It might have been one of the hottest days of the year but that didn’t prevent a new course record being set for the 10Km event at last Friday’s Ballinamore Festival Road Races when Fermanagh’s Conan McCaughey smashed the old record by over a minute.
The sunny conditions added to the spectacle, encouraging a good turnout of runners and a good number of spectators as athletes battled the difficult conditions.
The 10K produced a fine performance by North Belfast Harrier AC’s Conan McCaughey who led from the start and went on to shatter the course record of 31.57 by coming home in 30.54. Second was last year's winner and previous record holder Colin Griffin in 33.52 who also won the Leitrim 10K title. Craig Brennan of North Sligo was third.
Carrick AC's Deirdre Martin, who also was first home in the inaugural Greenway Parkrun in Ballinamore six weeks ago, was first female home and also won the County 10K title.
The 5K Race was won by Jack Spain from Sandymount in Dublin in a time of 18.56 well outside Michael Morgan's record of 15.17 of last year. Jack, whose sister Ellamay took seventh, held off Enda Gilmartin of Sligo AC and Ronan O’Rourke of Carrick to win the event.
Just over a minute behind the winner was the ladies winner Laura O’Dowd who won the event for the second time in 19.59.
The programme included a 1500m for U14 and U12 where the most impressive runner was U14 winner Niamh Ahern of Ballinamore, James O’Donoghue of Boyle who won the U12 Boys, Maria Prior of Ballinamore who won the U12 Girls and Alpheus Anoon of Boyle who won the U14 Boys.
The hot conditions required additional water facilities for the 10K and these were provided at the Golf Clubhouse and by some private individuals along the route.
Ballinamore Athletic Club are very grateful to all who helped on the evening and beforehand, many of whom worked quite hard to make the event a success. The Club would like to acknowledge the support given by the Gardai, Festival Committee, Ballinamore Area Community Council, Ballinamore Golf Club and Ballinamore Credit Union for a generous donation as well as Supervalu and Scollan Meats for donating prizes. Further acknowledgements will follow later.
In addition to the above it was the runners who made the occasion. Core Timing were very co -operative, supportive and efficient. People entering road races where entries are taken online should use that facility and not leave it to the last minute where delays are caused by late unregistered check-ins, details are missed which can affect the accuracy of the results and unnecessary difficulties are caused to organisers providing post race hospitality.
5K Men: 1 Jack Spain (Sandymount) 18.58; 2 Enda Gilmartin (Sligo AC) 19.04; 3 Ronan O’Rourke (Carrick AC) 20.08; Junior: Shane Feeney (Tuam)
5K Women: 1 Laura O’Dowd (Ballinamore) 19.59; 2 Ellamay Spain (Sandymount) 21.54; 3 Kallie Larkin (Trim AC) 22.07; Junior: Robyn Larkin (Trim AC)
10K Men: 1 Conan McCaughey (North Belfast Harriers) 30.54; 2 Colin Griffin (Ballinamore AC) 33.52; 3 Craig Brennan (North Sligo) 35.56; Masters: 1 Pat Heffernan (Carrick AC) 42.50; 2 Michael Duignan (Carrick AC) 46.21; 3 Michael Bohan (Fenagh) 53.21
10K Women: 1 Deirdre Martin (Carrick AC) 40.23; 2 Valeria Petrova (Ukraine Drumshanbo) 44.41; 3 Trish Lee (North Sligo AC) 45.28; Masters: 1 Ann Marie Keenan (Carrick AC) 53.17; 2 Lisa Cryan (Ballinamore) 54.20; 3 Imelda McWeeney (Aughacashel) 56.21
U14 Girls: 1 Niamh Ahern (Ballinamore); 2 Roisin Feeney (Tuam)
U12 Girls: 1 Marie Prior (Ballinamore)
U12 Boys: 1 James O’Donoghue (Boyle); 2 Killian Nolan; 3 James Dillon (Ballinamore)
U14 Boys: 1 Alpheus Anoon (Boyle); 2 Ethen Rudell (Boyle); Killian Nolan (Drumshanbo)
LEITRIM 10KM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Men: 1 Colin Griffin 33.52; 2 Adrian Gurn (Carrick AC) 39.21; 3 David Ahern (Ballinamore) 40.25; Masters: 1 Pat Heffernan 42.50; 2 Michael Duignan (Carrick AC) 46.21; 3 Michael Bohan (Fenagh) 53.21
Women: 1 Deirdre Martin 40.23; 2 Valeria Petrova 44.31; 3 Ann Marie Keenan 53.17; Masters: 1 Ann Marie Keenan 53.17; 2 Lisa Cryan 54.20; 3 Imelda McWeeney