West Waterford Athletic ClubWest Waterford Athletic Club

Sandis Retains Marine Climb Crown


On a perfect night for running, the first race in this years Ger Wyley Sports / Nike summer series got under way last Friday night with the Marine Bar sponsored 15 th Annual Marine climb over 6 miles. The series for 2007 could not have got off to a better start with a record field of 188 finishers conquering the Marine hill. The series, which is the only one of its kind in the country, has flourished in recent years and now, on reaching its 13 th year, the club and sponsors are delighted that it can still attract a record field for one of the most difficult but also one of the most challenging runs in the ten race summer programme.


 The race was got under way from it's traditional Lookout starting point by race sponsor Christy O' Neill along with his daughter Muireann and we thank them both for coming along to the start to lend their support to the runners for the task ahead. The race itself was really decided over the first 400 meters as West Waterford's Sandis Bralitis got his summer series campaign off to the ideal start as he strives to retain his overall victory from 2006. The Latvian national raced into a lead from the off which no other athlete could match, a lead which was to increase as the race passed through the mile markers along the old Cork road to the finish at the Marine Bar.


Retaining his title as king of the hill from last years race, Sandis broke the winners tape in a time of 32.40, finishing also a minute and a half ahead of the second placed athlete, again running with West Waterford, Raivis Zakis. Raivis finished in a time of  34.08 and improved his finishing position, having  finished 4th in last years race. The West Waterford AC dominance of the men's top positions was complete when recent winner of the Colligan hill league Seán Stilwell 35.09 ran a super race to claim third place after a great battle with former Marine race winner ,well known St. Joseph's athlete, Peter Duggan.


 First over 40 was Youghal AC   Athlete Noel Curtin, 37.25, finishing a good 7th overall. The over 45 prize went to Larry Kennedy Waterford AC 37.19 and the over 50 winner was West Waterford's Joe Gough 40.04 who was winning this title for the third year in a row. Another West Waterford athlete Con Kelleher took the over 55 win in 45.13.Great to see Con back from his recent injury worries.


In the team handicap categories it was the team of Philip Harty, Brendan Cronin, Kenneth O'Donnell, Sylvia Malone and Pat Tutty finishing with 315 points, taking first place from the team of Jack Duggan, Tim Twomey, Gordan Giles, Mag's Power and Michael Leechmore who finished second with 339 points and third were Billy Maguire, Andy Dollard, Tomás Coleman, Frank Fahy and Tom Halley 367 points. A superb number of 113 West Waterford runners completed the race this year. Well done to all.  


West Waterford's Sineád Crotty, the current Munster Novice road champion, broke the Jackie Carty four-year dominance of this race last Friday evening with a superb tactical performance. Sinead, one of the clubs present young rising stars, is improving with every outing and apart from her success at the Munster road championships in Dundrum some weeks ago, last Friday evening was her best result ever on the road racing scene. She brings a new freshness to our Ladies Senior club and along with our more established athletes they will bring many honours to the club in the future.


The Ladies race was a three way battle this year and from the gun Waterford's Maria Griffin sailed into a substantial lead with Jackie Carty some 200 meters behind at the one mile mark with Sineád on her shoulder. By mile three the hot early paced began to tell on the Waterford Athlete and she was joined by Carty and Crotty. Shortly after catching Maria, Sineád and Jackie drew clear and it was between the reigning champion of the last four years and the young pretender. Still locked together as they tackled a very steep section of the hill, Sineád made a decisive move that was to claim her the victory. A very well timed and decisive increase in pace which could not be matched by the Wexford Lady drew the West Waterford athlete away and   Sinead broke the tape in 40.13 finishing 26th overall in the field of 188 runners. Jackie came home 26 seconds behind in 40.39. 


The early leader Maria Griffin held on gamely to claim third place and the over 35 category with a time of 40.59.and the third Senior Lady's prize was claimed by West Waterford's Norma Wall  42.42. Norma will be pleased with her run last Friday evening and she will figure high up the pecking order as we settle into this years summer series. Anne Whelan West Waterford AC recorded a good win in the over 40 category in a time of 45.52. Ann certainly is making an impact in this category and is rarely outside of the winners enclosure.


Ann Fitzgerald Waterford AC was first over 45 in 46.08. Hillary Collins Tipperary was first over 50 with a time of 53 minutes. Another breath of fresh air was the Junior Lady's win of West Waterford's Stacey Lyons in 51.29.Dad Colin will be well pleased with Stacey's winning performance here. Congratulations to all the clubs Ladies who numbered many for taking on the challenge of the Marine climb for many its as much about getting to the top as it is about the finishing position or time, so well done to all.




Our thanks once again for the 15th year in succession to Helen and Christy O’ Neill of the Marine Bar for their continued sponsorship of this event, and to all the staff at the Marine for looking after all the runners needs after the race.


The same format as last year will apply to this years Ger Wyley Sports/Nike series and our series results co-ordinator Dermot Dwyer will be busy looking after the various divisions as each race is completed. This year we will have the tables at each race and they will also be on our club web site at www.westwaterfordathletics.org


Thanks to Denise and all who looked after Registration, timing, and recorders. To the Fennell Family for looking after the runner's refreshments at the four-mile mark this is much appreciate by the club. To our PA and lead car team Michael and Tony. Michael Dunford on timing. Ann who looked after the prizes for the race. Brid, Rory and Laura at the finish line.


Thanks once again for the ongoing co-operation of the Gardai especially Declan on motorbike duty.   Finally to road racing co-ordinator Gerry Cantwell another satisfactory job completed. Next race in series Butlerstown 10k and 5k this Saturday April 28th 7.30 PM.




An exciting added edition to this years Ger Wyley Sports/Nike Summer series will be for the first time ever a club championship competition, confined to full paid up club members. This competition will use the ten-race summer programme of races to determine who are the clubs best athletes in the club in the usual race categories. An athlete's best eight races count from the ten-race summer programme and Jason Travers will be looking after this competition. The following are the championship categories.


Women Senior-over 35,40,45,50,55,60,junior


Men Senior-over 35,40,45,50,55,60.junior


The winner of each of these categories come the final race in Ardmore on August 17th next will be deemed to be the club champion for a period of one year and each one will be presented with a nominal prize come the final race in Ardmore.




Fresh from his victory on Friday evening at the Marine climb 6, Sandis Bralitis and club mate Dzintars Klava travelled to Navan to take part in the National 10 k road racing championship on Sunday afternoon.


Sandis once again proved why he is one of the countries premier road racing exponents taking terrific individual silver on the day to add to his silver in 2005 and his bronze last year 2006 in this same event. He is the first and only the West Waterford club athlete to ever take an individual medal at this particular championship.


The race itself was won by the inform Alan O'Shea of Bantry and pre race favourite and twice winner in 2005 and 2006 Paul McNamara was denied his hatrick having to settle for third place and the Bronze medal.


Dzinters Klava was well pleased also with his performance when finishing in the top 20.


The Minnie's bar summer league at St.Augustines college (by kind permission) gets under way on Tuesday next the 1st May at 7 pm. This league is especially designed to cater for all levels from first timers to regular runners with runs around the famed Friary school circuit catering for all distances. The league will begin with a mass start each league night.


The following are the nine dates for the league:

Tuesday May 1 st

Tuesday May 8th

Tuesday May 15th

Tuesday May 22nd

Tuesday May 29th

Tuesday June 5th

Tuesday June 12th

Tuesday June 19th

Tuesday June 26 th.


Please note your best six nights count and there will be movement between divisions.  Everybody over 16 years of age is welcome to participate, beginners, and regulars, born again runners-everybody-yes even you. Come along and enjoy the months of May and June running with West Waterford athletic club.


Entry fee each evening will be 2 Euro and as we said divisions will be in operation in the league. Participants are requested to park at the rear of the college to facilitate other activities at the venue, and we ask all those taking vehicles onto the college grounds to adhere to the entry and exit one way systems in operation. Our thanks to the O'Brien family of Minnie's Bar for their kind sponsorship again this year.






On next Saturday April 28th, we have race number two in this years Ger Wyley/Nike summer series of road races. The Butlerstown 10 k and 5 k fun run/walk starting at 7.30 PM. with entries taken at the Butlerstown G.A.A. centre.Entry fee for this race is 8 Euro with a T-Shirt to all entrants.

All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Waterford Alzheimer's society of Ireland.


The first Male and Female will get prizes for the 5 k fun run.in the 10 k race the first three males and Females. There will be three team prizes with five to score on each team picked on a handicap bases. Shower facilities will be at the G.A.A. centre. Presentation of prizes and refreshments will be available at the Holy Cross bar after the event.





The countries inform road-running athlete Bantry's Alan O'Shea was never challenged at last Thursday's 22nd Annual Castlemartyr 4 mile road race. He came home a clear winner with a time of 19.36. From a West Waterford point of view it was a very good performance from Raivis Zakis the clubs sole representative at the race.


There was a real ding-dong battle for the runners up spot with four athletes in the mix. With 500 meters remaining to the finish no the five were still locked together. Raivis the made the decisive break which saw him hold on for second with a time of 20.22,just two seconds ahead of East Cork's James McCarthy 20.24 who just piped Wieslow Sosnowski Eagle AC by just one second 20.25. Seán McGrath was fifth in 20.29.


This was an excellent run from Raivis who is coming into good from again at the start of the summer road racing season.





The Cystic Fibrosis Resource Centre at the children's Temple Street Hospital in Dublin are to benefit from this years Flahavan's sponsored 5k fun run and walk. The event now in it's second year is being held in the Phoenix Park on Sunday 20 th May with an 11.30 AM starting time. This is a real family day out and is open to all. Entry fee is 20 euro per person or 30 euro per family with all proceeds going towards the worthy cause in Temple Street.


Entries are now open and they will close before May 20th .You can enter on line by logging on to www.templestreet.ie.  It would be a great way to start the day by taking part in the Flahavan's fun run for Temple Street.




“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”




After the success of last years first staging of the Senior clubs pentathlon event all roads lead to St. Augustines College, Abbeyside on Friday May 11 th at 6.30 PM. for the second Annual Adult Sports Meeting. This event is  open to everybody over 16 years of age and aims to cater for beginners and regulars, juniors, seniors and masters.


There will be an array of events which has something to suit all, the aim is to take part in all events for which you receive points based on your finishing placings but there is no pressure on anybody to take part in an event that they are not comfortable with. A pair of Nike runners will be raffled among all non-prize-winners.




We are delighted to announce this week that we have secured sponsorship for the clubs upcoming pentathlon and we thank the following for their support. Richie Power Scaffolding, Keane-Power and Co,  M.T.Motors, Dungarvan Grass Cutting Services and McGrath Newsagents. Please support our sponsors when possible.


Round one of the county championships will be held on this coming Friday evening April 27th with events for Juvenile-Junior and Senior club athletes. Proceedings get under way at 5.30 and all travelling athletes are requested to allow plenty of time.


The following events are down for decision on day one for Junior and Senior.

400 Hurdles

Pole Vault

Long Jump

High Jump

Triple Jump



100 meters

400 meters

1,500 meters

3,000 meters



Round two will be held on Sunday May 13th starting at 11 AM.



Round one of the primary schools sports gets under way tomorrow evening Thursday 26th April at 6.15 pm. Any Senior club athletes or officials who are available to give a hand on the night it would be appreciated by the Juvenile club. Stewards and Officials are requested to be at the Friary at 6.00 pm.




Tony Ryan's speed training sessions are getting good numbers over the last few weeks with the fine bright evenings presently. They take place from St. Augustines College each Wednesday evening at two separate times, which is to try and suit everyone. The first time is 5.30 pm and if you can't make this session there is another at 6.30 pm all are catered for and all are welcome.



Congratulations to local runners Alan Dalton and Aisling Bannon on the occasion of their marriage last week. Best wishes to you both.




West Waterford's Conor Murray was the clubs sole representative at last Sundays London Marthon, keeping the clubs long tradition intact of having athlete's taking part in this premier Marathon event. On one of the hottest London Marathon days in the history of the race it was a case of survival to the line for many with even the mighty falling by the way side when one such Heile Gebrselassie pulled up at the 30 k mark. Conor prepared well for this his first London attempt and said after, like many    he also was glad to reach the finish line with athletes falling by the way side every step of the final 3 or 4 miles.  


This year's winner was Martin Lel (Ken) who regained the Flora London Marathon title showing that the 26.2-mile distance can be as much about speed as it is endurance. Lel won in 2:07:41, three seconds ahead of Abderrahim Goumri (Mar) with last year's champion, Felix Limo (Ken), third in 2:07:44


David Bedford, the Race Director of the Flora London Marathon, had assembled the best men's field in history and the event did not disappoint. It was close from the beginning until the last stages when four men were left challenging in Birdcage Walk, bringing the marathon down to the sort of sprint you might expect on a track race.


In the hot conditions, there was never going to be the chance of an attempt at the world record of 2:04:55 held by Paul Tergat (Ken) Tergat, double world champion Jaouad Gharib (Mar) and Stefano Baldini (Ita), the Olympic champion, were among the elite athletes which not only made this race such a fantastic prospect but left it so tough to call as to whom might win.


Three men pacemakers were assigned to reach the halfway point in 62:45 and Paul Kimugul (Ken), Wilfred Taragon (Ken) and Patrick Makau (Ken) led a field of 14 for the opening miles, taking them through in 4:56, 4:59, 4:39 as the men headed towards the 5km mark with Limo being the first of the group. There was just 0.02 between Baldini, in 10th position and him at this stage, but it was not to prove an afternoon to remember for the Italian because he was out of contention within another 5km.


Over the next couple of miles the lead pack was reduced to six: Lel, Limo, Gharib, Goumri, Tergat and Ramaala. It quickly was reduced to five when Tergat dropped away and then as the runners left Big Ben behind them, it was down to four when Ramaala slipped out of contention. Who would triumph? It was still not possible to tell, but as the quartet turned into the final 200m, Lel kicked on and though Goumri went with him, he was never going to catch the winner Lel.


In the Ladies race Chunxiu Zhou  became the first Chinese athlete to win the Flora London Marathon with a run of meticulous timing when, 16 months before the Olympic Games in Beijing, she demonstrated that the sport has a new superstar. Wearing a white peaked-cap to protect herself from temperatures which rose to 24 at midday, Zhou was the one athlete who never looked troubled during a fascinating and gripping race. Zhou, 28, won in 2:20:38, having taken control after 22 miles.


As the runners made their towards The Mall, Zhou broke away from Gete Wami (Eth) and from then on there was only one outcome. Wami was second in 2:21:45 with Constantina Tomescu-Dita (Rom) overcoming a setback at halfway to finish third in 2:23: 55.Another super London Marathon event which will be remembered by many for the heat on the day as much as the race itself.



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