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Festive feast for club runners

THOUGH the Christmas holiday festivities were in full swing, Lifford Strabane AC members continued to compete, many finishing a very successful racing year off on a high with a well deserving personal best or category prize.

Pbs and category prizes are very much welcomed by athletes anytime of the year,and to achieve them in the final days of the racing year brings a feelings of greater satisfaction. It’s the just rewards for all those who trained consistently throughout the year and it lays down markers for fresh goals and challenges for them to focus on in the coming 2020 season.

On Boxing Day at the 34th Greencastle 5 mile road race a total of 862 runners/walkers took to the very damp starting line at this ever-popular race. This road race is famous for the ‘Hill’ between the 3 and 4 mile marker with a sign announcing ‘It’s only a hill, get over it!!’.

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Lifford Strabane AC athletes were among the large contingent of race goers with master athlete and National Marathon Medal recipient Michael Duncan leading his club mates to the finish line in a superb time 34:00, placing second in the M55+ category.

Sean Carlin was next to finish for the club in 38.28 following closely behind was Dominic Carlin finishing in 38.44.

On the same day at the annual St Stephen’s Day 5k hosted by Finn Valley AC with a total of 501 walkers/runners taking to the start line, Lifford Strabane AC’s juvenile athlete Orlaith McCrory finished in a time of 22:57 to take second place in the Girls U15 category. Well done Orlaith!

On Saturday club athletes and siblings Alan and Jaime McGinley made the worthwhile trip to the Northwest Indoor Games in Athlone.

Both athletes had a very successful day at the games resulting in three gold medals. Juvenile athlete Jaime took gold in both the 600m race and high jump while Alan secured gold in the 800m race. Well done Jaime & Alan!

Last Sunday Aghyaran St Davog’s 5k run & 4k walk was supported by 172 runners/walkers. Lifford Strabane AC was represented by two club athletes. Senior Male Conor McLaughlin finished seventh overall in a great time of 19.15 with juvenile Orlaigh McCrory came first in the Girls U16 category in a time of 22:29. Well done to both athletes & congrats to Orlaith on her category win.

Friday, December 20th, the last Friday before Christmas means for most people a “big night out” when people are ‘larging it’ to the extreme. A lot of workplaces host their Christmas parties with a result this being the booziest day of the year.

However, this was not the case for the club’s very own “Marathon Man” aka Gerard Campbell.

Gerard’s only battle was with The EAMS “Black Eyed Friday Marathon” which started at Carrick Castle, Carrickfergus before taking runners towards Gideons Green. This was Gerard’s 52nd marathon, and eighth this year to date in a fine time of 4hrs 5mins.

Well done Gerard on a fantastic achievement. Good luck in 2020!!

On Saturday 21st December, Lifford Strabane AC’s Joshua Stuart celebrated his 200th Parkrun in Derry. This athlete is an avid parkrun runner taking in various locations such as Derry, Strabane and Scotland. Congratulations Josh on this excellent achievement!!

A special word of thanks to the committee of Lifford Strabane AC for organising Christmas Parties for members of the club. The club would also like to acknowledge Paul Harkin proprietor of Harkins Gala Ballybofey and St Johnson who very kindly sponsored the ‘Pizza Night’ organised for the juvenile athletes.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB