One of the highlights of the 2015 Ballinamore Family Festival taking place all this week will be the Athletic Club Golden Jubilee Road races on Friday evening next.
Registration takes place at the Sports Hall from 6 pm where entries are also taken and the AAI licensed Open 10K and 5K races commence at 7.30 beside the adjacent Sean O’Heslin GAA Park.
The races follow the usual course with the 10K turning right at the bottom of Main St and travelling along a circuit by the canal bank past the Golf Club and emerging on to the Carrick on Shannon Road at Ballyduff from which it returns to the finish beside the former Mean Scoil Fatima premises.
The 5K continues straight out the Mohill Road to a turning point where it returns to the finish along the same route as the 10K.
The 10K event includes team races for men and women with four to count in each. In addition to Overall and Junior placings there are prizes for three categories of Masters (Vets) for both men and women.
The 5K has overall placings as well and Under 18 and Under 16 prizes but there are no team races nor Masters categories.
Quite a number of joggers and walkers take part in the 5K event and all finishers will be in the mix for a number of spot prizes awarded each year.
All finishers in the two races will receive a specially designed medal to commemorate fifty years of Ballinamore Athletic Club which was formed in the summer of 1965.
There will be an award this year for any athlete who breaks the Course Record in both the 10K and 5K events. The current records are-
5K: Men Alan Kelly (St Ronan’s) 16.59 (2011), Women Laura O’Dowd (Ballinamore)20.30 (2014); 10K:Men: Liam Feely (North Leitrim) 32.45 (2014); Women Aisling Van Rensburg (North Sligo) 38.55 (2014).
With all the older age competitors catered for by both roadraces there will be some track races in St Felim’s Playing Field beside the Sports Hall for younger runners both local and visiting.
The events will be: U8 (born 2008 or later) 300m, U10 (born 2006 or 2007) 500m, Under 12 (born 2004 or 2005) 600m, U14 (born 2002 or 2003) 600m.
Entries are taken at the St Felim’s Dressing Room from 6 pm and the races commence at 6.30 and will be completed at 7.00.
Motorists are asked to bear in mind that vehicle movement will be restricted on High St and Main St as well as on the Golf Course Road from 7.30 until 8 pm. A substantial number of stewards is required to efficiently run off an event like this and Ballinamore Athletic Club has been fortunate in having such a strong level of skilled support in this area which has resulted in previous races having been run off very successfully.
Great support has also been provided by the Festival Committee and it’s stewards.
Because the races have been moved to the more athlete friendly Friday evening and also the fact that it is part of the commemoration of fifty years of Ballinamore Athletic Club the number of competitors may be bigger than in recent years.
Competitors are asked to register as early as possible at the Sports Hall so as to avoid a rush at the last minute as registration will close at 7.15 to enable the paperwork to be in order for the 7.30 start. Enquiries can be made to 071 9644207.