Conor Duffy and Grace Carson were the winners of the Greencastle 5 Miles Road Race in Tyrone. The race was brought forward from its traditional St. Stephen’s Day date and the field limited to 120 runners to comply with current guidelines.
Despite the changes, the 35th edition of the race lacked none of its character as Duffy made it third time lucky after placing second and third in recent years. The Glaslough Harrier was always in control and led a group of four through the three mile mark in 14 minutes and 41 seconds. Moving away on the notorious final long climb, the Castleblayney postman was able to breast the tape with a comfortable advantage in 24:35.
NI & Ulster Senior cross country champion Neil Johnston was next home, some four seconds in arrears with Ethiopia-born Eskander Turki grabbing third spot with a 24:43 timing. Mountain specialist Zac Hanna (24:49), Conán McCaughey (25:04) and Matthew Neill (25:22) made up the top half dozen. Tommy Hughes showed no signs of fatigue from a track 10,000m the previous day as he claimed the over-60 prize in 27:55.
Grace Carson was a class apart in the women’s competition, taking advantage of the mild conditions, the Mid-Ulster athlete impressed with a 28:22 winning time. Rachel Gibson was the next women with a 30:36 timing while Pauline McGurren, in third overall with a 32:10 mark, was the leading female Master.
When you pay over your entry fee to a race, do you ever wonder where your money goes? Did it go where you were led to believe it would?
Most runners at some point of the year pay over good money to enter a race. Many people go to races as often as once a week, maybe even more in the summer. Only a small percentage will get that money back in the form of prize money. That means that for most of us it is one way traffic in terms of the movement of money.
None of us mind that when we know it is going to a genuine cause. That does not necessarily mean a registered charity, many clubs rely on events that they promote for their very existence. Mostly everyone is happy with either of these situations.
Other races are organised by event companies and no-one really minds as long as the organisers are open and transparent and make this clear. Runners then enter a different scenario and, if satisfied with the product i.e. value for money, they offer no complaint.
What annoys people is when they are led to believe their money is bound for a charity or cause when in fact it is not.
BELFAST CITY MARATHON
“The Belfast City Marathon first launched in 1982 with 3021 taking part in a marathon only event. The marathon course started at the old Maysfield Leisure Centre and Greg Hannon was the winner in a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 25 seconds. Sue Boreham was the first woman across the line in a time of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 26 seconds. The event would take place on May Day Bank Holiday Monday each year.
1989 – the Team Relay event was introduced for teams of 2-5 runners, generating over £1.1M annually for local charities
1997 – the 8 Mile Walk and Fun Run events were introduced making the event the largest mass sport participatory event in Northern Ireland
2013 – the Half Marathon September event was launched” – www.belfastcitymarathon.com
Initially the Belfast City Marathon was run by a company whose directors came evenly from Belfast City Council and Athletics NI. However in recent years the BCC role seems to have reduced to such an extent that it is almost wholly ANI-controlled despite the council contributing £27,000 (was £42,000) annually as well as providing other services.
It is not difficult to see that both companies share a lot in common – officers, accountants and bankers. The fact that both companies are seen as one enterprise was confirmed after separate Freedom of Information requests were sent independently for each of the two companies. The response from John Allen was surprising in that his reply covered both companies. That may suggest in his mind they were one and indivisible. But, if so, why are accounts never presented to members of ANI? Who is entitled to attend the AGM of the Belfast City Marathon? What external scrutiny is there of the income and expenditure of the company? Are the dealings of the Belfast City Marathon open and transparent? Definitely not!
The assertion that the FoI requests were refused following The “comprehensive legal advice” also seems fatuous when informed legal professionals assure that any organisation in receipt of funds from the public purse are required to comply with requests for Freedom of Information. It is common sense that the public has the right to know how its monies are spent.
BCM VIRTUAL MARATHON
Earlier this year the Belfast City Marathon advertised that the 2020 race would be “virtual” in response to the regulations imposed during the ongoing pandemic.
BCM promo material:“As such a virtual event has been organised in an attempt to keep people motivated and raise some much needed funds for our official nominated charity, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland. There is an option to donate when registering and you can also donate to Cancer Focus NI via their JustGiving page”
Over 3500 people entered this at a cost of £15 each. If they wished to support the nominated charity as well a link was provided. The BCM received over £50,000 with many believing that the money was going to charity. With the event being virtual, outgoings were minimal – the tee-shirts were donated by the charity , if you wanted a race tee-shirt, you had to pay extra.
When the event was completed, BCM trumpeted that £40K had been handed over to charity. The impression taken by many was that this came from the BCM but, despite being challenged, it refused to confirm that any of this came from the entry. In the circumstances, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the £40K came from the voluntary contributions of the entrants.
In correspondence, BCM have tried to maintain this myth that they donated the money by a clever use of words. The company has also refused to make this information under a FoI request.
Apologies for the delay but can I ask that the following information to be provided. I think the transparency will help the whole running community and offer the opportunity to present BCM in a most favourable light :
How much of the £15 entry fee for the 3500 entrants (£52500) was donated to Cancer Focus NI for the 2020 Virtual race?
What costs were incurred to hold a virtual race?
What companies if any were used to provide the event management/consultancy and how much did this cost?
How are nominated charity selected?
I look forward to a positive response to the above“
The BCM has for years claimed to be raising huge monies for charity but an investigation by this website suggests the contrary. In fact, charities may have been paying BCM substantial amounts each year to garner the coveted “nominated charity” endorsement. We have seen no evidence of any BCM income ever being handed over to charity.
This is the response received to the latest request for information:
Thank you for your email and patience.Following the Board meeting I can update you on the below;
Over £40,000 was donated to Cancer Focus NI through the Virtual Event which was staged in May/June. The charity were overwhelmed with the support at a very uncertain time for everyone. Press release attached.
The running costs included purchase of medals and t-shirts, design, advertising and promotional costs, office and management costs and technical costs including health and safety plans etc
Like any of our events we work with a number of external partners such as Belfast City Council, Department of Infrastructure, PSNI, Grahams Traffic Management, the list is endless. I must add they are excellent and have provided much needed support to our organisation for the past 30 years.
To select a charity, there is an official application process. Interested parties contact the office (normally January time) and will complete an application form which is later assessed using a matrix and weighting system.
I hope the above answers any queries which you had and look forward to your participation and support in the events over the coming few years.
The above was followed up with a request (see below) for clarification of the £40K donation but no reponse was received – in fact BCM said that they would no longer engage in correspondence about the matter:
Thank you for the response and the press release. Your email doesn’t quite answer any of the specific questions I have raised so if I could list again below this time for a detailed response it would be appreciated.
The event entry system was held with the ability to contribute directly to charity as well as the separate entry fee for the event. So if we can please differentiate between actual individual donations and the separate BCM contribution from the entrance fees.
We can therefore from this understand how much was donated by BCM via the entrance fee and not via the donations. My questions then that remain are as follows
How much of the £15 entry fee for the 3500 entrants (£52500) was donated to Cancer Focus NI for the 2020 Virtual race?
What costs were incurred to hold the virtual race?Can you please provide listing of major cost centres for the virtual race (which if 40k was donated to nominated charity should equate to 12.5k)
What companies if any were used to provide the event management/consultancy and how much did this cost?Again this should specifically be for the virtual event (where input from those listed in your email below would not have been needed for a virtual event) and again should be within the 12.5k figure.
We would be really grateful for the detail on this as it is causing a lot of apprehension/misgiving in the running community that hopefully you can put to rest quickly and ensure that the BCM retains the current participation and support levels from the running community.
WE HAVE SUGGESTED TO BCM THAT IN FACT NONE OF THE ENTRANCE FEES HAVE MADE THEIR WAY TO THE NOMINATED CHARITY WITHOUT RESPONSE. WE LEAVE YOU TO DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS
As we face an indeterminate period when there will be no organised sport, it is worth looking back 100 years to 1920 when sportsmen and women were getting back into competition after a hiatus of six years due to the First World War, writes Malcolm McCausland. Of the 60 million soldiers who fought in the Great War, over 9 million were killed, or to put it another way, 14% of the combat troops or 6,000 dead soldiers per day.
Over 200,000 men from Ireland
fought in the war, both in Gallipoli and the Western Front. About 30,000
serving in Irish regiments died but including those Irish men in British
regiments, the total fatalities from this island approached 50,000. Spanish ‘Flu
which struck the men in the trenches harder than the ordinary population on
account of the conditions in which they were living, poor hygiene and no
sanitation. This contributed significantly to the total particularly in 1918, the
final year of the war.
Many well-known sportsmen died during the hostilities. Notable among these was Ramelton-born Dave Gallaher, captain of the All-Blacks during their tour of the British Isles in 1905, who succumbed to a head wound at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Rugby seemed to suffer more than most with nine Irish internationals also never returning to their native land.
Irish League side Derry Celtic lost its David Beckham of the day. Barney Donaghey was the star attraction of the team based at Celtic Park, then a soccer ground. Barney Donaghey had played for Manchester United, Burnley, and a host of Irish clubs, and he made one appearance for the Irish international team, before returning to his home town club.
He quickly settled back into the Celtic team and, despite standing only 5ft 4in (1.63m) and weighing just 10 stone (63kgs), was a tricky player whom opponents found hard to tackle. He joined up in 1914 at the start of the Great War despite having a wife and four young children. He lost his life in the mud and chaos of the Somme on July 1, 1916. His body was never found
In athletics France’s Jean Bouin, a silver medallist over 5000m in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, his duel with Finland’s Hannes Kolehmainen is still regarded as one of the classics in athletics history, died as a consequence of what would nowadays be called friendly fire.
Germany’s Hanns Braun, a
medallist in both 1908 and 1912 Games, was a fighter pilot and died when shot
down over France. He could well have been the German pilot who was depicted in
the recent film 1917. He and Bouin were just two of seven athletics Olympics medallists
who never came home, much less pulled on a spiked shoe.
In the absence of a large percentage
of the male population, even in Ireland where there was no conscription, and at
a time when there was no significant participation in sport by females, most athletics
clubs struggled to maintain any level of normality. The Irish championships, both track and field
as well as cross country had been suspended from 1914; what clubs who struggled
on could only organise a Saturday afternoon pack run when numbers permitted.
It was like a new dawn when
hostilities finally came to a conclusion in November 1918 but it was not until early
1920 that the athletics authorities managed to restore organised competitions. The
Northern Cross Country Championship in Belvoir Park at the end of February,
1920 marked the end of a six year gap and attracted a huge entry and a good
crowd of spectators.
Anton Hegarty was the
convincing of the race, the 27-year-old Derry man simply running away from the
opposition. He had only taken up running whilst serving with the Inniskilling
Fusiliers in India but found he was a natural, leading the Skins 1st battalion to
success in inter-regiment competitions in 1913 and 1914. Albertville Harriers
filled the next three places in Belvoir Park through Martin, Topping and Gowdy.
In a tight team race Albertville
(2,3,4,11,13,25=58) narrowly defeated North Belfast Harriers (5,6,10,12,14,15=62)
with Willowfield a distant third on 146 points. Duncairn, City of Derry, County
Antrim, Ulsterville B and 9th Old Boys all completed teams reflecting
the strength of the sport despite the lay-off. A War Memorial trophy was
presented for competition by Juniors with Willowfield being the first club to put
its name on its base.
CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPER REPORT
“A really splendid race
for the northern cross country championship took place in Belvoir Park on
Saturday afternoon, and it was favoured with the very best of weather
conditions. The venue proved quite an attraction in itself, for it would be
difficult, if not, indeed, altogether impossible, to find a better within the
whole limits of Ulster. With characteristic thoughtfulness and consideration,
the park – which is beautifully undulating, and adorned in many parts by clumps
of giant trees – was kindly placed at the disposal of the committee by the
right honourable Sir James Johnston J.P., The present occupant, who, attending
with some friends, manifested a deep interest in the contest. Trams, motor
waggons, and cars carried a large crowd of spectators to the scene, and this
was another distinctly encouraging feature on the side of success. No doubt was
left in the mind of anyone who saw the arrangements, the admirable manner they
were carried out, and the workmanlike way all went about their duties, that the
officials from top to bottom of the list were sportsmen of the first water……..
“Derry club travelled
specially to participate in the race, and had every reason to be gratified over
their reception. A. Hegarty who created a sensation at Glasgow Gaelic sports by
his work in the mile, belonged to this team, and the fine record he again
established in the Northern championships at Belvoir Park made him an
outstanding figure. He led all the way, improving the distance every lap, and
finished magnificently. It was at once recognised that he and Crowe who had won
in the junior race at Bloomfield a fortnight ago, would make fine assets for
Ireland in an international contest, and it is almost certain that before long
both will have their chances in this respect. Martin and Kerr, ex champions:
Magill, winner of the victory inter-team shield; and McBride, the Ulster four
mile champion, were also in the field…….
“Hegarty made a splendid
finish, coming in strongly a good way in front of Martin. Topping romped in 100
yards behind the latter, and then followed at shorter or longer intervals –
Gowdy, Crothers, McCann and Jackson, of Willowfield, and McBride, North
Belfast. The time was 34 minutes 53
seconds. This proved a new record, Hegarty improving on the former time for a
somewhat shorter course, by a minute”.
They are already up and running in Donegal this new year with over 200 turning up for the opening race in the Lifford-Strabane 5K Series held in unseasonably mild conditions. Finn Valley’s Gerard Gallagher was pleased to put recent injury behind him as he moved away from the main field early on to score an easy win in 15:31. Charlie O’Donnell made the long journey from the Rosses to take second in 16:04 with Gary Gallagher edging Peter Tuohey for third with a 16:19 clocking. Ben Mellon was the leading Junior, taking 11th overall in 17:56.
The host club’s Claire McGuigan was equally impressive leading home the women in what she described as “a shock to the system” but recording a credible 17:48. Leoni Mullen was also quick out of the blocks to occupy the runner-up spot in 18:19 while Elaine Connor was well clear of the main field, in third, with a 19:08 mark. The second race in the series is in Raphoe on January 26 with 10:30am start and concludes in Lifford on February 9.
Usually at this time of the year we are looking forward to the Belfast International Cross Country but after 42 years our local cross country classic has been gently laid to rest. Once the highlight of the winter season, it is no longer with us. And like the parrot in the Montyn Python sketch, they tell us it is merely resting but we know better. It is dead! It is no more! It has ceased to be! It is said to be the victim of a clash of dates with its more famous sibling in Scotland, the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, but one questions whether another date could not be found.
The cross country classic was
first hosted in 1977 and has gone under a variety of guises. For the 2000 and
2001 races, it was known as the Fila International Cross Country, for the
1995-1999 meetings as the Coca Cola International Cross Country; for the 1994
race, it went under the banner of the Ulster Milk Games International; for the
1992-1993 races, it became the Reebok International Cross Country; for the 1989
race, it was titled as the Brooks International Cross Country; for the 1990-1991
and 1977-1988 races, it became the Mallusk Cross Country. Many names and a few
locations but consistently an opportunity to see world class performers on our
The fixture has seen some of
the world’s best runners compete. Waterford man Gerry Deegan was the winner of
the first race with Olympic gold medallist Steve Ovett taking the laurels the
following year. The Brighton athlete
returned in 1984 to lift the title for a second time but in the meantime
Ireland’s two-time world champion John Treacy had prevailed over a strong field
in 1982. It was shortly afterwards that the east Africans claimed ownership of
the race with American Dathan Ritzenhein, in 2005, being the last non-African to
cross the finish line in first place.
The women’s race was added in
1986 with Susan Tooby, now Wightman, from Wales the first winner. Running
legends like Liz McColgan (1987/1988) and Paula Radcliffe (1994/1996/2000/2001)
claimed multiple wins while Irish athletes have held their own in the women’s
event, with Roisin Smyth (1990), Catherina McKiernan (1992/1993), Mary Cullen
(2010) and Fionnuala McCormick (2012/2013) all claiming wins.
It could be seen as purely a
sop to the local followers of the sport when the Bobby Rea Memorial in November
was rebranded an international. A few runners from across the water do not make
an international. Many felt they were being offered a slug as a replacement for
a Norwegian Blue parrot!
Nothing trumps speed and track specialist Neil Johnston proved it once again when he was the emphatic winner of the Greencastle 5 Miles road race in Tyrone. The race confirmed its status as the number one holiday fixture with over 700 hardy runners crossing the finish line in damp and windy conditions.
Johnston was making his debut in the race and was in a group
of three, along with Scott Rankin and Mark McKinstry, who broke away from the
field almost from the gun. But Johnston’s track speed told as he took an early
lead on the downhill before going on to break the tape in 24 minutes and 54
seconds. Rankin held on to the runner-up spot a further 24 seconds back with 2018
winner McKinstry having to settle for third on this occasion in 25:34.
“Conditions were pretty tough there but I just went out with
Scott and Mark McKinstry,” said the Coleraine man. “It’s downhill then and I
started getting a bit of a lead and then Scott and myself broke off. I think I
was in the lead from two miles on and built it on. But it’s a tough climb from three
to four miles.”
Matthew Neill was the first U20, taking fourth in 25:50,
while Eoin Hughes (26:16) and Colin Griffin (26:33) rounded off the top half
Emma Mitchell completed her third consecutive victory in the women’s race it could not have been any easier for the Clonliffe Harrier who won by over three minutes in 29:21. Pauline McGurren (32:24) and April Clarke (32:32) completed the women’s podium.
The organisers set new standards in terms of the content of the goody bags both in terms of the quantity of the items included and the quality. No more plastic bottles, replaced by paper cartons and surely a first anywhere …. a pack of four free range eggs!
Many runners may be interested, if they have not seen it already, in a documentary Gamechangers produced by Academy winning director James Cameron and directed by Academy Award winner Louis Psihoyos (2009’s “The Cove” and 2015’s “Racing Extinction”). Currently available on Netflix after being released in June, the film boasts some big hitters in the entertainment and sporting world as executive producers, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Novo Djokovic and Lewis Hamilton.
The documentary may be of benefit
to athletes and runners, indeed anyone who takes part in a sport, as it claims
to highlight the misconceptions around eating meat to support physical prowess
in sport. James Wilks, who instructs
members of the U.S. defence forces, narrates the film, based on his own
personal experiences, that looked at how plant-based diets affected every part
of our bodies.
Vegan diets involve
completely cutting out all animal products including meat, eggs, cheese and
milk. Veganism and vegetarianism have exploded in the last few years, with
millions of people looking to cut out animal products for both ethical and
health reasons. A report by research firm Global Data claims that veganism has
seen a 600 percent increase in the last three years in the US. Research has shown that plant-based diets,
eliminating red meats and at times seafood, can lower blood pressure and risk
The coverage showed the
change plant-based diets had on the quality of athlete’s blood and the
endurance they had on the field or in the gym. Arnold Schwarzenegger also
weighed in on the side of a vegetarian diet, saying in his early days of
bodybuilding he was a big meat eater.
“I ate a lot of meat, I ate
my 10-15 eggs a day and you know had my 250g of protein a day because I weighed
250 pounds,” admitted Schwarzenegger. “But as I got older and read up on it, I
recognised the fact you really don’t have to get your protein from meat or
Readers may find particularly interesting the part of the documentary that focussed on the NFC team Tennessee Titans, featuring their linebacker Derrick Morgan, who had not made the play-offs in almost a decade. Half of the team ditched animal products altogether after Morgan, who is interviewed, started reading research about plant-based food and recovery, and how eating the right foods accelerates the healing process.
Derrick’s wife started cooking him plant-based meals, and eventually the other guys wanted to try the diet as well. Not only did they love the delicious plant-based food but the Titans had their best ever season in 2017 reaching the play-offs and only going out to the New England Patriots, the eventual Superbowl champions.
eggs and dairy products are common sources of protein for most people. anyone
who consumes these foods typically get plenty of protein in their daily diets,
but Vegans need to turn to beans and nuts to get enough. The recommended daily
amount is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams daily for men. Vegans rely on
tofu, beans and nuts as their sources of protein, a cup of dry beans has about
16 grams of protein, and a 100-gram serving of extra-firm tofu yields just
under 10 grams.
get their iron mostly from meat, particularly red meat, so it is important for Vegans
to consume iron-rich foods as well. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and
problems with brain function. Females need 18 milligrams of iron daily, but the
requirement jumps to 27 milligrams for pregnant women while surprisingly men
only need 8 milligrams daily. Soya beans, white beans and spinach are good
sources of iron, but Vegans may need a daily iron supplement.
Other Essential Minerals and Vitamins.
In the absence
of dairy products in their diet, Vegans need to look elsewhere to meet their
calcium requirements of 1,000 milligrams per day. Vitamin D assists the body in
absorbing calcium, adults need 600 international units per day. It is almost
inevitable that Vegans need to either take a vitamin D supplement or drink soy
milk fortified with vitamin D. They almost certainly need to take a vitamin B12
supplement as the vitamin is almost exclusively found in animal products.
The Vegan Society of Ireland has been promoting Ve.ganism and Animal Rights in Ireland since 2009. Its website www.vegan.ie contains lots of information for anyone thinking of practising veganism or is already a Vegan. Vegan Runners (www.veganrunners.org.uk) offer membership for just £6 per year and can provide introductions to others in the UK of a like mind.
Well done, Ireland; a country that welcomes immigrants and a nation that has waved good-bye to countless emigrants for centuries while others have stuck out at home through thick and thin. The arrivals, the departures and remainers came together in perfect synchronicity yesterday to help Ireland to its best ever day at the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon. Two individual and two team medals surpassed anything achieved before at a European Cross Country and bridged a four year gap since an Irish athlete trod the presentation podium.
And that welcoming attitude paid dividends when a refugee
from Eritrea won a bronze medal for the country in the Junior Men’s team race. Two
years ago, Efrem Gidey was languishing in the holding camp at Calais in France but
yesterday he declared himself a proud Irish man standing alongside the
all-conquering Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen on the medal podium of a
Gidey was in the leading group from the opening lap and when
the reigning European Senior 1500m/5000m champion Ingebrigtsen applied the
pressure halfway through the 6225m event, the 19-year-old was only one of two
men to respond. The Norwegian pulled away to away to seal his fourth consecutive
by over half a minute while Gidey fought out the minor places with Turkey’s
In the end the Turk won that battle by three seconds with
Gidey seemingly would have been happier with a team medal than his own
achievement but Ireland lost third place on countback after finishing on the
same points as Portugal.
“I’m so happy,” he said. “Ireland is my country and means so
much. I am doing it for Ireland because it is doing it for me. A good
opportunity – I am learning English and I’m going to school.”
Gidey lives in Tyrellstown, a northern suburb of Dublin and is
a member of Clonliffe Harriers. He is current Irish Schools cross country
champion and recently won the Leinster Senior Men’s cross country title. Some thought he was ill-advised in running
the recent National Senior at Abbotstown but finished ninth, helping Clonliffe
regain the team title. He was sick last
week and only got the all-clear to compete on Friday past when Athletics Ireland
managed to secure a visa for him to enter Portugal.
Three young Irish woman who, like so many before them, went
to the United States to further their education and running careers, supplied
medals two and three. Cork’s Stephanie Cotter ran a well-timed race to take the
individual bronze in the U23 race while further down the field the Tyrone twins,
Eilish and Roisin Flanagan, battled hard to claim 9th and 17th
respectively to put Ireland in the silver medal spot behind a strong
All three women attend Adams State University and agreed
that they would not be where they are today were it not for the coaching and
facilities made available to them in Alamosa, Colorado.
“I came off the NCAA season and I was very happy with it and
I knew I was fit coming in here,” said Cotter. “I went out to win it but I knew
Moller was strong, so I said I would go out in the top five and if there were
any moves, I’d cover them. I think about the third lap, she put in a big surge
and I wasn’t able to go with it. This season, I think Adams State has
transformed me completely as a runner.”
For Eilish Flanagan, from the Tyrone hamlet of Gortin, it
was her second European silver medal of the year after finishing runner-up in
the U23 3000m steeplechase in the summer.
“It’s really hard to believe (two medals), it’s been a
really amazing year for myself,” said Eilish Flanagan. “It’s something to bring
home to Gortin, to the country and our small community. We are able to work
well with our coach at Adams State and he has improved us every single year.”
There was almost a fairy-tale ending to the meeting with
Fionnuala McCormack, an athlete who has plied her entire running trade at home,
was narrowly beaten for the bronze medal in the Senior Women’s race. Making a woman’s
record 16th appearance at these championships, the Wicklow woman was
denied third spot by the fast finishing Swede Samrawit Mengsteab by a miserable
Another stay at home advocate Ciara Mageean, in 20th,
had a cracking run on a tough and hilly course to cement a surprise silver team
medal for the Irish colleens. The trio was completed by another leaver Aoibhe
Richardson (17th), a Kilkenny woman studying in the US. All roads now
lead to Dublin for the 2020 championships when the challenge will be to equal
or better the Lisbon medal total. It will need all the arrivals, departed and
remainers to do that.
JUNIOR MEN (6225m): 1 J Ingebrigtsen 18:20, 2 A Aslanhan TUR
18:58, 3 E Gidey IRL 19:01; Team: 1 GBR 25, 2 NOR 38, 3 IRL (3 Efrem Gidey, 12
Darragh McElhinney, 24 Thomas McStay) 39
JUNIOR WOMEN (4225m): N Bacolcatti ITA 13:58, 2 K Lukan 14:01,
3 M Machado POR 14:10; 1 ITA 29, 2 GBR 29, 3 FRA 38, 11 IRL (46 Jodie McCann, 62
A O’Cuill, 77 Sarah Kelly) 185
U23 MEN (8225m): J
Gressier FRA 24:17, 2 E Bibic 24:25, 3 A Oukhelfen ESP 24:34; Team: 1 FRA 17, 2
ITA 29, 3 GER 45, 7 IRL (22 Brian Fay, 25 Jack O’Leary, 26 Peter Lynch) 73
U23 WOMEN (6225m): A E Moller DEN 20:30, 2 J Lau NED 21:09,
3 Stephanie Cotter IRL 21:15; Team: 1 NED 17, 2 IRL (3 Cotter, 9 Eilish
Flanagan, 17 Roisin Flanagan) 29, 3 GBR 47.
UNDER 12 Boys and Girls
60m, 60m Hurdles, 600m, 600m walk, shot, Long Jump, High Jump, 4 x 200m Relay
UNDER 14 Boys and Girls
60m, 60m Hurdles, 800m 1,000m walk shot, Long Jump, High Jump, 4 x 200m Relay
UNDER 16 boys and Girls
60m, 60m Hurdles, 400, 800m, 1,500m, 1,000m Walk, Long Jump, High Jump, 4x 200m
UNDER 18 Men and Women 60m,
60m Hurdles, 400m, 800m, 1,000m Walk, 1,500m, Shot, Long Jump, High jump, Triple
Jump, 4 x 200m Relay
JUNIOR Men and Women 60m,
60m hurdles, 400, 800m, 1,000m Walk, 1,500m, shot, long jump, triple jump, 4 x
Senior Men and Women 60m,
60m hurdles, 400, 800m, 1,000m Walk, 1,500m, shot, long jump, triple jump, 4 x
Masters Men and Women 60m,
60m hurdles, 400, 800m, 1,000m Walk, 1,500m, shot, long jump, triple jump, 4 x
Entry Fees Juveniles €5
per event. Senior/Masters €8 per event. Relays €20 per team
Three athletes per club
ENTRIES ON AAI ON-LINE
SYSTEM CLOSING AT MIDNIGHT ON DECEMBER 14Th 2019. Athletes may step
up one age and compete in a maximum of three events plus a relay. Entry to the
U/12 Sprint Events 60m and 60m Hurdles are confined to athletes from North West
(Donegal Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Sligo, Leitrim)
All track events are
time trials, only three attempts allowed in Long and Triple Jumps and Shot.
All athletes must wear
U/12 athletes MAY use
starting blocks, all other athletes MUST use blocks. IAAF false start rules
Electronic timing will
be in operation for all track events.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT Bernie o’ Callaghan, 20 the Waterfront, Killybegs, Co Donegal.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and sprinter Jason Smyth delivered once again, winning the T13 100m at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. It was Ireland’s only gold medal of the meeting and Smyth’s eighth world title since he came on the scene in 2006. His time of 10.54 (+0.6 wind reading) seconds was the best time ever run in the category at a World Para Championships.
The Derry Track Club athlete had stretched his legs in the
morning with a comfortable win in his heats but looked nervous as he assumed his
starting position for the eight-man final. Salah Khelaifia was first out of the
blocks, but Smyth was level by 30 metres before the Algerian clutched his thigh
and pulled up before the halfway distance. After that it was all Smyth as he
pulled away to break the tape, well clear of Australia’s Chad Perris, whom many
had thought would give the Irishman a run for his money.
Earlier in the Championships, Smyth had watched Petrucio Ferreira erase his name from the record books when the Brazilian posted the two fastest times in a 100m race of a major Para athletics championships. The Brazilian made his intentions clear in the 100m T47 morning heats blazing to a world record time of 10.42, shading Smyth’s record of 10.46 seconds set at the London Paralympics in 2012. Ten hours later, Ferreira was just two-hundredths of second outside that mark, but it was enough to seal the gold with ease and set up a remarkable cleansweep of all three medals by his countrymen.
It is always sad to witness end of an era as was the case yesterday
as the previously undefeated Michael McKillop finished out of the medals in the
T38 1500m at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Defending champion
McKillop fought hard down the final straight but could not get into a podium
place as newcomer Canadian Nate Riech turned in an impressive display of
tactics and power to race away with the title in 4:02.04.
McKillop found a season’s best of 4:09.07 only good enough on
this occasion for fourth. Up until yesterday McKillop had been the dominant
athlete in the event but new classifications and merging of T37 and T38
categories contributed to the end of his reign for the 29-year-old Randalstown
Anders Lagergren sprinted into the lead from the gun and led
the field through the opening lap in a swift 64 seconds. McKillop looked smooth
back in the chasing pack while Ireland’s other representative David Leavy struggled
to maintain contact. The Dane then faded rapidly, ending up 11th, as
the favourite Riech moved to the front with two laps to go and started to open
up a gap on the field.
The Canadian had ten metres to the good as the bell sounded
with only Algeria’s Abdelkrim Krai looking as though he posed any danger to
Riech. McKillop, in fifth, was visibly struggling with the pace. The man from
British Columbia continued his relentless pace at the front to come home the
most impressive of winners some 30 metres ahead of Krai as McKillop mounted a late
surge to snatch fourth from another Canadian Liam Stanley.
The first three finishers were all T38, a lesser form of
disability to McKillop who is a T37, meaning the former North Belfast Harrier
was the leading competitor in the latter category, setting a T37 championship record.
David Leavy stuck manfully to his own pace throughout to register a personal
best 4:23.86 in ninth. Ireland’s other competitor yesterday, Mary Fitzgerald,
finished out of the medals in the F40 shot put.
Unfortunately, there was no medal for Kerry man Jordan Lee who went into the T47 high jump second-ranked but was beaten for the bronze medal on countback after clearing 1.87m at his third attempt. India’s Nishad Kumar was the winner of the event with a 1.94m clearance on his first effort to keep a clean sheet without a failure throughout the competition.
DTC’s Conor McIlveen acquitted himself well in the heats of the T38 400m. With only four days to acclimatise and a severe classification to endure just 48 hours before his heat, McIlveen finished seventh in 58.86 seconds.