There were great scenes of celebration (too) at Athenry on Sunday as Mayo AC’s National Half Marathon team had huge success winning medals in three team categories and eight individual medals. The club brought a record 31 runners to the race and 13 of them came home with medals – a fantastic result. For once AAI came up with the results on the day and a delighted Michael McGrath was able to present most of the booty at the team’s HQ.
Their success was brilliantly book-ended, from John Byrne – 9th place overall in 71:05 minutes and 3rd o35 – to Tom Waldron (2:21:45) who reclaimed the o70 gold he won a few years ago in Ballybofey. John Byrne’s run epitomised the day. He sat in with the pace in a group and when it thinned out towards the end he responded with a strong fast finish, inspiring TJ McHugh (75:34) our second finisher and Gerry Galvin (86:09) who was just outside his PB, to team o35 bronze.
The whole team seemed to thrive on the championship challenge. a renewed Ann Lennon (87:54) led the masters o35 to gold with a consistently strong run from gun to tape. She had great support from silver o45 winner Angela O’Connor (89:25) and Chris Gallagher (94:58). Mary Gleeson raced very competitively to earn her gold o35 and a top class 5th woman place in 83:28. Newcomer Henry Hughes (81:47) ran confidently and looked the part in red and green. The Westport native is also a member of the famed Thames Valley Harriers club in London and a welcome addition to our senior team. Brendan Hession (82:14) was our fourth finisher and beat his pb by two minutes which will give him a huge boost.Billy Gallagher (86:00) was in great form leading the o50s to bronze, well supported by Michael O’Malley (86:2o) and Jimmy Feeney (91:19).
Tony Gleeson (101:28) won the internal battle holding off Christy O’Malley (101:33) in the final yards. Sarah Syron ran a PB in 91:14, a great reward for dedicated training. Elsewhere it was heartening to see new members like Ambrose Gaughan (105:36), Patrick Walshe 90:52, David McNeive 115:14, Joan Walsh 1o6:02, taking part and performing well.Paula Prendergast (94:03) competed well after her marathon run last week in Longford.
Colette Tuohy (88:08) had a hard battle for her bronze o40 and suffered in the closing miles but was well supported by Michael McNeela (87:59) to the finish. Other finishers included Justin McDonagh 109:39, Ann Murray 108:18, Pauline Moran silver 055 in 102:04, the grit of Owen Mongan 95:10, Sean Murphy (88:31) and Una McGrath 120:08. Apologies for any results omitted or errors – the finishing times only came available today and will be updated as necessary.
The senior teams missed out this year but they will return to win on another day. A great day for Mayo AC at the championships and just reward – well done to all the runners and congratulations to the medal winners. They don’t have to wait for the final!
Mayo AC Medal winners
Masters Women o35 Gold: Ann Lennon, Angela O’Connor, Chris Gallagher
Masters Men o35 Bronze: John Byrne, TJ McHugh, Gerry Galvin
Masters Men o50 Bronze: Billy Gallagher, Michael O’Malley, Jimmy Feeney
Mary Gleeson Gold o35
Colette Tuohy Bronze o40
Ann Lennon Gold o45
Angela O’Connor Silver o45
Pauline Moran Silver o55
John Byrne Bronze o35
Billy Gallagher Silver o55
Tom Waldron Gold o70
Other teams: Senior Men 13th of 15, Senior Women 4th of 10. Men o35 B 13th,