A great week for the club!
Its been a momentous week for Armagh AC. On Easter Monday, a Team from Armagh AC competed in the rearranged Glaslough Race Programme. Category Prize wins for Dermot Kerr and Mark Haynes were matched by excellent underage wins by Ella Haynes and Odhran Hamilton. Charlotte Leyburn put in a fantastic run in the 2k to post a fantastic 2nd place … a brilliant performance for a 60m hurdler… and James Clarke ran under 20 mins for 5k … pipping his dad Kevin to the line. However, to top it all off was the success of the Juvenile Team who secured the Sir Shane Leslie Cup for the very first time. To put the success into perspective, this is the first time the Cup has travelled North since its inauguration in 2003 and the victory caused rapturous scenes at the Presentation. Congratulations to all the Juniors and their Coaches. The juniors continued their success when a number of them competed at the North Down Track and Field series on Thursday evening in Bangor, with the Gildeas, Tilly McKeown, the Haynes and Odhrán Hamilton all competing well.
On Friday 6th April, a terrific crowd of Seniors & Juniors attended are Annual Registration Evening where the parents got the opportunity to meet the Coaches and discuss the forthcoming Athletics year ahead. The attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Athletics NI’s Allister Woods on the Clubmark NI accreditation that Armagh AC are currently undertaking.
Saturday 7th April was another terrific day for the Club with Athletes spread across Europe competing in various events and disciplines. Geraldine Devlin ran a terrific 1.42 at the Prague Half Marathon and no fewer than 17 Armagh AC Athletes took to the Starting Line at the Omagh Half Marathon. First home for Armagh AC was Gary Henderson in 1.15.16. Preparing for a first London Marathon bid, Brian McElvanna produced a sparkling 1.15.41 which leaves him in great shape for the VLM. Noreen Fegan has been having a wonderful Spring and this continued as Noreen won her Category by producing a terrific 1.30.15. Fresh from the recent London Half Marathon, Geoffrey Turkington posted a 1.32.27 closely followed by Kathryn Rafferty in 1.34.51. Training partners Raymond Mullen and Martin Mc Kenna posted respectable times of 1.35.18 and 1.36.46 respectively. Kerrie Hamilton clocked a cracking PB of 1.37.26 and Michael McKenzie took the opportunity of a late entry to post 1.37.10. Another Athlete putting the finishing touches to his Virgin London Marathon preparations is Declan Toal and he completed in 1.43.21. Two Ladies who have been making massive progress this year is Christine Nugent and Oonagh Haughey and they crossed the line in 1.42.46 & 1.44.14 respectively. The two girls are looking ahead to Dublin in October and relishing the prospect of a good Summers Training ahead. Armagh AC stalwart, Dominic Clarke completed in 1.54.20 and Cate Nicolay completed in 1.58.46. Tracey McArdle and Clare McGee ran solid races in 2.01.47 and 2.02.27 respectively. Last but not least was Philippa McKenna in 2.14.36. Only new to the Club and competing in her first ever Half Marathon, Philippa ran a well paced race to complete in 2.14.36. It certainly was proud day for the McKenna household as Husband Martin also performed extremely well.
In South Armagh, the 45th Annual Slieve Gullion Mountain Race took place. In only a couple of years within the last ten years has the fastest time been under 30 minutes. Relatively few ladies have finished in under 40 minutes, with Karen Alexander timed at 37:53 in 2009. Armagh AC secured the 1st Team Prize with a winning team of Padraig Muldoon (1st MV50), Lorcan Vallely (3rd Overall), Paul Hollywood (1st MV45 & 8th Overall and David Graham (12th Overall). Congratulations to them all.
At the Manchester Marathon, James Brannigan produced the performance of his life to post a 2.58.30 and a massive 12 minute Personal Best.
And finally, an Armagh AC Team travelled to Paris for the 12k French Vivicetta Race hosted by FSGT 93 Athletics Club. Representing the Club were Michael Kelly, Jim Ward and John Fields.
Congratulations to everyone! Brilliant early season successes to build upon!!