Bank Holiday Monday, 5th May promises to be a landmark day for Lifford Athletic Club when it officially opens its long awaited Mondo track. Replacing the old cinder surface, Mondo’s international standard surface (the same as that supplied to the London Olympics and the Mary Peters Track in Belfast) is designed for superior athletic performance, which when added to the sheltered surrounds of the Lifford facility should make it one of the fastest tracks in Ireland. This exciting new development for the border club is the culmination of a ten year long project which has seen over €1 million spent on the club’s infrastructure which, in addition to the Mondo track, includes a new clubhouse, fully equipped gymnasium, fitness suite and floodlighting.
The guiding light behind Lifford AC for over 30 years was Ben O’Donnell, in whose memory the newly opened facility is to be named. A former Gaelic footballer from his native Dungloe, Ben O’Donnell was a founding member of Lifford AC as well as being a founding member of the Donegal Athletics Board and a long serving official on the Ulster Athletics Board. Ben was also considered ahead off his time in coaching and guided many athletes towards national success and international representation.
To celebrate the new track, Lifford AC will host a week long Festival of Athletics which starts on May 5th with the Opening of the Ben O’Donnell Athletics Stadium and finishes with the Strabane/Lifford Half Marathon on May 11th. During the week, the club will also host an evening of Graded Miles for Seniors and Masters, as well as hosting Donegal Juvenile Track and Field Events, and a cross border Primary Schools competition.
The Track and Field evening meeting planned for May 5th will incorporate a quality Senior and Masters Track and Field programme and is being used by many athletes as a warm up event for forthcoming Championships as well as by those targeting Youth Olympics, World Juniors and Commonwealth Games qualification standards. Electronic timing will be in operation. Events for men and women include sprint hurdles, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, Mile, 3,000m and 4 x 400m Relay. Field events include Long Jump, High Jump, Shot and Javelin. A €500 prize has been included for the first person to break the 4 minute mile in Donegal.
Entries are now being invited for the Senior/Masters programme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org which should include details on recent best performances. Entries close on the 25th April. To celebrate our Opening, there is no entry fee either for athletes or spectators. Further details, please contact Brendan O’Donnell on +353 86 6007847.
A juvenile programme from Under 13 to Under 17 will take place earlier in the day. Entries for the juvenile programme (limited to 2 track and 1 field or 2 field and 1 track event) are also invited, with entries closing on the 25th April.
We would be delighted if clubs from across Donegal and Ulster would join with us to celebrate such a landmark occasion for our club. As well as athletes from across the country taking part, we are keen to showcase the best of local talent, be it club, from County Donegal, or across Ulster.