Laois Athletics Digest (January 16)

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first every week in the Leinster Express. See this week’s edition for more coverage from the Laois Cross Country Championships.

This week’s Laois Athletics Digest. Read it first every week in the Leinster Express. See this week’s edition for more coverage from the Laois Cross Country Championships.

Well done to the Ballyfin girls and boys!

Well done to the Ballyfin AC girls who starred in the Laois Juvenile Relays in Tolerton as part of the Laois Cross Country 2013. In the Girls U-10 4 X 250m Relays the Ballyfin girls came home in second and third place. What an achievement! Cara Goode, Maeve Carroll, Catriona Phelan and Kora Davis made up the second place team and the team including Lucy Goode, Ava Pendergast, Leah Daly and Roisin Bland came third. Ballyfin were placed fourth in the Girls U-12 4 X 500m Relay with Pheobe Makim, Ciara Phelan, Derbhal Cuddy and Ellen Coughlan making up the team.

In the Boys U-12 4 X 500m Relay Ballyfin came third with Sylvester Mistra, Cormac Goode, Ben O’Rourke and Sean O’Rourke. A great day was had by all in what were testing conditions and it really whetted the appetite of the younger runners for future contests. Well done again!

Mens Senior Cross Country 2013

The mens senior team put up a brave performance to finish fifth overall in the 50th running of the Laois Senior Cross Country Championship. Riobard Miller was the best for Ballyfin, coming home in 18th place in a time of 44.27. He was followed home in 25th place by Colin Maher in 48.01 with Fergal Dooley in 28th place in 49.29. The other finishers were Dan Allen (30th) 50.03, Kevin White (33th) 51.18, Nick Devery (35th) 53.08 and Mike McCarthy (36th) 53.19.

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, for children over eight 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 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.


Laois Senior Cross Country

The 50th Laois Senior Cross Country and juvenile relays were held in Toler ton on Sunday last. Portlaoise AC was attempting to win back both the women’s and men’s senior titles. On a good day for running the Portlaoise athletes succeeded in winning both senior individual titles as well as both team titles. Mary Mulhare won the ladies event and was followed home by Paula Grant in third, Ruth Hodgins in fifth and Sharon Grant in seventh to comfortably take the team prize. They were followed home by Anna Healy, who finished ninth in her first senior race, Trish Cuddy and Pam Power. Portlaoise lost one of the favourites for the men’s title when Michael Mulhare twisted an ankle while warming up. However when the race started it wasn’t long before Dan Mulhare pushed the pace and went into a clear lead and led all the way to win his eighth senior title. He also led his team home to reclaim the title they lost last year. There was a battle between three Portlaoise runners for the bronze medal. With Harry Lupton, David Mulhare and Aengus Burke sprinting for the line it was Harry who prevailed to take third place with David fourth and Aengus fifth. Noel Marum and Jimmy McCormack filled the other two spots on the team. Also representing the club on the day were Cyril Cuddy, Mick Boyhan, Trevor McCormack, Brian Madden and Trevor Percy.

On the last day of the Christmas holidays the number in the relays were small. In the girls U-12 Portlaoise represented by Eleanor Healy, Katie Walsh, Sinead Quinn and Ailbhe Quinn won the silver medals. In the girls U-14/U-16 Portlaoise had two teams running. Erone Fitzpatrick, Elaine Daly, Louise Stack and Aoife Campion won gold while Emer Healy, Aoife Daly, Charlie Walsh and Amy Walsh finished fourth. Thanks to St Abban’s for the refreshments back at their clubhouse.

Couch to 5k

The ‘Couch to 5k’ programme which ran so successfully last year resumed on Tuesday night. It was great to see people turn up in such numbers. We look forward to working with everyone over the coming weeks to help them achieve their fitness goals. All those who attended should have received an email by now. If you have not been contacted please make one of the coaches aware of this so we can keep you updated. Information will also be posted on Portlaoise AC Facebook page. A big thank you to all the coaches and helpers who give their time voluntarily.


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. Juveniles - Tuesday and Thursday 7pm at track for sprints, long jump, hurdles, distance. Sunday 10.15am at Emo for 11yrs+. Note: Training for 6, 7 and 8 year olds will be on Tuesdays only until

the bright evenings return.

St Abban’s

All Stars Night

The Seven Oaks hotel was packed with over 240 attending the Leinster Star Awards last Saturday night. The new President of the Athletics Association Ciaran O’Cathain was delighted to be present and said some nice words in relation to those being honoured. He also welcomed all present to travel to the new indoor arena in Athlone IT opening at

the end of the month. Conor Daly stepped up to the mark once again to take the boys award for Laois while Saragh Buggy was delighted to accept the girl’s award for the first time. It was an equally proud Brian Kelly that stepped forward to take the senior award.

Stephen Arrives

The Laois Credit Unions county cross country championships were held on the lands of Seamus and Ena Graham (by kind permission) on Sunday last and drew many favourable comments from the large attendance. Fortunate to have such a good lead in time weather wise again we had favourable conditions on the day which helped boost the atmosphere with the athletes putting in some mighty performances.

St Abban’s AC juvenile athletes featured strongly in the relays winning the girls U-10, boys U-10, girls U-12 and boys U-14 and U-16, while the boys U-12 were second and the girls U-14 and U-16 were third. These medallists included - Michael Nash, Ger Kelly, Niall Egan, Conor Mulhall, Fionn Maher, Kevin Wilson, Aaron Barry, Oisin Ryan, Cian Kelly, Alex Crossley, Daena Kealy, Laura Graham, Aiden Barry, Lauryn Kealy, Orla Davis, Tom Buggy, Eanna Ryan, Jonathon Crossley, Amy Brennan, Audrey Byrne, Sarah Graham, TJ Burke, Darragh Kealy, Shane Buggy, Ciara McDonald, Ruby Millet and Orla Kelly.

The junior men covered 4k and it came down to the last 800 metres when James Delaney put his foot on the pedal to move away from James Moore (making a welcome return after injury) to take the title and with Joseph Barry having a fine run for third the team was wrapped up when Dylan Byrne finished a game fourth.

The ladies race also over 4k was missing a few of our established stars. Never-the-less those who ran gave it everything and wore the singlet with pride. None more so than Breda Mulcahy who had a mighty battle just to come up short of a podium placing to finish in fourth place, the same as last year. Maire Griffith in her first Laois senior was a fine eighth and with Mairead Moore 14th and Ailish Brennan 15th they had third team secured. Linda Faye 18th, Catriona McDonald 21st, Laura Buggy 22nd and Ann Nicholl-Waugh 24th completed our representation.

In the men’s event over the tough 10k Dan Mulhare moved into the lead early on and took a record eighth title and led Portlaoise to a convincing victory. The battle for the minor placing’s was red hot with a number involved. Just after the halfway point St Abban’s athlete Stephen Lawlor emerged from the pack and despite a couple of challenges held his position to come home and take the silver medal and lead the club to silver medals. Brian Kelly found the going tough when finishing seventh, with Colm Burke despite the lack of mileage nailing down ninth from James Griffin tenth, the returning Dermot Ayres 19th and the Timahoe man Colm McEvoy completing our scoring six in 23rd place. Others to wear the singlet included James (Bilbo) Nolan 24th, Peter Baldwin 26th, Liam Delaney 29th, Anthony McDonald 31st and Matthew Warren 32nd.

It was great to see so many former champions present and thanks to all that made it a great day. Special thanks to the officials that prepared the course and to those that looked after club teams. Also to the ladies who provided refreshments in the clubhouse afterwards and the Graham families for use of their land.

Leinster Senior

Ballyroan Sunday 20th January is the venue for the Leinster senior and junior men and women cross country along with juvenile relays. The action gets under way at 12 o’clock and all are welcome.

Secondary Schools

The Laois secondary schools cross country will take place in O’Dempsey’s GAA ground on Wednesday next the 16th January.

Table Quiz

The Annual club table quiz will take place in Behan’s on Thursday the 24th January at 8.30pm. There are cash prizes for the top 3 teams plus many spot prizes. Entry is 40 euro per table of four. Your support for this event would be much appreciated. Drop in and bring a few friends along.

St Michael’s

County Juvenile Relays

Well done to the St Michaels Juveniles who participated in the County cross country relays recently. St Michaels AC boys U-12 won their 4x500m event and the U-14 girls claiming silver in their event on the day. In the Girls U-10 St Michael’s AC Rebecca Mullally teamed up with Amy Brennan, Audrey Byrne and Sarah Graham to win this event. Well done to all involved.

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.

Club Newsletter

the senior club newsletter is currently out, the newsletter contains a list of fixtures, achievements and news about what events and development are taking place within the senior club.

Sunday Morning Run

The long run on Sunday morning continues at the winter scheduled time of 10am.

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; Mark Higgins Tel: 087-2431154