Submitted by Tom Hunt
What a wonderful way to start the year. Mary Gleeson’s win at Tuam 8k on Sunday, leading women’s team to first place, and now this major athletics achievement recognised in the Western People Mayo Sports Star Awards which were announced today. Their award follows a roll-call of distinguished club members who have been similarly honoured.
This is the eighth occasion Mayo AC members have received this
prestigious award, following in the footsteps of Catherine Conway
(2010), Mary Gleeson (2008), John Byrne (2006), Breege Blehien-McHale
(2005), Anne Lennon (1999, 2000, 2002), Paddy Murray (1991), while
Mary Naylor took the 1982 award, then as a member of Ballina AC, Tony Gleeson also won (Swimming) in 1980 & 1982.
Ladies, women, girls,…athletes – we’re all proud of ye!
The Western People Sports Star Awards also recognised the Reek 24 Hour
Challenge Team as ‘Team of the Year’. Mayo AC’s PJ Hall was a member
of the 11-strong successful team who completed the record 12 climbs in
24 hours, while Anne Fahey was also key supporter and participant in
Western People Sports Awards
Athletics – Mayo AC Ladies
2011 was the year that four exceptionally talented ladies
fulfilled the dreams upon which a club was founded.
24 years after the formation of Mayo Athletic Club, the
famed Green and Red singlet was seen weaving its way
through the historic Portuguese town of Almeirim last October,
as Mary Gleeson, Colette Tuohy, Kathy Connolly and Sarah
Syron took on some of the continent¹s best athletes at the 25th
European Clubs Cup 15k Road Race.
Taking them on is one thing; to win bronze medals as the
third best club team in Europe is something else altogether.
And to highlight even further the achievement of the quartet,
and Mayo Athletic Club as a whole, never before in the
event¹s 25-year history had an Irish team finished so high up
in the standings.
Contending with temperatures in the mid twenties, Mary
Gleeson finished a brilliant ninth overall in a personal best
time – not bad for someone who, like Kathy Connolly, didn¹t
take up running until she was in her mid twenties.
A Fab 4′ if ever there was.
Mary, Colette, Kathy and Sarah will be presented with their award at
the 42nd Western People Mayo Sports Star Awards Night in the McWilliam
Park Hotel Claremorris on Friday night February 24th.
Thanks to ‘Western People’ for copy of the relevant text (above)
published in today’s edition (17 Jan 2012)