Tullamore Harriers Club Report 7th September 2020

The Irish Life Health National Masters Track & Field Championships.

Following on from the National Junior Track and Field Championships on Saturday, it was the Master athletes’ turn to shine on Sunday in Morton Stadium, Santry. 

Athletics Association of Ireland must be commended for facilitating the Track and Field Championships despite the many constraints due to the pandemic. Each athlete was permitted to compete in only one event and overall attendance was restricted. Nevertheless a very successful weekend of sport was enjoyed. 

The club was represented by only 3 athletes at the Master Championships but with all 3 taking national medals it was a splendid result. Our three champions are: Mary Walsh, Jim Langan and Barry Minnock. Mary and Jim, who are both in their 70’s are wonderful ambassadors of the club, and an inspiration to us all. Mary took gold in the W70 200m sprint (4l.37). Jim also took a gold medal – in the M75 800m (3.29.78).

Barry Minnock who transferred from Rathfarnham Ac earlier this year, competed in the 5000m. With much larger than normal numbers in this event – most likely due to the absence of road races, Barry had his work cut out for him from the off. 

Overall winner was John Criag (Annadale Striders) who crossed the line in just under the 15 minutes (14.56), with Brian Conroy (Clane Ac) 2nd (14.58.23) and 3rd Glen Donnelly (Acorn AC 14.59.77). Barry took the bronze national medal with his 3rd placing in the M45 group with a finish of 16.17.94.

Great results for these athletes and for Tullamore Harriers. 

Well done to all.

Ava on the Podium Again 

After the long layoff due to covid the last few weeks have been hectic with races following one another in rapid succession. Ava O’Connor, Ruby Stueven and Dearbhail Cuddy travelled to Dublin on Saturday last to compete in the All Ireland U20 championships in Santry in Dublin. 

Dearbhail was first up in the 3000m Steeplechase and ran brilliantly to finish 4th. Dearbhail ran well all the way and was in a medal spot early on. Her brave running seen her get her best ever finish in a national track event. She is in great shape and hopefully in the cross country and mountain running seasons ahead she will be able to show how well she is running. 

In the 1500m both Ava and Ruby lined up. Ava went with the early pace set by Aimee Hayde from Tipperary and really gave it her all as the race went out at a brutal pace. Ava passed 400m in 66 seconds and 800m in 2m21. She then pushed up on Aimee’s shoulder and although she didn’t get the lead she pushed the pace on. On the last lap Hayde built a lead of a few seconds but Ava hung on right to the end, running 4.28, her second fastest time ever. A hard earned silver medal was her reward. Like Ava, Ruby Stueven is 16 and she has being learning her trade in junior and senior events this year. On Saturday she had a great run to come seventh in 4.47. Like Ava the time is Ruby’s second fastest ever and shows her hard work continues to pay dividends.

Keane Takes National Bronze

Aaron Keane , Emmanuel Illori and Jack Saunders competed at the National Junior (under 20) championships on Saturday.

This year was the last year for both Aaron and Emmanuel at this age group while Jack will have a few more years to grind out more experience.

Emmanuel was first up in the 100m where there was a field of over 60 athletes competing on the day, he ran a great race in poor conditions to come away with a small improvement on his personal best but just missed the qualification for the final by 0.1 seconds. 16 year old Jack Saunders was up next to run his first ever 400m an event he decided to enter for the experience as his preference would be multi-events or hurdles. Jack got lane one which is one of the toughest lanes to draw in the event but he ran a very steady, strong, positive race battling all the way to the finish and no doubt will improve in future attempts.

Later in the day Aaron and Emmanuel competed in the 200m’s, an event which again had over 60 athletes entered and only the winner of each of 6 heats was guaranteed to make the final. Aaron Keane who had been managing a hamstring strain since July was in heat two, and just as the athletes lined up to their take to their blocks a downpour started but the race commenced without delay and Aaron won his heat in very convincing style. Emmanuel was up next along side his training partner Aaron Cushen from Clara AC. Emmanuel ran a very technically proficient race and looked like he was going to take a place in the final but over the last 30m he tightened up and was passed just short of the line. A good run by Emmanuel who had made a strong comeback to the sport and some great gains this year. Aaron Keane’s 200m Final was the last event of the day, he was confident even though his training coming into the competition was anything but sprinting specific but felt he could compete with the very best in the field. again the rain came down as the athletes prepared, Aaron’s  speed and power and technical proficiency seen him come off the bend sharing first position  but as the race went on the lack of recent competition and appropriate speed training began to show and over the last 30m the lead got away from him and he was just piped on the line for silver by 0.02 seconds. A fantastic finish to a challenging and peculiar season.


Training for adults every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.40pm  and Sunday at 8.00am except on race days. New members always welcome. Please contact Sean Reynolds 085-1742418 or Anna Hyland Guilfoyle 086-8248928 or any club member.