by Brian O’Connor
LIMERICK AC athlete Colm Turner took gold at the Senior Men’s, Limerick County Athletics Board’s final event of the cross country season at University of Limerick, Sunday, November 16, 2014.
The ten kilometre race was run with ideal atmospheric conditions – cold and dry – while underfoot conditions proved more difficult varying from sticky in large parts to firm in places. The athletes found the short steep hill trickier to negotiate as the laps increased. Thirteen LAC athletes lined out in the 40 strong field.
Turner’s race was described as a master class in maximising use of strength, endurance, tact and perseverance over difficult terrain, LAC Coach PJ O’Rourke said: “Colm was 20 metres behind West Limerick’s Niall O’Callaghan for the first three kilometres or so. He fought back and took command of the race at the four kilometre mark and managed to stretch his lead over the next six kilometres crossing the line almost 150 metres ahead of O’Callaghan. Bilbao’s Declan Moore held third position throughout.”
Limerick AC’s Paul Fitzgerald, Martin Doody and Mark Guerin came home in sixth, seventh and eight respectively and with those positions LAC amassed a total of 22 points in the team event, narrowly missing out to West Limerick’s 20 points. LAC would like to congratulate West Limerick AC on their team’s success.
Limerick AC athletes Joe Coffey, Keith Ryan and Vincent O’Brien finished just outside of the points while Dave Beary, Keith Daly and Mike Lynch followed up in quick succession with Brian O’Sullivan, Tony O’Donovan and Pat O’Riordan forming the final batch of LAC runners to cross the finish line leaving one quarter of the field behind them.
In the senior women’s race, West Limerick AC’s Caroline Hayes took gold from Dooneen’s Tracey Roche Johnson and following closely into bronze position was Noelle Fitzgerald from West Limerick AC who also won the team event.
The event was hosted by Limerick Athletic Club, who provided volunteers, marshals and stewards. Limerick County Athletics Board has expressed its gratitude to Daniel Gallagher, Pat O’Riordan, Ray McInerney, Gwynne Ryan and PJ O’Rourke who laid out the course and assisted at the event. LAC vice-chairman Tom Foley was thanked in absentia by the board for the “much appreciated tea and sandwiches” which followed.