Waterford Half: Mary, Kathy, Breege and Ann patiently waiting for the results that never came.
Rarely in recent years, have we seen a Mayo AC team go to the National
Championships without producing exceptional performances and bringing
home a bagful of medals. Once again at the National Half Marathon
Championships in Waterford on Saturday, thirteen committed
participants took the long road south-east. They underlined this
consistent record producing six PBs and quality performances when and
where it counted.
The high profile clubs were all there among the 900 starters at the
Regional Sports Centre. Mayo AC was the only club from the West with
teams, which is surprising. The out and back loop course was the same
as in 2008, advertised as fast and flat, in reality a tough but decent
test. This year the road surface was much better and the conditions
were ideal despite the rain and surface water. The organisation by
Waterford AC was good. Michael McGrath and Catherine Conway gave
excellent support and sustenance at the 3 and 10 mile marks. Even the
Gardai at the roundabouts were shouting Up Mayo!
The race was won by Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) in a fast 65.24
with Ava Hutchinson (DSD) first woman in 74.30
TJ McHugh and Mary Gleeson led by example, both finishing with
inspirational PBs and all through the course there was a motivational
green and red singlet within sight. TJ finished 29th overall and was
26th in Senior men, while Mary was an excellent 6th Senior woman.
Kathy Connolly’s 87.03 finish was magnificent as she knocked five
minutes off her previous best. Mary, Kathy, and Colette Tuohy were 4th
senior team Breege Blehein-McHale returned to the road with a gritty
92.40 in her first race since May 2010 and well deserved her silver
medal in the W45 category. Just behind her Chris Gallagher’s brave run
won bronze in the same category and together with Ann Murray they got
bronze in the W40 team section.
Billy Gallagher was back in top form in his best Half finish for some
time and collected a bronze in M55. Danny Green produced a great PB
run, inspired by his Frank Duffy 10 performance two weeks ago.Tom Hunt
M60, and Tom Waldron M70, also won bronze in their respective
categories. The M50 team finished 4th.
The club will be rightly proud of all the runners and they can all be
very pleased with a fantastic performance in a what was a highly
UPDATE (5th Sept) Mayo AC Womens Senior team were confirmed as Bronze medalists.
Provisional finishing times in order as appeared on AAI results sheets
TJ McHugh Senior 72.19 PB
Mary Gleeson Senior 79.19 PB
Billy Gallagher 82.47 M55 Bronze
Colette Tuohy F40 86.10 PB
Tom Hunt 86.50 M60 Bronze
Kathy Connolly Senior 87.07 PB
Danny Green M50 87.15 PB
Sarah Syron Senior 92.00
Breege Blehein 92.47 W45 Silver
Chris Gallagher 93.13 PB W45 Bronze
Ann Murray F45 103.44
Paula Prendergast Senior 107.13
Tom Waldron 153.52 M70 Bronze