28 Sept 2022

Laois Athletics Digest (April 16)

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first and see extensive photographic coverage every Tuesday in the Leinster Express.

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first and see extensive photographic coverage every Tuesday in the Leinster Express.


Deadman’s Dash

Sunday 21st April next is D-Day! Or should that be Deadmans Dash Day. Don’t forget to come out next Sunday and show your support for Ballyfin AC, for the first running of the Deadmans Dash at 12 noon and the kidsDASH at 11.15am. If you are running we hope you have a great run and if you want to help out, call down the function room in the Deadmans Inn at 9am and we will find a job for you, nothing too strenuous! Refreshments and prize-giving will take place afterwards at the Deadman’s Inn including spot prizes for all taking part. Specific details on Ballyfin AC Facebook page.

Deadman’s Dash Race Day Info

Starting and finishing outside the Deadmans Inn in Ballyfin; kidsDASH @ 11.15am and the Deadman’s Dash @ 12 noon.

Registration Info - Online Registration

If you have regsitered for the event online just come along to the registration desk with your receipt printout from and hand it in, you will get your race number and a t-shirt. You can log on and register on up until midnight on Thursday.

Registration On The Day

You can register in the Deadmans Inn function room from 10am, enter around to the left side of the pub. There is a t-shirt for the first 250 registered.


Pick up one of the one of the Registration forms that will be on a table near the registration desk, fill it out and come along to the registration desk with your €15, you will get your race number and a t-shirt.

Students Age 12-18

Pick up one of the Registration forms that will be on a table near the registration desk, fill it out and come along to the registration desk with your €5, you will get your race number sticker and a t-shirt.

Children Age 6-12

There will be no Registration Forms for children, just pay the €2 on the day at the kidsDASH Registration Desk. A sticker with a number will be given to the child. There are no t-shirts for the children but all will get a medal for completing the race. Registration for children will end at 11am to give them ample time to get to the start.

As the race will start just outside the Deadmans Inn, we will endeavour to keep the Registration Desk open as close to the Seniors Race Start time of 12 noon as possible, to avoid runners disappointment. But do try to get there as early as you can.

AprésDASH - Race Prizes and Spot Prizes

Prizegiving will take place in the Deadmans Inn function room. All race registration forms will be put into a bag and winners will be picked out from the bag - they will be called out by their race number. If you are not present and there is someone who knows you who will take you prize well and good, if not, we will just draw again until we get a winner.


There will be parking at the back of the Deadmans Inn and also in a field off the main Mountrath to Mountmellick road above the pub. We would encourage race goers to get there as early as you can as a section of the Portlaoise to Ballyfin road will be closed off for a while from 11 to 11.30 to facilitate the Kids Fun Run and also while the main race is taking place from 12 noon. Traffic during the main race on the Portlaoise to Ballyfin road will be re-directed up to the main Mountrath to Mountmellick road if travelling to Mountrath etc.

Ballyroan and Abbeyleix AC Get Fit for Summer Challenge 1

Plenty of Ballyfin runners made the trip to Abbeyleix on Wednesday 10th April to take part in the 1st Race in the Ballyroan and Abbeyleix AC Get Fit for Summer Challenge Series. Reigning champ Ciaran Keenan was gunning for back to back wins. His club mate Riobaird Miller and Portlaoise’s Cyril Cuddy were strong contenders. However out of the mist came Eoin Brett from Newbridge AC and he aggressively took out the pace to gain a slight advantage over the hard working Ciaran Keenan. Ciaran battled to the end and was only beaten by 40 or so meters. Ballyfin AC had a great night as Riobaird Miller ran a fantastic race to finish third. Shane Delaney copper-fastened Ballyfin’s great night with a storming 4th. Other Ballyfin AC runners taking part were Dan Allen, Fergal Dooley and John Paul Phelan, all finishing well up the field.

Ballyfin AC Juvenile Training

Outdoor Training takes place at the Portlaoise Running track across from Treo Nua in Portlaoise for ALL AGES every Monday and Friday Evening at 6.30-7.30 pm.

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

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District

Laois Masters Road Championships 2013

The Laois Masters Road Championships took place last Sunday morning in Portarlington where they were expertly hosted by the local athletic club St Michael’s AC. On a chilly but dry morning conditions were good for distance running but there was a strong easterly breeze which would test each athletes resilience. Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District had a full contingent of athletes ready to compete in both the women’s and men’s races.

Women’s 3k

Our proud bunch of ladies were first into action over the 3k course and we had five committed athletes with two newcomers amongst them tasting their first championship action. We were proud to welcome both Alice Fahey and Norah McGrath into our colours and both proceeded to do both ourselves and themselves proud. In a very competitive race Jean McEvoy ran excellently and was agonisingly pipped for the bronze medal by Pippa Hackett from St Michael’s . In an epic last 800m Jean closed a 40m gap to come within a couple of feet of Pippa, clocking a fast time of 12.12. However Jean can be proud of herself and she has been steadily improving all season. Next to finish was our debutante Norah McGrath running excellently to place sixth in a time of 12.27. Ann Churchouse was next over the line in 10th place with a time of 12.54. Sandra Fitzpatrick collected her first championship medal as the fourth scorer on the team by holding down 16th place in an excellent 14.49. The final team member Alice Fahey in her first outing ran a storming race to finish third O45. This was Alice’s first ever championship success at any level and we congratulate her wholeheartedly. The team packed well to claim the silver medals for the club being beaten only by a strong Portlaoise outfit. The club congratulates our ladies who continue to lead by example.

Mens 6k

The mens 6k race we had a full team of four on the start line ready to give their all. Although weakened by the absence of Tony Reilly each one of the quartet of Martin McDonald, PJ Carroll, John Kennedy and Tim Churchouse ran excellent races to secure team bronze for the club. Martin McDonald was our first athlete home in fourth place overall in an excellent 21.24. This was good enough to win individual gold in the M50 race. Well done to Martin on his continuing success. PJ Carroll ran his first competitive race in three months as he strives to overcome a foot injury. PJ finished seventh overall in 22.58. John Kennedy made his debut in the club colours finishing an excellent 10th in a very competitive time of 23.22. Well done to John and we are proud to see him in his new club colours performing so admirably. Tim Churchouse backed up his recent good performances by finishing an excellent 14th in a very good 24.05. We congatulate all the lads for bringing another set of team Bronze medals back to the club.

Clough-Ballacolla 5k Challenge

In the inaugural running of the Clough-Ballacolla 5km challenge the club had a small number of competitors in both the men’s and women’s categories. Our first athlete over the finishing line was Seamus Miller, who is making his way back to full fitness after a winter interrupted with injury. Seamus narrowly missed out on a prize by finishing in fourth place overall, just behind the in-form winner Cyril Cuddy. In the ladies category we had two athletes in the prizes, up and coming youngster Avril Deegan finished in second place after a mammoth battle with local woman Karen Coonan. Avril was just edged out by five seconds at the finish in a time of 22.25 with another Cullohill woman Laura Mahony another 15 secs behind in third place.


There is training Cullahill GAA Grounds at 7.00 pm each Monday evening. There will be a group run in Ballyroan beginning at the Church each Monday evening at 7.30pm. This is an easy run with the emphasis on a relaxed pace that would suit runners of all abilities. Anybody with an interest in Running is welcome to attend. We would love to see you there. 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. For any further information regarding training times/locations please contact either Grace at 085 7542078 or Martin at 087 2068969.

Get Fit for Summer Challenge

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC will host the second annual running of its hugely popular Get Fit for Summer Challenge concluding with the Heart of Laois 10K on Sunday 16th June. We invite all Runners, Joggers and Walkers alike to experience the beautiful towns/villages of Abbeyleix, Ballyroan, Ballinakill, Cullohill and Raheen and enjoy the healthy family fun atmosphere we promise to provide on each occasion. Last years’ series was so popular we have decided to extend our geographical compass and introduce you to Ballinakill, Raheen and Cullohill and with 6 races in total why not make it your resolution to join and help support us in our aims of fun and fitness for all. After the brilliant first night in Abbeyleix the next race in the series will be: 24th April - 5 Km - Ballyroan - Delaney’s Pub - Run Start 7.30 pm - Registration from 6.15 pm - €5 Entry Fee. You can follow us on Facebook at BallyroanAbbeyleix AthleticsClub



Seniors - Tuesday and Thursday @7pm on the track. Saturday in Oakvale Woods, meet at 10.45, run starts at 11.00 sharp. Sunday: Training in Emo Court, Meet at 10.15, run at 10.30 sharp. Juveniles - Tuesday and Thursday @7pm on track for sprints, long jump, hurdles, distance. Sunday @10.15am at Emo Court for 11yrs and up. Throws & Shot Putt @6pm on Tuesday at the Track. Hammer & Discus @11 is on Sundays in St Fintan’s field.

Meet ‘N’ Train

The Portlaoise Athletic Club “Meet ‘N’ Train” programme continues each week, at the track on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm. If you are interested in continuing your current programme or thinking of starting training, why not come along and do it in a friendly atmosphere with likeminded people. This programme is also open to new members so spread the word and bring a friend. Membership forms will be available at the sessions.

Upcoming Races

Bupa 10K, 14th April, Phoenix Park Dublin. Starting @1pm; Leinster Masters & Novice, May 6th, Gowran Co Kilkenny, First Race @12

Juvenile Upcoming Events

There are a few Open sports for juveniles coming up in the next few weeks, the next one being in Crookstown Millview on the 14th April, followed by S.L.O.T. on the 21st April, and St. Abban’s on the 6th May. Check out the fliers and full details on The Laois Secondary Schools Track & Field is taking place on the 17th of April, best of Luck to all of our Athletes taking part. The Laois Athletics Track & Field Championships will be on the 10th of May in Monavea, St Abbans.

Come and Try Day

On Thursday 4th of April we had our Come and Try day down on the track for all juveniles wishing to try some different athletic disciplines. In what were very chilly conditions it was great to see over 40 kids down on the track trying out Shot Putt, Long Jump, High Jump and Sprints. Kids were having great fun in a relaxed atmosphere, the highlight of the day being the mixed relays. Big thanks to all the Coaches who gave their time for the afternoon and help to create a great event with all kids having great fun.

Templemore AC Track and Field

Well done to Aoife Champion who continued her winning streak when she won the U-17 800m Race, Aoife has been shown great form to date and it is great to see her back to winning ways.

Connemara Marathon

Christy Cahill represented Portlaoise AC on Sunday in the Connemara Marathon, one of the hardest marathons on the Irish racing calendar. Christy completed the event in 3hrs 46m 30s. He finished in 138th place from nearly 600 competitors, well done Christy.

Laois Master Road Championships

With only two races on the day, and all seasoned competitors ready for action, races got under way promptly. First up was the Master Ladies 3k race. Straight from the gun, Paula Grant took off and was never troubled by anyone else in the race. As the case in previous races our Ladies were packing well and looking to get another team title. Next across the line was Pam Power who was having a great race coming in 8th place, Pam was followed by Trish Cuddy 9th, Frances Lalor Deegan 11th, Ailish Kelly 12th, Maris Cuddy 13th, Olive Maher 18th and Marie Brennan 20th, this was enough for Portlaoise to win the team title. Portlaoise also managed to have a second team that finished in 4th place, just outside the medals. Ailish Kelly also won the O/45 Masters race, so three titles were won in the one race, well done Ladies. Next up was the Men’s Race, we had two athletes in this 6k race. Joe Walsh and John Buggie, both were having a great battle amongst themselves with Joe winning out on this occasion, watch this space for further updates on this friendly rivalry.

National Road Relays

Not happy with running the master race, Paula along with Ruth Hodgins and Sharon Grant went up to Dublin to run the National road relays. Ruth kicked off proceedings running the first mile; next up was Sharon who got the long leg (2 Mile). Last up running the final mile was Paula fresh from her master’s victory earlier in the day. The girls managed to finish 12th, which was a great achievement considering the high standards that these relays attract.

Clough Ballacolla 5k

Also on Sunday, Cyril Cuddy took the honours in the inaugural Clough Ballacolla 5k. Cyril ran strongly to take the title and come home first; Cyril was followed home in third place by Mick Boyhan. Amanda McDonald was representing our ladies with a great 4th place finish.


Sinead Ging, Elaine Moore, Niamh Kavanagh and Ed O’Dwyer represented the club in their first Tryathlon in Portlaoise all enjoyed their experiences and performed very well on the day.

St Abban’s

Colm Adds Another Title To His Collection

Portarlington was the venue for the Laois Masters road championships on Sunday last. In the ladies 3K event we had two debutants in the club colours in the persons of Caitriona McDonald who had a fine run for 7th place in 12:33 and Carmel Hughes 19th in 16:15. Added to this the outstanding contribution Mairead Moore in 5th position in a time of 12:21 and Ann Nicholl/Waugh in 15th position in 14:39 have made in the club colours always present and willing to go the extra mile it was a happy crew that emerged for the bronze medals. Caitriona and Carmel were delighted to pick up their first county championship medal. Ann had the satisfaction of collecting the silver individual in the O45 category also. In the men’s event over 6K it was 1st and 2nd for the club with the two Colm’s (Burke and McEvoy) coming clear in 20:19 and 20:51 respectively. With Joe Harding having an excellent run in 8th place in 23:01 and Francis Fleming (Snr) 13th in 24:03 the team title was secured. Francis had the bonus of taking the bronze in the O.50 category. Liam Delaney came in 16th position in 24:16 and Dinny Whelan 21st in 28:39 provided the back up.

First visit to Templemore

A number of club members made their maiden voyage to Templemore to sample the excellent facilities and a beautiful tartan track and the local club’s open sports. With a number of events in each age group some emerged with quite a collection of silverware. Among them was Orla Davis taking her second place medal in the high jump a new event for her. Others to feature on the podium a number of times included:- Ruby Millet, Cian Kelly and the Kealy sisters Daena and Lauryn.

Alison Does the Business

Just home after her fine displays on the Irish rugby 7’s team, Alison Miller returned to her roots to launch the Laois Sports Partnership M3 Women’s mini marathon on Wednesday last. This year’s event is over 8K and takes place on Sun 26th May at 1pm. It is an ideal preparation run for the Flora mini marathon in Dublin on the June bank holiday. Thanks to those who turned out for the launch and best wishes to Alison in her sporting career.

Jason on Board

The club’s Fit4Life league got a timely boost when local sports gear specialist Jason Farrell from JF Sports (recently moved to Tullow Street, Carlow) came on board to sponsor the 2013 league. With the first stage kicking off in Luggacurren over 4K on Wedthe 15th May now is the time to dust down those shoes and get out and take some exercise. We would especially welcome those that are just interested in taking a brisk walk. The league travels to eight different locations and is run every two weeks on Wednesday evenings withregistration just €5 and €30 covering all eight sessions. Looking forward to your support and participation. Lots of spot prizes each night plus refreshments served after each event.

40th Student Games

On Sunday 28th April the 40th Annual Student Games for all local primary schools will take place at the club grounds, Monavea. This competition has marked the start of many a promising athletic career and who knows what this year’s competition will deliver. It would be nice to see some new faces and with events from U-7 to U-17 including relays we hope to cater for all. Why not make it a date then and celebrate the 40th running of this event. Cards are in circulation for the usual student games raffle with John Brophy veterinary once again sponsoring the event.

St Michael’s

Laois Masters Road Race Championships

Portarlington was the venue for the County Masters Road Race Championships. In the Women’s event St Michaels saw medals for Sinead Eacrett who secured individual second and Pippa Hackett securing individual third, Valerie McAuliffe put in a strong performance in her first championship race for St Michael’s. In the Men’s event St Michael’s AC men secured second team place with strong performance on the day from Noel Coss, John White, Mark Hackett, Michael Cullen and Aidan Mullally (first four to score). A big thank you to our members who provide steward on the course route and who provided the tea, coffee and food, well done all.

The Forest Run

The annual 8k Forest Run and 5K walk will take place in Emo Court on Saturday 27th April. This event is proudly supported by OPW and Coillte. More details of this event is available on the club website Entry E10.

Spring/Summer Training Schedule

Senior Training takes place at our Spring/Summer venue of Emo court from Tuesday April 9th at 7pm. John Fenlon leads the Tuesday training session.

Sunday Morning Run

The long run on Sunday morning continues at the scheduled time of 10am – Meeting at Lidil contact Wes - 085-1252352 or Mark Higgins.

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; Juvenile info: Mark Higgins 087-2431154.

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