National Half Marathon 2022
Eleven North Sligo athletes travelled to Ratoath in Co Meath to take part in the national half marathon which was held there on Saturday last. Birthday boy Eamon Mc Andrew put in a stunning performance to win gold in the over 45 category. The last 3k of this race was around Fairyhouse racecourse where thoroughbred horses do battle, on this occasion, it was elite human competitors who were battling it out for national honors. The teak tough Mc Andrew threw everything into this last 3k as he stretched and strained every muscle in his body to try and win the over 45 title. He emptied the tank as he came through the finish line in a new personal best of 1h 12min 34 secs slicing 1min 6 secs from his previous Pb taking the gold medal for his 47th birthday present on the day. This was an exceptional performance from the North Sligo man as he had surgery on his ankle last autumn and was out of action for a long period, it was his resilience, tenacity and great mental strength that helped him achieve this remarkable performance.
The North Sligo AC Men's Over 35 National Champions Eamon McAndrew [ind gold over 45] Craig Brennan, Alan Wallace
Craig Brennan put in a fine performance, his strong steady running saw him come through the finish line in 1hr 17mins 49secs. Alan Wallace set a new Pb taking over 3 mins off his previous best effort. This quiet, understated, hard-working runner came through the finish line in 1 hr 18mins 47secs to secure his team the gold medals in the over 35 category for a combined time of 3hrs 49 mins 10 secs with Grange/Fermoy AC, Cork 17 secs further back with GCH AC taking the bronze medals. There were a total of 40 teams in this category. Feidhlm Mc Gowan, the Sligo record marathon holder overcame a head cold earlier in the week to finish 6th overall in a new Pb in 1 hr 10 mins 46secs. Feidhlim, combined with Eamonn, Craig, and Alan to win the open club team competition regardless of age [best overall men's team] with a combined time for the 4 athletes of 4hrs 59mins 55secs with Dunboyne AC 2nd and Grange/Fermoy taking the bronze medals. Michael Gilmartin the 21 year old son of former club chairperson Mary, put in a great performance for his 1st half marathon to come through the finish line in 1 hr 21mins 49 secs. This young man is showing great promise, we got a glimpse of his undoubted ability on his maiden trip this distance.
The North Sligo Women's Team Trish Lee, Aisling Van Rensburg, Mary Gilmartin, Catherine Lipsett, Marita McMorrow
The women's team was without 3 of their regular stars but they performed admirably. Aisling Van Rensburg had a fine run to finish 11th in the over 40 categories in a time of 1hr 36mins 29secs. Trish Lee gave it her all to finish 9th in over 50 category in 1hr 37mins 42 secs, Marita Mc Morrow finished strongly in 14th position in over 40 in 1hr 38mins 22 secs, Catherine Lipsett finished 16th in the same category in 1hr 38 mins 49 secs, Mary Gilmartin worked very hard and finished 8th in the over 55 category in 1 hr 49 mins 42secs, newcomer Aoife Doran finished 13th in the over 35 category in 1 hr 49 mins 56 secs. The girls finished 4th out of the 22 teams in the Over 35 category.
Birthday Boys Coach Carney 70th Eamon Mc Andrew.
The Athletes Surprise Coach with Cake etc in Avoca Restaurant after the Race.