The South Mayo village of Hollymount came alive once again on Sunday (November 19) for the 58th edition of the famous International Road Races.

The event was held in support of Mayo Mental Health Association.

Race Organiser Sean Reilly was there again (at a slightly earlier 11:30 start time) continuing the event’s great tradition begun by himself and brother Tom back in 1966.

On the course at the outskirts of the village, runners pass Tom’s statue commemorating his involvement in sport at Liverpool John Moore University and the Hollymount races in particular.

He was the UK’s first Professor of Sports Science and helped lay the foundations for sport and exercise scientific study at Liverpool Polytechnic before it became known as LJMU.

Hence the annual arrival of a bus load of runners and their supporters from the Liverpool area for the race weekend. They maintain a unique sporting connection and tradition and Neil Chester led the contingent once again.

Sean Reilly got the 10k race going as a welcome break in the morning’s rain gave way to blue sky. Bright low winter sunlight spread over stone walls and along the course – three laps of the local area mainly on single track slightly undulating roads.

Conditions were good for racing – a mild 12° and light breeze as he set the field of 127 on their way up the Main Street.

This year’s winner was Shaun McLoughlin Westport AC in 34:01. He’s a regular race competitor and winner on the circuit. He was over 40 seconds clear of Dan Charlton Mayo AC 2nd in 34:44, with Alan Dunne East Mayo AC (a Sea2Summit winner last week) 3rd in 35:34.

The women’s race winner was Sara Doohan Corran AC. She was well up at the front of the race from the start and came home 6th overall in 37:31 – delighted with her ttime.She was the winner of the recent Connacht Cross-Country Senior League.

Hilary Hughes Westport also had a great rrun finishing 9th overall and 2nd woman in 38:07.

Caroline Coulter Tireragh AC is another regular competitor at Hollymount – she came home third in 41:35

Donna Gallagher Mayo AC ran a great race and was fourth woman home and first in o40 category in 42:29. This year she has shown tremendous improvement in races over various distances. 

The event was well supported by clubs from around Connacht, and by the annual contingent of runners from clubs in the Liverpool area.

Category prizewinners were:

Men:

o40 Shane Horan Lake District AC 36:44

o50: Francis Cryan Westport AC 38:03

o60: Frank Gilmore Castle AC 50:22

Women:

o40: Donna Gallagher Mayo AC 42:29

o50 Michelle Murphy Liverpool 49:55

There was a great turnout by Mayo AC with 12 finishers. John Byrne was Mayo AC’s second man home in 39:37. He was followed by Alan Bourke-Tuffy 43:23, Eimear Fitzmaurice 44:47, Gillian Hanrahan 48:58, Mairéad Bristow 48:59, Joan Walsh 51:52, Caitlin Woods 52:10, Julie Higgins 54:13, Rick Holmes 54:20 and Marcella McDonnell 54:29..

 As usual there was a great race day atmosphere around the village and at the prizegiving.

Sean Reilly presented the prizes and thanked everyone who made the day possible – organisers, stewards, and refreshments providers.

After the event in the Community Centre race HQ, there was an excellent spread of refreshments which were enjoyed by all.

Full results and more photos are at www.mayoac.com 

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