Kilcoole AC (KAC) June Round Up

July 01, 2024

Kicking off a super month for Kilcoole AC, our juveniles were in action at the National Schools Track and Field on the 1st of June. Camille Madden took U19 Silver 400m and Rory McNally landed Bronze in the Shot Put.

Our juniors also attended The Children’s Games & U12/13 Championships in Tullamore with 23 racers. Otto Bowels qualified for the Nationals in High Jump and Ciara Fay & Kat McInerney U11 qualified in pairs, 600m.

Kilcoole AC (KAC) celebrated World Global Running Day on the 5 th June in style, with over 40 club runners racing in the Wicklow County 5K race. We were thrilled to see Alex Gray, who recently joined KAC, win this County race in a blistering time of 15m:30s.

Emmet Dunleavy (Sligo AC), the Kilcoole AC coach, finished in 2 nd place close

The Kilcoole AC male team took the Trophy home, with top performances from Alex Gray, Oscar Durston, Andrew Lawless, and Aubrey O’Neil. This team trophy accolade has alluded KAC for a long time, making it all the sweeter.

The KAC females, Eileen O’Toole, Dúnlaith Ward, and Aoife McKernan, took the silver team medals, with strong performances, behind the Parnell AC female Team, who took gold.

With over 20 KAC category medals, there were too many to list off. Andrew Lawless’s M40 Wicklow, Vicky Nicholson's F60 category Golds, and Oscar Durston’s Silver Male Wicklow awards deserve recognition.

The atmosphere, banter, and camaraderie at the race were next level. Inbhear Mór hosted this race, with Bill Porter, the Athletics Wicklow County Board's Chairman, on hand to gladly award medals with complimentary hugs.

Medals are brilliant and should be celebrated; however, Craic on the Track brings the whole KAC crew back to these events year after year. The social vibe is a key part of running and racing with KAC, no matter your age or ability level.

The club also fielded runners in the various Irish Mountain Running Races throughout June. The trail running scene has rapidly risen in popularity in the club and around the country. Aoife McKernan (KAC Trail lead) introduced a trail running initiative for the KAC club members, with regular social entry-level trail runs, to introduce runners to the trail running scene and encourage them to give it a go. It has proved a wonderful success, with many new runners embracing the hills. Check out the Irish Mountain Running Association if you would like to explore the trail running scene.

Kilcoole Athletics Club was featured on the RTE 6:1 news in early June, raising awareness of the closure of the Cliff Walk from Bray to Greystones, which has been closed to the general public since February ‘21. A group from KAC ran from the Marina Village to the initial Southern gate, only 2k from Marina Village on the Greystones side. This was to highlight the frustration with the “glacial pace” that Wicklow County Council has taken so far in reopening this route of stunning natural beauty. Conall Finn spoke to Samantha Libreri, to explain what the loss of this key training route meant to the club and the wider community. Finding an interim solution to open a safe route along this picturesque trail should be prioritised by Wicklow CoCo. The figures reported by Wikclow CoCo have over 350K annual visitors on this route, so it is understandable why the local community and outdoor enthusiasts are eager to see it reopened without further delay.

Aoibhe McCarthy took Silver at the Portumna Forest Marathon on June 8th, continuing her great run of form.

The Leinster Juvenile Championships took place on June 16th and 17th. The KAC Juvenile team has consistently placed on the podium in these events all year. This crew are upping the ante all the time.

  • Gaëlle Cherry Kinito U18 Gold 400m Hurdles/ Silver 400m Hurdles/ Bronze Long Jump.
  • Maria Zakharenko U18 Gold 400m.
  • Kirtsy Lauder U19 200m Silver/ Bronze in Long Jump & 100m.
  • Rory McNally U19 Silver Shot Putt & Bronze 100m.
  • Eoghan Purcell U19 200m Gold.
  • Shane McDonald U18 Bronze 100m & 200m.

Following the phenomenal performances of the Team Ireland Athletes in Rome and the recent Trail Running Championships in Annecy, France, athletics and running have never been so popular.

Irelands U20 Mixed Relay 4x400m team; Maria Zakharenko (Kilcoole AC), Conor Kelly (Derry Track Club), Saoirse Fitzgerald (Lucan Harriers) and Sean Doggett (Athenry AC) combined to clock a National U20 Record of 3:24.91 to finish third behind Norway and Germany, at the recent Mannheim Junioren Gala Meet in Germany. This time qualifies Team Ireland for the U20 World Championships in Lima, Peru, in August.

Maria, at 16 years old, was running as part of the U20 team with her compatriots, showing potential for what is to come from this grouping. Maria’s club, coaches, and parents are so proud of this achievement, and the future looks bright for both Kilcoole AC and Irish Athletics.

Kilcoole AC is delighted to wish our fellow clubmate Fionnuala McCormack the very best of luck as she prepares to compete in an unprecedented fifth Olympic Games in Paris. Fionnuala is a true inspiration to all Irish athletes, and she shows what is possible through dedication, commitment, and perseverance.

Lucianne Hughes competed Northern Ireland Master. She took Bronze in the race and Gold in her category. 1 year on from an ACL recovery and she is flying it.

The 123 National Outdoor Championships, i.e., was set to see Camille Madden race as a senior alongside the recent Euro medal winners in the 400m sprint. Unfortunately, a twinge before the race meant this didn’t come to pass, but there are sure to be more races to come, and it was better not to risk an injury.

KAC team “Hot Mess Express” took the trophy in the annual Parnell AC Trail Relay, rounding off a cracking month for the club. This social county race is always full of banter between the teams and with BBQ to celebrate.

Kilcoole Abú (Go Kilcoole)

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