Tullamore Harriers Report 12th February 2018

Tullamore Harriers Athletes Battle at the Boyne

Over thirty Tullamore Harriers athletes made the long trip to Louth on Sunday, February18th, for the Annual Rás na hÉireann Cross Country races which took place at the Battle of the Boyne site. There were some fantastic individual performances but the fact that over half the children came home with medals and all seemed to enjoy the races means that for the tenth year in a row our trip to this competition was a big success!
First up were the Under 9’s. In the girls’ race Sophie Fox led the team home and along with Roisin Cotter, Caoileann Rouse and Ruby McNally won a set of bronze medals after they all had great runs.

Next up the Under 11’s raced over 1000m. In the girls’ race Saoirse Murtagh was at the front from the start. She was just caught in the sprint finish but still a silver medal is a huge achievement. Not far behind, Aoibhe Moore was just off the leading pack with Muireann McDonnell, Danielle Martin and Isabelle McComiskey finishing out a fine team performance. In the boys’ race Cian Horkan came fourth and, along with Patrick Duffy, Conor Murtagh and Eoin Rouse, won gold in the team competition. Others competing were Luke Tooher, Michael Fox, Ronan Dowling, JP Larkin and Guy Larkin.

The girls’ Under 13’s won gold too. Sinead Walsh led the charge for Tullamore and had a great run to finish second. Not far behind was Andrea Ryan who finished sixth with Aisling Cotter and Ella McNally completed the team scoring. Others who ran well were Meabh Rouse, Eimear Cotter, Rachael Donegan and Ellie Fox. The boys’ Under 11’s also competed over 1500m with Dylan Leonard finishing sixth and Cole Cuskelly finishing tenth.

In the Under 15 girls’ race there were two Harriers girls toeing the line. Emily Cunningham won a medal with her fourth place finish, while Imelda Lambe battled all the way for a top ten place! In the boys’ race Tullamore’s Luke Duffy dominated from the start. With a lap to go he started to stretch away from the competition and by the finishing line had almost one hundred metres of a lead. Jack Donegan also had a good day with a fantastic top ten finish.
The only Under 17 competing was Cian Murphy who did great to finish eighth.

Athletics Ireland Star Awards

Ava O’Connor was presented with the Athletics Ireland Star Award on Saturday night, February 17th , in the Tullamore Court Hotel at the Annual Awards Ceremony.
Ava is fourteen and a second year student in Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise. She competes in 800m and 1500m on the track and runs cross country. Ava started running in her local club Emo/Rath where from a very early age her potential was obvious, winning numerous county medals in a variety of events. Having performed well in Leinster competitions, finishing top ten in both track and cross country events, Ava moved to Tullamore Harriers where she has proved a popular and enthusiastic club member.

Ava’s success is no surprise to her family. Her great grandfather, grandfather and her mother were all very keen athletes although none achieved as much as Ava has done in the last few years.

Ava had county, provincial and national success throughout 2017 over both her chosen distances of 800m and 1500m as well as in cross country competitions. Her three national track medals were the highlight of the year and these, along with the significant improvement of her PB’s at both 800m and 1500m over the year, mark Ava out as a huge talent.
Ava aspires to being a professional athlete and shows in her commitment to training and enthusiasm for competition some of the qualities that are required. In the coming year she hopes to have continued success at the national level and to maybe challenge for medals in some international competitions.

Alongside her athletics, Ava plays rounders and Gaelic Football and in the past had significant success as an Irish dancer, competing at a couple of World Irish Dancing Championships.
Ava’s talent has been encouraged by her parents Liam and Sinead who three times weekly drive Ava to Tullamore Harriers training sessions at the club and on Croghan Hill.
Ava is coached by Tullamore Harriers Endurance Squad team of coaches who include, Damian Lawlor, Anthony Murphy, Annamarie Cunningham, Declan Lambe, Triona Cotter and Richie Faulkner.

National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships

Well done to Paddy Heffernan who finished just out of medal position on Sunday, February 18th in the National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships in Abbotstown. Paddy was 4th in the 60m Hurdles with 8.43. The event was won by Mathew Behan (Crusaders Ac) in 7.84.

Sean Lowry Memorial 5k

Paul Mitchell was the winner of the Sean Lowry Memorial 5k on Sunday, February 18th in Birr. Paul posted a super time of 16.15 for the race which was hosted by Birr Ac in memory of their past member and dear friend Sean Lowry RIP. 2nd for Tullamore Harriers was David Fox who was 5th overall in 17.58. Pauline Curley was 2nd lady finisher in 18.01 followed by Dympna Fox in 20.17, Brendan Abbott 22.67 and Pat Kennedy 23.30. Well done all and to Birr AC.

BHAA 5 Mile

Well done to John Todd who was 68th overall and 1st O/65 in a time of 38:29 in the BHAA 5 mile cross country race on Saturday last, February 17th, held on the ALSAA grounds at Dublin Airport.


The club offers it’s condolences to the families of: Angela Conlon, mother of Mary Galvin & Pat Conlon, mother in law of Martina Conlon, and grandmother of Jane Conlon, Naomi and Ruth Galvin; John O’Grady, father of Andy O’Grady, and father in law of Alan Heffernan; and Mary Flynn, wife of Brendan Flynn; who passed away recently. May they rest in peace.


Please note that club membership runs for the calendar year so 2018 membership is now overdue! Membership forms are available from the club house.


Sat 24th February Leinster Junior, Senior & Masters Indoors, Abbotstown
Sun 25th February Leinster Juvenile Indoors Day 3, Abbotstown
Sun 3rd March Leinster Juvenile Indoor Championships Day 4, Athlone IT
Sun 11th March Offaly Road Race 5k Series 2018 Race 1 – Naomh Ciaran RC, Castlejordan
A list of AAI-licensed fixtures is available on www.athleticsireland.ie


Training for adults every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 8.00am except on race days. New members always welcome. Please contact Leslie Buckley 087-6130971 or Mary Daly 086-1906747 or any club member. Full details regarding Juvenile training on tullamoreharriers.com.

Access to Harriers Facilities

Please note that use of the club’s facilities, including the tarmac track, is restricted to members of the club. Walkers are not permitted on the track during training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm-8pm.