The third stage of the Get Fit For Summer Challenge was held on an overcast and cool evening in Cullohill with the staging of our 5k race.
There was a huge turnout of more than 220 enthusiastic athletes and walkers who ignored the unseasonable weather to make for a successful and positive experience for everyone.
The race began just up from the Catholic church with the early stages of the race all uphill at Belmount. Soon after the start a small breakaway group containing Abbeyleix 4k winner Eoin Brett (Newbridge AC), Riobaird Miller (Ballyfin AC), winner in Ballyroan and Ciaran Keenan of Ballyfin broke clear.
Riobaird and Eoin Brett were forcing the pace with Brett opening a small gap at one point. The fast running Miller however started to dictate the race and only his clubmate Ciaran Keenan could follow.
Ciaran Keenan then made a determined bid for victory on the fast downhill stretch into the village putting clear daylight between himself and Riobaird. The strong running Keenan continued to pull clear and he was all alone as he finished the descent into the village to win in a fast time of 17.13. Riobaird Miller finished a highly creditable 2nd in 17.19 with Eoin Brett making his second podium finish in 3rd with a good 17.31. The ladies race was also an exciting affair as Teresa Agar lined up in her bid for a second straight win. However Cullohill’s very own Louise Mahony had other ideas as she ran a stunning new Pb for the 5k distance to gradually pull clear of Teresa.
After her brilliance during the cross country season, the Cullohill and Laois Camogie star displayed all her competitive talent in her home village to win in a fantastic 18.50. Teresa can be proud of her performance as she was only 11 seconds adrift in 19.01. Sinead Eacrett from St Michaels had her second straight 3rd place with her own Pb of 19.29. First U-16 Boy was Ballyroan Abbeyleix & Districts Cian McDonald in a brilliant time of 19.26, while the first Juvenile girl was Cullohill’s Avril Deegan in 21.27. Both Avril and Cian are having great seasons and the club are delighted with their progressions. Everyone then retired back to the Community Hall for refreshments and prize giving. The local parishioners in Cullohill are to be complimented for sponsoring such a wonderful headquarters. Without such hosts the event would not have been the success it was. Cullohill is now a permanent fixture on the athletic calendar
Those involved would also like to thank all the local stewards for their safe policing of the race. There were cash prizes for the first three leading men and women and leading U-16 boy and girl along with numerous other spot prizes. Well done to each and everyone as you are all winners for making an overcast and damp evening an outstanding success.. The organisers would like to thank each and everyone of the athletes/walkers who participated for making the inaugural Get Fit For Summer Challenge race in Cullohill the huge success it was.
Results : Male – 1: Ciaran Keenan 17.13; 2. Riobaird Miller 17.19; 3: Eoin Brett 17.31; 4: David Murray 17.57; 5. Shane Delaney; 18.10; 6: James Hamm 18.38
Ladies – 1: Louise Mahony 18.50; 2: Theresa Agar 19.01; 3: Sinead Eacrett 19.29; 4: Pippa Hackett 21.20; 5: Avril Deegan 21.27; 6: Jean McEvoy 21.35 U-16 Boy 1: Cian McDonald 19.26; U-16 Girl: 1st Avril Deegan 21.27