WHAT A YEAR FOR MONAGHAN TOWN RUNNERS
It’s been a terrific year for Monaghan Town Runners with many of our members pushing themselves to achieve their individual goals. Walls were passed, new heights (and highs) were reached and comfort zones were put aside. But it’s not just all about the running with MTRs. Friends have been made up and down the country (and internationally) as well as providing an outlet for people to get out and get active.
In January and September our members supported participants in the Absolute Beginners program. The 6 week couch to 5k program was a great success and had a great turn out to each session. Well done to all that that came out, especially in January, who had to deal with some wet and windy conditions. Also a big thank you to our members who volunteered their Saturday mornings.
SAINT PATRICKS DAY 5K FOR CROCUS
On St. Patricks Day this year the Club had its inaugural 5k run for Crocus. There was no entry fee with participants just asked to make a donation to Crocus charity. A brilliant turnout from local people resulted in a whopping €3000 being raised and what a great way to kick off Monaghan Towns festivities. The short route took in the main street in Monaghan and the new greenway along the old canal. A big thank you to all involved from MTRs and Crocus.
Just for fun the club organised a short 5k run in Rossmore Park for club members at the start of July. Nothing unusual about that you might think, apart from that it was completely dark with only the full moon and the odd torch to keep us on track. A great nights run was had and finished off nicely with a BBQ, liquid refreshments and a small tribute to Garth Brooks. As I said earlier, it’s not all about the running. I would like to point out that our club secretary insists he did not get lost but was mis-informed about the finish line. Again these events require volunteers to plan and organise and a big thank you to Lorraine Mcloughlin, John Flannery and Raymond Aughey for their efforts.
MONAGHAN 10 & 5 MILER
August saw Monaghan Town Runners hard at work preparing for the Monaghan 10 & 5 miler. Athletes from all over the country descended on a Sunday morning to run Monaghan’s streets and countryside roads. Not only was there a record entry (to date) put also the people of Monaghan and Ballinode showed their support for the local and travelling runners. International Kenyan athlete, Freddy Stuk was first across the finish line followed closely by Glaslough Harriers and Ireland international athlete Conor Duffy. Well done lads. Coral leisure Centre has been the ideal setting for this race and we at MTRs thank them for their continued support for this event and indeed throughout the year.
These events are difficult to run without sponsorship and a dedicated team. A big thank you to the event sponsors for their support and also to the organising committee who worked tirelessly to make the race memorable for all participants.
A few years ago I attended a talk in the Four Seasons Hotel by a guy called Gerry Duffy. Gerry had just written 2 books about running. His first book was about running a marathon (26.2 mile) a day in every county in Ireland over 32 days and his second book was about completing the Deca-Ironman challenge in England. 1 Ironman a day for 10 days. During his presentation he spoke about why he did these challenges, about how difficult it can be to get out of our comfort zones, to push ourselves towards a goal we never dreamed we could achieve.
This year many MTRs can claim to have got out of their own personal comfort zones. For some, getting out and active has been their goal. For others it was about setting a target, a goal, a mountain they never thought they could climb. They put in the training morning, evenings (some during the night) in rain, wind or sunshine they ran Monaghan’s roads to prepare themselves for the challenge. Whether it was their first time running 5k or 10k, a half marathon or a full marathon or just getting a Personal Best (PB) well done to all.
The Omagh half marathon in March was the first of that distance for a lot of MTRs. They arrived nervous but knew they had done the training and that their fellow club mates were with them all the way. More recently, other members completed the Clontarf Half Marathon. Well done.
The Dublin City Marathon was the goal set by 25 MTRs this year. No more Sunday mornings lying in bed. These mornings would be filled with running to Clontibret or Glaslough. 10 miles. 15 miles. 18 miles. And finally 20 miles. This was the prep work for a day to remember in Dublin.
Club members also participated abroad in the Tokyo Marathon and Berlin Marathon. Well done to all our marathon runners.
Yes it’s been an eventful year all round. Each week someone new was greeted at a Tuesday or Thursday night training session. We said goodbye to Amy Holland as she returned home to the USA. We bid farewell to Laura Fox and Caoimhe Rooney as they took up new life challenges. You are missed ladies. We greeted our Sunset Runners from Spain as they joined us for Rossmore park training on their yearly summer visit. But the year is not complete without a party and MTRs know how to party.