Two of Letterkenny Athletic Club’s in-form runners, Anne-Marie McGlynn and Nakita Burke, travelled to Dublin on Sunday for the AXA Raheny 5 mile road race.
This was the 35th consecutive year of this high profile race, which attracts the cream of Irish runners. Anne-Marie was the winner of the women’s race for the second year in a row.
She did so in style, recording a very fast time of 25.59. She took 45 seconds, or 3%, off her winning time from last year.
Nakita Burke had another outstanding run and was the 4th woman home. Her time of 27.22 took a huge chunk of more than two minutes off her existing five mile PB.
This was the culmination of a week to remember for Nakita. Earlier in the week, she received news that she had been chosen to run for the Irish team in the Armagh International Road Race on February 14th.
The race attracts top runners from all over Europe and Nakita will be 1 of 4 runners in the Irish team. The others are Grace Vanessa Lynch (Iveragh AC), Emma Kate O’Brien (Inbhear dee AC) and Una Britton (Kilcoole AC.)
The Raheny race was won in a very fast time of 23.26 by Mick Clohisey, of host club, Raheny Shamrocks.
Fionnuala Diver, who was enjoying a rich vein of form before picking up a serious injury early in 2018, made a welcome return to competitive action on Saturday. Fionnuala has never been one to shirk a challenge and she chose a tough race to make her comeback in.
She put on an excellent performance in her first race for 9 months, the Northern Ireland Masters’ Cross Country Championship at Barnett’s Park, Belfast. Fionnuala had a superb run; she was 9th overall and 2nd in the highly competitive W40 category. Her time for the very tough 4K course was 16.12.
LAC member, Gerard McGranaghan, organised a 10K in his home town of Kilmacrennan on Sunday. The ‘Kilmac 10K’ attracted 137 runners on a windy morning. The race winner, Finn Valley AC’s James McFadden, was closely followed by Letterkenny AC’s Eoghain McGinley, in 34.51.
Raymond Birch’s good form continued and he was 8th in 37.03. Ciaran McGonagle’s time of 37.12 gave him 2nd place in the M40 category. Paul Cosgrove’s time was 42.34.
Monica McGranaghan, wife of organiser Gerard, was the winner of the F40 category, in 42.41. John Hughes clocked 43.31, Mark McFadden 43.50, Darren Beecroft 43.57, Peter Hamilton 44.09, Pat Brady 44.17, Paul Lee 44.19, Frank Pinder 48.13 and Patricia McKenna 53.22.
Young Jack Holian was the leading LAC finisher in Saturday morning’s Letterkenny Parkrun. Jack’s time of 17.55 gave him 2nd place. In a race dominated by youth, the race winner, Sean McGinley, whose time was 17.05, was also in the JM15-17 category.
Cathal Roarty, in his 55th Parkrun, was the 2nd M50 runner in 23.39. Anthony Farren was the next M50 runner in 23.47, which was Anthony’s best time to date.
Several Letterkenny AC runners competed in October’s Dublin Marathon and, in the process, raised funds for a very deserving Charity- Donegal Down Syndrome Association.
They handed over a cheque of £4,000 during the week to a delighted Sheila McMenamin, Association Secretary.
McMenamin said: “Funding like this will enable us to provide services for our members across Donegal”.