Lifford Strabane Athletic club review year and look forward to 2018

Staff reporter


Staff reporter

Lifford Strabane Athletic club review year and look forward to 2018

As 2017 ends and we reflect on our achievements as a club, acknowledgement is a must to all our club coaches whom unselfishly volunteer their time to coaching and instilling confidence to our athletes to succeed to the very best of their abilities & believe in themselves. We also remember the very sad passing of one of our most respected and inspirational colleagues Kevin Boyle.  Kevin lost his battle to Motor Neuron Disease on the 19th January 2017.  All at the club continue to remember Kevin & the Boyle Family in our thoughts & prayers.

The Christmas festivities were in full swing, Lifford Strabane AC members continued to race through it, many finishing a very successful racing year off on a high with a well deserving PB or category prize.    Personal Bests (Pbs) & category prizes are very much welcomed by athletes anytime of the year, to achieve them in the final days of the racing year brings feelings of great satisfaction to these athletes.  It’s the just rewards for all those athletes that trained consistently through the year and it puts down markers for new goals and challenges for them to focus on in 2018.    

On Boxing Day, Tues 26th Dec, at the 32nd Greencastle 5mile Road Race were a total of 976 participants braved the brisk wintery breeze at this ever-popular race.  This road race is famous for the “Hill” between the 3 & 4 mile marker with a sign announcing “It’s only a hill, get over it!!”  Lifford Strabane AC athletes were amongst this large contingent of race goers with senior club athlete Garreth McCullagh finishing his 2017 racing season off in great style, not only did he lead this club mates to the finish line this athlete was amidst the leading pack from the start, 16th  finisher, running an average pace of 5:41 mile overall to give him a well deserving personal best in an exceptional time of 28:39.  Winning the M40+ Category in a very high calibre racing field!!  National Marathon Medal recipient Michael Duncan was next to the finish line for the club in the super time of 32:48. Following closely behind was the ever-improving Enda McNulty in a time of 32:52, Geoff Sproule had a great run to finish in 33:16, Sean Carlin finished in 36:18, Paul McNamee beating the 39min mark in a time of 38:59, Liam Maguire 39:01, Brigid McBride 50:22, Teresa Kirk 53:41 & Margaret McGarvey 56:43.

On the same day at the annual St Stephen’s Day 5k hosted by Finn Valley AC which saw an excess of 600 walkers/runners take to the start line.  Paul Dillon was the first Lifford Strabane AC athlete to the finish line placing 18th overall in a super time of 18:23!  Charlie McElwaine 20:08 & John McElwaine 24:24.

Sat 30th Dec, club athlete Alan McGinley made the trip the Northwest Indoor Games in Athlone.  Alan had a very successful day at the games running a super-fast 800m’s in 2mins to win the race overall! In the 1500m’s race Alan finished in 4mins 16secs again winner of this race too making both races look very easy!  Well done Alan!!  Great finish to the season!  

New Year’s Eve, Sun 31st Dec we had athletes competing at two different road races.  At the 8th Lough 5Miler, Loughmacrory which saw 549 participants take to the starting line, Lifford Strabane AC was represented by 5 athletes at this road race with all making improvements on their race times on “Boxing Day”.  Master Athlete Michael Duncan was the first Lifford Strabane AC athlete to the finish line, placing 2nd in his respective category M55+ in a great time of 32:31, next was Paul McNamee finishing in the fine time of 38:05, Brigid McBride ran 49:49, Teresa Kirk 52:00 & Margaret McGarvey 56:28.

Aghyaran St Davog’s 5k run & 4k walk was supported by 220 runners/walkers on what was a great morning for running/walking.   The club had two athletes representing Lifford Strabane AC at this race. First to the finish line for the club was Veronika McGillian in a great time of 22:25. This athlete has shown great potential this season, with continued focus & commitment to her training she will endure to make great improvements in the new season ahead!!  Well done Veronika!!  John McElwaine was next in a time of 24:07.  

Other news:

Lifford Strabane AC 5k Spring Series commences on Sunday 14th at 10am in Carrigans, Co. Donegal.  Pre-registration available on line check out the link on our Facebook page.  Special long sleeved technical top in 2018 to mark the celebration of 50yrs of the club for all whom register for ALL 3 RACES!!  Get registered folks!!  You know you want to!!

Couch 2 5k commencing soon!!  

Training resumes for Adults on Tues 2nd & Thurs 4th Jan 2018 @ 6:45pm all past, present & future members welcomed!!  

Training for juvenile members past, present & future on Monday 8th January 2018 @ 6:30pm sharp!!

Club Registration Nights will be held on Monday 8th – Thursday 11th January 2018 at 6:30pm – 7pm each night to facilitate all our existing & new club members to pay their membership/registration for the coming year.

Well done to all who competed over the course of the week.  Congratulations to all athletes that ran personal bests and category & race winners.

A new season is ahead of us, it’s time to set new goals!!  Whether it be to run/throw/jump/walk further, faster or more!!  If you believe it the mind can achieve it!