St Patrick’s Day was unique, exciting, and historic for Tubbercurry as the 50th edition of their annual 10k was held. The first edition of the race was scheduled for St Stephen’s Day in 1973 but was cancelled due to snow.

 

 Organisers - inspirational local woman Annie Killoran, Luke Kilcoyne, and Paddy McCarrick - put on the first race on the following St Patrick’s Day. The original race start was at Rathscanlon on the Ballina Road.

Race winner in that first race in 1974 was Irish Olympian and Donegal native Danny McDaid, who competed in the marathon in Munich 1972 and Montreal 1974 and was 4 time Irish marathon champion.

He was the.guest starter for the 50tha edition. Celebrating supporters turned out to line Teeling Street and round Wolf Tone Square,  and hundreds of runners lined up for two road races – 5k at noon, and 10k at 12.15.

The atmosphere of celebration was also heightened by the attendance of star athletes from today’s crop of Irish champions – notably Andrew Coscoran 2020 Tokyo Olympian and Irish mid distance record holder over 1500m.

There was €300 for anyone who beat the course record 30:15 held by Mark Morgan Swansea Harriers since 1997.

Could Coscoran and  his Dublin Track Club colleagues or local challengers get under that time?

The 10k is a tough but fair one lap test. After a lap of the town, the field heads out Mountain Road and on past Lovers Lane to the half way point at Moylough and then it’s up and down until the classic fast 500 metre downhill through Emmett St to finsh line gantry on Wolf Tone Square.

Conditions were good for running – light rain, 12°C and a breeze out around the rural roads. Nothing that curbed the enthusiasm of runners or supporters. .

Andrew Coscoran led off from the start and had put some distance between himself and the field up the Mountain Road in the first 2k. He was on track for a great time as  reported back from the course to excited crowds at the finish line where MC Feidhlim Kelly called the runners home. The huge crowd waited in excited anticipation, and sure enough Coscoran appeared round the corner of Emmett St and flew across the finish line in 29:30 – a new course record.

 It was a wonderful moment in the history of the race and added to a fantastic atmosphere all round the Square. It was a joy to witness Coscoran's record breaking performance. 

His Dublin Track Club colleague Jonas Stafford came home in second place in 31:33 – his first 10k. On the previoud Saturday the East Glendalough student stormed home to take the Senior boys title in the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships in Waterford.

 In third place was former winner Emmett Dunleavy Sligo AC in 33:01 The Dromore West native is coach to two of Ireland's brightest prospects Keelan Kilrehill and Darragh McIlhenney  and was running his first 10k in five years.

The first woman home was Michelle Needham Westport AC in 40:33, ahead of last year’s winner Mari Johnston Sligo AC 40:49, wirh Colette Tuohy Mayo AC a brilliant third again this year, running strongly to the line in 41:47 and over 20 seconds faster than 2022.

 

Ray Clarke was the first of Mayo AC’s eleven finishers in an excellent pb 40: 56. He was followed home by: 

Padraic McVann 42:13

Angela O’Connor 42:24 1st woman o50

Johnny Cribbin 43:21 1st man o60

Pauline Moran 42:32 1st woman o60

Dee Corcoran 43:58

John Jennings 49:09

Angela McVann 50,:23

Noelle Kilduff 50:54

Marcella McDonnell 51:44

 

Congratulations to  Mayo AC’s four brilliant prizewinners and well done to all eleven who represented the club in Tubbercurry.

At prizegiving in St Brigid’s Hall, MC Paul Walsh called for a moments silence and a round of applause in memory of Mayo AC’s Micheal McNeela RIP – a finisher last year. It was indeed a poignant moment for all of Michael’s clubmates and friends.

There were presentations to Tubbercurry 10k founders Luke Kilcoyne and Annie Killoran, and to guest Danny McDaid. 

 

2023 Tubbercurry 10k prizewinners:

Men 1 Andrew Coscoran Dublin Track Club 29:30, 2 Jonas Stafford 31:33, 3 Emmett Dunleavy Sligo AC 33:01

Women 1 Michelle Needham WestportAC 40:32; 2, Mari Johnston (Sligo AC) 40:49, 3 Colette Tuohy Mayo AC 41:47

Well done too to Ronnie Naylor who ran 21:57 in the 5k event, won by Ben Clavin Corran AC 17:09

 

South Sligo AC’s event organiser Paul Walsh was a wonderful MC at the prize-giving and led an excellent team of over 40 volunteers covering the two separate events, both of which started at Teeling St and finished at Wolf Tone Square. And at race HQ at St Brigid’s Hall for pre race registration and post race refreshments and prizegiving. 

The.event was well supported by over twenty sponsors from local businesses. 

Well done too to Feidhlim Kelly Dublin Track Club who did his usual excellent job as race MC.

Full results and lots more photos from the day are at www.mayoac.com 

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