ATHLETICS DIGEST - News from all the athletics clubs in Laois

ATHLETICS DIGEST - News from all the athletics clubs in Laois

Anna Duggan celebrates winning the Gold in the Laois Masters Cross Country.


Cross Country
Laois was well represented in the National Even Age Cross Country in Santry. Most clubs in the county were well represented and we had a few fantastic performances especially St Abbans athletes Cian Kelly who came sixth in the U-16 age group and qualified for the Irish team for the Celtic International in Scotland.
The last Laois cross country races took place in Emo last weekend. The Masters Junior and Development had some great races. The full report is available and details the accounts of the day.

Laois Sprint Squad
The Laois sprint squad is back up and running again for the winter months and athletes from around the county are training hard in both sprints, hurdles and jumps disciplines, The coaching has been developed and tailored this year from focusing on the feedback from the Athletes and on what they wish to achieve in the following year.

Upcoming Races
Local Races
- Vicarstown Park Run every Saturday at 9.30am.

If your race does not appear on the calendar please contact us via Facebook or our website.


Ballyfin Kidzmas Party!
HO! HO! HO! The festive season is fast approaching and what better way to get the kiddies and the bigger Kids (you know who you are!) into the Christmas mood than “rocking around the Christmas tree” and children having fun.
Ballyfin Athletic Club is hosting a festive night in the function room of the Deadmans Inn on Sunday evening, 6th December from 5.30pm to 8pm. It promises to be a fun-filled evening with something for everyone and an opportunity for a social meet for the children (see poster attached). It’s open to everyone at a cost of €5 so bring along a friend or your siblings. Parents who have younger children and/or wish to stay for the duration of the evening, there will be refreshments provided for them too. If anyone is in a position to bring along a bit of home-baking or some sandwiches, they would be very much appreciated. Contact Breda at  086-7758322  to find out more.

Gingerbread Run 10k
Well done to Liam Buggy on achieving a sub 40min 10k and a PB at the Gingerbread Run in Portarlington. Well done Liam that's great stuff.
Ireland U-14 Cross Country Santry
Dearbhail Cuddy took part in the Ireland U-14 Cross Country yesterday in Santry. She was part of a group of five Laois U-14 girls, great team spirit shown. What a great experience.

Senior Training
If you want to get into running or want to take it up again after a break, all runners are welcome to come along to any of our training sessions.  So why not give it a go, come along and get up and running.
Training schedule:
Tuesday 7.30pm meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise (opposite Portlaoise Prison).
Thursday 7.30pm  meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise  (opposite Portlaoise Prison).
Sunday 10.30am  meet at Emo Court Car Park.
Training session can vary from 6k or 10k runs, on Road or Grass, or also take in Fartlek sessions. 

Strength and Conditioning Training
Strength and Conditioning Training continues in The Ballyfin Community Hall every Wednesday from 8pm to 9pm, bring a weight and an ab wheel if you have one. These classes are great to assist in core strength and compliment other sports as well. 
€5 per session - well worth it! Please spread the word to anyone who you feel may be interested in coming along.


Monday: Training meeting at Sue Ryder Ballyroan, leaving at 7.15pm.
Tuesday: Training at GAA Field at 7.30pm for all ages.
Wednesday: Training at GAA Field at 8pm for fit for life.

Stook 10 Mile
Congratulations to Siobhan Burke who ran the Stook 10 mile and finished in a great time of 1.26.56.

Santa Fun Run
Congratulations to all club athletes who attended the Abbeyleix 5k on Saturday morning to raise funds for St James Hospital.
1st - Thomas Dunne 16.54; 3rd - Martin McDonald 17.36; 1st Lady - Michelle Keenan 19.53; 2nd Lady - Louise Mahoney 20.15; 3rd Lady - Agnes Fennelly 23.04; 30th - Martina Peacock 26.16; 33rd - Livia Balkova 27.26; 34th - PJ Peacock 27.26; 35th - Michelle Harvey 27.46; 37th - Orla Phelan 28.11; 40th - Ann Manning 28.45; 42nd - Stacey Hughes 28.53.

National Glohealth Inter Clubs Cross Country Championships
Congratulations to our Club Athletes who Represented the Club on Sunday November 22nd in Santry Demesne, they all ran very well on the day.
Girls U-14: 76th - Niamh McDonald; 122nd - Sarah Delaney; 131st - Jessica Brennan;
Boys U-16: 52nd - Cian McDonald.


Training continues every Monday for our Juvenile athletes from 6.45pm to 7.45pm and on Friday nights for our older Juvenile athletes from 7pm to 8pm.


Winter Training
Training continues for our O-12 athletes on a Monday night from 7-8pm under flood lights at the running track and Wednesday nights for indoor training from 7.30-8.30pm in the Community Sports Centre. U-12 Athletes during the winter months will now train only once a week indoors on a Wednesday evening from 6.30-7.30pm in the Community Sports Centre.

Contact Info
If you wish to find out more about Mountmellick Athletic Club or would like information on becoming a member you can contact us on or Facebook page (Mountmellick Athletic Club) or Seniors at the (Mountmellick Road Runners) Facebook page or by phone at the following 087-3493503 or 0877686963 or call down to Smith Field on either of our clubs training nights as listed above.


Louise in Action in Santry
Louise Stack had her last cross country of the year in Santry last Sunday, putting in a fine run against some of the best juniors in the country. Louise has made massive progress over the past year, her hard training under the guidance of Ian and Teresa Wilson paying dividends. Watch out for Louise in 2016, a promising year ahead for her.

5K Challenge
Monday night last saw local rivalry at its best with a 5k challenge between Trilogy and Portlaoise AC, with 27 from Trilogy and 21 from Portlaoise AC competing. Trilogy put up a brave fight but the athletics club showed their expertise by winning the team event and having the overall winner in James Hamm also. Despite the result both sides shared some refreshments afterwards, Trilogy no doubt planning revenge in the next one. Perhaps a cycling challenge next to even things up!

Brian Races for Santa
Brian Howard got in the Christmas spirit early by donning his Santa hat for the Abbeyleix 5k. Brian was very happy with his time of 20:48min, the hat obviously did not slow him down. Elsewhere Aidan O'Connor had a fine run in the Gingerbread event in Portarlington, having one of his best runs of the year to date.

Female: Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm to 8pm, Track, Portlaoise College.
Male: Tuesday, 7pm to 8pm, College Track. Thursday, 7pm, St Fintan’s Hospital.
Juveniles: Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, College Track.
Please check our Facebook page for updates.


Cian Delivers
The GloHealth National cross country championships were decided over the Santry Demesne Park on Sunday last for the even ages along with the senior interclub from which the teams for the European championships in a couple of week’s time. Cheryl Nolan made the trip home from the States and acquitted herself well in the sticky conditions a big difference from the firm underfoot she is used to. Starting strongly she was in the top 10 up to halfway in the 8K trip. From here on the going got tough and she finished in 20th place in her first National seniors. James Tyrell had a fine run in the junior men while Caitlin McDonald also having her first outing at this level was 49th in the girls U-18 Cian Kelly in the boys U-16 had a fantastic race always in the top 20 and with an excellent last lap came right through the field to finish in 6th place and claim his place on the Irish team for the Celtic International in Scotland in three week’s time. This was a great achievement in rough conditions.

Members Draw a great success
Thanks to all our supporters for making the annual members draw the success it was. The third draw took place in Behan’s last Sunday night (thanks to John & Marie) with the following winners: €1,200 Matt Wall c/o Diarmuid Graham, €600 Jim & Rose Byrne London c/o Joe Byrne. €100 to each of the following: Thomas Neale Killgorey, Eddie Whelan Keelogue, Willie Farrell Bilboa, Coonan Family Dromagh, Dan Brennan Coolnariska, Michael Murphy Monavea and English Family Coolnariska with Jimmy Whelan securing the promoters prize.

Maire delivers on the Stoop
The Gowran 10 mile had 346 finishers over the tough course in favourable conditions last Sunday. We had five members participating with the following results:- Carmel Hughes 328th in 1:44.56, Ann Nicholl-Waugh 283rd in 1:34.27, Carmel Ryan 204th in 1:25.37, David Buggy 196th in 1:25.04 and Maire Griffith 56th and first lady with a fine run clocking 1 hour 10 minutes and 42 seconds. This was a very welcome return to form for Maire and all enjoyed the hospitality provided by the organisers.

January 11th for AGM
The club AGM will take place on the 11th January in the clubhouse. All those interested in the happenings of the club are welcome to come along and make a contribution.

Ginger Bread Run
Caitriona McDonald and Nigel Brennan had big PBs running in the Ginger Bread charity race in Portarlington on Sunday in a large field.


Club AGM
The club had its Annual General Meeting last week. We would like to thank the outgoing committee for all their hard work and commitment to St Michael’s AC. Best wishes to the new committee as the bring the club into the future:
Chairman - Mick Cullen; Secretary - Charlie Ward; Treasurer - Melanie Smith Chadwick; Club Registrar - Amanda Weldon; PRO (social media) - Aidan McGee; PRO (press & web) - Grainne Higgins; Events Organiser - Gwen La Cumbre; Procurement Officer - Dave Sweeney; Juvenile Coordinator - Jean Mullally; Men's Captain - Owen Connolly; Women's Captain - Lisa Murphy; Sprints Coach - Bill Devereux; Distance Coach - Mark Higgins; Child Welfare Officers - Jean Mullally & Bill Devereux.

National Cross Country - Inter Clubs
We had two athletes at this year’s Inter Clubs Cross Country held at Santry Demense today. Stephen Hunter ran in the Men’s event over 10K, which was won in fine style by Mick Clohisey from Raheny Shamrocks. Stephen ran a good race, and was the sole representative from Laois. (The women’s race was won by Fionnuala McCormack). Céin Fitzpatrick ran in the Junior Men’s event. A great experience for both athletes, and great to see some of Ireland’s best in action.

St Michael’s Ladies in Winning Form at the Gingerbread Run
Our ladies were in great form in Portarlington for the Gingerbread Run hosted by local charity fundraisers Up & Over. In the 10K Pippa Hackett was the runaway winner of the ladies race, coming in the top 10 overall, and was our first athlete over the line. Next home was John Dorris who ran a PB of 43:21, Emmet O’Reilly 44:02, Gareth Madden 52:39 (PB) and Valerie McAuliffe 56:31 (PB).
In the Half Marathon Lisa Murphy ran a terrific race to win her second successive Half Marathon, following on from her success in the Half Marathon in Tullamore a couple of months ago. Lisa also ran a terrific PB time of 1:31:51. Third female over the line was Olivia Sheerin in 1:34:24. Well done also to Grainne Murphy (1:52:15), Deirdre Cotter (1:59:46) and Geraldine Cullen (2:07:15) who ran great races also. First of our male athletes to complete the 13.1 mile race was Larry Havens who ran a PB of 1:27:33. He was followed by BB Weldon (1:28:17), Aidan McGee (1:30:34), Kieran Cotter (1:31:46), Kevin Mulpeter (1:37:24), Andrew Dempsey (1:44:50), Paul Sheerin (1:45:31) and Der Lawlor (2:17:45).
Well done to all our athletes, and also a big thanks for all the wonderful support shown by their fellow club mates, who cheered them on throughout the race!

Senior Training
Senior training takes place twice each week from 7pm to 8pm. Tuesday training takes place at McCann Park – meeting at 7:00pm. Thursday Training takes place at Corrig Wood - meeting at the car park there at 7pm. Please bring a headlamp for visibility as light fades into late autumn and winter. New members welcome any time, just turn up at one of our training sessions, and give it a go!
Senior members still meet each Sunday morning at 10am in the Lidl car park (beside Odlums) for a long steady run. Distance range from 5K to 20K, and anyone is welcome to join in for an easy run and a friendly chat on the scenic country roads and forest trails around Portarlington, Emo and Killenard.

Juvenile Training
Juvenile training continues each Monday and Thursday from 6pm to 7pm at McCann Park in Portarlington. For more information, contact Jean on 087-2125870.

Contact Us
Find us on Facebook (Michaels AC) and send a friend request to keep up to date with all that’s happening, or check out our club website on Any questions and comments are welcome by e-mailing

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