Young runners light up the Mall

Young runners light up the Mall

Girls posing with their trophies won at the Armagh International Road Races. SG1030.

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter


MORE  than a thousand young runners descended on Armagh’s historic Mall for the 28th edition of the famous Armagh International Road Race series on Thursday 15th February. They came first and foremost from schools all over the Borough Council area and included several schools coming for the first time.

While the big International races with World, European and Olympic athletes took the stage later in the evening we had this colourful and exciting spectacle afforded by the young stars of the future which brought the Mall to life. While the majority were from local schools others came from as far away as Cork and Norwich.

RACE 1 BOYS BORN IN 2011 Sponsored by GCS Solicitors, Armagh
The first race saw a great run from young Cillian Rafferty representing the CBS watched by his mother Kathryn who was running later in the Women’s International 3K. Cillian was followed home by Ethan Cullen from St Patrick’s Primary School just ahead of Daniel George from the Armstrong Primary School. In 4th place was Liam Vallely, grandson of Brian Vallely former Race Director, representing Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Alainn in Cork City. Then we had a quartet from Armagh CBS led by Jack Oates 5th closely followed by Senan Gordon 6th, Rory Hull 7th and Ultan Donnelly 8th. Saints and Scholars provided 9th placed David Jameson and the final prize winner in 10th was Cahir Donnelly of St Patrick’s Primary School. Then from far away Norwich we had Marcus Richardson representing St Augustines Primary School.

RACE 2 BOYS BORN IN 2010 Spomsored by SFM Engineering Ltd
The second race of the night saw a great run by Cormac Greene representing Blackrock AC a regular attender at the Armagh race. He won narrowly from Charlie Duggan of St Patrick’s Primary School just ahead of another club runner 3 Ways AC Daire Crimmins from Newry. The CBS took 4th pace with Paidi McAleavey just nudging out 2 more 3 Ways runners Ciaran Kelly and Adrian Crimmins who finshed 5th and 6th respectively. Oisin Ward grandson of Armagh AC stalwart Jim Ward took 7th for the CBS with his schoolmate Josh Walker in 8th. The 9th finisher ttravelled all the way from Eglinton in County Derry to represent his primary school Broadbridge PS. The 10th placed prize winner was Saran McSorley from closer to home representing Our Lady’s PS in Tullysaran.

RACE 3 GIRLS BORN IN 2010 & 2011 Sponsored by the Mulberry Bistro
The CBS Primary School came to the fore here with a great win from Ava Doran despite the strong challenge of Glaslough Harriers Grace McGarvey who took the runner-up spot.Hannah Donnelly another runner from Our Lady’s Tullysara had a fine run for 3rd holding off two club ruunners Grace McEvoy of Blackrock AC in 4th and Maisie Murphy from Glaslough Harriers in 5th. The CBS had another prize winner with Grainne Farnan talking 6th while St Patrick’s Primary School provided the 7th finisher Shannon Finn-Smith. St Mary’s Granemore got their first prize when Cara Brennan finished 8th closely follwed by Farah Donnelly from Mount St Catherine’s PS and Molly McGurgan from St Patrick’s PS taking 19th.

RACE 4 FOR SPECIAL ATHLETES Sponsored by the DeLuxe Group
This race which was added to the programme some years ago showcases the work done in this field by schools and clubs around the country and now holds a rightful place at International level. The winner here Padraig Kelly representing Glaslough Harriers is no stranger to the Armagh race having run here on many occasion before. In 2nd place was Shay O’Neill from St Anne’s and another Glaslough Harriers athlete Damien Treanor took 3rd. The Eagles Special Olympics Club led by Francis McCrory took the next 7 places.

RACE 5 BOYS BORN IN 2008 & 2009 Spomnsored by Specsavers – Omagh
The famous Dunleer Athletic Club provided the winner here following a very competitive race when Daire Matthews stormed over the line followed City of Lisburn athlete Luke McCausland. Joe Duggan from St Patrick’s PS just edged out Eoghan McCaul representing Glaslough Harriers to settle the 3rd and 4th placings. A great run by Padraic O’Tuathail from the CBS got him 5th place ahead of Glaslough’s Darren McAnespie in 6th. The final four places all went to local Armagh schools with Pauric Kelly St Jarlath’s Blackwatertown 7th, Issac McIlwaine Tandragee PS 8th, Lochlainn Martin St Patrick’s PS 9th and another St Jarlath’s runner Rory O’Donnell in 10th.

RACE 6 GIRLS BORN IN 2008 & 2009 Sponsored by Francis Haughey Construction
Frank Haughey has had a long connection to the Armagh Athletic Club through his family who are still active in the organisation of the club and his sponsorship of this race continues a long Haughey tradition. 3 Ways AC of Newry provided a runaway victor here Lyndsey Kelly overcoming some good club opposition from Abigail Curran of Lagan Valley AC in 2nd place and Sally Sheridan from Dunleer AC in 3rd. Another 3 Ways AC runner Caoimhe O’Hare took 4th just ahead of Armagh CBS athlete Olivia McAfee in 5th. Carla Feehan from 3 Ways AC got 6th and the final four top 10 placings went to Orla McLoughlin of St Peter’s AC Louth 7th, Isla Sim Tandragee PS 8th, Leah Roney also Tandragee 9th and Courtney Fox St Patrick’s PS 19th.

RACE 7 BOYS BORN IN 2006 & 2007 Sponsored by C. K. Rafferty Solicitors
The first two runners to cross the line in this race came all the way from Enniskillen representing St Michaels School. Liam Corry made it a worhwhile journey crossing the line first followed by schoolmate Rory Smith taking the silver. Belfast club Willowfield Harriers Ben Acheson got 3rd while Alex Watson running for Dromore AC took 4th. In 5th was Joshua Muchian representing a comparatively new club Slieve Gullion AC just ahead of Beechmount Harriers Belfast athlete Finn Diver. The final four prize winners who made the top 10 were Tiernan O’Hare 3 Ways AC 7th, Patrick Williams Enniskillen RC 8th, Narry Murphy Glaslough Harriers 9th and James McMullen from Mountnorrie PS in 10th.

RACE 8 GIRLS BORN IN 2006 & 2007 Sponsored by F K Lowry Piling
Club athletes dominated this race with Shercock AC runner Ferne Duffy having a convincing win over Amy Jo Kierans representing Oriel AC. Rebecca Moore from City of Lisburn AC got 3rd followed home by Rebecca Baldwin of Blackrock AC in 4th. There was a battle between Glaslough and Shercock for 5th & 6th place with Aoibhin McCormack edging out Edel Murphy of Shercock. Grace Prenter representing DSD AC was 7th just ahead of Armagh AC’s Kate Daly. 9th & 10th went to Ava Murphy of Dromore AC and Eve Walsh of St Colman’s PS Annaclone.

9th RACE BOYS BORN IN 2004 & 2005 Sponsored by WHR Accountants Ltd
The final two races always add a lot to the programme and feature young athletes already making their mark on the athletic circle. Joel Chambers from Loughview AC was an impressive winner here but he was pursued right to the line by Caolan O’Hare of 3 Ways AC and Tomas Hargney all the way from the CBS in Omagh. St Malachy’s Belfast has always had a big athletic profile and have another great runner in 4th placxed Diarmuid Hanna. Jack McCausland representing the City of Lisburn AC was 5th with Glaslough’s Luke Cawley taling 6th. North Belfast AC another redoubtable club got 7th when Luke Kelly came through to pip Mark Litchfield of St Peter’s AC Louth. Conor Broderick City of Lisburn and Ronan O’Hanlon St Patrick’s GS Armagh took the final two prizes on offer for 9th & 10th position respectively.

RACE 10 FOR GIRLS BORN IN 2004 & 2005 Sponsored by Fane Valley
The final race before the International programme was sponsored by Fane Valley a firm with long associations in Armagh. There was some great competitive racing in this event with City of Lisburn athletes dominating the top placings. Tori Lightbody who won and runner-up Katie McCleery look set to have lots of success as young up and coming athletes. Ella Haynes from St Catherine’s College pushed them all the way to take 3rd. Then we had Hodie McMullen from Markethill High School taking 4th over a bunch of six good club athletes including Leak Moonet from St Gerard’s AC County Louth, Aoife Dunlop from Lagan Valley AC, Anna Byrne 3 Ways ACX, Emma McBrien Lagan Valley, Hollie Massey North Down AC and Sophie William Enniskillen R C.

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