A spirited final sprint on the homestraight failed to land Tim Shiels a medal at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth, Western Australia.
Running in the M40 800m, Shiels finished fourth in two minutes and two seconds and just an agonising 11/100ths of a second outside the medals.
The Omagh pastor had qualified comfortably for the 12-man final finishing third in his heat on Tuesday. That made him the third fastest qualifier.
He was caught on the inside at the bell in the final and got himself boxed on the backstraight for the final time.
“I was tactically poor, got boxed in and my sprint didn’t kick in until it was too late,” said Tim afterwards. “I just wasn’t sharp enough on the day. All the components are there, I just need to put them together.”
Derry Track Club’s Cathal McLaughlin’s superb record over the past few years was formally recognised when he was named the Northern Ireland Masters’ Athletics Association Athlete of the Year for 2015/16.
Cathal kicked off last autumn in style by helping Northern Ireland’s M45 to silver medals at the British & Irish Cross Country International in Dublin.
Versatile as ever he was back in action at the European Masters’ Indoor Championships in Ancona where, after finishing just outside the medals in the 1500m, he helped Ireland gain bronze medals in the M40 age group.
It was back to the grindstone again two months later and the European Masters’ Non Stadia Championships in Portugal. Another bronze medal came his way in the M45 cross country relay.
Domestically he has reigned supreme doing a double over 800m and 1500m at the British Indoors and winning the Irish 1500m both inside and outdoors.
Slick organisation by the Orangegrove club, perfect autumnal weather conditions and some cool running made the sixth annual combined NI & Ulster Road Relay Championships a day to remember.
Derry Track Club grabbed the headlines with a scintillating victory and a new record in the Senior Men’s race but all four titles were fought out to the wire by the 148 teams.
Neil Johnston (9:40) led for Springwell at the end of the first leg of the Senior Men’s race with Dromore’s world-ranked triathlete Russell White (9:44) hot on his heels.
David O’Flaherty (9:57) put in a solid stint on the second leg to leave cross country champions Newcastle in the lead at the halfway point. But behind him JP Williamson (9:48) was doing untold damage for lDerry Track Club up by moving up from eighth to second and now only five seconds in arrears.
That five seconds buffer did survive long as Seamus Lynch (10:05) was soon overhauled by NI Steeplechase champion Adam Kirk-Smith (9:40). Further down the field Commonwealth Games 1500m runner Daniel Mooney (9:53) was hauling Letterkenny back into contention.
Derry Track Club went off with a 20 seconds lead over Newcastle at the final changeover but behind the Mournemen North Belfast and Letterkenny could smell blood.
Despite the handsome lead former Novice cross country champion Conán McCaughey (9:50) did not relent on the final leg increasing the gap to 47 seconds as he broke the tape in 39:22; exactly one minute inside Annadale Striders’ course record from 2012.
Mark McKinstry (10:06) turned in another workmanlike leg for North Belfast and it was good enough to lift the silver medals for the defending champions. Letterkenny were rewarded for the long trip from Donegal with a fine third place in 40:43.
DTC Masters turned in their best ever performance in this event. Although fifth in 2015, their sixth place surpassed that in team spirit and effort.
Cathal McLaughlin (10:40) handed over in fifth before Tim Shiels (10:57) and Adrian Boyle (11:18) improved to fourth at the final changeover. Kevin Connolly (12:07) added a credible last leg to bring the team home in sixth.
2 October 2016
Marina Campbell made an impressive start to the cross country season with a fine silver medal finish at the Donegal Masters’ Championships.
Elaine Connor also caught the eye with a fine debut to competitive athletics by taking 15th.
European Indoor 1500m finalist John Travers put an indifferent season behind him with an impressive win in the excellently organised Main Street Mile in Buncrana. A surprisingly large crowd turned out on a chilly Sunday evening for two hours of entertaining athletics on a tight circuit based on the town’s main thoroughfare.
Travers had hoped to qualify for the Rio Olympics after an impressive indoor season last winter but has been hampered for some months by a stomach complaint. However the Donore Harrier showed no sign of any weakness when he struck the front from the gun before going to score a convincing ten second victory in 4:18.6. Derry Track Club pair Shane McGowan and Marty Cox filled the minor podium places.
“I didn’t know what way I was going to run it when I started,” said the Dubliner. “The training has not been going great but I decided to push it the first 400 to the finish line with two laps to go. I felt Ok, so I kept pushing on.
“I ran a second quicker than last year or maybe two seconds. So [although] the training hasn’t been ideal it means that I’m in good shape all the same. It bodes well for the season ahead, we’ll see how it goes when I get into the longer stuff but I’m happy the way the progression is going at the minute.”
Clonliffe Harrier Eimear of Brien was the winner of the women’s mile in 5:33.8. Derry Track Club defended their men’s 4 x 400m relay title against a surprisingly good quartet from O’Flanagan’s Fitness. Buncrana Ladies GAA walked away with the women’s 4 x 400m relay.
Meanwhile across in Scotland Conán McCaughey was second in the Inverness 10K in a personal best 30:53.
He was back in sixth with two miles to go but caught third with a mile to run and got past second in final 400m.
Conán’s advice: “When you’re hurting halfway and the situation looks hopeless, don’t panic, stay calm and never give up!”
Inish Pharmacy Mile Event 2016
Senior Men & Women
Place Name Gender Club Time
1. John Travers m Donore AC 04:18,6
2. Shane McGowan m Derry Track Club 04:29,2
3. Martin Cox m Derry Track Club 04:35,3
4. Roy McGilloway m Foyle Valley 04:42,8
5. Conor McDowell m City of Derry 04:43,0
6. Martin Mooney m Inishowen AC 04:54,5
7. Pat Loughrey m 04:55,1
8. Eoghan Furey m City of Derry 05:07,4
9. Gerard Bogle m Finn Valley 05:13,5
10. Robert Bigger m Derry Track Club 05:29,7
11. Eimear O Brien f Clonliffe 05:33,8
12. James Donaghey m Convoy AC 05:38,0
13. Andy Mc Inroy m 05:39,2
14. Michael Toland m 05:44,5
15. Barry Mackey m Letterkenny AC 05:51,7
16. Angus Hunter m 06:06,9
17. Justin McCauley m 06:13,4
18. Victor Lee m Inishowen Special Olympics 06:16,1
19. Paul Herron m 06:51,8
20. Brian Mc Laughlin m 06:57,0
21. Sean McBride m St Marys College Derry 06:59,7
22. Liam Doherty m 07:34,5
Inish Pharmacy Mile Event Men’s 4 x 400mts
1. 271 Derry Track Club m SM 03:47,4
2. 169 O Flaherty Fitness m SM 03:53,9
3. 254 Team Evan 7 m SM 04:42,1
4. 174 Team Evan 4 m SM 04:47,0
5. 228 Alpha R N L I m SM 04:48,9
6. 283 Colaiste m SM 04:49,5
7. 175 Team Evan 3 m SM 05:04,8
8. 255 Team Evan 8 m SM 05:24,6
9. 253 Team Evan 6 m SM 05:30,9
10. 227 Bravo R N L I m SM 06:06,1
Inish Pharmacy Mile Event U 15 & 17 1. Sean Mc Intyre m Boys 17 Derry Track Club 05:19,4
2. Eanna Mc Laughlin m Boys 17 05:23,7
3. Adam Mc Crudden m Boys 17 Finn Valley AC 05:23,7
4. Fionn Bowyer m Boys 15 Inishowen A.C. 05:26,7
5. Adam Whoriskey m Boys 15 Inishowen A.C. 05:41,2
6. David Carey m Boys 15 Inishowen A.C. 05:41,4 7. Ben Bradley m Boys 15 Derry Track Club 05:47,1
8. Matthew Mullins m Boys 17 05:47,2
9. Nacho Fontan m Boys 15 05:47,3 10. Lily Toorish f Girls 15 Derry Track Club 05:52,6
11. Luke Clifford m Boys 17 Inishowen A.C. 05:53,4 12. Katyla Mc Laughlin f Girls 15 Derry City Track Club 05:54,0
13. Katelyn Doherty f Girls 15 Inishowen A.C. 06:01,2
14. Michael Doherty m Boys 15 Inishowen A.C. 06:05,3
15. Cathir O Dochartaigh m Boys 17 06:12,3
16. Sarah Kelly f Girls 17 Inishowen A.C. 06:13,9 17. Dean Quigley m Boys 17 Derry Track Club 06:13,9 18. Lara Smailes f Girls 15 Derry Track Club 06:56,6
19. Courtney Lee James f Girls 15 07:43,0
20. Kayleigh Mc Laughlin f Girls 15 07:55,5
21. Beatriz f Girls 15 08:13,5
22. Maria f Girls 17 08:14,8
23. Megan Boast f Girls 17 St Marys 08:43,8
24. Eimear Cregan f Girls 17 St Marys 08:58,1