Wishing all of our members both young and old a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year. It’s being a fantastic year for the club on both the competitive and non-competitive scene.
Our membership numbers have gone through the roof (if we had a roof !), we’ve become the biggest juvenile club in Ireland ahead of all of the large urban centres, have the 26th largest adult membership and combined are the 4th largest club in the country – a remarkable achievement for a club in a rural location.
I will post a separate article on our superb competitive performances throughout the year but want to focus on progress with facilities in this article and to sincerely thank all who have supported our fund-raising efforts to date.
I just noticed that the Craughwell 10 has reduced entry for the next 13 days. Ten miles is a different distance - pace wise it feels like a 10k, but you get endurance challenges that are more like a half marathon. One definition of threshold pace is "the maximum pace you can sustain for an hour". For faster runners, this is 10 miles which explains why it's so challenging at that level - basically you are right on the edge for as long as possible. For slower runners, you get the endurance challenges that just dont come in shorter distances and people often surprise themselves by setting 10k bests en-route to a 10 mile time.
Anyhow if you are thinking of running the Craughwell 10 this year and want to save a fiver, head on over to the active europe site to sign up for 20 eu. It might help us moderate the christmas festivities!
The Galway Indoors will be held in Athlone IT's fabulous international arena on Sunday 18th January at 9.30am. I will be finalising the timetable for it in early January but it will be structured such that u13s to seniors compete in the morning commencing at 9.30am and u10s to U12s compete in the afternoon, concluding at 5pm.
The events available in each age group will be as follows:-
|U12s||60m||600m||4x100m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt|
|U13s||60m||600m||4x100m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt||Hurdles|
|U14s||60m||800m||4x200m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt||Hurdles|
|U15s||60m||800m||4x200m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt||Hurdles|
|U16-17s||60m||800m||4x200m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt||Hurdles||200m|
|U18-19-Senior||60m||800m||4x200m||Long Jump||High Jump||Shot Putt||Hurdles||200m||3000m|
Jamie Fallon, Bronze Medallist in the National U19 Cross Country in Santry
Jamie Fallon had a huge run in Sunday's U19 6000m cross country where he led the race for much of the first 3k in a tight battle with 3 other athletes and eventually held on to a magnificent 3rd place to seal his first individual podium finish in National cross-country.
Jamie's achievement comes on the back of extraordinary dedication from a young age. As an U10 in 2006, Jamie stepped up to the U11s where he placed 35th in the Connachts. Our younger readers should take note of that statistic, 35th as an U10 stepping up to U11 in the Connachts would translate to 120-something in the Nationals - and 8 years later Jamie claims National bronze against many of the same athletes!
In recent years, Jamie edged his way to the podium, placing
- 6th in the U16 boys in 2012
- 5th in the U18 boys in 2013
- 4th in the U18 boys in 2014
- 3rd in the U19 boys in 2014
Jamie is a nephew of the legendary Galway runner Jimmy Fallon who represented Ireland in cross country on numerous occasions and was a scholarship student in Providence College in the US. Jamie's performance had earned him his third international vest for the Celtic Games which will be held in Ireland next January.
Well folks (as Michael would say)
It's finally official Michael Tobin is the BEST child mentor/coach in Ireland.
We in Craughwell A.C. have always known this, but now most of Ireland have also found out.
What a wonderful way to celebrate the excellence of a man who lives, eats and breaths the sport of athletics.
He never misses a training session often arriving late to, or leaving early from meetings.
How many of us have emails with 3am times on them. Does this man ever sleep Who knows???
So many young people have the honour of saying they have been trained at some stage of their athletic lives in Craughwell A.C. by Michael. That is something they never forget.
How many of us who originally agreed to help out occasionally are now qualified coaches, among other roles we have taken on due to his gentle persuasion!!! Boy is he good at all the roles he has in the club, but he shines as a coach.
He has been the driving force behind the great new 8 acre site we now proudly own and has not stopped driving forward in developments to ensure we will keep moving forward through the project.
WELL DONE MICHAEL A TRULY WELL DESERVED TITLE. We are all so proud of you.
Tune in to Michael and Marks interview in Today FM above - it comes about 48 minutes in. Well done again Mike!! It's also worth listening to the great Derval O'Rourke who introduces the award, and was one of the judging panel for the finalists.
Mike and Mark with Derval O'Rourke at the Today FM Awards ceremony
Best of luck to all of our athletes in action tomorrow!
Athletics Ireland have posted course map and detailed time-table at:-
Bear in mind the much larger numbers at an All-Ireland make it harder to find people, walk the course, etc so please arrive extra early.
Directions to Santry track are here:-
Note AAI in the info they have posted are asking that people park (for free) in the Airport Green Carpark from where shuttle buses will go to/from the cross country.
It’s time to dust down the passports again because the club is planning to travel to the Scottish Indoor Championships next February with some of its secondary school athletes. You can read about previous trips on our website. Scottish Athletics confirmed the date of their championships just last Friday as being on the weekend of 14/15 February 2015. This is just before the mid-term break so hopefully it will suit athletes and doesn’t clash with mock exams for those in JC or LC.
Ciara Greene on the podium after winning the Scottish U15 1500m title in 2012
A big well done to Cathriona on receiving the Galway Bay FM Athletics Award 2014 at the weekend at the awards ceremony in the Loughrea Hotel. Cathriona was a close runner up in the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award, just missing out by 12 votes in the public text-voting competition which was won by powerlifter Olivia Lane. With over 5000 votes cast, it was a close battle between the 2 athletes.
Cathriona is pictured below along with the Hurling Award winner Conor Cooney, Powerlifting and Young Sportsperson Award winner Olivia Lane and their strength and conditioning coaches Padraig and Tom from the French Vanoli Gym in Oranmore.
In tough conditions, Craughwell AC Seniors delivered fantastic performances in both National and International competition on Sunday.
In the National Inter-County XC, Rob and Ollie made their debuts - both had smashing runs, both finishing in scoring positions of 4th and 5th in the Galway team respectively and well up in the field. There's a surprising lack of pictures from the event on facebook - Rob send on those pics lad! In the meantime here's a shot of Ollie unmuddied proudly wearing the Galway singlet for the first of many times:
Ollie found the going tough, but showed his mental strength to hold the pace for the full 10km and finish with a very solid poisition of 89th in an impressive 36:45.
Rob Hogan, (pictured above with the days winner Paul Pollock), showed that he can also run on surfaces stickier than an Oregon golf course with a fine time of 35:36 and a 76th position. Afterwards Rob said the thing that stuck with him was how important the start is in XC - when he found his position it didn't really change for the remainder of the 10 kilometers, how true it is!
Over in Nottingham, UK Peter defied a chest infection to score 3rd on the Silver medal winning Irish M40 team. This was a fantastic run in the circumstance from the tough Rowveagh man, and continues his long record of medalling in the event. Ireland actually took Silver medals across the board, which shows the relative strength of the Irish veteran running scene.
I'd just like to mention again how impressed I was with the Junior performances from the weekend - Jamie and Neil had absolutely storming runs, Damian continued his strong level of performance and Paul Joyce also did amazingly well for a man that hasn't been training to his usual level this year. I hear Paul has just passed his driving test so no excuses not to make it to training now Paul!! :P
Jamie Fallon on his way to 4th place in the U18 Boys 6000m at the National Championships
(photo credit Jumping The Gun facebook page)
Jamie Fallon is edging closer and closer to the top 3 in National cross country. In 2012 Jamie placed 6th in the U16 boys. He went 1 better in 2013 when stepping up to the U18 boys where he placed 5th. And today in Dundalk, Jamie took another place off that with a fine 4th place finish in the U18 boys 6000m.
Neil Greaney had a fine run also in the Junior Men's 6000m where he had his best finish yet in a National cross country with a 13th place finish - just shy of the top 12 medalling winning athletes. Neil had a storming last lap where he passed 25 athletes and it all augurs well for the future. Also in strong form, Damian O'Boyle placed 31st in the U18 race while Paul Joyce took 37th place in the Junior Men's race. Fantastic for the club to have 4 athletes of this calibre competing at the highest junior levels in Ireland!
Neil Greaney battling it out in the Junior Men's 6000m
In the U14 girls race, Rachael Hughes was the 9th Connacht athlete home when taking 83rd place while in the U18 girls 4000m Ciara Greene was our sole competitor when placing 47th and 3rd Connacht athlete home.
Athletics Ireland have temporarily put the juvenile results on dropbox so I have pulled them here in case you cannot access them there:-
Meanwhile in the final race of the day both Rob Hogan and Ollie Mullins put in stellar performances as part of the County Galway team in the senior inter-county race. Rob placed 76th in a time of 35:36 while Ollie was not far behind in 89th place in 36:45 - both running seriously good times. Hard enough running such times on the road never mind having to do it on laps of a muddy field!
News just coming in over the airwaves that the U12 boys cross country team have claimed National silver team medals! Fantastic result and a huge well done to the lads in what is one of the toughest races they will ever run. The team raced superly to finish just behind Ennis Track and just ahead of Westport in a close battle. They were led home by Gavin Lee in 20th followed by Liam Leen 22nd, Sean Cotter 30th, Gavin Kelly 65th, Jack Farrell 73rd and Oisin Davis 153rd.
A huge huge achievement for all of the lads!
It is impossibly difficult to medal at National level in cross country and something the club has achieved only a handful of times. The last time was in 2012 when our U17 boys made history by becoming the first Galway boys team in at least 15 years in older age groups to win National cross country team medals – winning team bronze with 82 points (8 Jamie Fallon, 16 Conor Gillen, 27 Nicholas Sheehan, 31 Damien O’Boyle, 32 Matthew Moran, 46 Keelan Ryan).
- In 2011 the U13 boys struck team gold with 73 points (11 James Cahalane, 14 Matthew Barrett, 15 Liam Moran, 33 Brian Loughnane, 43 Ben Sharkey, 88 Sam McArdle
- In 2009 the U13 boys took team bronze with 107 points (11 Damien O’Boyle, 22 Oisin Doyle, 33 Jamie Spellman, 41 Gavin O’Toole, 56 Cillian McDaid)
- In 2005 the U11 boys took team silver with 121 points (21 Jack Raftery, 22 Brendan Gallagher, 45 PJ Kelly, 47 James Greaney, 58 Patrick Prendergast, 80 Padraic Hannon)
- In 2002 the U11 girls took team gold in their 800m with 109 pts (6 Rachel Finnegan, 27 Cathriona Farrell, 36 Rebecca Helebert, 40 Sarah Helebert, 57 Ashley McDonnell)
Aidan Conneely (centre) competing in the 200m at the Irish Schools Multi Events in Athlone
A small group of Craughwell AC athletes travelled to Athlone to represent their schools in the Irish Schools Combined Events Championships recently.
Top performances of the day came from Aidan Conneely who was representing his school Calasanctius Oranmore. Aidan’s scores were 9.38 hurdles, 9.23 shot putt, 5.98 long jump, 23.40 200m, 2.11.27 800m for an overall points total of 2993. Aidan’s 800m time was particularly impressive for a sprinter. He placed 7th overall and has an outside chance of making the international team for December,
Michelle Duggan and Laura Cunningham competed in the Junior Girls category representing Presentation Athenry. Following a new PB of 1.45m in the high jump, Michelle had to withdraw from the event due to a knee injury. Laura put in another very impressive performance in the high jump, clearing in the 1.50s for the 2nd time in a fortnight with a 1.51m jump. She went on to record 10.89 hurdles, 8.86 shot putt, 4.49 long jump and 2.59.96 in the 800m for a points total of 2211 and 11th place overall Her shot putt was a huge PB as was her 800m – knocking 17 seconds off her Connacht time.
St Raphael’s Daniel Callanan-Forde was our last athlete in action. Daniel put in a string of good performances to take 11th place with a score of 2342 points. Long jump was his strongest where he leaped 5.37 followed this up with 9.44 hurdles, 8.03 shot putt, 25.30 200m and 2.31.40 800m.
Laura Cunninghan and Michelle Duggan
Competing at the Irish Schools Multi Events in Athlone