Senior News

Raivis Zakis wins Bantry Bay half marathon.


The first round of the ever-popular Minnie’s League began last Tuesday night in the Friary College and we couldn’t have wished for a better start. The weather was good, the ground was ideal for running and most importantly we had a great turn out of runners, especially beginners, all willing to give the league a go. The Minnie’s Summer League is held in conjunction with the nationwide AAI programme called Fit4Life. This initiative was set up with its main goal being to provide a setting and a framework whereby the recreational runner and those new to the running scene could meet and train and experience the health benefits associated with running. For many of us, we think about improving our fitness levels and are full of good intentions but fall short of actually going through with it, this league does all the work and the thinking for you, all you have to do is don a tracksuit or leggings or shorts (doesn’t have to be anything fancy), a pair of runners and a t-shirt and come along. It really is as simple as that. If you don’t believe that just ask any of the 115 runners that took part in round one. At present, there are 29 Fit4Life running groups all over Ireland and in the next few months it is envisaged to exceed 50.The fact that it has grown so rapidly since its inception proves just how successful and popular it is but also how suitable it is for people totally new to running. The league is on every Tuesday night and it doesn’t matter at all if you have missed a night or two, it’s never too late to start, there’s always new people registering each week so you won’t be on your own. Registration begins from 6.45 onwards and the fee for each night is €2, payable at the club van. We provide water at the finish for all participants and a guarantee that you’ll be really glad that you came along.


In the one lap league, it was great to see the return of some of last year’s runners and also to see more new faces as well. Deirdre McCurtain who was a league participant last year led the field home in a time of 8 minutes even. She certainly hasn’t let her fitness levels drop with that time. Kevin Burke was next to cross the line in 8.27 and no doubt with a few running tips from Dad Ray, he will improve significantly by the end of the league. Angela Bradatan has certainly picked up a thing or two about running from hubby Raivis and whizzed around the lap with great ease. It’s always so much easier when you run with somebody else as it tends to push you along and keeps you going. This certainly worked for Sandra Ellard and Claire Cotter as they ran together and looked very comfortable coming in to the finishing tunnel, as did Aisling Dwane and Marie Fitzgerald. Declan Hayes managed to run the lap in just under 12 minutes which is great running and Maeve Ann Moynihan was just outside of the 12 minutes, another fine run particularly for the first night of the league. A good tip for the beginners is not to go too fast at the start. By going off too fast at the start, you will tire out all too quickly and mid-way through the lap you will feel the effects of this. Go off the same pace as you did the last week, try not to be too out of breath for the first half and then if you feel ok increase the effort ever so slightly for the last section of the lap. If this works then the following week you could try increasing the pace a little bit earlier in the lap. If you have been walking a bit and running a bit, why not pick a spot in the lap, a bush, a tree, the hammer cage or a dip in the field and make it your aim to run to that without stopping. Then when you’re walking and you have your breath back pick another spot and run to that. Another great and trusted favourite is to count, this really works when you’re getting tired, Trust me! Count to 20 etc and tell yourself that you’re going to run while you’re counting and then stop, count to 25 etc and before you know it you will have the lap done. Increase it a little each week, compare your time from the first week of the league and the last week and you will be amazed at the difference.


A total of 32 took part in the two-lap league, which is a distance of 2.4 miles in total. Yevgeniy Chizhikov led the field home in a time of 15.34 and not too far behind was Liam Kavanagh who was just over 16 minutes. Kilian Carroll was next to finish in a time of 16.52. Our first lady finisher was Inese Melne in fourth place overall and Andrea Gaffney was the second lady finishing in 7th position with Marie O’ Gorman just one second behind Andrea. Eadaoin Ashe, Geraldine Barry, Michelle Flynn, Aisling Horgan and Nicki McKenna were all under 22 minutes, which is great form indeed. Deb Tudury, Ann Cummins, Gillian McNamara, Avril Doocey, and Marie O’ Donovan were all under 23 minutes for the distance. To try and improve your time for the two laps, it’s important not to run the first lap too fast. If you ran 23 minutes for the two laps, then your pace was 11.5 minutes per lap. You have a much better chance of finishing quicker if you run the first lap in ll.5 minutes or even slower than that because you’re actually saving energy for the next lap and then close to the finish in the second lap you could increase the pace for the last section to improve your time. The danger of going off too fast in the first lap is that by the time you’re only half way there you will have used up all your energy and will find it very difficult to maintain the pace. Well done to Cora Cummins and sister Finola on the run, no bother to ye at all. Caroline and Shirley are running as good as ever as are Anita Lyons and Mary Whyte. Carmel and Aisling Hourigan ran together and will be well pleased with their time of 27.28 as will Caroline McCarthy.


There was more taking part in the three lap league than ever before. For some it’s a challenge to move on to three laps and for others it’s a chance to run at a quicker pace over a shorter distance to get ready for the summer series. There was many a familiar face to be seen here. Mark Cahill is back in action for the league again this year. Declan Mooney was just outside of 25 minutes and Tom Byrne dipped under 26.5 minutes. Joe Barry and Michael Roche who is back from injury had a great run and will be pleased with their time of 27.41 and 27.52 respectively. Onra Power and Linda Bradfield ran together and helped each other along the way to record 30.47 and 30.48. As is the case for the two laps, the best way to improve their time is to try and run the three laps at an even pace for all three laps.


The four-lap league attracted the largest entry of the night and as expected the crowd was led home by the ever-improving Raivis. Raivis was using the league as a prelude to the Bantry Half Marathon held at the weekend, which he duly won. There was no surprise either to see Declan McGrath home in second place. Des Feeney is certainly getting back to full fitness with a time of 31.51. Jim Barry and Hugh Walsh managed to dip just under 35 minutes. Tom Moroney was just outside of 35 minutes. Clare Walsh, Joan Navin and Caitriona O Brien ran a fine steady pace and were all around 44.5 minutes, closely followed by Albert and Alexander. Well done to all.


Pretty soon, the division tables for each of the laps will be put in to place. Each night that you run, your finishing position will be recorded and these will form part of your overall score. For each runner, it’s your 6 best nights out of 9 that will count for the divisions. Having the division tables makes the league more fun and interesting and also provides a challenge for each of you.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank the O’Brien family for their generous sponsorship once again this year for the summer league. This is very much appreciated by all at the club.


The long drive early last Sunday morning to compete in the Bantry Bay half marathon for Raivis Zakis paid dividends as he claimed his first victory in one of Irelands most scenic but undulating half marathon courses. The race with a field of about 1.000 was got under way at 9 PM by the former great of Irish rugby Mick Galway who was guest of honour at the event,Quickly a group of three runners formed and drew clear of the chasing pack of four which included another West Waterford athlete Declan McGrath. At the half way point in the race Raivis and East Cork’s Roy Fahy had pulled well clear of the third athlete and it was one or the other of these two who were going to claim victory, At this stage Declan McGrath was also on a lone break away from his earlier group of four and running strongly in 4th place. The two leaders Zakis and Fahy were shoulder to shoulder up until the 11.5 mile mark when Raivis tested the strength of Cork man on a down hill section of the course when he upped the tempo,The move by Raivis soon saw him some 50 meters clear, Raivis drew furthur away from the fading Fahy and he reached the town and the finish line on his own to claim a famous victory in 72 minutes even, Declan McGrath ran a superbly paced race to take 4th in 1.17,A delighted Declan is now all set for The Cork marathon in a few weeks time and Sunday proved how truly ready he is for the big one. As the full results have not been posted at time of going to press we are unsure of the official time for all our athletes as the club had three more taking part also on Sunday.Local Bantry Lady Karen Ryan was back on home territory along with husband Dermot., both have taken part in all of the three previous years of the race,Dermot had a solid run and was just short of his time recorded at last years event, While Karen in front of the home support put in a blinder and recorded a personal best by a big margin for the race. Anthony Dwyer was also in the line up and ran well with the Cork marathon just around the corner for Anthony he showed  that he also ready for Leeside. We will have the official Bantry results for all runners in next week’s notes.


Club road racing co coordinator Gerry Cantwell was in Vancouver Canada last Sunday for yet another marathon to add to his long and varied list of marathons completed which must be somewhere up in the late 40’s at this stage. In terrific form of late Gerry proved that he has lost non of his enthusiasm for the great event when on an undulating course he covered the distance in 2.55, finishing 35th overall in the race and was he was 2nd in the over 55 catagorie. Well done Gerry, where to now? .


 A good turn out is expected this coming Friday evening for the clubs 3rd Annual Richie Power Scaffolding Senior club sports in St.Augustines College, Abbeyside (By kind permission) which has a 6.30 PM. starting time. This sports meeting is open to everybody over 16 years of age, the sports aims to cater for beginners and regulars, Juniors Seniors and masters. The evenings programme is set to try and suit all levels and tastes, The events on the night are as followed 100 meters, 400meters, 1 mile, shot put and long jump and the 1 mile cycle race. The aim is to take part in all events for which you receive points based on your finishing placing but there is no pressure on anybody to take part in an event that they are not comfortable with. This proved to be a great night’s fun the last two-year’s with lots of fun had by all and we expect the same this year so come along and have a bit of crack with West Waterford AC.
West Waterford A.C. wish to sincerely thank Richie Power of Richie Power Scaffolding for his kind sponsorship of Friday night’s event.


Day two of the county Track and Filed championships will take place on next Sunday May 11th at the R.S.C.Waterford; proceedings on the day get under way at 11 AM. The following are the Junior and Senior events at the championships.
60-110 meters hurdles, 3.000 meters walk, 5.000 meters, Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, Shot, Discus, Javelin, Hammer, Pole Vault, 200 meters, 800 meters, 3.000 meters, s/chase, 5.000 meters,
Entry fee is 5 Euro.

GER WYLEY SPORTS/NIKE SUMMER SERIES RACE NO 3.                                                                                                                                                    

The oldest road race in the South East now in its 39th year. The annual Paddy Flanagan memorial Waterford to Tramore 7 miler takes place Saturday evening May 19th next with a 7.30 pm starting time, The race keeps the traditional course starting at City Hall and finishing at the Majestic Hotel in Tramore.The race will once again this year be sponsored by Bausch and Lomb Waterford. All athletes please note that entries for the race will be taken near city hall from 6.15 Showers and changing facilities are available at the Tramore G.A.A club house and the presentation of prizes will also take place there, Entry to the race is 8 Euro, the usual prizes will be on offer this year very kindly sponsored by Bausch and Lomb to whom the organisers are very grateful. Mrs Mary Flanagan wife of the late Paddy will again this year be in attendance as she has for the last 38 years to present the prizes and to present her annual special prize to the athlete whom she picks as worthy of a special award on the night.


The third Annual B.H.A.A.organised Stride by the Tide race in Youghal took place last Tuesday evening; the club had some athletes taking part but not our usual big number because the race clashed with our own Minnie’s league at St.Augustines College this year. However we did have Sean Stilwell competing and he finished 3rd overall in a time of 22.25,P.J.Guinan finished 11th in 24.16,Joe Gough was 1st over 55 in 16th place in a time of 24.57,Corinna Walsh was 2nd Lady in 25.16,Diane Behan 5th Lady finisher in 26.57,Michael McCarthy 32.03,Ray Murray 33.47.


The Annual 10k Run in Clonmel organised by Clonmel AC.will take place on Sunday May 11th next at 2pm.The new look race see’s a new sponsor this year in the guise of local drinks firm Bulmers plus a complete new course is being introduced for the first time this year, Prizes will be on offer for the usual men’s and Ladies categories T-Shirt along with a goody bag will be given to all finishers. Entry fee is 10 Euro at Clonmel High School Sports Hall where the presentation of prizes will also take place.


You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming.


Club member and Memphis Resident Michael Dwyer competed recently in the Boston Marathon and finished comfortably in very warm conditions with a good time of 3.16.


Sandis Bralitis returned to winning ways at last week at the Joe Hourigan Memorial 5 miler in Midleton with a good time of 25.20.It is good to see the big man coming back to true form after a lengthy lay off, also competing on the night was Padraig Healy who finished 13th in 28.06 just 3 seconds ahead of team mate Sean Stilwell who was 15th in 278.09.Inese Melne finished in 120th place and recorded a personal best time for 5 miles when running a splendid 36.31.John Fennell was 154th with a time of 39.03 and Michael McCarthy was 173rd in 40.31 .well done to all.


The Annual John Joe Barry 5k was held in Tipperary last Friday evening and the club had a good representation at the event. Sandis Bralitis was for the second day in succession the victory with a time of 15.10 turning the tide on club mate Raivis Zakis who had twice beaten Sandis at the previous two club races. Raivis runners up time was 15.37.Joe Gough secured the over 55 section finishing 22nd in a time of 18.01.,Diane Behan was 4th Lady overall in 41st place with a time of 19.29. Inese Melne was 75th in a time of 21.52,Brigid Coffey was next in 81st place in 23.10 and Tony Ryan in 99th place completed the run in 27.44.well done to all.


West Waterford Athletic Club extends sincere sympathy to the family and friends of twin brothers Richard and Michael Walsh Kilbride.Tramore who tragically lost their lives last week. May they rest in peace.


The Senior club monthly meeting will be held this Thursday May 8th in Minnie Bar at 9 pm.