Golden Debut for Aoife Martin on World Athletics stage!

March 19, 2024

Last weekend Aoife Martin competed in the Gold Level World Athletics Racewalking Tour meeting in Dudince, Slovakia. Aoife contested the U18 5Km race in what was a highly competitive field of athletes.

It was Aoife’s first ever experience competing in a Gold Level event, and she revelled in the challenge. Aoife got a PB of 26:20, a 22 second improvement on the Raheny Bronze Level event in December. Aoife raced really well and finished in 4th place overall behind a Romanian girl and two Czech Republic Walkers.

Aoife started well and met her 400m split target and from there got into her rhythm. At the 1km mark she had lost contact with the first three girls but didn’t panic and stuck to her plan. Unfortunately, she was isolated for the next 4km but still managed to keep up a solid, consistent pace for the most part and never stopped fighting, keeping up her concentration levels for the entire race.

Aoife can take enormous satisfaction from this finishing position as there were fifteen U18s on the start line and she didn’t receive any red cards. Robin Og Murphy from Longford A.C was another Irish Racewalker competing in the same race finishing in a very credible 10th position, again all this was new to Robin Og and she will take away an awful lot from it.

Aoife still has a lot to improve on, this was picked up on during the race by other coaches and she can now address these in the coming weeks and months. It is still very early in the season, but Aoife is going in the right direction to have a successful and enjoyable season. Aoife’s main aim for the weekend was experience, not just race experience but all that goes with Race Walking a 5K, especially abroad. Travelling, eating, sleeping, hydration, meeting new people and race preparation, plus she is very young competing at U18 level.

There were eleven athletes competing from ireland in this meet, all different ages and all different goals. Aoife was the youngest travelling and integrated with the group straight away, benefitting a lot from the experience of the others. Hopefully, this is the first of many trips away. Congratulations Aoife on an excellent 5K and PB, it is a big learning curve! Thanks to Martin Hurley for the race report and for supporting Aoife in such a big event.

IMRA: Another talented Carraig Na BhFear AC Junior girl was in action on Mt .Claragh in Millstreet on Saturday 16th. Faye O’Riordan coped really well with extremely slippery conditions on the descent of the 7km race to finish 13th overall and 3 rd Female to maintain her run of consistent performances this year. The race was also notable as another junior, 15- year-old Finn Yore from West Muskerry finished 1 st overall showing the current level of talented juniors competing. Fine running also from Dave O’Riordan who finished 3 rd in his category in a time of 49:33. Next race up is Torc mountain in Killarney next Sunday 24th March.

Parkrun; In a wet Tramore Valley Park, Peter Hawkins had a parkrun PB finishing 24 th overall in 20:49. Richard Hawkins finished in 30 th place in a time of 21:03, a bumper crowd of 304 finishers in TVP following the cancellation of a flooded Ballincollig Parkrun.

Look Forward: Best of luck to our members who will take on the Mallow 10-mile race next weekend, conditions look favourable at this stage for the race!

Featured Image: Carraig ACs Aoife Martin in action at the Dudinska 50 walking championships in Slovakia. Photo by Jo Martin.

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