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Two of the four course records were broken by substantial margins when the Ballinamore Open 5K and 10K Road Races were run off in unexpectedly benign conditions on Friday evening last.
Sligo AC runner Michael Morgan, one of the leading young runners in the country on the eve of his departure for Providence University on Athletic Scholarship, smashed Alan Kelly of St Ronan’s ten year old 5K record by no less than 95 seconds when coming home in 15.20.
He was followed home in third position overall by Kinlough Olympian Breege Connolly who clocked 17.17 to win the Women's race by over three minutes. In the process she shattered the previous figure of 19.43 set by Sharon Grant of Portlaoise in 2016.
Colin Griffin, although not fully recovered from recent injury, was still able to take the 10K victory for the third successive year after a tough battle with Kevin Donagher of Rathfarnham WSAF over the first 5K. The Women's race was won by Fiona Gettings of Longford AC.
Heavy rain was predicted all week and this was one of the causes of the lower than usual turnout among local runners and joggers. The number of visiting runners kept up as athletes starved of competition over the past eighteen months took the opportunity presented by a choice of two races and despite the fact that covid regulations made many of the arrangements of recent years impossible many were loud in their praise of a race well run.
The weather also played a part with the continuous heavy rain not arriving apart from a badly timed shower as the runners took their starting positions. It did not last however and the race was run in conditions free from rain and wind. It is hoped that Ballinamore Family Festival will be back next year and the races will again revert to their position in the week’s programme.
Ballinamore Athletic Club are very grateful to all who competed, those who helped with the various aspects of the organisations and those who provided facilities and resources.
5K Men: 1 Michael Morgan Sligo AC 15.20; 2 Aaron Getty St Brigid’s 17.14, 3 Anoop Alias Boyle 20.36
5k Women: 1 Breege Connolly City of Derry 17.16, 2 Irene Clements 1zer01 AC 20.36, 3 Eilis Quinn Aughawillan 22.12
10K Women: 1 Fiona Gettings Longford 39.09, 2 Ciara Brady Cavan 39.52, 3 Caroline Smith Longford 45.36
10K Men: 1 Colin Griffin Ballinamore AC 33.02, 2 Kevin Donagher Rathfarnham WSAF 33.33, 3 Alan Wallace North Sligo AC 36.55
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