Dun Dealgan 5k, Phoenix Park 5mile & Integral 10k

Drogheda and District athletes were delighted to lend their support to three attractive and well-run local races this weekend and first up was Dun Dealgan AC’s 5k on Friday evening close to the centre of Dundalk town. The standard was high among the 101 participants with Dunleer’s Martin Quinn claiming overall first spot in 15:18 and the ladies’ prize awarded to Julie Turley of Dromore in 17:23. Patrick O’Grady of DDAC had to share the limelight this week with wife Mary – he taking the O/50 men’s honours in 17 minutes flat and Mary claiming the O/40 prize in a new personal best of 23:03 which also helped clinch the female team gold. Marion Doherty was second female overall and Roisin Donnelly continued her run of good form to collect second place in O/35 for her 23:41. Not far behind were clubmates Christine Brennan and Gillian Victory who breasted the tape together to record 25:15 apiece and these three claimed bronze in the women’s team event. Coach, Liam Reilly was on hand to witness strong performances from David O’Brien (18:25), Ian Donagh (18:44) and Paul Reilly (18:50) and Ian put his name on the O/40 second spot with brother-in-law Andrew Kirwan in third, edging ever closer to the magic 20minute mark with 20:09. Enthusiastic new club member Gillian Ivory battled hard against the strong breeze and slashed nearly five minutes from her previous personal best over 5k and there was equal delight in store for Lisa Faulkner Reynolds when she realised that she had cleaved two full minutes from hers.

On Saturday the inaugural Meath Coast 10k for Rehab took place and our speedy local fireman Paul Smith was second to the scene of the finish at St.Colmcilles GAA club at Piltown in a fine response time of 34:50.
Sunday was another opportunity to shine locally when Drogheda handball legend Joey Maher released 431 participants down Clogherhead’s main thoroughfare in the name of athletics, prawns and pugilism. This second staging of Integral Fitness’ 10k race was to benefit the local Prawn Festival and help fund the building of a boxing club in the village in 2012. The gloves were off straight away among the ladies, as Drogheda and District’s Maria Kieran launched downhill with purpose and never faltered until passing the finish line first (lady) in 44:25. Yasmin Canning was counted in less than a minute later, making it a one-two for DDAC ladies in 45:13. Niall Bonnar showed he is no lightweight when ┬áhe went the distance in a sparkling new personal best time of just 43:21 ahead of fellow contender Pat Owens in 43:30.
The race was a tremenduous success and caused Lorraine Balfe from Integral Fitness to describe Drogheda and District AC as “a club filled with athletes who passionately help their sport thrive” – referring to the volunteers from the club who pulled their punches on the day and generously paced their fellow participants to target times by the carrying of clearly visible colour-coded balloons with target times inscribed.
Overall winner of the Integral 10k was Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers. He recorded a class 32:07 to add to his gold-medal from the Phoenix Park 5 miler the previous day – first race of the very popular Dublin Marathon Race Series, preparing many for the Dublin City Marathon in October. O’Hanlon covered the five miles in 24:53 while best for Drogheda was David Campbell in 29:51 and Enda Collins in 31:11. Ziad Chammas, new to the club and to running declared it “the best day of my life” and Audrey Browne astonished herself with a 57:16 finish, far beyond expectations. Judith McKenna continues her very promising form with an excellent 35:28 and clubmates were delighted to see Sinead Johnston and Siobhan Shortt returning to form with runs of 42:04 and 44:17 respectively.
On the weekend when we heard two-time winner of the Dublin City Marathon Jerry Kiernan describe marathon runners as “top-class plodders” while commentating on the European Athletics Championships, two of our own were in action at the inaugural Waterford Viking Marathon. Liam Farrell was comfortably under the four hour mark with 3:56:45 and Oliver Clare recorded 4:35:50. Each received a piece of Waterford crystal as a memento for their mighty effort.

First Lady; Maria Kieran wins Integral 10k