Successful week of racing for Lifford and Strabane athletes

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Successful week of racing for Lifford and Strabane athletes thumbnailJuvenile athletes at Mary Peters Track, Diarmuid O'Donnell, bronze medal winner in the U13 Boys Ulster Multi Events Championships, and Thomas Mullen Jr, gold medalist and winner of the U17 Octathlon Event.

LIFFORD Strabane AC athletes had another successful week of racing and competition results.

The precedent was set on Sunday, August 27, at the Buncrana Street Mile Race. In the Senior 4x400m relay team made up of juvenile club members Alan McGinley, Brandon McGrinder, Niall Elliott and Charlie McElwaine took the third team prize overall in an excellent time of 3:52.

Brandon McGrinder went on to compete in the Senior Mile Race to cross the finish line second overall in an amazing time of 5:02. Young Jamie McGinley had a great run in the Girls U11 1k race at the same venue. The club would like to take this opportunity to express best wishes to Alan and Niall. Both club athletes will be heading off to university in Dublin and Belfast respectively.

On Saturday, club endurance runner Gerard Campbell battled torrential rain and wind to compete in his 29th marathon in the scenic Dingle, Co. Kerry in a time of 3:35:56. Gerard was presented with the prestige medal from Marathon Club Ireland from completing 25 marathons.

On the same day there was action at the Mary Peters Track from Lifford Strabane AC juvenile athletes Diarmuid O'Donnell, Jack Moore, Harvey Mullen and Oran Gallagher at the U13 Boys Ulster Multi Events Championships in Belfast.

With a profusion of personal bests, the highlight being a 1.41m high jump, it was the young Diarmuid O'Donnell who made it onto the podium placing third overall with 1466 points to guarantee a bronze medal. In the same event Jack Moore placed sixth with a personal best in the long jump 4.17m, Harvey Mullen eighth with a personal best in the high jump 1.26m and Oran Gallagher finishing ninth with a personal best in the 75m hurdles in 15.87seconds.

At the same venue in the U17 Octathlon (eight different events) high jump, shot putt, 400m, long jump, 100m hurdles, discus throw, javelin throw and 1500m race all of which were held over two days. Club juvenile athlete Thomas Mullen Jr returned to competitive, and at the end of day 1, he was sitting in second place, just a mere 55 points adrift the leader with a personal best jump of 5.98m in the long jump.

The next day, Mullen and the leader, McConville from North Down AC, battled it out until the final event of the competition, it was the Strabane lad who was revealed the overall winner by the narrowest of margins of three points when he ran a gutsy 1500m race in an excellent time of 4:51 mins. Thomas finished first to take gold with a total of 4,279 points.

On the same day in very wet conditions saw the popular WHM Derry Half Marathon take place, which attracted over 1,900 runners to the start line. Lifford Strabane AC was extremely well represented at this race with a total of 40 club members taking part. The rain eased off just prior to the race start.

This event was very well organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council in conjunction with the local athletic club City of Derry Spartans.

Senior male athlete Bill Duncan was the first club athlete to grace the finish line finishing 30th overall, taking third in the M50+ Category in a fantastic time of 1:22:46. Kenny Melaugh was next to finish running a personal best in what was his second time to race this distance in an excellent time of 1:22:56. Paul Dillon, using this race as a training run for the Dublin City Marathon in October, finished in a brilliant time of 1:24:19.

For the ladies it was the industrious club athlete Dympna Houston who led the ladies home in a superb time of 1:43:40. Carmel Hoynes was next to the line in a great time of 1:45:24 followed closely behind by Roisin McGinley running a personal best in a terrific time of 1:46:07.

Lifford Strabane AC athlete Michael Duncan was winner of the M55+ category finished in a smashing time of 1:27:20.


The club is launching two new programmes with the main purpose in promoting and encouraging physical activity and exercise in a safe ansd appropriate setting alongside like-minded people.

Monday September 4 at 6:30pm, a walking group will commence. Meeting at the clubhouse, cost is ?3 per night. A hi-vis vest will be provided.

Thursday, September 7, at 6:30pm a 'Couch 2 5K' programme commences. There will be a short meeting before hitting the track.

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for exercising in.

Term three membership fees are now due for the period of September to December. Payments can be made at the clubhouse from Monday to Thursday, September 4 to 7, from 6.30pm to 7pm.

Dates for the diaries: Felix's 5K 'The Rattlies' Tuesday September 12 at 7pm. Riverine 10K Sunday September 24 at 10am.

Juvenile Training will recommence on Monday September 4.


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