Laois Athletics Digest (November 27)

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. See this week’s Leinster Express for more photographic coverage. Now on sale Tuesdays.

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. See this week’s Leinster Express for more photographic coverage. Now on sale Tuesdays.


Spire to Tower

There was a healthy turnout in Ballyroan on Sunday morning 18th November for the Spire to Tower run over the Cullenagh Hills to Timahoe.

In what was more of a run than a race, all for a good cause in aid of the Portlaoise and Abbeyleix Lions Club, it still attracted some of the best runners around who relished the approx 10k of hard grinding slopes and stiff hills on what was a cold frosty morning.

There was a great group of Ballyfin AC runners out with Riobard Miller, Ciaran Keenan, Dyno Bland, John Paul Phelan, Alo Maher and Michael McCarthy all turning out. It was also the first outing for the new Ballyfin AC singlet which went down very well.

For the record, Aengus Burke was first home with Derek Coogan in second place and our own Riobard Miller in third - well done to them. The course was great and will become a big race on the circuit in future years. Well done to everyone involved and thanks for the tea.

Juvenile Training

Indoor Training takes place at the Ballyfin Community Hall every Monday from 6.30 to 7.30. There will be a cool ‘Little Athletics’ training programme for children

aged 5-9. This age group has been identified as the FUNdamental stage in the long term physical development of the child, and the development of fundamental skills such as agility, co-ordination and balance will contribute greatly to future sporting achievements. Why not get along and give it a go! Contact Ger Goode on 083-1077421. Children from the age of 5 welcome, €2 per child and max €5 per family.

Friday nights – Indoor/Outdoor Training

Friday night training will resume on the 9th November for children over eight years. A mixture of indoor/outdoor training (weather dependent). Meeting at Treo Nua Community Centre in Portlaoise on Harpurs Lane (across from entrance to the Portlaoise Running Track) from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Adult Training

Adult Training for all levels takes place every Sunday in Emo Court at 10.30am with runners meeting up in the car park, and with the days closing in its every Tuesday and Thursday evening in Portlaoise meeting in St Fintan’s car park across from the prison at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome so why not dust off those trainers, come along and get active!

Get fit with the Ballyfin AC girls

Following on from our first Womens Team taking part in the Laois Cross Country Championship in Emo – we want to keep the momentum going! With the short evenings it can be difficult but why not contact Ger Goode on 083-1077421 and she can give out details on where the girls meet up. So why not get out and get up and running.

For more details and updates check us out on the Ballyfin AC Facebook page. All you gotta do is search for Ballyfin AC on Facebook and that will get us.


Club News

Training continues every Monday evening from 6.45pm till 7.45pm in Emo Community Centre €1 for all athletes. For athletes 10 years and over every Friday evening in Emo Hall 7pm till 8pm. Development County Cross Country races are being held in Ballyroan on the 2nd December at 11am, these races are for U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 for any athlete who didn’t receive an individual medal in the County A Championships Cross Country races either in the even ages which was held in Stradbally Hall or in the uneven ages which was held in Emo Court. That is first, second or third place and not for a team medal of four. There will be a charge on the gate. First six will receive a medal. If you have any queries please ask at training.

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District

Mo Run Dublin 5k

Young Avril Deegan from Cullohill had a fantastic run in Mo Run Dublin 5k last Sunday where she finished third female and a brilliant 16th overall in an impressive time of 24.02. In this her first season in athletics Avril is going from strength to strength and we congratulate her on another great run.

Intervarsity Road Relays

Ciaran Elster competed with distinction for the Trinity College B Team in Maynooth last weekend. The team finished 14th overall with Ciaran running the two mile leg in a great time of 11.23.


There is training Cullahill GAA Grounds at 7pm each Monday evening. Anybody with an interest in athletics/general fitness regardless of age or experience is most welcome. All levels of fitness are catered for. We would encourage and welcome parents especially to bring their children and maybe even participate with them in becoming fit for life.

There will be a group run in Cullenagh each Monday evening at 7pm. This is an easy run on hills.

There is training each Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm at Ballyroan GAA grounds. Anybody with an interest in athletics/general fitness regardless of age or experience is most welcome. All levels of fitness are catered for. We would encourage and welcome parents especially to bring their children and maybe even participate with them in becoming fit for life.

There is a tempo run on hills scheduled for 09.45 each Saturday morning at Oakvale Woods in Stradbally.

There will be a group training run for adults organised for each Sunday morning. Next sunday the run will begin at the Library in Abbeyleix at 9.30am. Distance can be varied depending on ones current endurance but the emphasis will be on an easy pace to suit everyone.

You can follow us on Facebook at BallyroanAbbeyleix Athletics Club.


Spire to Tower 10k

Portlaoise had a super turnout in Ballyroan on Sunday running the Spire to Tower 10k in aid of the Local Lions clubs (Portlaoise and Abbeyleix) We had 20 competitors in all with Aengus Burke the lead man home retaining his title from last year and Paula Grant doing likewise in the ladies event. All agreed that this was a super run through the Cullenagh hills with a few testing climbs, a race with great future potential. Well done to all our runners who gave great performances on the day. Our ladies were Helen Bleach, Josie Keane, Trish Cuddy, Deborah Holland, Laura Hosey, Laura Arrigan, Sinead Ging, Joan O’Neill, Patricia Naughton, Paula Grant, Rosemary Dalton, Catherine Gleeson, Noreen McEvoy, Amanda McDonald, and Audra Conroy. Our lads were Aengus Burke, John Jenau Tsang, Trevor McCormack, Cyril Cuddy, and Jimmy McCormack. Well done all round, and all in a great cause.

Gap of Dunloe

Half Marathon Meanwhile Trevor Fennell represented the club in Kerry on Sunday, running the Gap of Dunloe Half Marathon in a new pb time of 1hr 43 minutes. Great running Trevor, the cross country miles are paying off!

Intervarsities Road Relays

Well done to Mary Mulhare who ran a two mile leg in the Intervarsities road relays on Saturday, helping her college to gold medals. The women’s race was a closely contested affair. It was a race - 1, 2, 2, 1 mile format - that ebbed and flowed. DCU with a team consisting of Ciara Wilson, Laura Behan, Mary Mulhare and Mary Ann O’Sullivan triumphed over UCC and Trinity in 32:32. This championships is one of the most underrated races on the athletics calendar and always provides great excitement coupled with the best athletes the country has to offer on display. Great to see one of our own mixing it with the best in the country.

International Combined Events

The best of luck to Niamh Quinn who gains her second Irish cap on Saturday, representing Ireland in the International Schools Combined Events Championships in Glasgow. This is Niamh’s second successive year to represent Ireland in this event.

Portlaoise Christmas Fair

Portlaoise Athletic Club has a stall in the upcoming Portlaoise Christmas Fair. The Fair will take place on Main Street, Sunday 2nd December from 12:00 to 18:00. If you have any items for sale on the stand, please give them to Anne or Eileen. Some of our Juvenile members are baking cakes and selling tickets for various raffles to raise much needed funds for our Club. If anybody wishes to donate any food products for sale on the day please call over to our stand about midday on the Sunday. Please support us on the day. All proceeds will go to development of club facilities.

Laois Intermediate Cross Country Championships and Juvenile Development Races

The next upcoming races are the County Intermediate Cross Country and Juvenile development races on December 2 in Ballyroan. The Development races are a great opportunity for children who have not won an individual medal in the County Cross Country Championships earlier in the season. The distances are shorter than the other races,and medals for top six in U-10, U-12 and U-14, and top three U-16, so mark the date in your calendar.


Training continues at the usual days and times. Keep up with any changes on our facebook page.

St Abban’s


The Laois Credit Unions Intermediate championships along with the juvenile development events will take place in Ballyroan on the 2nd December commencing at 11.00am. The All-Ireland Uneven ages and Novice are scheduled for Adamstown, Wexford on the 9th December. The Laois senior is fixed for Tolerton on Sunday 6th January. Leinster senior scheduled for Ballyroan on the 20th January.

Brian in excellent form

The DCU section of the club was out in force when the Universities road relays were decided in Maynooth last Saturday. Ailish Brennan had a fine run clocking 5:19 for the mile leg and leading the ‘B’ squad into third place on the first leg when they went on to finish in fourth place overall. James Griffin clocked 15:34 for the three mile leg on the ‘D’ team which went on to finish in 11th place. Cormac Kelly displayed his current form clocking 4:29 for the opening leg over one mile for the DCU ‘C’ squad that finished eighth overall. Stephen Lalor ran the fourth leg over two miles for the DCU ‘B’ team in a time of 9:35 with the team finishing in sixth place.

Going out on the last leg over one mile UCD had an 11 second lead over DCU with no less an athlete than the former DCU and current National junior 800m record holder, sub 1:46 ran earlier this year, Mark English running the last leg. Brian Kelly had the impossible task running the final leg for DCU ‘A’ squad. With nothing to loose Brain set of in pursuit and though the gap was still close to 10 seconds at the halfway mark, from there to the finish it got smaller and smaller. On the line Mark just held out to get the decision by less than half a second. Brian had to settle for silver and a course record for the 1 mile leg.

Club League

With 28 turning out for the second leg of the club’s Christmas League on a handicap basis we had an exciting race with places being changed on a regular basis. Chadrack Landu had the distinction of winning his first race ever making good use of his handicap, while Dermot Ayres posted the fastest time on the night of 10:12 for the 3K when getting up to take second. The returning master held on for third with Mark Murray returning after injury fourth, Joseph Barry fifth and Dylan Byrne sixth. Mairead Moore was the first of the ladies finishing 11th with Catherine McDonald 14th and Carol Brennan 15th. Dermot Ayres is the overall leader at the moment from Joseph Barry, Francis Fleming (Jnr) and Dylan Byrne. The final stage will be held over 2K on an open handicap basis on Tuesday 4th December.

Any Interest

Now is the time for anyone interested in taking part or making club relay teams for the indoor championships which are coming up to come along and get involved. Training as usual takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. All are welcome. How about giving it a go in 2013? Check on the St Abban’s AC website for more details.