Tullamore Harriers Club Report 17th August 2020

Tullamore  Harriers  Fundraiser  for James Saunders

Tullamore Harriers Ac is appealing for support for the James Saunders Fundraising campaign which has just been launched -The James Saunders Virtual 5k.  A virtual race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym, or on the track (or even at another race). You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. There is also an option to donate to the fundraiser without the 5k. Due to Covid 19 the Virtual option is increasingly popular.

James Saunders is just 13 years old and has been a member of Tullamore Harriers for the past few years. He, along with his older brother Jack, are very popular with both club mates and coaches and  have represented their club at county , provincial and national level in Track & Field competitions. 

Tragically, James was involved in a serious road accident last year while out cycling. James suffered horrific injuries resulting in a long road to recovery. The rehabilitation journey that James is embarking on is long and hard. He will require specialist treatment, intensive rehabilitation and all the care and support that he can get.

James is a fighter. He is showing steady progress and continues to improve with the constant encouragement of parents John and Dympna and his brother Jack. He continues to overcome obstacles and prove his strength and determination.

Speaking to his father John over the weekend, John had this to say: “James came home to us just as Covid 19 started. He has made immense progress in both Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Since coming home James has continued his slow and steady progress. Each week and each day James shows us new achievements. His courage never fails. He is an example to us all on how you overcome adversity. All of the therapists James has met along the way have been hugely impressed by his will to recover. James still has a long way to go but he will get there with encouragement of all his family and friends and the wonderful support and generosity of his community”.

We want to help James on his road to recovery. We want to be part of his journey and we want to see him back in the club. Please help us in our fundraising campaign by signing up to the James Saunders Virtual 5k run OR :donating to the fundraiser. Those wishing to support the fundraiser can run/jog/walk a 5k at anytime in the month of August or simply donating to the cause. All details are on the Tullamore Harriers Facebook page or on MyrunResults.ie

Please donate what you can. 100% of the funds collected will go to James. He is one of our own. A true Tullamore  Harrier.

Ballyhoura Peak Marathon 

Barry Minnock competed in the Ballhoura Peak Marathon last weekend. The 42km course consisted of 4 x 10.5km laps with over 450m climbing per lap (1800m total). The race organised by the Irish Mountain Runners Association was a trial for the 2020 WMRA World Long Distance Championships to be held in Lanzarote later in the year. Barry finished 2nd overall in a time of 3.35.53 and clearly qualified for the Championships. Well done Barry. Great running.

James Dunne Now has his Head in the Clouds 

Earlier this month James Dunne made his way to Alamosa in Colorado where he is to take to a full athletic scholarship at Adams State University. Alamosa is located 220 miles south of Denver in the centre if the San Luis valley.  It’s altitude of 7500 feet make it an attractive spot for distance runners like James who can benefit hugely from altitude training. 

The success of Adams State coaches with Irish athletes training at altitude was seen not long ago at the 2019 European Cross Country in Lisbon. It was amazing when the Irish women’s under-23, team had Stephanie Cotter from Cork winning individual bronze, while Stephanie along with twin sisters Eilish and Róisín Flanagan from Tyrone were part of a six person squad that won team silver medals. All three attend Adams State University. 

Eilish Flanagan had earlier in 2019 won silver in the European Under 23 Steeplechase in Gävle in Sweden, a championship which both Stephanie and Roisin had also qualified for. 

It was also Adams State where 1996 Irish Olympian Shane Healy went to college. In recent weeks a very popular RTÉ podcast has featured Shane’s story and he puts a lot of his success in running 3.35 for 1500m down to his experiences in Adams State. In addition Daniel Caulfield who ran 1.46 and 3.41 for 800m and 1500m attended the college and went on to run in the World Championships in 2001. 

James goes to Adams State with a fine pedigree. He  has won five National U20 titles in the past two years. As an individual in 2019 and 2020 he won the All Ireland U20 Indoor 800m titles, while in 2019 he won the All Ireland U20 Outdoor 1500m. He was also a key member of the Tullamore Harriers 4 by 400m relay teams which All Ireland U20 gold in 2018 and 2019.

Best of luck James!


Rodge Larkin and John O’Connell took on a lengthy run Saturday morning….a 50k run along the bank of the Grand Canal. Both men had signed up for a 50k race which was to be run off on Saturday but was unfortunately postponed due to our recent lockdown. Rather than missing out on their planned event they set off from Tullamore and ran along the canal line to Rhode where they turned and ran back on the same route to Tullamore. Well done lads. John posted 4.32 and Rodge 5.30. They had the support of Ray Murray, Paula Nolan, Jason McDermott, Paddy Rowland, Jason Rowland and Finnian McDermott for some of the run. Well done all.