Buncrana teacher Pauric McKinney proved that age is no barrier to success by out-running all the opposition at Friday night’s Lifford 5K.
And his fellow Letterkenny AC clubmate, Kevin Toner underlined that fact when posting a new Irish M65 record of 18m 58s in the same race.
At the other end of the age range, Antrim hosted the Provincial Juvenile track & field championships over the weekend and local talents Tony McGilloway, Lisa Bradley, Jack McCloskey and Naomi Morgan each claimed gold medals in their respective age group events, Triple Jump, Walk, 200m and Long Jump, as several others brought home silver and bronze championship medals.
Starting with the two day Antrim championships the provisional results show a total of 20 medals won by local athletes with Olympian’s Ryan O’Hagan grabbing an U15 250m Hurdles bronze and U17 Triple Jumper, Tony McGilloway’s gold to complement the 16 claimed by City of Derry athletes, including the U15 250m Hurdles silver medallist Jimmy O’Neill; Lisa Bradley continues to improve her Walking technique and looked good for her U15 gold; Jack McCloskey impressed with 200m success and Naomi Morgan took Long Jump gold and 100m Hurdles silver.
Shane McGowan shattered the two minute barrier for the 800m for the first time with a 1m 58.08s clocking but had to give best to perennial rival Conal Kirk of Lagan Valley, whose 57.03s gave him gold in the U17 800m. A great effort from Shane and he will approach the rest of the season with fresh confidence now he has broken through the challenging two minute barrier.
He was joined in the 800m final by three other Spartans, Connor Breslin 4th in 2m 05.08s, Diarmuid Doherty 7th in 2m 07.00s and in 9th Martin McGeady on 2m 09.09s. Diarmuid went on win 1,500m silver on Sunday, Martin claimed 400m silver but Connor added another 4th place finish in the 400m.
Christina Logue claimed two more medals for Olympian with U17 200m silver and 100m bronze and showed her good runs at the National League meeting a week earlier were significant efforts.
U16 Aoife Laverty was involved in a very close 800m finish on Saturday. Given the same time as Cavan athlete Clodagh O’Reilly, 2m 22.03s she was placed third in a terrific race won in 2m 21.01s by Newry runner Laura Hutchinson.
She had the consolation though of defeating several other great rivals in a red hot race and will benefit from Saturday’s performance.
Sprinters Ciara Armstrong and Megan Devine both claimed medals, Ciara silver over 100m and Megan bronze in the 200sym.
In the Throws Victoria Mallett won Discus silver while Jack Folland and Sean Sharkey took Javelin silver and bronze.
Finally Michael Melarkey and Daniel Cosgrove also claimed silver and bronze in the 2,000m Steeplechase to cap a good weekend for local Juvenile athletics.
Back to Lifford on Friday evening and Pauric McKinney at 47 shows no sign of slowing down as he ran 15m 35s to take the Lifford 5K win by three seconds from Finn Valley’s Gerard Gallagher with James Speight also Finn Valley third on 15m 55s.
Age and experience won out over his younger rivals as the Lifford native enjoyed a return home.
The Spartans James Brown had a good run for fourth with a 16m 09s clocking and looks to back near his best after a while out with injury.
Treesa McGloin continued her winning ways with an excellent 16m 54s clocking. The Spartans Marina Campbell and Catherine Lilburn were next home in 18m 19s and 18m 59s, two strong runs there.
Jackie McGinley took the F40 honours with 19m 20s as she found her form again and Sarah Mahon got closer to the 20m barrier with a 20m 13s run. A total of 227 finishers were recorded as the running bug continues to pull in the numbers across the North West.
The races continue this week with the Lisburn Half Marathon and the Dunree 5K on Wednesday evening and then on Friday it’s the Rathmullan 5K with a 7.30 p.m. start.
The Raphoe 5k follows on Tuesday, June 26th and on Wednesday 27th it’s Carndonagh and race five in the local Furey Insurances 5k series.
A busy period indeed and choices will have to be made by local road runners with perhaps the attraction of completing the Furey series swinging it for many. Online entries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply send name, date of birth, age on race day and club, if any and pick up your race pack at race HQ in Carndonagh Community School on the night.