Thomas Barr crowned Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) was named as the Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards Ceremony which took place on Wednesday 30th of November in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry. Barr grabbed the country’s attention with his sparkling performances at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro which culminated in an agonising, but magnificent, fourth place finish in the 400m Hurdles in a world class time of 47.97 seconds.Considering the injury problems he had leading up to the games and losing out on much valuable competition his performances in Rio were superb.First in his heat he came second with a season's best time to easily qualify ,then in the semi final which he won he broke his own Irish record and then in the final to beat it again,he also took the Track and Field Athlete award. Barr's coaches Drew and Hayley Harrison were given the European coaching award.The awards were presented exactly 60 years to the day when Ronnie Delany County Wicklow won the 1500 metres title at the Olympic Games of 1956 in Melbourne, Ireland's last track and field Gold medal winner,Ronnie was present for the Awards Ceremony.. Last year Thomas collected the same two awards on the strength of his win in the World University Championships and some fine performances in the Diamond League meetings.Looking to 2017 he has a very big year in front of him again.next August he will compete in the World Championships in London and later defend his World University Games title in Tapei .He may not be seen iin competitive action again until next May as he will not be competing indoors in flat races it appears.. On the basis of his peformances during last season and the season before with his hallmark late and strong finishes perhaps one or two races over 800 metres would not be out of place.
Waterford Half Marathon a top class Event
On an ideal day for running approximately 1800 competed in the 8 th Annual Waterford AC Half Marathon on Saturday last which started and finished in the Grounds of WIT Arena in Carriganore,it was a very enjoyable and successful event. The race up front was quite close up to 10 miles with four athletes involved, Sergeiu Ciobanu Clonliffe Hrs, Seán Hehir Rathfarnham, both National Marathon Champions, Paddy Hamilton SliabhGullion Runners Armagh and Alan O'Shea Bantry involved. First to fall back was O'Shea followed a mile or so later by Hamilton and Ciobanu and Hehir fought out the final few miles with Ciobanu finishing the stronger in the final few miles to breast the tape in front in 1 hr 5 minutes and 51 seconds,Hehir was second in 1.06.11 and Hamilton third in 1.06.20 so just 29 seconds between the first three. A seasoned campaigner Jill Hodginsfrom Cork who won the Seville Marathon a few years ago led the ladies home in 1.20.54,Jacqui Carthy Kilmore Co Wexford was second in 1.22.25 and Sylvia Malone Waterford was third in1.23.58 .The category winner's were as follows;Women F35 Catherine O'Connor F40 Maura Matthews,F45 Ethel Ryan, F50 Órla O'Rourke(Ballymore Cobh0 ,F55 Martha Mc Namara (Midleton). Men M40 Myles Gibbons (Sliabh Bhui Rovers), M45 DeclanPower, (Clonliffe Hrs) M50 Mark Bulman (Donoghmore), M55 Mark Walsh, M60 Jim O'Connor. (Skibbereen Lawn Waterford )
The Chairman and committee of Waterford Athletic Club are proud of the success of the 8th running of their hugely successful Annual Half Marathon, which now has firmly established itself a top race on the athletics calender Thanks to our principal sponsor New Ireland Assurances, our Associates Sponsors namely Avoumore Protein Milk, Tipperary Mineral Water, Sunlife Financial, SE2, Chi Bia, Hooper Dolan Insurances, Walsh King & Co., Colbert Engineering Ltd, Bluewall, Largo Foods, Caulfield's Supervalu, Country Style Foods, Iverk Produce, WIT Arena, a special thanks to our catering supplier Billy Murphy butchers & good food deli, Waterford City Council, Coastguard, St. Saviours & Mount Sion GAA clubs, FerrybankScouts, Murco Catering Equipment, Brophy Transport,Total Timing, Gardai, Conor Norris,all Stewards, Order of Malta and photographer Noel Browne and of course all the competitors. On Sunday last Kate Veale West Waterford won the Birdhill Co Tipperary Half Marathon in 1.33.40.
KCK do well in County Clare
On Sunday in Clarecastle the Munster B Juvenile X Country Championships were staged and athletes from KCK did very well,all competing in raceswith huge entries. Shiona Dunphy was 4th under 15 and Helena Barry 5th, Roisin Dunphy was also 5th under 17 ,Ronan O'Hora 6th u 9, Colm Barry 8th u 13 ,Roisin Power 9th u 11, Séamus Fitzgerald 9th u 15 and Padraig Fitzgerald 11 th in the same race. In inter club team competitions KCK won the girls u 15 and were second in the boys u 9 and girls u 17.For Tramore Sarah Stone was 7th u15 and in the Inter County team section Waterford were third in boys u 9 and girls u 15.
European Cross Country Championships
Chia in Italy is the venue for the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday next and there will be a Waterford interest as Barry Keane Waterford AC runs in the junior race,in the senior ladies Fionnula Mc Cormack will be expected to figure prominently and her team could also be in contention.
Schools Combined Events
Athlone IT is the venue on Saturday next for the Schools Indoor Combined Events Championships for boys and girls under and over 16.Shane Monagle from Árd Scoil na Mara Tramore competes for Ireland in the over 16.first event 11 am. On Sunday week at Dundalk IT the All Ireland Novice and Juvenile uneven age group championships take place.
New Course for WLRFM Viking Marathon
It was announced last week that the 2017 Viking Marathon,Half Marathon and 10 km wiill have a new route.It will start at City Hall and go over the two Bridges,the Rice Bridge and Suir Bridge take in the New Greenway,out by Mount Congreve and finish inside WIT Arena,thats just a brief idea of the route