A hectic weekend for Valley Athletes

Tori Pena was in action in Mount Sac relays a world class meet in U S cleared 4.15 for 6th with just over 90 days to the Big one London in August. . In London 4 representatives in the famous inspiring London marathon all of them crossing the line acheiving the the medal namely Mary Hippsley, Kate Mc Guigan,Gloria Devenney and Sean O leary . Well done all a great personal acheivment which everyone can take inspiration from. 

In Dublin it was National road relays in Raheny and we had 5 teams on duty .As is the norm the Masters section kicked off the programme good return here Over 50 men namely Mark Connoly,Pat Hegarty and Dominic Bonner on duty abd their reward silver medals . Interesting to note Dominics week last Sunday he won the national over 50 10k road title in 34 minutes odd a most notable run he was in Derry for a 5k on Wednesday 17.12 his time and he was beating it out again on this team . The Gweedore man who trains alone is a real stand out story . 

The over 40 lads of Cieran Carlin joined by Martin Irwin and Michael Gallagher took the bronze first national medals ever for the latter two . It was the turn of the women next their ranking finish 7th winners DSD but so important to be on the start line and finally the mens relay two teams the A team of James Speight 10.06 ( 2 miles )Mark Hoye 4.33 ( 1 mile ) Paul Leck taking over in 6th ( 3 miles ) and final leg Gerard Gallagher ( 2 mile ) to finish 9th the event winners Rathfarnham . THe B team was Ryan Porter,Dean Toland , Mark Bonner , and Patrick Hynes Foy  for 16th place . Well done all good to be back in the competition being competitive.That mile leg by Mark represents the fastest of the day and he now can look forward to competing for his University in the British Univ.champs at the Olympic stadium ,London on weekend May4/5/6th an unique opportunity about which he is pretty excited . 

Janine Boyle and James Kelly were our representatives on Donegal Sportshall teams in Birmingham Janine picking up two individual medals in long jump and 2 lap race a very exciting contribution and it was special as her Mum Marie was there as a team manager . James also is a special talent elegible again next year and his putt of 11.83 did of course gain him a podium spot . Again his coach/Dad John had flown over so another nice memory to recall in the years ahead . The outstanding Donegal performance came from the Rosses girl Sarah Doherty a double gold medallist the best points return ever by a Donegal athlete at this exciting event. 
Its interesting to note the absolute explosion of numbers in road events in the county and the weekends story began in

Gortahork the Tir Na Nog Series being promoted by Senator Brian O Domhnaill a Valley club member , Saturday was Ardara 10k in memory of Martina Maguire and what a response just over the 1000 mark a tremendous event amongst the finishers Michael Mc Gonagle aged 7 not a bother to him ,Sunday was Maghery 5k in aid of Habitat promoted by Niamh Walsh and Rosaleen Mc Gonagle and Bridgeen Doherty flew the flag for us there finally the Parents Council of St Columbas ,Stranorlar had 300 turn out won by Oisin Gallen in a sub 20 time with parent Noreen Bonner womens winner 22 minutes and as School principal Maeve Scully observed "runners and walkers aged 7 to 70 babies in buggys and even 2 dogs "

Its busy busy in the coming weeks a large crowd expected Wednesday evening for open track meet registration from 6pm . So many tasks to do so offers of help from club people welcome see the programme on the www.finnvalleyacweb . Strabane stage a meet on May 6th and we are encouraging participation there followed by Schools athletics and county athletics plenty of opportunity .

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