Home News 3rd Meath Hill Running Championships

3rd Meath Hill Running Championships


from IMRA website A record field of runners from the throughout the north east assembled at Mullaghmeen Forest near Oldcastle for the third staging of the Meath Hill Running championships. The local organisers plotted a wonderful route through the largest planted broadleaf forest in Ireland. In a year which saw many events was marred by soggy conditions, it was a source of relief for all the athletes to find the going ?good? in late December. Recent tree felling near the summit of the race has revealed one of the finest views in the country with Lough Sheelin glistening in winter sunshine to the north and the distant Wicklow Mountains and the Slieve Blooms rising on the southern horizon. Most of the runners only managed a brief glance given the great effort required in getting there.

The local athletics board invited runners from surrounding counties to take part in the open race and drew support from Cavan, Westmeath and Dublin club members. Trail and hill running has grown in popularity in recent years. Last spring the trail series held in Belvedere, Mullingar consistently attracted over 200 entries. The addition of Mullaghmeen event to the local athletics calendar has proven very popular. Great credit is due especially to the committee and members of St Brigids athletic club who made sure all aspects of this race went to plan.
In the senior mens race local athlete Gerard Heery drew on his extensive mountain running and cross country to claim the senior mens title. He made a decisive break for home at the midway point passing the cairn which marks the highest point in Westmeath. He continued his great record in the race and blazed a trail across the county boundary into Meath to claim his 2nd successive county hill running title. He covered the 5km course in 18.28 ahead of Derek Croal and Paddy Mangan who ran to the limit over the final 1500 metres of fast downhill running.

The senior womens title went to Geraldine Gill, Bohermeen in a time of 23.40 followed by local duo Eileen Rahill and Karen Crean. In the open race category Martin Fulton from Bailieboro completed the course in a time of 18.58 to finish 4th overall and Helen White was first woman home in 15th overall with a time of 21.50. The junior titles were both won by St Brigids athletes with Thomas O?Reilly finishing well up the overall field and Elaine Plunkett leading the club to silver.
The strength and quality of masters running in Meath was underlined by the performances of Gerard Heery and Paddy Mangan in the mens while the first two Meath affiliated finishers in the womens race Mary Watters and Linda Gunning both compete in the W 45 masters grade. Best of the W 35s was Maureen Lowther while 6th place Sean Kinane led the M 35. David Hawcroft ran 23.49 to win the M 55 grade.
The mens club competition proved a happy hunting ground for local outfit St Brigids who enjoyed a comfortable margin of 37 points over Dunboyne. The course is a very familiar training ground for the host club. Heery was joined in the team effort by his younger brother Fechin who figured prominently in a number of IMRA Leinster League races last summer and Johnny Morrissey, Thomas O?Reilly, Brendan Briody and Martin Briody,
The women of Bohermeen, Linda Gunning, Geraldine Gill and Brigid Reilly combined well to finish on 106 points ten ahead of St Brigids.

Meath Athletics Board and St Brigids AC thank Coillte and Meath Civil defence for their cooperation and assistance.There was a minutes silence prior to the start for Teresa McGowan and Marie Rankin who lost their lives in tragic circumstances over the Christmas.

Women : Senior; 1, Geraldine Gill, Bohermeen; 2, Eileen Rahill, St Brigids, 3, Karen Crean, St Brigids.
W 35; 1, Maureen Lowther, Trim, 2, Margaret Neary, Na Fianna, 3, Ann Marie McCluskey.
W 45; 1, Mary Watters, Navan, 2, Linda Gunning, Bohermeen, 3, Ann Tobin, Trim.
Junior ; 1, Elaine Plunkett, St Brigids.
Open Race; 1, Helen White, Sportsworld, 2, Crona Brady, Sportsworld, 3, Anke Moore, Star of the Sea.
Teams; 1, Bohermeen,106; 2, St Brigids,116; 3, Na Fianna, 147.
Men: Senior; 1,Gerard Heery, St Brigids, 2, Derek Croal, Bohermeen, 3, Fechin Heery, St Brigids.
M 35: 1, Sean Kinane, Dunboyne, 2, Dermot Farrelly, Bohermeen, 3, Derek Hunter, Ratoath.
M 45; 1, Paddy Mangan, Dunshaughlin, 2, Michael Cornyn, Dunboyne, 3, Brian Cully, Trim.
M 55; 1, David Hawcroft, Trim, 2, Brendan Meade, Star of the Sea.
Junior; 1, Thomas O?Reilly, St Brigids, 2, Ian Hunter, Ratoath, 3, Gavin Maher, Dunshaughlin.
Open Race; 1, Martin Fulton, 2, Ronan Doolin, 3, Dermot Cafferty.
Teams; 1, St Brigids,21; 2, Dunboyne, 58; 3, Dunshaughlin.