Bad weather doesn’t stop athletes
A busy weekend of championship and big road race race action saw local athletes feature prominently in Athlone, Lurgan and Dublin.
There were National Indoor Championships success in Athlone on Saturday and Sunday for athletes from three local clubs.
A rash of Provincial cross country honours in Lurgan on Saturday and a Masters O40 double for Declan Reed and Colin Roberts at the AXA Raheny 5 road race in Dublin on Sunday.
Starting in the Athlone Arena there was a significant haul of National Masters, U20 and U23 Indoor medals won by athletes from Olympiann AC, Derry City Track Club and City of Derry Spartans, 13 individual medals and the 4x200m relay gold, the latter won by the latest local affiliated athletics club DCTC.
Pride of place has to go to a real blast from the past, former Oak Leaf AC star Jumper Frank Stewart, back in competitive athletics with DCTC some forty years plus on from his hey day as a top Ulster and National performer, to win double gold in the High and Long Jump in the M75 age group in Athlone on Saturday.
DCTC’s Tim Shields won M35 800m gold in a photo finish, clocking an excellent 2 minutes and 01.89 seconds; clubmate Cathal McLaughlin took M45 1500m gold on 4 minutes and 20.25 seconds and City of Derry Spartans Mark McGarvey won the 60m Hurdles gold on Sunday with an 8.60 seconds clocking.
Two top local Masters runners Declan reed and Colin Roberts were in action on a windy Sunday in Dublin in the classy AXA Raheny 5 mile road race and were rewarded with a one, two in the M40 age category.
Reed clocked 25 minutes and 44 seconds and Roberts 26 minutes and 46 seconds and were the top M40 finishers in the 2000 plus finishers event.
Lurgan on another inhospitable Saturday hosted the 2014 Northern Ireland & Ulster Masters and Junior/Intermediate cross country championships and saw local clubs Foyle Valley and City of Derry Spartans add significantly to their haul of Provincial honours.