ATHLETICS | Fun in the sun at the Blackrock AC Beach Races

The start of the U14 girls race

There was plenty of fun in the sun last Friday night as a large crowd gathered to enjoy the annual instalment of the Blackrock AC Beach Races.

The evening was started off in fine style for the host club with an U18 double as both Oisin Hughes and Kelly Breen topped the rostrum after comfortably winning their races.

Donnacha Hughes kept the momentum going with another very impressive win in the boys U16 750m, easily holding off the challenge posed by Dunleer AC’s Edward McEntee and the Glenmore AC duo of Niall Brady and Ciaran Flynn in the process.

With no U16 girls brave enough to take on the sand and water, the focus shifted to the younger age groups with the U8 girls next to line up. This was a thriller with a huge number of athletes battling it out over the 250m course.

Action from the 2017 Blackrock AC Beach Races

In the end, it was Zoe White from Glenmore AC who crossed in first place, closely followed by Blackrock’s own Maeve Cunniffe who was chased all the way by another Glenmore athlete, Gillian Touhy with St Gerard’s AC’s Chloe Cheshire completing the top four.

Cormac Greene was cheered all the way by a partisan home crowd as he stormed to another gold medal for Blackrock AC in the boys U8 250m. Ciaran Kelly from Three Ways AC collected silver, Emmet Carney added bronze to the host club’s collection with a fine third place and Cain Murtagh from St Peter’s AC worked hard all the way around to finish fourth.

Next up was the girls U10 and it was Boyne AC’s Shola Lawrence who proved to be the quickest over the 500m course winning in fine style.

Doireann Conlon from St Gerard’s AC was the silver medallist on the night with Lyndsey Kelley from Three Ways AC finishing third and another Boyne AC athlete, Chloe Cooney, coming home in fourth place. Megan McEvoy was Blackrock’s first finisher crossing the line in sixth.

The Blackrock AC Ladies 4x250m relay winners

Daragh Mathews took the honours for Dunleer AC in the boys U10 500m, just edging out Oliver Carolan from Boyne after a hard battle.

Jack Greene was the best of the Blackrock contingent, maintaining his fine form to pick up a bronze medal with another Dunleer member, Conor Brennan, rounding of the top four. Finn Madine was next best for Blackrock collecting a medal for his sixth place finish.

An impeccably timed run was the key to Rebecca Baldwin’s latest success for Blackrock AC.

Sitting comfortably in third place for the first 450m of the girls U12 race, Rebecca turned on the afterburners for the last 50m to surge past silver medalist, Enya Silkenna from St Gerard’s AC and bronze medallist, Dunleer AC’s Vanessa Brennan on her way to adding another gold medal to her collection for the season so far. Edel Murphy, a very welcome guest from Shercock AC, was the fourth runner home.

Action from the 2017 Blackrock AC Beach Races

Shea O’Donnell from Boyne AC was a very impressive winner of the boys U12 500m. Leading right from the gun he wasn’t troubled at any stage and cruised home in first place.

The same couldn’t be said for Sean Reilly from Blackrock AC who literally stole the silver medal from St Peter AC’s Conor Litchfield in the very last metre of a titanic struggle.

Conor’s teammate, Padraig Tinnelly, wasn’t too far behind in fourth with Blackrock’s Padraig Fennessy a stride or two behind in fifth.

Boyne AC’s winning feeling was carried on in the next race as Emma Faulkner topped the podium after the girls U14 event.

Action from the 2017 Blackrock AC Beach Races
The Blackrock AC U9 boys team

St Peter’s AC filled the rest of the podium places as Derbhla Tinley and Lucy Smith finished second and third respectively. Maeve Fee was the home club’s first finisher crossing the line in fourth with teammate Ciara O’Brien not too far behind in sixth.

The last of the juvenile events was the boys U14 500m with Mark Litchfield of St Peter’s AC proving to be the one that got away as he broke when it counted and crossed the line first for a fine gold medal.

Patrick Farrell and Matthew McEntee rounded off a good night for Dunleer AC by taking silver and bronze with Neil Culhane from Boyne AC filling fourth place.

With the last of the underage events completed it was left to the Fit for Lifer’s to produce the goods over a 4x250m relay.

The start of the men’s Fit For Life relay race

After much cajoling and reassurances that first aid was close at hand, four brave teams took to the line for the first of two races with the Boyne AC squad proving their endurance despite an interesting first baton changeover which consisted of a swan dive and face plant.

Blackrock AC collected silver with Glenmore AC and a mixed club team filling the minor places.

In the ladies only event it was the Blackrock AC team of Eimear Traynor, Sinead Bewley, Donna Baldwin and Mary Scanlon who took gold medal honours with a very game Dunleer AC team coming home in second.

So, that was that for the 2017 edition, a good night which was enjoyed by all who attended. Hopefully the sand will be shaken out of the runners and socks for the next event in the calendar which is the team championships which take place in Tullamore this weekend.

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