Carraig na bhFear AC

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Carraig na bhFear AC take on Munster Relays!

Five teams travelled to Nenagh last Saturday to compete in the Munster indoor Juvenile relay competition. Our squad was all female, split between athletes with quite a lot of experience and complete newbies to this environment. A wonderful opportunity for our younger learners to get advice and watch our older athletes perform. Indoor relays are ran over 200 meter laps by a team of four in tight tracks with busy changeover zones where athletics turns into a contact sport.

Even-age teams were first up in the morning program and with uneven ages in the afternoon meant a busy day for the organisers who did an outstanding job controlling the masses.

First into the fray were our under-14 team of Aoileann Boyle, Sarah Murphy , Lucy Davis & Mary Kate Dawson. Four heats of four teams with the places in the final going to the four fastest times overall. Third in heat three for the girls with a photo finish decision separating them from second, a competitive showing for their first ever competition.

Our under-18 girls were next up and these girls have a nice bit of experience under their belts in the last couple years and a medal for third place for Lucy Lynch , Rebecca Akinkoulie, Leah Dunne & Sinead Roche was well earned from a good standard race which was a straight final with only four teams entered.

Onto the afternoon, with some medals in the bag and smiles on the faces, our youngest team were next up when Lily O’Keeffe, Aoibhe Dunlea, Allie Philips & Emma Johnson took on the biggest entry of the day with twenty teams in the under-13 competition. Another group stepping into this level competition for the first time they were competitive in their heat four of five but didn’t make the final in what was one of the most competitive fields of the day with Belgooly AC girls setting a new championship record. Our under-17’s had two novice under-16s in Siofra Boyle & Abigail Geary in the line-up, bolstered by under-18 medallists Lucy Lynch & Rebecca Akinkoulie. A tough ask in a very high standard race, the girls didn’t make the final from the two heats. Our last team of the day was the oldies of the under-19 race. An exciting last race as Caoimhe Geoghegan in the lead leg stumbled while moving at full tilt on the back straight, regained her footing and still ran a 28sec leg to hand over to Leah Dunne. Abbie Akinkoulie & Sarah Kate O’Meara took it home for a terrific silver medal from the straight final.

Great finish to our day and great credit to all our youngsters and parents who stayed around throughout to cheer on their older club mates. Earlier in the morning we had two of our relay athletes entered in two field event competitions that were running parallel to the relay competitions. Rebecca Akinkoulie had an early start of 10.00 hrs in the under-17 high jump and finished in the dreaded 4th place. Her sister Abbie avoided that fate when she took the final step on the podium with bronze in the under-19 triple jump competition. A second Munster medal for Abbie in an event she’s just attempting this year for the first time.

Overall, another successful day’s competition for our crew. Priceless experience gained,

the bonus of some silverware to add to an enjoyable club day out.

Irish Universities Athletic Association Cross-Country: This race took place in Limerick on Saturday 4th with incredible depth in both the male and female races. Katie Walsh was a scoring member of the MTU team who finished in 7th place overall. The race went off at a blistering pace, Katie who is very experienced having competed up to National Novice level in cross-country had to use all her experience to run a fast but measured race, taking almost a minute off her pb to finish in 21:10 for the 5k course! Well done to Katie who is having an excellent year in competition.

BHAA MTU: A big turnout in the BHAA series again with 379 finishers in what was the first race where they relied solely on their new chip timing system. Carraig Na Bhfear AC had three members competing and all put in sterling efforts. Michael Mulcahy was 34th overall in a fast 18:13. Siobhan Walsh running 20:34 took the category win in O/40F, just rewards for Siobhan who has been putting in the work in the club training sessions! Rachael O’Callaghan is improving her fitness week by week and ran a great time of 23:44 to finish in the top half of the field. Well done to all three athletes

Tokyo Marathon: The Carraig Na Bhfear AC singlet was on display as far away as Japan this week! Helen Roche quietly going about her business and clocking up yet another marathon, the Tokyo marathon being her second Major having completed Boston last year. An excellent time of 3:51:38 even more impressive as Helen was recently injured and unable to train but no better woman to get it done on the day! Huge congratulations to Helen.

Look Ahead: Best of luck to Anna Mullins, Robyn Maher, Aidan Maher and Timmy Hawkins who will represent their schools in the All-ireland Schools Cross-Country finals in Carriganore, Waterford next Saturday 11th March. Training continues as usual in YCC on Sunday morning as we prepare for the outdoor track season.

Report by Richard Hawkins and Willie Walsh

Photos by Garry Geoghegan

Running with .......

Running with ... are a series of short interviews that give you the opportunity to get to know some of our club members. This month we hear from star race walker Aoife Martin. Just back from a successful trip to the Isle of Man, Aoife is eyeing up more success this year.  

Tell us why you run? 

I run to stay fit and I love the social aspect as well.

Who are your running tribe?

I am part of Martin Hurley's race walking tribe!!

Cross, track or road?

Track all the way.

Favourite race?

Racing in the the Isle of Man has to be my favourite.

Music or podcasts?

I can’t go on a long run/walk without some music.

On your feet?

Asics Magic Speed.

Your proudest athletics moment?

National Bronze in the Indoors last year.

And when the work is done? 

After training I love a bit of Netflix and some hot chocolate!

Upcoming Events - March 2023

So many races to look forward to in March. The All-Ireland Schools XC Championships will feature for a number of our younger members and will take place in Waterford on Saturday 11th March. The Munster Indoor Championships continue in Nenagh throughout the month and will be a large focus for our T&F specialists. Road highlights include the conclusion of the Cloyne Commons 4K series on Sunday 12th March and the Mallow 10 Mile race on Sunday 26th March. For our trail enthusiasts, the Nagles Half Marathon on Saturday 11th March will be one to look forward to

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Photography on this home page by Michelle Whooley, Jo Martin and Garry Geoghegan. 

Carraig na bhFear Athletics Club. Founded 1980.