29 Sept 2022

Mooreabbey Milers AC looks back on what happened in 2020

Mooreabbey Milers AC looks back on what happened in 2020

Willie O Donoghue, Barry Mackey and Tommy Hughes at a national event last year

Mooreabbey Milers AC AGM PRO report 2020

2020 has been a year like no other. 'Corona' 'covid' 'virus' 'Coronavirus' 'Covid-19' call it what you like, it has affected all our lives and lifestyles. It started out as a story on the news in late 2019 affecting China but on that special day every once in four our quant little Isle was rocked. Podded training, individual training, 5 levels, races, no races, large gatherings, small gathering, no gatherings, 2 meters, stay apart.

Here is what 2020 allowed to happen.

Stuart Moloney is county indoor O/40 champion as is Willie O'Donoghue in the O/55 3,000m, 1,500m and 800m run as well as the 2,000m walk as is Larry O'Grady in the O/60 shot putt.

The mile challenge shield was retained at home with Team BPM with (Ben Cummins, Patrick Holian and Marie O'Shea) taking the honours.

We hosted the county senior cross country with medals all round for many of the clubs participating athletes. The lights became illuminated at the community field while I (Lynda Hynes) was voted club person of the year at the clubs award night in Ballylanders. Other award recepitants were

-Female athlete of the year Mary Louise Ryan.

-Male athlete of the year Willie O Donoghue.

-Best newcomer Dariusz Gazdowicz.

-Most improved female athlete Mary Hinchy.

-Most improved male athlete Gerard Hanley.

-Female achievement of the year Marie O'Shea.

-Male achievement of the year Robert Cunningham.

-Junior athlete of the year Patrick Holian.

-Juvenile athlete of the year Nessa Moloney.

- Hall of fame - Michael Curley Cunnigham RIP. Tom Blackburn

The most likely awards (light hearted awards) - Liam O'Donnell, John Hayes, Mary Pyke, Padraigin Riggs and Patricia Blackburn.

We had a ladies and 2 men's teams compete in the first race of the county road championships the novice in Moyne. More county medals in February as Stuart Moloney, Ben Cummins, Barry Hartnett and Ewan Cunningham became county road relay champions and Mary Louise Ryan, Martina Moloney, Patricia Ryan and Patricia Blackburn clinched the bronze medals in the ladies race.

The club hit national glory again when Tom Blackburn, Willie O'Donoghue and Damien Holian secured a national bronze as part of the county team in Wicklow at the national masters cross country. From cross country to the indoors in the heights of storm Ciara and Denis Nenagh indoor stadium was the venue for the Munster indoor track championships. Again the pockets were laden with medals as Ben Cummins, Willie O'Donoghue, Larry O'Grady and Mary Louise Ryan ran, walked and jumped away with 8 medals. The 24th of February bought us the sad news that we had lost our dear friend Catherine Hogan. A lady with a heart of gold. RIP Catherine.

The O/50 team Tom Blackburn, Willie O'Donoghue and Damien Holian are munster club road champions, Tom and Willie were also second and third scorers on the county gold medal winning team an individual category gold was won by Willie O'Donoghue while Patricia Blackburn scooped an individual bronze. County team medals were also won by Mary Louise Ryan, Ben Cummins and Barry Hartnett. Adare, Kinsale, Kilsheelan, Doon, Caherconlish, Dungarvan, Milford Hospice 10k, Run the banner and the Tramore duathlon were featured on some club members calanders. The following week admist the beginning of the pandemic Stuart Moloney, Larry O'Grady and Willie O'Donoghue were hitting all Ireland success again at the national indoors in AIT Athlone. Stuart took gold, Larry 2 silver, 2 bronze while Willie claimed silver.

We had success on the mountain with many podium positions from Tom Blackburn, Mary Louise Ryan and Martina Moloney and excellent IMRA Munster club participation from Kevin Lenihan, Liam O'Donnell, Robert Cunningham, Ewan Cunningham, Sarah Fitzpatrick, James Fletcher, Derek Ryan, Mary Pyke, Paddy Bourke, Dariusz Gazdowicz, Mike Carey, Michelle Carey, Jo Drea, Mary Hinchy, Patricia Blackburn, Patricia Ryan, John Hayes, Paddy O'Shea Mandy Parslow, Ray Murray, Damien Holian, Jason Collins, Denis Ryan, Marie O'Shea, Niamh Blackburn, Grainne Blackburn, Gerard Hanley, Kieran Lees and Willie O'Donoghue.

And in the junior / juvenile section Cormac and Gearoid Kinnane, Ryan and Ruairi Cunningham, Kitty and Tessa O'Dwyer and Doireann and Nessa Moloney.

The next 3 months were to be the hardest. A blanket ban had been called on all activities. Restrictived movements, self isolation and social distancing. No races, no training, stay at home stay apart!

We joined the community call, helped with the community field clean up, we remembered Curley, done garden challenges, virtual runs, distance derby's and predicted 4 mile time trials.

The 17th of June bought some normality back with podded training permitted and group activities looking likely to happen. IMRA Munster returned with runs on Carrauntoohil, Galtymore and Seefin. Mad men Kevin Lenihan and Jason Collins took on the 200 kilometre Kerry Way Ultra while Barry won the Kerry Way Lite. All Ireland headline for Larry O'Grady and Willie O'Donoghue as Larry takes silver and Willie takes bronze and a 5k track PB at the 149th Irish Life national championships in Morton Stadium in Santry Dublin. Tom Blackburn took 3rd in the Knockmeldows half while Willie O'Donoghue competed at the senior and novice open cross country in Galway.

Cross country was making a welcome return starting with the novice in Newport. Barry took an individual bronze in this one while the men's A team Barry Hartnett, Kieran Lees, Ewan Cunningham and Willie O'Donoghue took the silver. Alas this was to be the first and only race of the 2020 cross country season to be ran as infection rates crept up and the government imposed a second lockdown placing the whole of Ireland into level 5 the highest and most restrictive of our 5 tiered plan.

Juvenile training recommenced in October and survived until December when we finished up for the holiday season with a cross country event in the community field. Our juveniles also took part in a national virtual cross country event in November.

We're two weeks+ into 2021 and we are still sailing in the same boat as we left 2020 in, but the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine a little brighter, so hopefully in the months ahead we will see some sort of normality return to the athletics community.

A special thank you to The Avondhu, Vale Star, Tipperary Star, The Nationalist, The Limerick Leader and Stevie O'Donnell of Tipperary Mid West Radio for their continued coverage of the club and athletics. 

Congratulations and well done to all who accomplished many achievements in what was 2020. Hope to see all old kin and newbies back on the roads, fields and hills soon. 

The clubs AGM was held last Saturday night via zoom.

The following committee members were elected. 

Life President Tom Blackburn

Chairman John Hayes

Vice chairman Kevin Lenihan.

Secretary Patricia Ryan

Vice secretary Mike Fitzgerald

Treasurer Padraig Wallace 

Vice treasurer Patricia Blackburn 

PRO Lynda Hynes

Registar Marie O'Shea

Vice Registar Lynda Hynes

Children's officer Pauline Chapman

Vice children's officer Marie O'Shea

Juvenile development officer Grainne Blackburn 

Senior development officer Stuart Moloney 

Funding officer Damien Holian 

Kit manager Liam O'Donnell 

Covid-19 officer Liam O'Donnell 

Photographer Jane Griffin & Lynda Hynes

Ordinary member Gerard Griffin 

Thank you to all those who are retaining or changing their roles for the year ahead. 

Many thanks to the outgoing members for their hard work and dedication throughout their term of office and a thousand welcomes to our new members. 

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