Laois Athletics Digest (February 8)

This week’s Laois Atheltics Digest. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express. See this week’s Leinster Express for more photographic coverage

This week’s Laois Atheltics Digest. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express. See this week’s Leinster Express for more photographic coverage


Laois Novice Road Championships 2013

St Abbans were the hosts of this years Laois Novice Road Championships on Sunday 27th January last. Ballyfin’s Shane Delaney ran a terrific race in the 6k Senior Mens in a time of 22:13 coming home in 8th position. He was followed home in 15th place by John Paul Phelan in 22:58 with Fergal Dooley in 19th place in 23:29. The other finishers were Stephen Bland (27th) 23:50 and Dan Allen in (32nd) 24:34. It was the first major road race of the year and it really whetted the appetite for the coming months.

Monday Nights - Indoor 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, for children over 8 years of age, takes place at the Treo Nua Community Centre in Portlaoise on Harpurs Lane (across from entrance to the Portlaoise Running Track) from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. It consists of a mixture of indoor/outdoor training (weather dependent).

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 Fintans 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 Ladies

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.

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and Districts

Laois Novice Road Race Championships

The Laois Novice Road Race Championships were held last Sunday on the Turra Triangle Course in Tolerton. St Abbans hosted the running of this years event on what turned out to be a cold blustery morning in Crettyard. The icy winds did not in the least deter our mens and womens team’s who outstandingly won team gold on the double. Winning

county team titles at any level is never easy but to achieve gold success for both men and women will be long remembered.

Novice Women

The Novice ladies began the days proceedings and our womens team convincingly retained the title they won in 2012. Louise Mahony continued her great season by winning the individual gold medal, repeating Grace McConnells 2012 success ensuring a clean sweep of gold medals for the ladies for the second year running. The full team of Louise Mahony, Jean McEvoy, Ann Churchouse, Michelle Fitzpatrick, Kate McDonald, Laura Mahony and Elaine Mahony all played their parts brilliantly. Louise Mahony led the team over the finish line in a time 11.06 for the 3k course. The result of this race was in doubt until 50 meters from the finish as Louise and Maire Griffith of St Abbans were locked together for the entire race. While Louise pushed the pace throughout she could not shake off the determined efforts of Maire. However Louise dug deep and in a final sprint for the line she duly won another proud gold medal for herself. Jean McEvoy was next across the line in 5th with a time of 12.13. Jean was followed by Ann Churchouse in 6th in a time of 12.20. Michelle Fitzpatrick won her first county gold medal finishing 7th in 12.22. Kate McDonald came 12th in 12.48 with Laura Mahony finishing 14th in 12.58. Elaine Mahony unfortunately aggravated an injury and did not finish. We are proud of all the girls and congratulate them wholeheartedly.

Novice Men

In the novice mens race the team of James Hamm, Seamus Miller, Ciaran Elster, Thomas Dunne and Tim Churchouse combined brilliantly to take the gold medals. James Hamm led the team home by winning an individual bronze medal in a great time of 20.55 for the 6km course. He was closely followed by Seamus in 4th place (21.20), Ciaran in 9th (22.18), Thomas in 13th (22.52) and Tim in 32nd (24.37) for a hard fought two point victory over St Abbans with Portlaoise in third. Hopefully this will be the first of many county championship gold medals for this team.

East Munster Schools Cross Country

Avril Deegan representing the Presentation Convent Thurles travelled to Waterford last wednesday where she ran brilliantly to finish second in the East Munster Championships. Avril has duly qualified for the Munster finals and we will follow her upward graph closely. We congratulate Avril on another super performance.


There is training Cullahill GAA Grounds at 7.00 pm 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 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.

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.

You can follow us on Facebook at BallyroanAbbeyleix Athletics Club.


Great Heath 10k

We had a large turnout in The Heath 10k, where Aengus Burke was first Portlaoise man home. We had up to 20 runners in action, and all acquitted themselves well on the 10k circuit of the surrounding area. A full set of pictures is available on our facebook page.

Laois Novice Road Race

This race was held in St Abban’s on Sunday, January 27. Despite the miserable, cold conditions, we had two teams in Novice Ladies 3k, and they came seconds and fourth teams. Trish Cuddy had a super run finishing fourth in 12.09, followed by Pamela Power in eighth 12.25, Aisling O’Gorman tenth 12.43, Ailish Kelly 16th 13.28, Niamh Kavanagh 17th 13.32, Valerie O’Reilly 19th 13.56, Frances Deegan 21st 14.16, Olwyn Larkin 22nd 14.20, Martina Hyland 23rd 14.31, and Marie Cuddy 25th 15.44. The Novice Men ran over 6k and, with little more than four mins between first and last of the 34 finishers, competition was very strong. Cyril Cuddy ran a very strong race finishing second in 20.49, followed by Trevor McCormack fourth 21.35, Paul Cuddy eighth 22.23, Tommy Mulligan 12th 22.54, Neil O’Gorman 26th 24.20, Trevor Percy 27th 24.20, Joe Walsh 28th 24.29. Portlaoise finished in Bronze medal position, with Cyril, Trevor, Paul and Tommy. Great performances all round, and a very encouraging start to the Road Race season.

AAI Open Games

Seamas Fitzpatrick was the first club member to compete in the fabulous new Indoor arena in Athlone IT. The occasion was the annual AAI Indoor Games, where Seamas got his season off to a fine start. His throw of 7.48m was enough to earn him a silver medal in the 56lb.

South Leinster Schools

Well done to all our Juvenile athletes who competed in the South Leinsters in Clongowes . David Mulhare followed up on his outstanding performance in the Leinster Juniors with another excellent performance, finishing second in the Senior 6k. For the first two laps he was stride for stride with U-19 All Ireland Champion Danny Lawler, but gradually the Carlow runner managed to put some distance between them. Both runners finished well away from the rest of the field, in a fine display of Cross Country running. Oisin Fitzpatrick (11th) and Louise Stack(6th) both qualified for the Leinsters in their Intermediate races. Rosie Stack ran well in Senior 3k. Charlie and Amy Walsh and Jessica Bennett were unlucky to miss the start of their minor races, but in true sporting spirit, they made their way to the start, and still managed to finish well up the field.

Couch to 5k

Week four of the Couch to 5k saw major progress being made by the 200+ participants. There’s a wonderful atmosphere, and with very positive encouragement from the trainers and fellow participants alike, every member of the group is beginning to feel the benefits. Don’t forget to keep up the good work in between sessions. Orders will soon be taken for the souvenir technical T-shirt. See your e-mail for details. If you haven’t got any e-mails make sure to let your trainers know, and they will add you to the contact list.


Training continues at the usual times. Seniors -Tuesday and Thursday 7pm at track. Saturday in Oakvale, meet at 10.45, run at 11.00. Sunday in Emo, Meet at 10.15, run at 10.30 sharp. Couch to 5k Tuesdays at 6pm. Meet and Train Thursdays at 6. Juveniles - Tuesday and Thursday 7pm at track for sprints, long jump, hurdles, distance. Sunday 10.15am in Emo for 11yrs. Throws: Shot Putt, Tuesdays at 6, Discus and Hammer, Sundays at 11.


Make sure to ‘like’ our facebook page and keep up to date with developments on Portlaoiseathleticclub facebook page.

St Abban’s


Special thanks to everyone who turned out last Thursday night to support our fifth Annual Table Quiz. Everything appeared to go well on the night with the lead changing on several occasions and a very tight result. Mr Farrell as usual did a fine job with the questions and Pat Whelan and his team ensured all ran like clockwork. Special thanks to

the Behan family for the facilities and to those that looked after the refreshments and donated spot prizes. Your support is much appreciated and hopefully it was an enjoyable night for you.

Maire takes silver

Newcomer to St Abban’s AC Maire Griffith showed she has plenty of class when finishing a game second in the county novice road championships on the Turra circuit on Sunday. She had the satisfaction of leading her team to bronze medal position, just one point behind silver, with Mary Boylan ninth, Catriona McDonald 13th, Carol Brennan 15th, Laura Buggy 18th and Sharon Buggy 24th providing the backup.

It’s Gold for Cormac

The men’s county novice road championships had 34 finishers and a very tight team contest. Cormac Kelly returning after injury had a brilliant run to record a fine victory with 13 seconds to spare over Portlaoise AC Cyril Cuddy. With good support it was silver for the team just two points behind Ballyroan and two points ahead of Portlaoise. James Nolan in seventh position was our second scorer with Michael O’Connor 11th and Martin Kelly 12th the other scoring members. They were well supported with Peter Baldwin 18th, Matt Moore 23rd, Francis Fleming (snr) 24th, Arnie Mahon 27th and Liam Delaney 33rd. Many thanks to those who gave a hand and helped out on the day.

Athlone - a Paradise

The new state of the art athletic arena in Athlone hosted it’s first competition last weekend. In a truly wonderful facility the sport will certainly move on another step or two over the next few years. The club had six representatives taking part in the AAI games and the honour of being the first club athlete to take part in the new facility went to Katie Brennan in the very first race of the day heat one in the ladies 60m. Katie didn’t get the greatest of starts but finished strongly to record a PB of 8.50 seconds. Paul Byrne led

his 400m for most of the way just tying up down the finishing straight to finish third in 51.75 seconds. Conor Daly was disappointed not to break 13 metres in the triple jump, never-the-less he finished third with three attempts in the 12.90’s with a best of 12.98m.

Brian Kelly decided to start his indoor season over 1500m and let the pacemaker open too big of a gap early on. Never-the-less he came with a strong finish over the final three laps to record an indoor PB of 3 minutes 56.70 seconds and 2nd place. Sprinter Barry Regan left the blocks like a hurricane to win his heat comfortably in a big new PB of 7.21 seconds for the 60 metres and a new club record. All in all a satisfactory start to the indoor season and no doubt many trips to Athlone from here on, with the Universities and Day 1 of the Leinster championships on this weekend.

St Michael’s

Laois Novice Road Race Championships

Congratulations to St Michaels teams who travelled to Tolerton to competed in the Laois Novice road race championships. In the Womens event Pippa Hackett achieved her first championship medal to secure individual third place in this event. Pippa was supported by team mates Briedge Doherty and Ciara Herron. In the Mens event the St Michael’s men performed well but finished outside of the team medals. Great running by Eoin Connolly, Noel Coss, Mario Holohan, Evan Clancy, Lucas Bernaz, Mark Hackett and Justin Patterson. Well done to all.

Circuit Training

Adult Circuit training takes place indoors every Friday evening at 7pm. Venue GAA Centre Portarlington. There is a great response to this training only three euro for the circuit training session. All welcome.

Training Schedule

Senior Training takes place every Tuesday and Friday in McCann park Portarlington at 7pm. Tuesday evening session is €2. The Firday night is now a circuit training based session it targets strength building and endurance. John Fenlon leads the circuit training. The Circuit training will take place indoors, beginners are welcome. Circuit training is the most time efficient way to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance.

New Members welcome

New members are always welcome to St Michael’s AC senior Club, for details of Senior Training contact Aidan Mullally 087-6968844. Beginners catered for if you know anyone who enjoys running, wants to get fit and would like to join St Michaels AC club please invite them along.

Sunday Morning Run

The long run on Sunday morning continues at the winter scheduled time of 10am. Contact Wes - 085-1252352.

St Michaels AC Club Contact Details:

Website - e-mail: Facebook: Search for “Michaels AC” send friend request. Contacts: Aidan Mullally Tel 087-6968844, Noel Coss Tel:087-9900840; Wes Reilly Tel: 085-1252352.