Courtney McGuire – County Novice Champion, Paul Minogue wins Silver medal

The Club had two strong squads competing last Sunday in Moyne where the County Novice road Championships were held in ideal conditions. In the women’s race we had seven athletes competing and for some of them it was their debut in this event and it was great to see them all running so well. Mentioning debuts, what a debut Courtney McGuire had last Sunday in this 3k Championship event. She ran the proverbial blinder. The race started and she covered every move after the initial charge. With 800m gone she had moved up to the shoulder of the race leader, Gillian Lawlor Ryan of Thurles Crokes who had set a strong early pace that soon had the field scattered. Courtney bided her time and as they approached the 1k mark she increased the pace that soon saw her open a slight lead on Gillian, buoyed by this, Courtney put in another strong effort with a kilometre to go that saw her draw well clear of the chasing pack and as she entered the track with 300m to go she was well clear, she maintained that pace to win her first County Adult title in 10 mins 55 secs, brilliant performance. This was a fantastic performance by Courtney who becomes the first female Club athlete to emerge from the Juvenile ranks to win a County Adult road title, brilliant and well deserved for all the hard training and commitment. Courtney’s winning time is also the fastest time over this course for this event, course record, Courtney joins a host of previous Club members who have won this title, athletes like Carmel Delaney (2000), Maire Walsh (2001), Aideen Rigney (2003), Laura Taylor (2006), Angela McCann (2008), Aine Roche (2009) and Johanna Lacy (2013). This performance buoyed up the rest of the squad and soon we had Elaine Horgan and Suzanne Shine appearing on the tack and they kept that strong pace going to finishing 7th (11:54) and 8th (11:54) respectively. This trio combined very well to win the Gold medals and retain the Cup for another year. We also had good performances from Aisling English who ran very well when finishing 11th in 12 mins 13 secs, followed by Michelle Doherty who was 14th in 12 mins 33 secs with Sareen Walsh 15th in 12 mins 38 secs. Then we had Stephanie Byrne, running very well in her Championship debut for the Club when finishing 22nd in 14 mins 28 secs, great performances all round.

In the Men’s race we had 12 athletes going to the start and here again we had a few debutants. None more so than Paul Minogue who ran a brilliant race. Right from the start he set a strong pace that soon saw him with a good lead as the athletes came into the village with one lap to go. He maintained that strong pace and was still leading with just over 2k to go. At this stage he was joined by the eventual winner, Derek Walsh of Carrick on Suir and together they maintained a good lead on the chasing pack and it was only in the closing stages that Derek went clear to win with Paul running brilliantly to win the Silver medal in 19 mins 51 secs, brilliant running and what a debut. This performance ensured that the team had a very good chance of a podium position in the inter Club event, but the rest of the team had to respond and that they did with Dermot Logue running a great race when finishing 10th in 21 mins 22 secs. He was closely followed across the finishing line by Nigel O Flaherty who was 12th in 21 mins 27 secs with Conor Fleming also running very well when finishing 14th in 21 mins 38 secs. This quartet combined very well to win the Inter Club bronze medals on 38 points, just one point away from the Silver won by Dundrum on 37 points, brilliant running. We also had good performances from Niall O Shea making his debut in this event when finishing 25th in 23 mins 2 secs, then we had Pat Coffey also running well when finishing 34th in 23 mins 33 secs followed by Barry Horgan 41st in 23 mins 52 secs with Jamie Byrne 43rd in 24 mins 13 secs, another debutant, Kenny Brett 49th in 24 mins 45 secs, Sean O Dea 51st in 25 mins 12 secs, Vincent McHugh 52nd in 25 mins 17 secs and Dan O Keeffe 59th in 26 mins 43 secs, great running.