The final race in the 2023 Intersport Elverys Mayo AC 5k Series took place at Foxford on Tuesday evening (May 30). The event provided an exciting and successful conclusion to the 11th Annual Summer Series.
There was an excellent turnout with 147 finishers at Foxford, including a big contingent from Mayo AC and another good representation from local and regional clubs – Westport AC, Sligo AC, Lake District AC, and Erris runners among them – and fitness groups.
40 runners finished in under 20 minutes, 107 under 25 minutes, and 134 under 30 minutes. That’s a great standard.
The series began three weeks previously in wet conditions at Lough Lannagh. Since then the Series races have been blessed with glorious sunny days, and racing conditions at Foxford were ideal, if a little warm for some.
It’s been exciting and rewarding to see runners at all levels achieve individual improvements and faster finishing times as the Series unfolded.
That remains one of the key objectives of the Series and many availed of the opportunity to chip away at their times achieved on four different terrains as the series progressed.
Additionally measured courses and chip timimg ensured the validity provided by official results.
There was a great buzz around the Leisure Centre registration area pre race and even more so at the finish line at Admiral Brown promenade.
The three front runners in the race were together up until about 2.5k. Then Shaun McLaughlin Westport AC went ahead and led the field home in a great time 15:59, the same time as he ran when winning this race in 2019. Shane Hayes Sligo AC came across the line in 16:10 – another excellent run by this in-form Sligo AC athlete, and John Courell Ballina AC was third in 16:45.
They were followed by three Mayo AC runners – Rowland McIntyre 16:45, Darren Flanagan 16:50 and Michael Rocke 16:52. All three as well as John Courell (who won the all the other Series races) were top finishers throughout the 4 race series.
Norah Newcombe Pieterse ran brilliantly to win the women’s race in 17:23 – her third victory in the Series.
Michelle Needham (Westport AC) has been a podium finisher throughout the Series and ran strongly for second place in a fast 19:22.
Maura Ginty Sportsworld AC has also been a top three finisher and she finished the Series with a great time – 19:23 for third place.
Mayo AC runners Rhianna Heneghan 19:54,
and Donna Gallagher 20:40 ran great times for 4th and 5th respectively, with Claire Kenny in 6th 20:43.
Well done to all Series race finishers – all winners on the four evenings.
At the Series post race function in the Moy Hotel Club, Chairman John Byrne thanked all who took part in the series.
He also thanked: Series sponsors Intersport Elverys, the Moy Hotel for their excellent facilities, Shaw Commercials, all volunteers over the four races, Greg Barry and Tom Hunt for photos and reports.
He said well done also to Andy Neary who led the Foxford 5k organising team, and the club’s 5k Series committee – Colette Tuohy, Greg Barry, James Murtagh, Ann McDonnell, Eamonn Joyce and Andy Neary
He expressed thanks also to John Heneghan (Core Timing) who did a great job with entries and results and became a familiar and welcome voice calling competitors home across the line.
And to the Order of Malta for their support on the various courses.
Shaw Commercials sponsored the of raffle prizes which were presented by Aileen Shaw to the eight winners :
Rachel Ruane, Frances Cryan, Mary Gavin, Deirdre Donnelly, Joanne Duffy, Adrian Fahy, Denise Glavey and Paddy Murray.
Mayo AC also thanked the various registration teams and volunteers who supported the series on and off the four courses.