Irelands Stars in Action in National Athletics Championships!

July 02, 2024

Following the outstanding success of the Irish Athletics Team in the recent European Championships, large crowds queued for our National Track and field Championships in Morton Stadium last weekend, hoping to see their heroes in action and they didn’t disappoint with top level competition and National Records. For Carraig Na BhFear AC it was fantastic to see Aoife Martin representing the club with distinction.

Aoife competed in the Senior Womens 5000m Race on Saturday, competing with the best Race Walkers in Ireland. For a 15-year-old this was a massive step up but a brilliant learning experience. Thirteen Walkers took to the start line, Aoife looked comfortable for the first couple of laps and soon got into her rhythm. At 3K Aoife looked tired and was fighting for 7th or 8th place, at 4K she was overtaken and was now in 8th place, however rather than giving up and settling for 8th she dug deep and stayed with her competition and with about 500m to go Aoife made her move and pushed on finishing in 7th place in her first National Seniors in 26.23. It wasn’t Aoifes’ best time but she showed what a great competitor she is and gained invaluable experience with three hard weekends of competition in a row.

The Month of June have been so busy for Aoife, apart from sitting her Junior Cert, she competed in the All-Ireland Schools, Munster Championships, Tailteann Games and then National Seniors. But what a successful season Aoife has had, here is a quick Summary. All-Ireland U16 indoor Champion (1500m under 7 min Barrier) and Bronze in All-Ireland schools. Last December her PB for 5K was 26.40, her PB is now 25:47. Her PB for 3K is 14.56, previously 15:36. She achieved the European Time standard for U18 Europeans but not the Athletics Ireland Standard for selection. On 20th July Aoife will represent Ireland in Wales in the SIABS, receiving her first Ireland Vest at the age of 15. The progress Aoife has made in 2 years is phenomenal.

Other News: The Summer Road Racing season is in full swing with plenty of races to choose from this week. On Wednesday 26th the BHAA Depuy Synthes 4-mile race was held in Ringaskiddy, a nice flat out and back course taking in a scenic lap of the park in Haulbowline Island, although a stiff headwind on the way back provided a decent challenge. Nice weather on the night saw 350 runners take part, an increase of 100 on the previous year. Given the high standard of Road Racing in Cork, podium places are elusive, but Tadhg Crowley joined an elite group by finishing in 3rd place in a time of 22:04. Tadhg judged the race superbly coming through from 6th to claim the podium place in a sprint finish, congratulations to Tadhg! Peter Hawkins had a good pb finishing in 23rd place in a time of 23:56 followed closely by Conor Kelly in 25th in 24:02 with Richard Hawkins finishing as 2nd M55 in 25:06. Helen Roche and daughter Sadhbh had a nice run together finishing in 36:21.

Despite competition from the Willie Neenan 5-mile race in Millstreet, there was a large field of 340 runners in Courtmacsherry for their annual 10k race. Damp conditions on the night but perfect for racing as there was little in the way of wind on the out and back course. Well done to Timmy Hawkins who finished in 17th place in 35:12 with brother Brian clocking a big pb of 36:04 in 22nd place. Conor Kelly finished in 42nd place in 38:19, good running for Conors’ second race in three days! Well done to everyone running this week, outstanding performances!

Look Ahead: The Munster ‘B’ Track and Field Championships take place in Templemore on Saturday 6th July and the National U13 to U19 Championships (Day 1) are on in Tullamore on 7th July. A busy weekend ahead for athletes and Coaches, best of luck to all travelling. No time to rest as many of the athletes and coaches will be involved in the Athletics Ireland Summer Camp hosted by Carraig Na BhFear AC in Colaiste an Chroi Naofa from July 8th to 12th.

Report by Richard Hawkins

Featured Image: Aoife Martin in action at the National Senior Championships. by Jo Martin.

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