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Tuesday, 6th June 2023

Drogheda & District AC turn up the heat for a week of scorching results

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Drogheda & District AC’s Aaron Hanlon who won the Bohermeen 5K.

The lure of a fast course and the promise of a post-race race barbecue ensured a quality field of athletes lined up for last Friday's Bohermeen 5K Road Race.

Conditions were near perfect, with little or no wind, and the cooling evening would have helped as this race is always run at a lively pace. 

At the sound of the Starter's pistol, the leading runners got straight down to business and quickly opened a gap on the rest of the field. Among them were the DDAC trio of Aaron Hanlon, Colin Leonard and Brian Martin, and the first mile was run in well under 5 minute mile pace. 

By the 4th kilometre, it was down to a two horse race however as Hanlon forced the pace to open a small but irretrievable gap on Kevin McGrath from host club Bohermeen AC. 

Hanlon held good form as he broke the tape in 15:07, with McGrath runner up in 15:22. Not far behind was Leonard who had a great run to finish 6th in 15:33, while Martin crossed the line in 12th place in 16:07. With these points secured it was all down to our fourth man Paddy Murphy in the battle for team honours.Murphy gave a display of strong, controlled running to finish 99th in 18:56, which meant our lads took fourth place in the Men's team category. 

Others who ran well included Conor Cooney who was second in category (22:44), Barney Flannery (26:50) and Gerry McGeough (29:44). 

In the Women's race, Mary Leech showed most of her rivals a clean pair of heels when finishing second in category in a lively 18:55, and there's more to come from her as the season progresses. Also running were Roisin McGeough (24:25) and Nuala Reilly who ran well to win her category in 24:54. 

Mary Leech - second in category at the Bohermeen 5K.

Earlier in the week several of our athletes took on some of the finest runners north Dublin has to offer in the annual Balbriggan Summerfest 5K, Liam Farrell was first home from DDAC showing us the heat couldn't slow him down with a spectacular result of 23.31. Not much time passed before Frank Brady finished with a more than satisfactory 25.58 and a notable result from Donal Branigan of 38.02.

Not to be outshone by a week of fantastic 5K results, several athletes undertook the long journey to the most prestigious but gruelling race in the south west, the Cork City Marathon. The day started off with hot dry conditions with little to no cooling winds from the sea, with a strong start in a course with many hills to put you in your place, our athletes set out together on what had been a challenging undertaking. 

First home was Pat O’Grady with an astounding time of 2.53.28, O’Grady has been showing us his strengths lately competing in several marathons including Boston City Marathon, his Cork achievement shows us Pat has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. Not long after him Jonathan O’Brien and Dominic. 

DDAC competitors enjoying the after party at the Bohermeen 5K.

Branigan crossed the finish line with less than a minute between them proving their several month training undertaking had paid off with O’Brien finishing in 3.08.56 and Branigan hot on his heels with a time of 3.09.46. To finish off a perfect day of outstanding results Paul Woods braved the Cork City Half Marathon without any team mates to stand strong in 1.41.55.

And as if a week of middle and long distance running achievements wasn't enough, several DDAC athletes competed in the Dublin Graded Meeting at the UCD track in Belfield over the weekend. 

On a hot day with a strong wind to fight against our athletes had a slew of outstanding performances in the men's 400m and 1500m events the most notable of which was James English placing first in his 400m heat with a dominant finish of 56.82. 

Liam Farrell competing in the Balbriggan Summerfest 5K.

Not to be outdone, young Andrew Kelly showed us his strengths are getting better and better with a strong second place and PB result of 52.09 only narrowly missing out on winning his 400m heat by strong athlete Charles Okafor finishing in 51.90. In the 1500m heat young Matthew O’Shea showed us strong athletics are continuously running in his family, trudging on with a remarkable 4.19.82. English, Kelly and O’Shea have been showing consecutive results for some time and we suspect the best is yet to come.

Other outstanding results on the day came from Alan Wade with a remarkable time of 4.45.13 in his 400m heat, with Michael Lundon and Mark O’Shea in their respective 1500m heats with Lundon finishing in 6.09.96 and O’Shea in an impressive 4.19.82.


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