It was a reassuring breath of fresh air to have a couple of real local road races in the past week.
Reasonable entry fees, prize funds advertised and awarded accordingly and age categories recognised and included. Scenery optional.
On Sunday, over 500 participants gathered in wet and breezy O’Connell Street for the Streets of Sligo 5k. It was good to see a dynamic town race resurrected. It was a one lap race that was not flat despite starting and finishing beside the Garavogue river. This ‘town’ race was exciting for the many onlookers lining the streets and they were treated to a battle-royal finish between two Sligo AC athletes .
Alberto Sanchez just edged out David Kelly by one second in a very fast time 14.45. Sanchez is the current Irish Universities 3,000 metres champion. Eimear O’Brien (Sligo AC) was first woman in 18.30
There were some Mayo winners too. Ronnie Naylor finished second o50 in 19.04. Tom Hunt was first o60 in 19.19. Conor McKeown (Westport AC) was well up in 48th place in 19.56.
Michael McGrath relishes the wet weather conditions and finished in 20.40. Christy O’Malley completed his third 5k of the week, 21.54. Mary Naylor was first woman o50, 22.31. just ahead of Una McGrath, 24.01. Colm Naylor (14) ran a respectable 24.59. Jim Donnelly finished in 26.50. Tooreen 10k organiser Sean Dooner (South West Vets AC) was first o70 though the octogenarian is slightly over qualified.
For Full Results download here –>[Download not found]
Earlier in the week on Wednesday evening Swinford AC continued their excellent mid-week race series with the Killasser 5k. The importance of warming up (round and round the community hall) and warming down, could not have been better emphasised. Well done Swinford coaches
John Byrne was the winner, though the field had to wait some time for him to return from a ‘marathon’ warm-up when he got lost in the Bermuda triangle of rural roads.
Among the finishers, Breege Staunton and Brian Cusack (20.01) ran good times while Sarah Syron recorded another PB 20.32, helped by the pace of young Rosie Hynes.
This series continues on Wednesday next 18th May at Meelick (5k at 7.30pm) and ends with a 7k at the same venue a week later on Wed 25th.
They are ideal opportunities for developing faster pace, and the low key atmosphere will suit every ability.