Senior News

World Masters success for Moran and Gough.



All roads led to Colligan Woods last Wednesday evening for round one of our annual Colligan running league. There was a great turn-out, a total of 106 participants, a slight increase from last years total of 95 participants. It was a great evening for a run and all levels of ability and distance were catered for on the night. There are a number of factors behind the establishment of this particular league. Originally it was organised to provide some hill running experience to those intending to take part in the first race of the annual Summer Series, the Marine Climb, in which there are a number of tough hills to climb. Running the hills in Colligan provided ample training for this race. However, the league is not just for those intending on running the race, it also has a flat course in which any beginner may take part in. There is a choice of two flat laps of the wood, which equates to approximately 2.5 miles. This was set up with the beginner in mind. There are many of you out there that would like to give one or two of the races in the summer a go and this running league provides the opportunity for you to get a bit of training in. As well as the two flat laps of the wood, there is also a five-mile route of the flat. It follows the same path as the 2 laps, but to cover the five miles distance, it is three and a half laps of the wood. It begins up the road from where the other routes start and if you have been doing a bit of running then this may be the course for you. Why not come along and give it a go tonight. You don’t have to run every night and if you feel your chosen course is too difficult or too easy there’s always the option of changing to another route. As already stated, there are three different options to choose from and one of them is bound to suit you. Registration for the race begins at 5.45 p.m. tonight and with the fading light it is hoped to get the three races underway as close to 6.15 pm. as possible. The fee each night is just €2 and water is provided at the finish for all participants. It is a four-week league with tonight being round two. We look forward to seeing you all out there.


Each night you take part in the running league, you will be allocated a score which is your finishing position, if you finish first in the race you will get one point, if you are tenth you will get ten points. The runners of each course will be put in to divisions of five and depending on your score you may go up or down a division. Due to the fact that it is only a four-week league, it is necessary to run all four nights to count in the divisions. However, having missed a night or two does not mean that you may not take part; you are most welcome any night that you can make it. The divisions are also divided into male and female divisions.


For the two-lap league, we had three males taking part, so there is plenty of room for many more. The three men were Yevgeniy Chizhikov, Jason Travers and Barry Power. We should see some interesting battles here, as there wasn’t much between the three of them. In the ladies, there were a total of 14 women, some of the names we recognise from last year, a big welcome back to you all. Triona Shalloe led the ladies home in a time of 21.14 with Libby McGinn Murphy in second place with a time of 22.26. Libby will be well pleased with her time for round one this year because for round one of 2007, Libby recorded 24.12 for the exact same route, now that’s what I call improvement and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come. Looking at the times, it was very close between some of the participants last week. Geraldine Barry just got in ahead of Helena Morrissey, clocking 26.20 and 26.21 respectively. Shirley Flynn and Betty Sheehan also had a great battle with a mere second separating the two of these as well. It’s great to see you all out running after the Winter League and we hope to see you all over the course of the league and at the summer series.


The five mile flat course had 8 eight men in total, with Declan McGrath being the first home on the night in a time of 28.05. He was followed home by Connemara bound Paul Brunnock. Having spent the last few months training ever so diligently for the ultra-marathon in Connemara, Paul would have found the five miles a piece of cake. The two Kelly’s, Richie and Finbarr enjoyed the course as well and will be delighted with their times of 35.35 and 35.37.
In the ladies there were 5 women who took on the challenge of the 5 miles. Last year’s winner Corinna Walsh was again to the fore and led the ladies home in a time of 32.48. Looking back over the club archives, we spot another marked improvement, this time from Onra Power. For round one in 2008 Onra clocked 44.43 and for last year it was 46.25. Well-done Onra.


The largest contingent for the night took on the challenge of the hills, one hill on either side of the wood. There were 50 men and 27 women. For many, this was their first year running up the hills, a huge step forward from having run the flat course the previous year, but this is what running and fitness is all about, setting one goal, achieving it and then setting a new target. In the men’s race it was no surprise to see Raivis at the front of the group. No doubt he will be aiming for yet another win on the hills. It was also great to see Sandis Bralitis back in action, having been sidelined with injury for a long time. Sean Stilwell and Philip Harty had a great battle going on between them with the slightest of margins separating the two. Johnny O’ Connor is back in action again and did very well indeed to run under 33 minutes. Earl Navin certainly knows a thing or two about hill running and ran a very steady race throughout, getting stronger as the race went on. John Nicholas Fennell, who should be no stranger to the woods, also had a fine steady run, as did Cathal Dwane and Eamon Phelan. Billy Coleman managed to clock 40 minutes even, with Darren Healy just on the other side of 40 minutes. Tony Hamilton and Vince O’ Donovan got around in great times as well and should be well prepared for the Marine Climb.
In the ladies, we also had a very large group taking part. It was tough going up the hills, but it can only serve to make us stronger! Paula and Denise Nugent, both of whom have run the flat course in previous years, have now taken on the hills as a new challenge and both passed with flying colours. Along with Jacinta and Helene they all clocked around 55 minutes that is great running girls. The Marine will be no bother to ye! When Andrea Gaffney and Margaret Power decided to come along they pushed each other along the way and were thrilled with their times of 45.10 each. In G.A.A. we have “man of the match”, in athletics we have “star of the race”, and this accolade for round one of the Colligan running league goes to Sinead Moore. For her first time running the hill league, she delivered a top-drawer performance and recorded a super time of 45.40. That is some achievement indeed, well done Sinead.
For all those doing the hills over the next three weeks, please note that all runners are asked to stay on the wood path. In previous years, after the second hill on the far side of the wood, it was possible to come out on to the road and to finish the remainder of the route but this year for safety reasons we would ask that everyone remains on the wood path and not come down the steep road section. Your legs and shins will thank us for it. The Colligan Running League is sponsored again this year by Mark Mason of Mason’s Mortgages and Financial Services. Mark who is based at 9 Abbey Glen, Melleray Road, Cappoquin can be contacted on 058-52862 or 087-2756400.All at West Waterford Athletic Club are delighted to be associated with Mark for the second year running and it is down to Mark’s generosity and support that we are in a position to hold such popular and successful leagues. Mark has always been a great supporter of our club and for this we are very grateful.



The IAAF World Cross Country takes place this coming Sunday in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland after a gap of some 30 years since the last time the world’s best cross country runners graced the famed Scottish sod. On that occasion it was Bellahouston Park, Glasgow in 1978,when the Scottish city greeted the athletes with Torrential rain, strong winds and a traditional course full of thick mud, It was an occasion which was to go down in the annals of Irish cross country running history when a young man from at that time a little known village in County Waterford called Villierstown, was to set the athletics world alight with a performance of true world class. On that famed day John Treacy on a course and in weather conditions that suited John perfectly ploughed through the terrain to become, at 20 years and 294 days, the youngest ever winner of the world cross country title. Easing away on a down hill stretch with a kilometre to go, Treacy went on to finish three seconds clear of Lithuanian Aleksandr Antipov, with Karel Lismont of Belgium third and one of the pre race favourites Tony Simmons of England fourth. Twelve months after his victory in Glasgow he defended his title in Limerick, winning the race comfortably despite falling on the final lap, It was the first time anyone had retained the World Cross Country title since Raphael Pujozon of France in 1946-47 and, such was the excitement, that he needed a police escort to leave the course, later, at the 1994 L.A.Olympic Games Treacy took the silver medal in the Marathon.


We take a trip down memory lane this week to look back 30 years ago when John Treacy, the 20 year old accountancy student from Villierstown, near Cappoquin, stamped his name indelibly as one of the greatest Irish sportsman of all time when he squelched his way through seven and three quarter miles of Glasgow mud to win the World Cross Country Championships at Bellehouston park. Glasgow
An Irishman immediately hailed Treacy’s sensational victory as the greatest sporting achievement for 22 years – since Ronnie Delaney’s Olympic 1,500 metres victory at Melbourne in 1956. And he is only the second Irishman in 47 years to win the world championship. Clareman Tim Smyth won it in 1931 at the Baldoyle racecourse in Dublin. Before the race few people expected Treacy to finish in the first three. But this ice-cool character thought differently. His frail looking body loaded with bottomless reserves of stamina, Treacy left some of the greatest athletes in the world floundering hopelessly in his wake as he surged like a gladiator to an unforgettable victory. Rarely, in the rich history of this prestigious annual event has the men's senior race thrown up such an unlikely winner as Irishman John Treacy.
The man for Villierstown county Waterford had shown cross-country pedigree by winning successive bronze medals in the 1974 and 1975 junior men's race, but very few would have considered him a likely winner on his debut in the senior race. Much of the pre-race attention was centered on the chances on English duo Tony Simmons and Bernie Ford - the silver and bronze medallists, respectively, in the 1976 edition - and Belgium's double Olympic marathon medallist Karel Lismont.
By contrast, US-based Tracey had a relatively low-key build up the event, although a three-mile victory at the NCAA Championships in the US hinted in the countdown to Glasgow he was rounding into very good shape. When asked was he among the favourites that day, Treacy, now the Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, said: "Probably not. Not many people would have known me outside of Ireland. I would have hopes to have finished in the top six, or, initially, the top ten. But seven and a half miles was a nice distance for me. The world cross was also notoriously quick and I knew my speed was good after winning the NCAA Championships. Stamina, for me, was never in short supply."Treacy's hopes were further lifted on race day when persistent rain had turned the hilly course into a quagmire, conditions familiar to the Providence University-based athlete.” It was a classic British and Irish cross country course," said Tracey. The race itself established a clear pattern as Lismont, Aleksandras Antipovas, the Soviet athlete, and Tracey dominated from the early stages to break free from the pack. The Irish athlete was happy to let his two more experienced athletes dictate the pace, while he used his knowledge of the foul conditions to sensibly shelter from the wind and the rain by tucking behind the lead duo. However, with two kilometres remaining and Tracey still in contention his confidence started to grow and he sensed an opportunity to strike for gold. "Up until 10km I thought if I hang in there I've got a chance of a medal," he explained. "But with 2km left I thought I've got a chance.” In the final mile Treacy made his bid for glory, accelerating up a steep hill and opening up a three or four metre advantage on his rivals. The Irishman described running like 'holy hell' for the rest of the race and successfully managed to pulled a full three seconds ahead of Antipovas to seize gold and become the first Irish winner of the IAAF event. "I crossed the line and the feeling was almost one of disbelief," said Tracey.  "I was aged 20, nearly 21, and I suppose I had a naivety, a youthful enthusiasm."  In the wake of his victory he recalls travelling back on the bus with the other lead athletes. Men he had looked up such as Ford and Lismont. Men he has now defeated and celebrated that night by drinking nothing stronger than a glass of lemonade. The following year Tracey retained his World Cross Country title in Limerick in front of his adoring Irish fans and in 1984 he landed a silver medal behind Portuguese distance great Carlos Lopes at the Los Angeles Olympic Games - the last time an Irishman climbed the podium in a track and field event at the Olympics Games. But for Tracey, Bellahouston Park holds some very special memories.” I have to put my Olympic medal as the number one achievement," said Tracey. "But Glasgow was my joint number two alongside my victory in Limerick. But whereas Limerick was a huge relief, I recall Glasgow as a really joyful occasion."
The World Cross Country Championships 1978
Men's senior race
1 John Treacy IRE 39:25
2 Aleksandros Antipovas URS 39:28
3 Karel Lismont BEL 39:32


Unprecedented scenes of emotion greeted Treacy’s success. The President of BLE, Bill Coughlan was seen running deliriously up the finishing Shute as the Waterford athlete waved his fists and blew kisses to the applauding crowd. Fr. Michael Enright, C.C., the man who introduced John to athletics, and Co. Board President, Martin Halley, were in Glasgow to witness the greatest Waterford sporting success of all time. There too were a group of young athletes from Bally A.C.As a mud spattered Treacy crosses the finishing line he was engulfed by well-wishers and Irish tears mingled with the Glasgow rain which fell on the already sodden Scottish soil.
Geographical barriers were transcended as the Northern Ireland and Scottish athletes and spectators joined with the 100 strong Irish contingents in cheering Treacy home.
In Thrashing the Russian, Antipov and the Belgian, Lismont, Treacy followed up two bronze medal successes in the Junior world championships of 1974 and 1975.Just three weeks earlier he won the 3 miles American collegiate championship indoors. The world cross country race amazingly was Treacys his first cross country race since he led Waterford to their all Ireland victory at Kilbarry the previous December.
The common talking point since Treacy’s victory is not merely his win but the manner in which he achieved it. "A heart of gold “was mayor Tim Galvin's reaction, a heart as tough as the Comeragh Mountains” was how Mr. Tom Healy, M.C.C., described Treacy’s courage.
As long as the race is recalled, many will marvel at the terrier like tenacity of this magnificent athlete who is the most outstanding example know of the old adage “never judge a book by its cover”Inside that slender 5’ 9” frame is housed a heart and brain of remarkable qualities. His steel-like nerve and precision thinking stood Treacy in good stead in Glasgow, As the Russian and the Belgian took turns in what seemed a dual effort to drop the Waterford man. Few people realized he was playing a waiting game. As the cat and mouse teaser unfolded it was Treacy the “mighty mouse” who left the world-class duo well behind. Over the last quarter mile of this treacherous course, I like so many T.V viewers, experienced unbearable panic.” something has got to happen, surely he cannot win” was the feeling as waterfordians everywhere joined in spirit with Treacy over those glorious last few metres, which seemed like miles.


On Tuesday night there was really only one place to be if you were a citizen of this area and that was the village of Villierstown, where the local people paid tribute to John Treacy one of their own, who last Saturday became the world cross country champion. Speeches and presentations were supposed to start at a quarter to seven but the parade did not arrive into the village until ten past. It was accompanied by the Dungarvan pipe bands and in it was B.L.E. and B.L.O.E. units from all over the county. The attraction of the parade was the lorry carrying the world champion. Just as he arrived the rain came pelting down and there was a mad dash for the local community centre. It cleared soon however and representatives of many different groups paid tribute to the tremendous achievement of John Treacy.Team mate Ger Deegan, who was fourteenth in Glasgow, summed up what most people wanted to say when he said that he was proud to be a team mate of John Treacy’s Brian Browne, chairman of organizing committee for the celebrations which convened on Sunday said that John never tried to conceal that he was from Villierstown and that the villagers were proud to be able to give him such a tremendous welcome home and to “salute the greatest athlete Ireland has yet produced”
John’s achievement he said was as great as that of Ronnie Delaney who won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, twenty-two years ago, John’s uncle, Fr. William Treacy O.S.A. complimented his nephew on his great achievement in Glasgow and on his modesty. He hoped that John would be an inspiration to other young people in both respects. The parish priest of Aglish, Villierstown and Ballinameela, Fr. Michael Kelleher, said that he hoped that this victory would be the first of many great triumphs. Jim Joe Landers, national games P.R.O., recalled that one of John Treacy’s first medals was a gold he won on Mosney, Co. Meath. Michael Keating, chairman of the local GAA club who presented John with a Waterford glass vase on behalf of the people of Villierstown told of a discussion he took part in some years ago over John’s future prospects in athletics. He remembered one man saying that if anyone could become a world champion John could. Other presentations were made to John. Billy Arrigan vice- principle of St. Anne’s school secondary school Cappoquin where john went to school) presented him with a silver goblet and Tom Burke chairman of Grange A.C Fermoy gave him an inscribed silver salver. When he came forward to speak himself he praised the people of Villierstown for the encouragement given him when he was running around the roads as an unknown athlete. He was full of praise for those who helped him in his career- people like Fr.Michael Enright C.C., and Jimmy Costin. His final thanks went to his parents Jack and Gertie Treacy.
His father made a very short speech saying that he was proud of both his sons, John and Ray, who was on the lorry with John, and he was over whelmed with the marvellous reception organized by the local people


The Organising Committee of this weekends IAAF World Cross Country Championships, has confirmed details of a unique and exclusive Endurance Seminar to be held on the eve of the World Cross in Edinburgh on Saturday.A panel of experts from the endurance running world - including Irish national hero of  30 years ago John Treacy, Scottish legends Ian Stewart and Liz McColgan and English duo Wendy Sly and Alan Storey - will join together on Friday 28th March from 7-9pm to provide an insight into their experience and success.
“An Evening With…” will be presented at Edinburgh’s Royal College of
Surgeons in front of a capacity audience of athletics coaches and endurance
enthusiasts.No doubt this evening will be an nostalgic one for John himself and it will bring back memories of that great day in Glasgow 30 years ago this week.
With all entries for the 36th IAAF Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh on March 30th now received, the city and Local Organising Committee remain on course for their aspirations to deliver the best ever World Cross Country Championships. The record number of teams participating in the previous 35 editions of the event was 76 in Vilamoura, Portugal in 2000. The number of preliminary entries received for Edinburgh is 79.


Get out well, but not too quickly, move through the field, and be comfortable. Strategy-wise, go with your strengths. If you don't have a great finish, you must get away to win. I've always found it effective to make a move just before the crest of a hill. You get away just a little and you're gone before your opponent gets over the top. Also, around a tight bend, take off like holy hell. I've done that a number of times. You should not be flying down the home straight. Most of your efforts should have been put forth earlier.
John Treacy, Ireland's two-time world cross country champion (1978, 1979)`


On St.Patricks day the Moyglas 4 mile road race was held in Co.Tipperary and the club had three athletes taking part. The field was small with 55 athletes completing the undulating course. It was success all round from a West Waterford point of view as all three travelling Athletes won their individual catagories. Raivis Zakis having won this race the previous three years duly made it four from four with an easy victory over Raheny’s Mick Traynor.Raivis’s winning time was 20.15 his fastest ever in this race proving that his from presently is very good. In the Ladies race Corinna Walsh who had finished a terrific second in Ennis at the Munster road championships the previous day when taking the silver medal in the senior Lady’s, was also well clear of the field in Moyglas with a winning time of 24.50 and to round off a successful morning for the club Brigid Coffey came home victor in the over 35 Ladies section with another fine time of 29.56.well done to all three.


Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Will Tutty St.Brigids Terrace, who passed away last week. May he rest in peace.


The World Masters indoor championships were held last week in Clermont-Ferrand, France and the club had two athletes participating at the championships. Brendan Moran over 50 and Joe Gough over 55.We might have been small in numbers but the results returned by both Joe and Brendan were outstanding with medals and records the order of the championships for the West Waterford duo. Joe recorded a tremendous double silver performance in the 800 and 1.500 Meters. In the first round of the 800 Joe kept well out of trouble and qualified for the semi with ease, The following day in the semi he cruised into the final with a 2nd place finishing spot with a time of 2.13.67.It was on to the final for the Mitchell St, Athlete and here Joe put in a terrific performance to take the silver medal in a time of 2.11.14 behind the pre race favourite America’s Nolan Shaheed with England’s Derek Leitch third. This was an outstanding performance from Joe in a very difficult final but the teak tough Dungarvan Man was unfazed by the quality of the opposition and went about his own business which was to see him take a rewarding world silver medal. Joe was also entered for the 1.500 meters and here he also had a great performance when in the Semi final he finished 2nd 4.47.62 behind Northern Irelands David Oxland.The final saw that American again Shaheed who won his semi final earlier take yet another gold in a time of 4.29.57 with Northern Irelands Oxland also a semi final winner taking silver 4.33.55 and Germanys Franze-Josef Schmidt taking bronze in 4.34.12,Joe gave it his all and after a great effort finished a very creditable 4th just piped for a bronze medal, but another record was his when he lowered the standard to 4.36.34.It has to be said a pleasing championships for Joe and all his hard work on the track was justly  rewarded.
Brendan not to out gunned was unlucky to be outside the medals but non the less gave a sterling performance in both the 60 meters and then the 200 meters, He was duly rewarded for his efforts when recording a new Irish over 50 record in the 60 Meters in round one when he finished 2nd with an excellent 7.89 shattering the old mark of 7.91.the Semi final was down for decision later the same evening, with two races and eight lanes it was to be the first three in each semi to qualify, Brendan was unlucky here not to qualify for the final when he finished 4th in his Semi and missing out by a mere 200th of a second, however such was the competition that even after not qualifying for the final Brendan did lower his Irish standard set by himself some hours earlier, this time he recorded a time of 7.88 which now ranks him 10th fastest in the world over 50,Brendan then got a call up for the B final and here he was to finish 2nd and was just outside his record set a short time earlier when recording a time of 7.90.
In the 200 Meters the records were thumbing again for Brendan in the first round he again smashed the Irish record with a very fast 25.94 surpassing the old standard of 26.60.Later on the same night Brendan had to go through his routine once again as the quarter finals were called for 10.15 pm, Here, Brendan finished 4th 26.24 and this was good enough to bring him through to the semi final as one of the two fastest loosers, It was a quick bite to eat a rub from one of the French Physios and bed for an early rise in the morning for the Semi final at 10.15 AM .Brendan’s very intense schedule of races was starting to take its toll in his semi and he was up against European champion Dirking of Germany and world record holder Barnwell of The U.S.A. with only three to qualify for the finals from each of the two heats Brendan had a somewhat disappointing run when finishing joint 5th in a slowish time of 26.57 even his previous record run of 25.94 would have left him just outside the final placings, and missing qualification for the final. All said two national records and two semi final placing plus a B final 2nd placing not a bad week’s work. Well done to both athletes. The next outing for both Joe and Brendan will be the European Outdoors in Slovenia this July.


The Ballycotton ‘10’ has been a great success for the Cork Cancer Research Centre already, with over €10,000 raised on race day alone and we are expecting additional cards and donations to come in to our office over the next few weeks. The CCRC is extremely grateful to the event organising committee for designating the CCRC as the race charity for this year’s event, as well as to all the runners who have raised sponsorship funds for cancer research. As we do not have any source of annual state funding, support received through volunteers and fundraising events is invaluable and provides us with the capacity to both carry out research, but also to work on attracting funding from grant agencies around the country and in Europe. The momentum provided by events such as the Ballycotton ‘10’ provides the drive and encouragement for breakthroughs to be made and for improvements to be made in the quality of life for all cancer patients. Thanks to all for supporting this worthy cause.


Raivis Zakis had yet another successful outing on the road racing scene last Easter Sunday morning when he made the trip to the 4th Annual Paddy Desmond Memorial Ballinhassig 4 in Cork.Raivis sat with the leading runners and made his winning move as they rounded the turn for the finish line, Just doing enough to take the victory, His time of 21.50 wasn’t a fast time, but on this occasion it was all about the victory. Michel McCarthy also participated and he was clocked at 31.29 finishing in 75th place in the field of 98.Well done to both.