Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tropical Navan

Meath Championships

Certain combinations just work. Strawberries and cream, Torvill and Dean, Sunshine and Track and Field. Tonight in Navan we were treated to the latter at the Meath U9 -U11 Track and Field championships in Navan. There are few better ways to spend a summer evening than at a track and field meet. There is such a variation of activity taking place in each part of the ground that sometimes the greatest challenge can be to keep pace with it all. On a sunny Wednesday evening in Navan  there were sprint events, long distance running, high jump, long jump and turbo javelin. The club were very well represented and each of our athletes who took part deserve huge credit. There is a distinct difference in atmosphere between league and championship with the tension and atmosphere heightened on championship nights. Placing your toe on the start line of a county championsip race/event takes a lot of courage. At under 9 level the club had Saoirse Power, Nessa Rohan and Sophie Foran. Each athlete had their choice of 2 events and all of our girls selected the Long Jump and 60m. With the 60m sprints being based on timings from the heats the girls finished just outside the medals but the Long jump pit was where they made a real impact with Saoirse taking joint 1st, Nessa taking silver and Sophie finishing an excellent 4th place. The boys Under 9s were represented by Jack o'Connor, Cormac Brereton and Rhys Doyle and once again all 3 opted for the 60m sprint and gave it their all in the heats. Jack and Cormac jumped excellently to take silver and bronze in the long jump with Rhys running a great 300m.

Saidbh Healy, Holly Dunnion and Jules Tankersley flew the flag for the under 10 girls in the 60m with all athletes running impressive heats. Jules threw very well in the Turbo javelin and Holly and Sadhbh were not found wanting in the long jump. For the boys Evan Hoey finished very strongly in his 60m heat and threw very well in the turbo javelin. Jack Maxwell won his 60m heat, finishing agonisingly outside the overall medals as places were based on time. Kenny Killeen sprinted well and really excelled in the turbo javelin where he took a bronze medal for the club. There was a Duleek 1,2 in the girls under 11 Turbo Javelin with Doireann Power and Megan O'Connor taking gold and silver. Ciara McCroary also threw very well to finish narrowly outside the medals. Ruby Hartford,  Doireann Power, Megan O’Connor  & Nicole Hoey all cleared 3 metres in the long jump with Ava Tully and Ciara McCroary sprinting well in very competitive 60m heats. There were two heats with Ava running strongly in the first and Ruby and Nicole storming home in the second. Ruby produced a devastating quadruple kick finish to win the second heat and take an overall silver medal. In the under 11 boys 600m Conall Deehan grew stronger as the race developed, moving through the field to take an excellent fifth place in his heat.  In the Bob Heffernan 5k road race in Johnstownbridge David Doyle finished in a time of 17.49. 

All Action

A road race, park run, community games and the streets of Dublin all combined to ensure a week of manic activity for Duleek & District athletic club. The annual Simon Cumbers & Paddy Hyland 6k in Navan was where the action began with a total of 11 club athletes linking up on the start line. This particular race well known for the velocity of its course and the value of its offering.  On a damp evening some light drizzle did not detract from a crowd of almost 900 athletes. Ziad Chammas continues to improve with every race and clocked an impressive 26min and 43 seconds. Tara Dillon, who was fresh off the back off strong performances in the Boyne & DKIT 10k races made the adjustment to the shorter distance without any great difficulty and clocked another impressive  time.  Barbara McLoughlin and Eileen Cormack continued notched another PB in a very impressive debut season for the club and they were followed closely home by Nuala O’Connor and Marion Hayden.

With the adult action for the weekend done and dusted the club was well represented at the Duleek Community games. With a combination of sprint and longer distance races as well as the ball throw event it was a great evening with the club taking a clean sweep in a number of events. As a result a number of club athletes go forward to represent Duleek in the Meath community games. On the night there were great performances from Sophie Foran, Aoife Rohan, Jack O’Connor, Jack Maxwell, Myles Killeen and Ruby Hartford. With a mere 48 hour turnaround a number of the same athletes were present again on the track in Navan for the Meath relay championships. There is something about the hollow, coloured piece of aluminium that serves to amplify and multiply. Few track and field events generate the same colour and excitement as they relay events. Whether it is the volume of athletes on the track at the same time, the frenetic activity in the changeover zones or each athletes resolve to pass the baton, but not the buck to their team mate that make the relays what they are it is hard to tell. Chances are, it is all of the above. In what is predominantly an individual sport the relay events offer athletes the unique opportunity to participate as part of a team. Duleek had girl’s teams competing in the Under 9 and Under 11 age groups 4 x 100m events. The under 9 team of Sophie Foran, Nessa Rohan, Saoirse Power and Abbie Seery won their heat. With overall results based on times the girls time of 1 min 17 seconds was just outside the medals as they took an excellent 4th place overall. Heats were also required in the Under 11s and our team of Nicole Hoey, Megan O'Connor, Ruby Hartford and Saoirse Dixon took 2nd place in their heat. Nicole Hoey showed incredible dedication to the cause by turning up with her arm heavily strapped to ensure that the remainder of the team could compete. And compete they did as all of the girls ran their hearts out and Megan brought the team home with a storming finish finishing narrowly outside the placings.

On a track in a different location Greg Dixon ran a very strong 5,000m event at the Drogheda and District graded meeting. In ideal conditions, a fast field went to post and Greg ran strongly throughout to eclipse the 19 minute mark to achieve a new seasons best for the distance. In Blackwater park Navan and over the same distance Peter Hearty led from gun to tape to emerge victorious in the Navan parkrun. After some well deserved recuperation time after the Rotterdam marathon Peter made a stirring return to shorter distance racing with a strong performance. The 5k distance was very much in vogue over the past days and the dynamic duo of Sandra Cassin and Anne Hamilton took part in the streets of Dublin 5k. Both athletes, who represent the club consistently and clock a very high volume of races into the year ran put in further strong performances.

Full Throttle

Full Throttle.

There was another full programme of events for Duleek and District AC over the past 2 weeks as the club took part in numerous events throughout the region. In Dundalk, there was a college race on a school night as the club was well represented at the DKIT 10k. The fast course was compromised somewhat by blustery race conditions. However, this did not hamper Tara Dillon as she set an excellent new PB of 56.45. Patricia McGlone also ran a great race and in doing so set a new PB of 1 hour and 4 mins with Orla Hillman clocking an equally impressive 55 minutes for the distance. Shane Reid is steadily improving and edging closer to the 45 minute marker with a time just under 46 minutes.  Action moved slightly closer to home as the ever popular Boyne 10k drew the clubs largest ever race attendance as 47 green vests went to post for the event.  Greg Dixon ran a great race and brought it home in a time just over 40 minutes, followed closely by Eric Devine with Lorraine Noone and Lisa Chambard first home for the ladies. The race was also notable for the performances of many of the clubs newer members with Steve Gallagher, Darragh Scully, Olivia Woods and Joanne Cannon earning some valuable and sought after club league points for their respective teams. Hard graft is paying dividends for Graham Byrne and he is bringing down his times with each performance and reduced it by a few more seconds with a time of 47 minutes and 41 seconds. Tara Dillon showed no signs of fatigue as she raced her second 10k in a matter of days with Karen Creed and Eimear Hoey making very impressive debuts over the distance. On the same weekend David Doyle and Fran Power took 3rd and 5th place in the Royal County 5k in Kells.

Ray Cassin is gearing up for a 100 mile challenge in Connemara in August and another hurdle en route to this seismic milestone was successfully negotiated with an excellent performance in the East of Ireland marathon. In the half marathon Shane Reid continued on some excellent early season form with a 1 hour 45 mins PB over the 13.1 mile distance.  The ever popular Darkness into light event in Drogheda in aid of Pieta House was also well attended by club members with Orla Hillman, Eimear Hoey and Orla Crosby present amongst the hundreds of other participants for the daybreak event. With the clubs adults making waves all roads led to Navan for the opening day of the Meath Track and Field juvenile championships. There is something about championship day that makes the heart beat a little faster than usual. Tropical Navan provided the perfect venue for the Under 12 to Under 18 track and field championships in near perfect track and field conditions. A hectic schedule of events took place over the day as the counties finest did battle for honours across a variety of Track and Field disciplines. Proceedings began with the High Jump and anyone who sacrificed their Sunday morning lie in was handsomely rewarded with an enthralling competition in the girls under 12 high jump, It had lots of drama with close shave's, near misses and lots of twists and turns. Our own Aoife Rohan took part, entering the competition at 1.15 metres. This proved to be a wise decision as Aoife cleared the 1.15 metre and 1.20 heights at the first attempt. With the bar rising and the competition narrowing there was some great drama at the 1.25 height as Aoife brilliantly held her nerve to clear this height at the last attempt. Despite narrowly missing out on a clearance at 1.28 Aoife held on to take silver in the competition and now holds a clean sweep of county, provincial and national medals in the discipline.

Fionn Brereton represented the club in the boys under 12 events.It was Fionn's first championships and he grew stronger as the day wore on. First up was the 60m event with Fionn finishing strongly to take a placing in his heat in the 60m. Following shortly after Aoife placed third in her 60m heat. With a number of heats required due to the large number of entries the overall placings were decided based on time. Aoife agonisingly missed out on a medal despite powering through in the last 10m of her heat to finish with a time a mere fraction of a second outside the medals. With both Aoife and Fionn competing in three events each the greatest challenge of the day lay in dealing with the lulls between events, bringing yourself back down from the mental and physical fever pitch of competition to relaxation and back up to competition state. The long jump event was next with Fionn narrowly overstepping the board on his first jump to land two excellent distances on his remaining jumps, the best of which being 2.95m jump on his final jump, He grew in confidence from this and saved his best performance of the day for his last event as he took an excellent 5th place in a very competitive 600m. Aoife's final event of the day was her long jump with and she grew into the competition clearing 3 metres on both of her initial jumps and narrowly overstepping the board on her third attempt and finishing just outside the medals.

League & Championship

League & Championship

Running on tired legs proved to be no deterrent to Peter Hearty as he took home the first Meath championship medal of the year for Duleek and District Athletic club. In a frantic week of action the fun started in Kildalkey at the Fr Murphy AC 10K which also served as the Meath championships. In blustery conditions and on a testing, winding and technical course Hearty made light of the conditions to clock an impressive time of 37 mins and 28 seconds to take bronze in his category at the Meath championships. What makes this feat all the more impressive is that it was a mere 7 days after Peter completed the Rotterdam marathon. Following closely in his footsteps is the ever improving Derek Reilly who clocked another impressive PB recording a time of 37 mins and 38 seconds.  Alan McKeown ran his debut 10k of the year and also clocked an impressive PB of 43.13 on the course. Easter weekend proved to be a bumper weekend as the action moved from Kildalkey to the road racing capital that is Raheny for the battle of Clontarf 10 mile event. Raheny AC are no strangers to hosting fast & furious races and they have an innate ability to attract a high calibre field. This year proved no difference and mixed in amongst the field for the event in St Anne’s park were two Duleek athletes. Eric Devine joined the club in 2017 and continues to make steady improvements with each month that goes by. This particular race ensured Eric’s graph continues to trend upward as he clocked an impressive time of 68 mins and in doing so record a new best over the distance. Paddy Ryan opened his account for 2017 in fine style with an equally impressive 86mins over the course.

With just enough time to collectively draw breath the action the moved to Navan for the latest instalment of the club Track and Field league. Damp drizzle didn’t deter Duleek as the club returned home with some tired bodies but healthy point’s tallies as it sought to move up the standings in the league. After the initial rounds in Cushinstown action reverted to Claremont stadium in Navan where there was a wide array of events on offer. A large turnout from all clubs across the county made for great evenings athletics. In several races, the fields had to be split into heats due to large fields with the finishing places decided via finishing times. The action started with the Under 9 Boys and Girls 250m where Nessa Rohan gave a demonstration of front running in the first heat as she led from gun to tape to take first place. In the second heat there was a very gutsy display of running from Saoirse Power as she placed third in an equally competitive heat. Saoirse and Nessa were equally impressive in the long jump pit as they both cleared 2 metres 60cm. In the same events the Duleek boys took the baton and ran with it with Jack O'Connor and Rhys Doyle placing 4th & 7th respectively in Heat 1 and Kyle Scully running a very strong second heat to place 7th. This good form carried through to the long jump put with all athletes clearing 2.2 metres. For the Under 10s the events on offer were the 300m and Turbo Javelin. Holly Dunnion ran a very strong heat in the 300m to place well and also threw very strongly in the Turbo Javelin, Likewise in the Boys 300m there was little to separate Kenny Killeen and Harry Meehan in Heat 1 with an equally closely fought Heat 2 bringing the best out of Evan Hoey and Jack Maxwell. All four boys threw well in Turbo Javelin event. There was a 1,2,3 for the club in the girls Turbo Javelin with Doireann Power, Ciara McRoary and Megan O'Connor taking the placings for the club with throws of 12, 11 & 9 metres respectively. Nicole Hoey and Ruby Hartford ran brilliantly in the 300m event as did Luke Cooney in the boy’s race. Jake Meehan delivered a great clearance in the Under 12 High Jump and also finished strongly to place well in the 300m. In the girls Under 13 heats Sarah Woods went out hard and held on to place well in her heat with Sarah Maxwell adopting a similar strategy and delivering a similar result in her heat. It was over to Fran Power and David Doyle to hoover up an additional few points in the Masters 1500m.

The fluorescent green was then traded for evervescent purple at the annual Duleek Cystic Fibrosis 10k. As ever, there was a large turnout from Duleek and District AC. The event proved to be as popular as ever and assists in raising much needed funding for research into Cystic Fibrosis. The largest ever field took to the start line and given the scenic route, attractive race t-shirt, souvenir medal and complimentary post race barbeque it was easy to see why it continues to grow in popularity. In a very well organised event there were some great performances on the day from Orla Crosby, Maria Nestor, Anne Hamilton, Olive Wall and Dawn Heeney.

The action continued in nearby Cushinstown for the clubs juvenile athletes as 11 of them competed in the Cushinstown AC open sports day. The host club as ever, put on an excellent event with a wide array of track and field disciplines on offer. Following on from a very successful Track and Field league on Wednesday the form of the clubs young athletes augurs well for the upcoming League nights and also the Meath Championships, both of which are just around the corner. In the under 12 High jump Ruby Harford and Megan O'Connor moved up an age category and competed in what is a very technical event for the very first time. Aoife Rohan continued to show how adept she is at this discipline by winning the event and setting a new PB of 1.33 metres. Daniel O’Connor & Cian Rohan ran great races in the tiny tots race with Daniel placing second. In the under 8 sprints Bronagh Deehan and Miles Killeen represented the club. Both athletes ran their hearts out with Bronagh just missing out on a medal and Miles taking gold. In the under 9s Nessa Rohan and Jack O'Connor competed in the 80m with Nessa following up on her victory during the week with a bronze in this event and Jack narrowly outside the placings. Jack moved up an age category to compete in the long jump and turbo javelin also. Kenny Killeen competed in the under 10 long jump, turbo javelin and 80m sprint, and came through strongly in his sprint event to take fifth place. Ruby Harford and Megan O'Connor had an extremely busy afternoon as they also went in the 80m heats with Megan qualifying for the final where she ran a great race. Both girls moved up an age category to compete in the under 12 long jump where they gave it their all. Conal Deehan qualified from a tough heat for the 80m sprint finals where he was narrowly pipped for a medal. Aoife Rohan rounded off the day for the club by taking an impressive bronze in the under 12 100m final. 

Out and About

Out and About

The adults of Duleek and District AC were out in force this weekend in Clane, Dundalk and Rotterdam as the road racing season moves swiftly into gear. Dundalk saw the launch of the second running of the captain’s league at the Patsy Kelly 5k race. The inaugural league in 2016 proved to be a huge success and testament to that is the participation rate for the 2017 league with 48 club members signing up to the series. The series will be carried out across a variety of road races over the coming months. The participants are split across 8 teams and each team is awarded points for its athletes running personal bests. The league brings some great friendly rivalry to proceedings and is a constant source of banter within the club. It was no surprise that an impressive representation of 43 went to post for the first race in the series. The Patsy Kelly 5k in Dundalk is known throughout the region as being one of the fastest courses around. It has the added draw of being one of the first evening races and as ever it attracted a large field of over 800 runners.

Duleek and District was well represented with Derek Reilly running another sensational personal best of 18.15 and in doing so taking a minute and a half off his previous best.  Robert Kierans clipped in just under the 21 minutes and Paddy Lennon ran a marvellous PB of 21.25. Derek Sheridan, Graham Byrne and Shane Reid both eclipsed both their previous bests over the distance and the 22 minute marker. Ziad Chammas is improving all the time and ran an impressive 22.10 with Darragh Scully clocking 23.11 for the distance.  Lorraine Noone picked up where she left off in 2016 with a 23.12 with Joanne Deasy not far behind her in 24.15. Eimear Hoey in one of her first races for the club ran an impressive time of 26.28. Caroline Doyle broke the 30 minute marker for the first time with 29.47 as did Olivia Woods with 29.13 and there were also great performances on the night from Susan Gleeson, Orla Hillman, Celena Tierney and Karen O’Sullivan.

Attention then switched to the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands where club athlete Peter Hearty took on the Rotterdam marathon. Peter has overcome some early season injury niggles to hit his best form just prior to the event. The race is noted as being one of the faster marathon courses on the circuit with many athletes using the event to try to obtain Olympic standard times. Peter ran an excellent opening half with a 1.28 split at the halfway mark. The mid morning brought a notable increase in temperature which added to the difficulty facing the athletes in the second half of the event. Nonetheless Peter battled through these conditions to complete the event in an excellent time of 3 hours and 7 minutes. Earlier in the weekend on the scenic grounds of Clongowes college in north Kildare David Doyle finished 5th in the Clane AC 5K in a time of 17.49.

Raising the bar

Duleek and District Athletic Club

A hectic two weeks activity for Duleek and District AC culminated in a milestone achievement as Aoife Rohan took the clubs first ever national medal. Green was the colour on St Patrick’s Day in more ways than one as the ever improving Sandra Cassin and Anne Hamilton took on the Balbriggan 10k in abject conditions which added significantly to the challenge at hand.  The conditions did not prove to be a deterrent as Sandra and Anne completed the course in exactly 1 hour. This is a result which augurs well for both athletes for the season ahead. On the same weekend David Doyle completed the MSB 5k in St Stephens Green in 18.18.

The clubs juveniles promptly picked up the baton and ran with it at the latest round of the Meath track and field league the following Tuesday.  The latest round of events was for the uneven age groups of under 9 and 11 and generated another healthy turnout from the club for the event in neighbouring Cushinstown.  The league is a local competition and continues to generate lots of friendly local rivalries between clubs in Meath. It also affords adults and juveniles the opportunity to pit themselves against the best in the county and the colour and atmosphere at the events serve to highlight everything that is positive in grassroots athletics.

Proceedings started with the girls under 9 60m heats where Saoirse Power, Nessa Rohan and Chloe Ryan running very strong heats and Nessa and Saoirse placing in the final. The girls rounded off a great nights work by putting in great performances in the long jump. It took four very competitive heats to separate the under 9 boys with Jack O'Connor, Kyle Scully and Rhys Doyle narrowly missing out on making the final. Jack O’Connor put in an excellent performance in the long jump with a jump of 2.52 metres.  The girls under 11 quartet of Megan O'Connor, Doireann Power, Ruby Hartford and Ciara McCroary were very consistent in the long jump with each exceeding 3 metres 15cm. In addition the girls were unlucky not to qualify for the 60m finals as only the winner of each heat got through. Conal Deegan can be very proud of his efforts in the boys under 11 60m and long jump. The league now moves to the outdoor venue in Claremont Stadium, Navan for the remaining rounds where the club will be seeking to add to the healthy point’s tally they have already amassed.

The mantle was handed back to the adults for the latest round of the East of Ireland race series which took place in Bellewstown.  There was an enticing programme of events on offer with races over 5, 10 & 15 miles and also a marathon.  Tara Dillon put in a great performance in the 5 mile event to take 9th place overall with Laura Donohoe and Karen Dunne following closely behind. There was a 2,3,4 for the club in the 10 mile event with Derek Reilly taking second followed closely by Peter Hearty and Eric Devine. Robert Kierans has been extremely active on the race front early in the new season and took 5th place overall. The clubs ladies also place 2,3 & 4 with Lorraine Noone followed closely by Amanda Noone and Deborah O’Sullivan. There were also very strong performances by Anita Lenihan and Mary Murray.  Ken Brady ran strongly over the 15 mile event which involves 3 loops of the 5 mile course.  On the same day David Doyle completed the K Club 10k in sunny Straffan. There are few races as synonymous with the term fast and flat as the 4 mile road race in Dunboyne. The race has a reputation for a fast course and continues to draw a large field on an annual basis. This year was not different with in excess of 700 athletes taking to the start line. Among them was Duleeks Anne Hamilton who put in yet another excellent performance over the 4 mile distance and earned a new PB of 34.51.

All eyes then turned to the indoor arena at Athlone IT for the national juvenile indoor championships. For the first time the green vest of Duleek AC was marked present. Club athlete qualified for the finals of the under 12 High Jump by virtue of her bronze medal at the Leinster indoor championships.  With the top quartet in each province qualifying for the finals a day of tough competition ensued. Aoife raised the bar of her own performance accordingly and her clearance of 1.30 metres was a 10cm improvement  on her best in the Leinster championship. This impressive leap was enough to take Aoife in to the medal positions where she held on for the bronze medal. In doing so, Aoife created her own little piece of history by taking the clubs first national medal. What makes Aoife’s achievement all the more remarkable is that she has only commenced competing in the discipline this year. Already she has shown a clear aptitude for one of the most technical and testing events in field athletics.  Well done Aoife.

Bohermeen Half Marathon

Duleek and District Athletic Club

The flagship event of spring time road running in Meath took place last weekend in Bohermeen as the annual Meath half marathon and Bohermeen 10k took place. Both events took place on the same day in a very well hosted event. The events continue to go from strength to strength and this year’s races attracted the large fields as 334 went to post for the 10k and 519 for the half marathon. First off at 10.30am on a beautiful spring morning was the 10k, with this year’s race having been given extra prestige with the awarding of the Rennicks cup to the winner.  Duleek and District were well represented in both races. Greg Dixon opened his 2017 account in fine style with a sub 40 performance in the 10k as he lead the club home. Race sharpness is proving no issue for Robert Kierans as he clocked his fourth race of the year for the club and has carried his recently impressive 5k form up to the longer distances with an impressive time of 43.56. Derek Sheridan has also had a very bright opening to 2017 and it was no surprise to see him clock another PB of 46.57 for the distance.

There were equally impressive performances in the half marathon which was also the Meath half marathon championship event. Eric Devine, having recently gained entry to the New York marathon later in the year whetted his appetite for the big apple with an impressive new PB of 1 hour and 33 mins. Graham Byrne ran another great race in a location that has proved a happy hunting ground for him in the past with an excellent 1 hour and 51 mins. The performance of the day undoubtedly though was that of Olive Wall who completed the half marathon distance for the first time. Olive joined the club in 2016 through the Couch to 5k programme and has continued to go from strength to strength and has been training for this event since the turn of the year. Olive has carried through some excellent early season form that has seen her complete the Bewleys Trim 10 mile road race in preparation for this event.  

There are a number of upcoming events in the club over the coming weeks. At club level the Meath track and field league is in full swing with the next round happening on Wednesday 22nd March. There will be further dates in April, May and June. At adult level, with the club having had time to collectively draw breath after a frantic opening two months of the year that saw a very successful couch to 5k programme completed and a very successful 5k event hosted. Attention now switches to the captain’s race series with a number of upcoming local races on the horizon. Last year’s league was the first year the club have arranged a league and it proved to be a huge success in generating very large race numbers, not to mention some friendly banter between club members.

Off the Couch

Duleek and District Athletic Club


The classic case of four seasons in one day did not deter Duleek and District AC from putting on a very successful 5k event last week. Almost monsoon pre race conditions of sheeting rainfall and strong winds did not augur well for the success of the inaugural event. However with mere minutes to go the off the sunshine broke through and ensuring the storm Doris genie was firmly bottled for the ensuing hour. A large field of almost three hundred athletes went to post with strong representation from all clubs across the region with particularly large contingents from Drogheda and District and Balbriggan and District.  The race started on Duleek industrial estate, weaving its way down into the village, up station road prior to looping around the picturesque commons before finishing at the parish centre. The athletes were warmly greeted at the finishing line by a large crowd and the generous post race refreshments that the club has become famous for. Body First were also on hand to provide a post race massage to ease those aching limbs.

Athletes made light of the difficult conditions as Valdas Dopolskas from neighbouring club Balbriggan romped home in an impressive time of 15 mins and 40 seconds to take a very well deserved victory with Barry Donovan of Leevale AC taking second in 16 mins and 11 seconds with Simon Ryan of Raheny AC narrowly behind in third place. A very impressive performance from Edel Gaffney took the ladies race in a time of 19 mins and 44 seconds with Mary Hanley of Na Fianna AC second in a time of 20 mins and 47 seconds, with one of the loudest cheers of the day being reserved for local favourite Nuala Reilly from Drogheda and District who came home third in a time of 22 mins and 32 seconds.  The category prizes were equally hard fought with Ciaran O’Dwyer, Chris Keeling and Conor Cooney taking the male spoils and Sonya Foley, Dolores Kelly and Noeleen O’Hagan emerging victorious in the female categories. Balbriggan and District rounded off a very successful day by taking the men’s team prize with Drogheda and District taking the female prize.

There was also a strong representation from the host club with Alan McKeown leading home the Duleek contingent in a time of 20.44. Narrowly behind him was Robert Kierans who followed up on strong performances in both Erin’s run and the Drogheda park run to complete the distance in 21.33. Derek Sheridan continued his recovery from injury and return to form with 22.54. Shane Reid ran an impressive opener for the year in 22.40. These performances were matched by the clubs ladies with Lisa Chambard first home in 24.29 with Sam Power closely behind in 25.38 and Catriona Healy running an extremely impressive debut in 27.28. Undoubtedly the story of the day through was the large Couch to 5k contingent who crossed the finishing line in their first race. Duleek and District, Drogheda and District and Balbriggan all brought a large number of debut athletes and this added to the excitement and fervour of the occasion. Duleek and District brought through their second Couch to 5k group and this year’s group proved to be just as enthusiastic and determined as their 2016 predecessors. The race proved to be a culmination of seven weeks of dedicated training in all types of inclement weather conditions. The club are also grateful to all of the volunteers and coaches who assisted in making the programme a massive success. A total of 28 athletes completed the programme and joined the club. In doing so, they have infused new life and vibrancy to the club and having completed their first goal of the year the completion of the programme dovetails neatly with the launch of the clubs captain’s league. Exciting times ahead for new members.

Moving further north east and to the medieval village of Carlingford four club members took on and successfully completed the Carlingford 10k. The race which also coincided with the running of the half marathon event was set up to raise funds for St Brigids special school. The event started and finished in Carlingford taking in some spectacular scenery along the Colley peninsula en route.  Karen O’Sullivan,  Daire McDevitt, Laura Donohoe and Orla Hillman all put in great performances and ensured Duleek and District were well represented. There were further representations for the club through the North east region in a hectic few weeks action with Sandra Cassin and Anne Hamilton running very strong times in the Lusk east of Ireland half marathon and David Doyle finishing 8th in the Fitzers 5k in Dundalk.

Historic Weekend

Duleek and District Athletic Club 

History was made last weekend for juvenile athletics within Duleek and District athletic club as the club brought its first competitors to and its first medals from the Leinster indoor athletics championships. The championships took place on the indoor campus in AIT, Athlone and attracted the best young athletes from throughout the province to do battle across a variety of track and field disciplines.  Duleek and District were represented by Aoife Rohan and Tadhg Dixon at under 12 and under 13 level respectively. First up in a hectic schedule of events was the 600m which involved three fast and furious laps of the boards. The heats were particularly frantic and hard fought and Aoife ran an excellent heat, reaching a new personal best of 2.02 over the distance. Unfortunately, this was just outside the qualification time required for the final. Tadhg was next up and equally left it all out on the track as he also hit a new personal best of 2 minutes flat in the boys under 13 heats. Whilst this was just outside qualification for the final both Aoife and Tadhg can be very proud of their personal bests. The fact that this was the first time both athletes have run and competed indoors makes this achievement even more impressive.

Next up for Aoife was the girls under 12 60m sprint and once again Aoife agonisingly missed out on the final by finishing strongly and taking third place in a very competitive heat. However, on the following day she was not to be denied in the high jump. Despite being relatively new to the discipline, Aoife went in to the competition in excellent form having recently won the event at a very competitive indoor meet hosted by Cushinstown athletic club. This form carried through to this event, in one of the most technical disciplines as Aoife successfully cleared the bar at 1 metre 20. In doing so she made history as she won the clubs first ever Leinster indoor medal. The club would like to congratulate both Aoife and Tadhg for their excellent performances over the weekend.

Timber proved to be a recurring theme across the weekend’s action as attention shifted from the boards in AIT to the deciduous plantation that is Donadea Forest Park. The picturesque North Kildare venue hosted the annual national 50k championships.  Duleek and District were represented in the event by Ray Cassin who was competing in this event for the second year running and Eric Devine who, despite completing two marathons in the latter half of 2016 was new to the 50k distance. What lay in front of the competitors were ten gruelling laps of the 5k circuit with the added handicap of some uneven surfaces and the five hour cut-off time looming ominously in the background.  A tough winter training schedule left both Ray and Eric well prepared and so they overcame both handicaps to put in sparkling performances.  Ray Cassin bettered last year’s performance and made light of the freezing conditions to finish in 4 hours and 56 mins while Eric Devine made an impressive debut over the distance finishing in a time of 4 hours and 50 mins.

Debuts were the theme in Termonfeckin as 4 of the clubs athletes took on the annual Erin’s run 5k. The ever popular event, now in its third year continues to attract a large field and the freezing temperatures did not deter the large field of 400 who took part in the event. Proceeds from this year’s race will go to Temple Street children’s hospital. There was a club debut for Robert Kierans as he completed his first race in the green of Duleek clocking an impressive time of 20.44. There were season debuts from Orla Hillman, Tara Dillon and Daire McDevitt who all opened their account for 2017 in fine style. Tara Dillon put in a great performance and set the bar high with a time of 28.17. Daire McDevitt ran strongly to finish in 31.25 with Orla Hillman clocking a time of 27.56.

Trim 10 mile road race

Duleek and District Athletic Club


It was a perfect day all round for Duleek athletes as the club was well represented in the Trim 10 mile road race. The race, which is also the Meath 10 mile road race championships is in its third and is increasing in popularity each year. This year a field in excess of 1,400 went to post as the morning sub zero temperatures made way for some hazy spring sunshine amounting to near perfect conditions. These conditions fully showcased the very scenic route and well organised event by the host club. Peter Hearty was first home for the club in an impressive time of 62 mins and 10 seconds. This performance was made all the more impressive by an injury disrupted build up which resulted in far from ideal preparation. Derek Reilly followed up his recent half marathon PB of 1hour and 27 mins with a very impressive 65 minutes, and in doing so notching his second major PB of the year even though the season is still in its infancy. Paddy Lennon picked up in 2017 where he left off in 2016 with another impressive outing and a large PB to boot, finishing in a time of 77 minutes, which augurs very well for the upcoming season.

Susan Walsh opened her account for the year with a very solid 85 minutes, with Susan Gleeson just behind her in 86 minutes. Derek Sheridan put an injury ravaged second half of 2016 behind him with a very steady 85 minutes. Olive Wall continued her preparations towards her first half marathon in Bohermeen in early March by completing the distance for the first time.  Anita Lenehan continues to go from strength to strength and clocked an impressive 90 minutes with equally impressive performances from Graham Byrne and Mary Murray.



Duleek & District AC


Email: info @ duleekac.ie


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