Weekly News – 3rd August 2020

Connacht T+F Competition: The Connacht Athletics Board has confirmed a reduced weekend of events which will replace the annual outdoor Track + Field championships. As a non-championship event, no medals are on offer. Craughwell AC will host the Long Jump and Shot Put only on August 15th. On August 16th, Athlone IT hosts 100m, 800m and 3000m only. Events are for U14 (born in 2007), U15, U16 and U17+ (incl. Senior & Masters). The 3000m is for U17+ only. An athlete can enter just one event across the weekend unless an event remains unfilled meaning entries can then re-open. All interested members are asked to email longfordac@gmail.com for entry ASAP. Overall entries are limited on a first come, first served basis until each event fills up. The very last date to email is August 7th.

Leevale Summer Meet: Nelvin Appiah made a return to competition last Thursday at the Leevale meet in Cork. He finished second in the High Jump with a best effort of 1.99m ahead of a busy few weeks of action ahead.

Senior Training: Our 7pm weekday training sessions for senior members continue with Fit 4 Life on Monday, intervals on Tuesday and the transition group on Thursday. Please check the club WhatsApp for updates. Club training takes place in line with HSE regulations regarding Covid-19. Before attending each training session, members must fill out the AAI booking form and the Health Screening Questionnaire.

Virtual Relay Report

Well done to all club members, senior and juvenile, who took part on Saturday in our 12-hour long Virtual Relay. Despite the very warm temperatures, we had 90 members all over the county run/jog for 30 minutes each including 39 juveniles who all did great.

Once again, it was great to see so many families take part in this fun event. Our club Facebook page has the full story of the day including photos of many of our relay participants.

Our North Longford vs South Longford distance challenge rematch was keenly contested after the close nature of the previous event. On Saturday, the north meant business and once again proved victorious! Team North Longford covered 222.50 km whereas South Longford’s total was 213.00 km.

Well done to all members on an enjoyable day of running.

Virtual Relay – The Rematch!

This Saturday, May 30th, our second Virtual Relay takes place and we encourage ALL club members (juveniles and seniors) to take part. Run/jog for 30 minutes within your 5km radius.

Emails have been sent out already with the timetable included. Members that have not received the email, please send a message to the club Facebook page or email pro.senior@longfordac.com with your preferred start time.

Our previous relay was good fun with 87 members taking part. This Saturday also sees the renewing of the North Longford v South Longford ‘rivalry’ with less than a kilometre in the difference the last day.

Who will claim the bragging rights this time?!

Are You North or South?

Using the location of St. Mel’s Cathedral as a dividing point to split the county in two, members will be assigned to a team based on their home address! From the distances recorded by everyone on the day, we will find out if the northsiders or the southsiders have covered the most ground in total!

COVID-19 Update

Phase 1: The Government’s 5-phase road map to open up society and the economy commenced on Monday May 18th. In accordance with specific guidelines, Sports Ireland has given Athletics Ireland permission to allow athletic clubs return to limited activity.

For any club to reopen and resume official training, they must first carry out risk assessments, devise protocols and then strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down. It appears the guidelines have been drawn up in the context that a club owns their clubhouse and the grounds where they train and, therefore, are in a position to control who enters these facilities. As Longford Athletics Club conduct our training in public places, such as the Mall, it would prove very difficult operationally to recommence group training activities in accordance with the guidelines.

Irrespective, up to four people can now exercise together in public places provided they adhere to social distancing, hygiene etiquette and do so within their 5km radius.

As official training sessions have not resumed, the Athletics Ireland’s insurance cover is not in place and, just like all training outside official club sessions, it is at the member’s own risk. We await the issuing of guidelines for Phase 2 ahead of June 8th to determine whether official training may then resume in a practical manner. The club will communicate such guidelines once they are made available.

In the meantime, continue exercising if you can and stay safe.

Virtual Relay

Well done to all club members, senior and juvenile, who took part on Saturday in our 15-hour long Dawn to Dusk Virtual Relay. We had almost 90 members all over the county run/jog for 30 minutes each, within their 2km radius, including 35 juveniles who all did great. The future is bright. It was brilliant to see so many families take part in this fun event and the good weather provided perfect running conditions all day. Our club Facebook page has the full story of the day including photos of most of our relay participants.

Many thanks to everyone who supported our Do It For Dan fundraiser which we ran in conjunction with the relay as well as other fundraisers which people were welcome to donate to either.

Our North Longford vs South Longford distance challenge proved to be very closely contested! Each side had 37 members whose distance covered in the 30 minutes counted towards the overall total. Incredibly, there was less than a kilometre in the difference at the end. Team North Longford covered 213.68km whereas South Longford’s total was 212.74km. Victory for the northern half of the county!

Maybe we will do it all over again soon!

Dawn to Dusk Virtual Relay

All senior and juvenile club members are encouraged to join us this Saturday, May 2nd, for a fun event in which we can participate together, albeit apart, and all for a good cause. Between 6am and 9pm, run/jog for exactly 30 minutes within your 2km radius of home. We hope to have at least 2 club members doing their own run/jog at any one time to create a 15-hour long virtual relay!

Senior Members: An email with the relay timetable has already been sent for members to select the 30-minutes time slot in which they can run/jog. Please select your time on the form if you haven’t done so yet. If you haven’t yet received the email, please send us a message or email pro.senior@longfordac.com

Juvenile Members: Our juvenile members, accompanied by an adult, are also very welcome to complete the 30 minutes run/jog in a safe setting within the 2km radius of home. Parents of any interested juvenile member are asked to send us a message or email pro.senior@longfordac.com

For a bit of fun, we will have a North Longford vs South Longford distance challenge. Using the location of St. Mel’s Cathedral as a dividing point to split the county in two, members will be assigned to a team based on their home address! From the distances recorded by everyone on the day, we will find out if the northsiders or the southsiders have covered the most ground in total!

In conjunction with the relay, Longford AC has joined the tremendous nationwide support of the Do it for Dan fundraising campaign by setting up a Go Fund Me page.  This great fundraiser has reached its overall original target, yet we would like to keep it going a little longer and show our support. All donations are very much appreciated.


Weekly News – 16th March 2020

Training Cancelled: All club training sessions are cancelled until further notice. We will notify members/parents of any updates when this situation changes. The National Juvenile Indoor Championships have been postponed until the end of April / early May. It is advised that all members strictly follow the HSE guidelines regarding Covid-19 to protect themselves and others.

Indoor Facility: Once again many thanks to all who supported our fundraiser for the proposed indoor facility. The club is also very grateful to all those that donated prizes for our recent draw. It took a massive effort to sell so many tickets over the past few months and thanks to all the ticket sellers. Well done also to the members of the Fundraising Committee for all their hard work. The club currently awaits news on the application for Leader funding as well as the approval of the plans for the facility at St. Mel’s College.

Weekly News – 9th March 2020

Fundraiser: After many months of ticket selling, the draw for our fundraiser took place last Friday night in the Longford Arms Hotel. The prize winners drawn were:

1. Luke Wilson, Ballinalee – €20,000.
2. Mary Canning, Newtownforbes – €1,000 Center Parcs Voucher.
3. George McDonald, Legan – B&B for 2 nights at Waterfront Hotel Baltimore Cork.
4. Gerry & Barry McHugh.
5. Ray Flynn.
6. P. Creamer & P. Hynes.
7. Mark Windsor.
8. Ray Brogan.
9. Ella McDonnell.
10. Claire Greene.

Sellers prize winners:
1. Cllr. Micheal Carrigy.
2. Sinead Nolan.
3. Adrian Watson.
4. Mick Wall.
5. Niamh & Eoin McCormack. 

Full details of prizes on our website. Many thanks to Fr. Tom Healy who helped conduct the draw. Thank you to all who purchased tickets and to the many people who gave up their time to sell tickets as well as all who donated prizes.

Planning Application Lodged: Last week we lodged our application to the relevant authorities for our planned development of an indoor facility at St. Mel’s College that will be of major benefit to the people of county Longford.

Results Roundup: A few of our members made the trip to Meath on Sunday to run in the Bohermeen half marathon. A mid-race downpour didn’t hamper spirits too much as some good times were recorded. Declan Newman and Donal Mulligan paced it well to come home in 1:20. Fiona Gettings was next in with 1:25. Sinead Nolan ran 1:34 and Niall Nolan finished in 1:37. Closer to home, Gary Brady won the Killoe 10k with Barry Sheil and Seamus Murtagh completing the top three. Well done to Jack Gallagher on his strong run at the very competitive All Ireland school’s cross country in Santry on Saturday.

Training: Training for Little Athletics returns on March 13th at 7pm with the Juveniles outside on the astro. Senior training is on Tuesday evening at 7pm at the Mall. Full details of the weekly senior training group schedule are on our website.

Club Gear: Our new club gear is available to purchase on the Masita online shop. Search ‘Longford AC’ for the full selection.

Draw Winners

Thank you to everyone who helped make our draw such a success. We are pleased to announce the following winners for the draw which took place in the Longford Arms Hotel on the 6th March 2020.

1st Prize – €20,000

Luke Wilson
Ballinalee, Co Longford

2nd Prize – Longford Forest Center Parcs break

Mary Canning
Newtownforbes, Co Longford

3rd Prize – The Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore – 2 Nights B&B plus €300 spending money

George McDonald
Legan, Co Longford

4th Prize –  1 year Family Membership Coral Leisure Longford

Gerry & Barry McHugh
Moyne, Co Longford

5th Prize – Kilronan Castle or Lough Rynn – 1 Night B&B plus Dinner

Ray Flynn

6th Prize – Viewmount House €200 voucher

P Creamer & P Hynes

7th Prize – Keenan’s Tarmonbarry €100 voucher

Mark Windsor
Bray, Co Wicklow

8th Prize – Spirit Clothing Menswear €100 voucher

Ray Brogan

9th Prize – Smartphone

Ella McDonnell

10th Prize- 10″ Tablet

Clare Greene


Seller’s Prizes

1st Prize
Michael Carrigy

2nd Prize
Sinead Nolan

3rd Prize
Adrian Watson

4th Prize
Mick Wall

5th Prize
Niamh & Eoin McCormack

Weekly News – 2nd March 2020

National Indoors: The highlight of the Irish indoor athletics calendar took place in Abbotstown last weekend with the National Senior Indoor Championships. Four of our young athletes were in action and well done to all in competing in what was for most of them their first national seniors. Cian McPhillips, having won his heat on Saturday, finished an excellent 4th place in the men’s 1500m on Sunday in a time of 3:49.63 in a race won in a championship best-ever performance. Yemi Talabi had a busy weekend commencing with Saturday’s women’s long jump in which her 5.13m jump saw her finish 13th. On Sunday, Yemi lined up in the 60m. A superb 3rd place in her heat in 7.53 earned her a spot in the final. Lining up against many experienced sprinters, Yemi placed 7th with the exact same time. Reaching the final for someone so young is a fantastic achievement and bodes well for another big year ahead. Aaron Kelly was in sprints action over both days. Saturday’s 200m saw him run 24.01 and he followed up with a 7.43 in Sunday’s 60m in solid performances. Nelvin Appiah entered the fray on Sunday in the high jump. In a close contest, Nelvin was edged out of a medal on count back finishing 4th with a best effort of 1.95m. No doubt had Nelvin not had to have been at the Athletics Ireland awards in Tullamore late on Saturday night, he would have stood a better chance of performing to his best. It was still however a great placing for a junior athlete. One must really have to question the wisdom of Athletics Ireland in scheduling an annual awards night in Tullamore on the same weekend as the national senior indoors in Dublin. 

Road Race: Our annual road race took place on Sunday last with a great turnout of runners in each of the distances. The recent inclement weather gave way to blue skies which was most welcome. Well done to all who took part in the 5k and 10k and also to the 129 primary school children who did the 2k fun run. Many thanks to all who helped with the staging of the event and to those who provided refreshments including McCarrick’s Cash and Carry, McDonalds and Centra Tarmonbarry. We are also very grateful for the help of the Gardai and Civil Defence as well as the Mall/Longford Scouts for the use of the facilities. Prize winners: 5k Men: 1. Andrew Nevin, 2. Derek Nugent, 3. Jack Gallagher. Women: 1. Therese O’Connor, 2. Hazel Jones, 3. Sian Gallagher. O/40 Men: 1. Gary Brady. O/40 Women: 1. Madeline Doyle. Under 16 Boys: 1. Jamie Dorr, 2. Daniel Higgins, 3. Senan Macken. Under 16 Girls: 1. Rachel Keenan, 2. Lucy Hogan, 3. Caoimhe Crossan. 10k Men: 1. Paddy Sharkey, 2. Niall Smith, 3. David Sheridan. Women: 1. Sinead Whitelaw, 2. Aine Kiernan, 3. Fiona Gettings. O/40 Men: 1. Krzysztof Kulej. O/40 Women: 1. Bernie McAdam. Winning the trophy for the school with the most participants in the 2k fun run was St. Teresa’s NS, Killoe (29 participants). Full results for the 5k and 10k are on:


Juvenile Star Awards: Congratulations to Nelvin Appiah whose excellent performances in 2019 were recognised at the Athletics Ireland Juvenile Star Awards in Tullamore on Saturday night. Nelvin was the award winner for County Longford and it is a fantastic honour to receive. He is certainly a great representative for our club and always entertains with his prowess in the high jump.

Fundraiser: The draw for the fundraiser raffle for our proposed indoor athletics facility at St. Mel’s College will take place on Friday March 6th at 9pm in the Longford Arms Hotel. All are welcome to attend. Music on the night by Colin Galligan. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase in the Longford Arms on Friday night ahead of the draw or can be bought in advance on www.longfordac.com. Be in for a chance to win the €20,000 first prize!

Training: Due to the sports hall in the Mall being unavailable there will be no Little Athletics this Friday March 6th. Juvenile training will take place as usual on the astropitch. Senior training is on Tuesday evenings beginning at 7pm at the Mall. Full details of the weekly senior training group schedule are on our website.

Upcoming Races: March 8th – Killoe GAA 5k / 10k. March 17th – Mullingar Half Marathon. March 28th – Ros Run, Roscommon.

St Patrick’s Day Parade: The club will be walking in this year’s parade. We would encourage all members to take part. Please email your child’s name to pro@longfordac.com if you will take part, and include your phone number.