AS 2016 came to a close and 2017 got off to a start, there was a flurry of activity from Lifford Strabane AC members, many finishing a very successful racing year off on a high with a well deserving PB or category prize.
Personal Bests and category prizes are very much welcomed by athletes anytime of the year, and to achieve them on the final day of the racing year brings a real feeling of satisfaction to the athletes.
It’s just reward for all those athletes that trained consistently through the year and it puts down markers for new goals and challenges for them to focus on in 2017.
Last Friday Lifford Strabane AC’s McGinley brothers Alan and Conor travelled alongside fellow club athlete Charlie McElwaine to the AIT, Athlone to participate in the Northwest Indoor Games.
All three young lads produced solid performances. Their showing at this event will benefit them with valued experience for the coming indoor competitions commencing at the end of January.
The club had athletes attending two road races on New Year Eve. Three adult and one juvenile member were among the seventy athletes who supported St Davog’sGAA 3k Walk/5k Run.
First Lifford Strabane AC club member to the finish line was young Aaron McGrath in a smashing time of 20:35 (PB) to win the male U16 category and come seventh finisher overall. Linda McGrath was the second home for the club in a super time of 23:12 placing third senior lady overall.
Martin Kelly was the next club member to cross the finish line in a time of 24:52 followed by Maddy McCurdy 29:15.
At the Loughmacrory 5 mile road race on the same day in excess of 500 athletes competed. Lifford Strabane AC was well represented with nineteen adult and one juvenile club member taking to the start line.
Among the twenty club members three picked up category prizes and numerous PBs were achieved.
First senior male club athlete to cross the finish line was Paul Kelly in a fantastic time of 29:03, placing ninth overall. Paul was the winner of the M35+ category.
Michael McGrinder was second senior male athlete home for the club taking a massive 39 seconds off his previous 5 mile race time to finish in a super time of 32:07(PB) and 35th finisher overall.
Making a return to racing after being out of action for a number of months due to injury and finishing third for the club in a great time of 32:34 was Shea Carlin 37th overall.
Lifford Strabane AC’s only juvenile male representative Brandon McGrinder had another fantastic race to run a very impressive 46 seconds faster than his previous best time over this distance to finish in a superb time of 31:10.
Brandon was also successful in placing second in the U19 male category, 25th finisher overall.
Ita Kelly was the first female club member finisher. Ita placed second in the F45+ category running a great time of 35:55. Second female club finisher was Bridgid McCloskey who runs with the Glenelly Branch of Lifford Strabane AC finishing in a time of 46:44(PB), fifty-one seconds faster than her previous 5 mile race on Boxing Day.
Lorraine McGrinder, returning from injury, finished third in a fine time of 51:40.