Milford AC News
By James Gibbons
Ulster Juvenile and Novice Cross Country
The Ulster Juvenile uneven age groups and novice ladies and men’s cross country took place at the Finn Valley Centre on Sunday last.
The 11am start coincided with the 1st of the days squally showers, which ensured the underfoot conditions deteriorated progressively by the time the last race of the day (men novice) started at 3pm.
Undeterred, big numbers turned out from across the province, ensuring competitive races in all the categories.
The u9s got the day started when the 2 non championship races gave the younger runners a run out.
In the boys race young Gavin MC Ateer again showed his emerging talent to finish a good 2nd to his friend and nearest rival, Harry Shields, Letterkenny AC. Ryan Sheehy is also progressing greatly as he finished strongly in 6th place closely followed by the enthusiastic duo of Aiden Kilpatrick and James Olsen getting into the medal positions.
James Olsen’s twin sister Emily also medaled in the u9 girl’s race finishing strongly in the muddy conditions.
In the Championship races, Emma Floyd enjoyed the highest Milford placing of the day when she finished 16th in a competitive u.11 girl’s race. The Ramelton based girl was the 8th placed Donegal finisher and as such may yet get a call up to the Donegal team for the All Ireland's.
In the U13 boys age group Milford fielded a full team. Cormac Sheehy led the team home in 50th place, followed by his brother Fintan, 52nd, Ronan Ferry 60th and Oran Carr 70th. A good competitive team performance. Well done to Cranford Ac in this one with Oisin Kelly winning the race and leading Cranford to team victory.
Thanks to club coaches who travelled, Hugh Coll, Noel Kilpatrick, James Whoriskey and Eoin Sheehy.
Milford AC fielded a first ever ladies Novice team, where the main aim was to take part and get stuck into one of the more testing athletic disciplines.
The team was led home by Gillian Marley in 22nd place in 17.26. After almost a year out, it was good to see Trisha Nulty get back to competitive action, the Mountain Top native finishing 50th in 19.08. Equally good to see Caroline Marley continue to improve and wish to compete, - the Gortmacall girl finishing 55th in 19.38. With 3 to score the Milford girls finished a commendable 8th team. Congratulations to LAC on winning the team title here, with a Nikita Burke 1st and Noleen Scanlon 2nd.
Another big field faced the starter in the men's 3pm Start race. Paddy Ryan put in another top drawer performance to finish 24th overall in 21.43. Anthony Doherty also put in a good shift considering he ran the marathon a week earlier. With 120 mtrs to go he was 25 mtrs adrift of Paddy, but his trade mark fast finish took up to the shoulder of the Roscommon man, both given the same time (21.43).
Peter O Donnell was mixing it with Milford leading duo at halfway when unfortunately his spike lace came undone, stopping to tie it lost him valuable seconds and rhythm. The Kilmac man battled through to finish 28th in 22.08.
It was good to see Gareth Kerrigan back to competitive running and although not at his best ran very well to finish 41st in 23.01.
Gerard Marley ran possibly his best race to date as he finished 46th in 23.16.
With 4 to score the club finished 5th team on 118 Pts, something to build on in future.
Congratulations to local man Mark MC Paul who put in a great and gutsy performance to win the race in 19.50. Congratulations also to Finn Valley who won the team race comprehensively with, 1, 2, 5, and 6th finishing places.
An enjoyable post Dublin Marathon presentation/celebration took place in the Travellers Inn on Friday night last.
A large crowd turned out to reflect and indeed re-run their marathon exploits of the previous Sunday.
Special guest was Myles Gallagher from Highland Radio. As a former runner himself Myles said he understood the huge effort, commitment, and achievement of completing the marathon. He felt the club was now in a position to move on and achieve forever success particularly in cross country.
Each finisher received a framed certificate recording their time and an official club photo of all 37 participants. The club was delighted to welcome Michael Logue and Brendan McBride and other members of Rosses AC to the function. Rosses won the 10 person team challenge “Hugh Coll Plastering Trophy” having 10 runners across the line with a lower aggregate time than Milford.
Six club runners ran the marathon for 5 charities and were presented with donations on behalf of Milford AC athletes. Rosemary McGee and Jacqui Barrett ran the marathon to raise money for the Donegal Hospice.
Paul McGukian ran for Féileacain. Agnes Ryan for LauraLynn. Sinead McTaggart for Pieta House and Frank McTaggart for the Alzheimer’s Society. Thanks are extended to Sylvester Hiemstra for photography on the night. To Francis Diver and the Tir Chonaill Tribune for reprints of the marathon club photo. To Terence McCann Enterprise House, for design and printing certificates. T DJ Sammy Greene, to Michael and Louise McBride and the staff of The Traveller’s Inn.
This Sunday the action returns to the Finn Valley Centre with the staging of the Donegal Senior Men’s and Ladies Cross Country Championships.
A new additional event this year is the inclusion of team grass relay for juveniles 4 x 500 mts, which should ensure added excitement on the day.
The following Sunday the Finn Valley Remembrance 10 km will take place at Finn Valley Centre starting at 11am.
The club extend congratulations to club member Terry McFadden who got married to Carole McGlinchey on Friday last.