Excitement is building in Drumshanbo ahead of the inaugural Tony McGowan 10k road race on Sunday, February 17 which is being organised by the Oisin Dolan Drumshanbo Mayoral election team. The race will be in run in full compliance with AAI criteria and it is expected that between 300 and 400 competitors will compete on the day.
Tony was a well known figure in Drumshanbo and played an active role in all walks of life in the community. He was a school teacher, a community leader, a sportsman, a musician, a friend and above all a family man. Like other members of the McGowan family past and present Tony brought a selfless commitment, an optimism, a vitality and a decency to his job and to the many activities in which he was involved. The achievements that graced his life were numerous.
Tony epitomised all that is good in voluntary work. Many groups and organisations benefited from his talents and from his generosity of time and spirit. From the early days of the St. Francis GAA club, founded in 1956, Tony was a member of all teams, including the trail-blazing Junior Football team that won the County Championship in 1963. He continued to play at Senior and Junior level into the early 70s, while increasing his involvement in the administration and coaching aspects of the game.
Tony was a person who would look at a far horizon while others looked at the ground. His ideas became goals for his club, his parish, his county. It was his inspiration and enthusiasm that shaped fund - raising projects like the successful O’Sullivan Beare walk (265 miles) from Glengarriff (Co. Cork) to Drumshanbo in 1983, and the two fruitful concert tours of England undertaken by Drumshanbo people in 1985.
Tony represented his local club Allen Gaels for many years on the pitch and off the pitch he served as manager, secretary, chairman and president while with Leitrim he served time as a joint manager of the senior team, a selector and was at various times secretary and chairman of the county board.
Away from the GAA Tony was very involved in athletics and founded the Drumshanbo Athletics Club in 1980 while he also managed the club and school teams competing at multiple All-Ireland competitions.
While it may have taken up much of his time, away fro sport Tony was very involved with other aspects of the community in Drumshanbo as he served as hon. secretary of the Drumshanbo Community Centre; treasurer and director of Drumshanbo Credit Union and he was a member of Star Ceili Band and Curraghill Ceili Band.
During his very active participation in voluntary work, Tony was blessed with the indispensable support, help and love of Phil, their children - Martin, Diarmaid, Eilish, Lorraine and Mairead - and Tony’s brother, Eamonn. Tony’s interest in many sports ranged from that of the admirer to that of the devotee, depending on the sport. Apart from Gaelic Games, one of the sports he loved and coached was Athletics. So, it is very appropriate that his life as a liberal giver of his many talents is remembered and honoured by The Tony Mc Gowan 10K Road Race.
The inaugural Tony McGowan 10K will take place on Sunday, February 17 at 12pm in Drumshanbo from The Mayflower. This is a very fast, flat route around this picturesque town taking in views of five surrounding lakes. The course is AAI certified and all runners will be timed.
A perpetual trophy for first home plus prizes to the first 3 senior men and women as well as to first man/woman in categories 40 plus and 50 plus plus a special team prize for GAA clubs. There is also a 3k family canal walk.
There will be plenty of spot prizes throughout the field and post-race tea/coffee and sandwiches will be available for all participants.