Very busy week for Lifford Strabane Athletic Club

Second in 5k series held in Strabane

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Very busy week for Lifford Strabane Athletic Club

A very busy weekend of activities from our club athletes kicked off on Friday 27th Jan at the Donegal Sports Star Awards in Letterkenny.  Lifford Strabane AC juvenile members Thomas Mullen junior alongside club mate Aaron McGrath were recognised for helping secure for the first time ever a UK Sportshall Title with the Donegal U15 Boys Team last April.

On Sat 28th Jan club athlete Conor Gallagher turned his attention to the indoor competitions at the Irish Life Health National Indoor Round 2 at the AIT International Arena, Athlone.  Conor raced in the Mens Guest 1500m placing 13th overall in a time of 4:43:92.

At the same venue on Sun 29th it was the turn of two of our juvenile athletes to get into the action at the Irish Life National Junior & U23.  Both athletes performing extremely well resulting in club athlete Shannon Craig jumping her way to claim the National Junior High Jump title.  This is Shannon’s first National Junior High Jump title, a deserving result for an athlete who puts a lot of dedication and hard work into her athletics that does not go unnoticed by all at the club.  Alan McGinley was the other athlete in action.  Alan had a strong run in the Junior Men’s 1500m, placing 6th overall in a fine time of 4:09:13, a mere one second outside his personal best.  Well done to all athletes doing their club and coaches proud.

Sunday 29th saw the 2nd race of our 5k Dalys XL 3 Road Race Series.  This year we opted for Strabane to be the venue for our second race in the series for the first time since the series began.  New and unknown routes add to the anticipation and excitement to races, with athletes venturing into the unknown and unware of what route that lies ahead of them.  The morning itself started out frosty and very cold but things soon heated up by the time the runners made their way towards the 2k marker.  A spring sun shone upon the athletes and spectators providing a perfect day for racing dispite the odd patch of frosted footpath which were salted prior to the race start.  This race was well supported from local clubs and 80+ of our own club members including 9 from the Glenelly branch of Lifford Strabane AC, Glenelly Runners making up the 302 runners toeing the start line.  Before the race commenced a minutes silence was held in memory of our club member/colleague Kevin Boyle who sadly passed away a week ago.  We thank you all for the dignified manner and respect displayed.   The consistent club athlete James Stevenson was 1st male senior home for the club this week again in a fantastic time of 17:42 running 3sec’s faster than the 1st race in the series placing 10th overall in a top quality field, Paul Dillon was next to the finish line, running 13sec’s faster than the 1st race in a superb time of 18:02, Garreth McCullagh was the 3rd senior male finisher in a super time of 18:08.  Juvenile member Brandon McGrinder was 1st of the juvenile males to the finish line for the club in a terrific time of 18:12, Wilson Craig was 2nd in a super time of 20:31 with Rory Carlin finishing 3rd for the club in a great time of 20:45.

For the ladies it was Leoni Mullen finishing 2nd Lady overall with an outstanding time of 19:45, club athlete Dympna Houston had a great run to finish 14sec’s faster than the 1st race in the series in a superb time of 21:27, Dympna was closely followed by Jacqui Timoney who finished in a time of 21:33.

Juvenile female member Clara Mullen displaying real determination for such a young athlete to finish in a fine time of 26:16 with fellow club athlete Katelyn Stevenson running 26:26 over the 5k distance.                                                     Well done to all who raced and we hope to see you all for our final race in this series which takes place on Sunday 12th Feb in Lifford.  Congratulations to  our club members that have made it onto the points table to date.  Good luck to you all in the final race of the series.   A massive well done to all who raced.

Special gratitude to our club members and their families for their unwavering support and assistance at our club events to those that took on the various roles of stewarding, registration & providing the array of food, the dependable Pat Carlin for his services as First Aider and Liam Daly XL for providing sponsorship for the 3 Race Series and his continued support. To Derry & Strabane District Council, Sean O’Kane & the staff of Melvin Sports Complex, Strabane Community Rescue’s volunteers who provide an invaluable service to the district of Strabane & surrounding areas, David McElwaine, Bernie Fleming & the PSNI for their help pre-race and during the event.  Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brendan & his team for organising the race in such an efficient and well organised manner.

Our Couch 2 5k programme continues on Thursdays at 6:30pm.  Well done to all in attendance.  Keep up the great work and stay focused on your individual goals.

The draw for the free entry into Omagh Half Marathon which was kindly donated by organisers of this event will take place on Thursday 2nd Feb for all registered club members that have BOTH their registration and Term 1 of their club membership paid.  Draw takes place prior to training on Thursday at the club.                                                              

Training continues for juveniles on Monday & Wednesdays at 6:30pm.  Adults training on Tuesday & Thursday at 6:45pm.  New members welcomed