Centre.

Thanks to Ronnie Naylor who provided race registration and timing. He was assisted by his son Mark, and a support team at the registration tables in theLeisure Centre on Sunday morning.

 

Provisional results are attached. Full list will be posted later.

https://www.webscorer.com/racedetails?raceid=291777&did=347673

 

This was the inaugural running of the club’s 4 miler and Mayo AC look forward to the second edition of the event on the fourth Sunday in September, 2023.

More photos will be posted separately.

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