Gold for Cian

Saturday, 17th July 2021, was a hugely momentous day in the young life of Cian McPhillips with his fantastic run to win gold in the 1500m at the European Junior Championships. Everyone involved with Longford AC was so very proud to see all his hard work and dedication to training over the past few years pay off.

Cian lined up in the 1500 metres final against many of Europe’s top junior middle-distance athletes all chasing a championship medal in the heat of Tallinn. Positioning himself in second place on the shoulder of long-time leader Kane Elliott (Great Britain), Cian was perfectly set going into the final crucial 400 metres lap. On the back straight, Britain’s Henry McLuckie and Rick Van Riel of the Netherlands moved into contention, but Cian responded and led around the bend coming into a thrilling final sprint. Showing great strength, Cian made one last push for the finish line ahead of Van Riel to win in a time of 3:46.55.

Cian showed just what a class athlete he is with a 54-second last lap in the 30 degrees Tallinn temperatures which was certainly worthy of any gold medal 1500 metres win. To do so, whilst holding off high calibre opposition, is testament to his excellent preparation and shrewd approach to racing. Incredibly that was only Cian’s third race of the outdoor track season, but he showed no lack of sharpness.

Congratulations to Cian and to his proud parents Paddy and Laura and sister Sarah. Paddy and Laura are great supporters of Cian and Sarah’s athletics pursuits. Unable to be trackside in Estonia to celebrate the victory, they were in Athlone IT to support Sarah in her 100 metres at the Connacht Championships in which she ran just 15 minutes after Cian won gold. Credit to Sarah for putting in a good run so soon after watching the dramatic finale in Tallinn via the live stream on her phone.

It was a great to hear the public address in Athlone announce the news of Cian’s victory to the assembled crowd. Many of the people present had watched Cian enjoy much success at Connacht and National events over the years and the applause that rang around AIT made for a very special moment. We look forward to celebrating and marking Cian’s achievement when and where possible. Many thanks to all who have contacted us through different means to extend their congratulations. In an exciting year for our club, with the development of our indoor facility continuing at great pace, Cian’s success has given us an extra boost and brought joy to many. The future is bright!

Saturday’s gold medal win can also be very much attributed to the superb work done by Joe Ryan. Kilbeggan-native Joe is now one of the country’s leading coaches guiding many of Ireland’s top middle-distance athletes. Well done also to Oisin Lane (Mullingar Harriers) who finished in sixth place in the 10k Walk in Estonia. Oisin, who recently completed his Leaving Cert at Mercy Ballymahon, did great completing the distance in a personal best time of 43:33. It was a fantastic European Championships for Ireland with Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) winning double gold in the sprints and Nicholas Griggs (Mid-Ulster AC) winning the 3000m as well as many other brilliant performances.

Predict Your Time 5k

Next Tuesday, June 22nd, we hold a club members 5k which will replace the interval session that evening.

The route takes in almost the full lap of the Canal loop.

All are asked to assemble beside the gate at the Town end of the Canal to begin the run at 6.45pm.

Feel free to park at the Mall and jog up as a warm-up or to park somewhere closer, such as Market Square or Earl Street.

No watches or phones are allowed! These can be left with me before beginning your run.

There will be staggered starts and I will record all start/finish times.

Predicted times are to be confirmed to me on Tuesday evening just before the run starts.

The person who completes the distance closest to their prediction will win a Sports Direct voucher.

Best of luck!

Anyone yet to process membership for 2021 can do so at:

Weekly Notes – 7th June 2021

Connacht Track & Field

The Connacht Junior, Senior and Masters Track & Field championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday in Dangan, Galway. Five club members competed in what was for most their return to competition for the first time in over a year and all five recorded podium finishes.

Yemi Talabi was first in the junior womens 100m having earlier placed second in the long jump. Gospel Idahor set the fastest time in the senior womens 200m and was second in the 100m. Also doubling up in the sprint events was Aaron Kelly with second fastest in the senior mens 100m and third in the 200m.

New member Mitko Kozhuharov took on two field events finishing second in both the senior mens javelin and shot put.

Barry Sheil was first in the masters 3000m.

Well done all. Thanks to the organisers and event officials, including our own Paddy McPhillips, for the staging of the meet.

Juvenile T&F:

The Connacht Juvenile T&F Outdoor Championships have been tentatively set for July at Athlone IT. July 10 is the opening day which is for the under 11 age group two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011). The under 14 – 19 age category events (children born in or before 2008) will be held on July 17. On the following day, July 18, competition for under 12 / 13 events will be staged for children born in 2010 or 2009. An expression of interest email has been sent to parents to confirm if their child wishes to participate.

For children intending on competing, an additional weekly training session will take place on Sundays at 10am at the Mall from June 13 for the weeks leading up to the Connachts. Attendance at this session is essential to help better prepare for competition.

Midsummer 5k for Senior Members

Predict Your Time!

As we move closer to the return of the likes of road races and parkrun, we will hold a club 5k on Tuesday evening June 22nd.

All senior club members are welcome to join us and run or jog the distance which will cover almost a full lap of the Canal loop. This will however be a 5k
with a difference.

There will be no watches or phones allowed!

I will record all finish times and the person who completes the distance closest to their predicted time will win a Sports Direct voucher.

Prior to June 22nd, I will post further details and will request for all interested participants to send me their prediction.

This is open to all members whether you take part or not in the weekly Fit 4 Life, intervals or Thursday run.

For anyone yet to process registration of membership for 2021, please do so at:

Barry Sheil, PRO

Track & Field Meet for Senior/Masters and U17 – U19 Connacht athletes

Connacht Athletics has announced a track and field meet for Senior/Masters and U17 – U19 Connacht athletes on Bank Holiday Monday, June 7, at Dangan in Galway. Entries are limited due to restrictions on the numbers attending such events from June 7. The meet is being staged primarily aimed to those preparing for upcoming national championships.

Club members interested in competing must submit their expression of interest by email to by Friday, May 28. Although there is no provision for spectators to attend, juveniles will be allowed one accompanying adult if required.

It is anticipated that Connacht Championships, for the younger juvenile age categories of U9 – U16, will take place in late July to be followed by Nationals in August. Dates to be confirmed.

Club Group Training Returns for Senior Members

With the easing of restrictions, club group training returns for senior members from May 10th. Training will be structured in accordance with Athletics Ireland guidelines. Previous and new members welcome.

There are three group weekly sessions to start off with which we hope to add to over the coming weeks. Each session starts at 6.30pm and meets at the Mall car park.

The schedule is:

  • Monday – Fit 4 Life
  • Tuesday – Intervals
  • Thursday – Club run (8:15 – 8:30 per mile pace / 5:07 – 5:17 per km pace)

There are many benefits of training with a group such as:

  • providing that extra incentive to put your runners on and get out the door!
  • gaining some useful running tips
  • pushing yourself to go that bit harder
  • the social aspect of meeting up with others

To give us all something to train towards over the next few weeks, there will be a Midsummer Club Run on Tuesday evening, June 22nd. Test yourself on how fast you can complete 5km or 10km! Further updates to be posted on the club WhatsApp.
All attending training must be registered club members for 2021 with Athletics Ireland. Registration is to be processed and payment made using the link below. The membership fee is €30.

For any queries, please email

Weekly Notes – 26th April 2021

Juvenile and Little Athletics Return to Training

Juvenile and Little Athletics return this Friday 30 April at 6.30pm and we look forward to seeing our young members back as well as the new members starting with the club. We have received a lot of interest and the start time may be altered for subsequent Fridays to cater for the numbers of children. This will be confirmed and communicated in due course via email and the Longford AC Facebook page.

Training sessions will be structured in accordance with Athletics Ireland guidelines. Each child will be allocated to a group of at most 14 members of similar age. Details regarding training, including the health screening form which must be completed by a parent on behalf of their child prior to each session, have been emailed out. 

Help from Parents

Club training aims to be fun, varied and carried out in a safe manner. With this in mind, we very much welcome help from parents such as with assisting our coaches with the supervision of a group to ensure the smooth running of the session.

Athletics Ireland Registration

All children attending must be registered for 2021 with membership to be processed using the Athletics Ireland website by 6 May. The membership fee is €25 per child. Once one completes the online renewal or new registration process, a confirmation email is received from Athletics Ireland. For any queries, such as retrieving an existing membership number, please email

Senior Training

There is currently no confirmation yet as to when senior training can return as we await the next Government announcement regarding the easing of restrictions. 


Cian Qualifies for Semi-Finals

‘They were on their feet in Longford’ alright! Standing up in admiration. Such a strong and assured run by Cian McPhillips at the European Athletics Indoor Championships 2021 to qualify in second place in his 800m heat in a time of 1:49.98. In 6th place with 250m to go, Cian showed his class to move up to a qualifying spot and looked very comfortable at the finish.

Cian will run in Semi-Final 2 tomorrow evening (Saturday) – start time 6.33pm (Irish time).

Well done to Mark English on qualifying from his heat as well.

Hard luck to Cian’s training partner John Fitzsimons on missing out but it was a great effort by him.

cian mcphillips euro heat 2021

Weekly Notes – 1st March 2021

Good Luck: We send our best wishes to Cian McPhillips ahead of the European Indoor Championships taking place this weekend in Torun, Poland. This will be 18-year-old Cian’s first time to represent Ireland in a senior championships. He is one of 733 athletes entered from 47 countries and is one of only 19 athletes born in or after 2002. A total of 43 men are entered in the 800m and the heats are scheduled for Friday, March 5th at 7.05pm when Cian will attempt to qualify for Saturday evening’s semi-final. Follow it live on RTE2. Best of luck Cian and enjoy the experience!

Also in action this weekend, albeit many time zones apart, will be Nelvin Appiah in the US. In January, Nelvin moved to Levelland in Texas having secured a place at South Plains College. He has commenced with his studies there and has joined the college Track and Field team who this weekend travel to Kansas to compete at the National Junior Colleges Indoor Championships. Nelvin has achieved the qualifying standards in the heptathlon as well as the individual 60m hurdles and high jump events. Best of luck to Nelvin and congratulations on the move.

Bonds Appeal: Many thanks to all who have so far purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility. We have already reached over half the €200k target. We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sport in Longford to consider buying one of our €2,000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Bonds will be secure and repaid in full. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to

Virtual Challenges: Our 6-week athletics challenges continue this week for juvenile members. Updates will be posted on the club Facebook page and the virtual challenge WhatsApp group. The Virtual Ireland Run takes place, for all ages, during the week of St. Patricks Day. Virtual distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and a 3k for children. Register on with the choice of purchasing a t-shirt and medal available also.

Membership: 2021 membership is open and registration renewals have been emailed out to last year’s members. Interested new members can register at

Fees are €25 for juveniles and €30 for seniors. For more information, please email It is hoped to resume club training immediately once the current restrictions are lifted.

Bond Update 24 Feb 2021

longford bond update



We are still on target with our bond sale initiative but we need your continued support to make our project happen . We have raised €98,000 in the last four weeks in bond sales thanks to the support we have received so far from the people of Longford and beyond.

This facility will have the potential for much further development in the future and could become a class leading athletics venue where the people of Longford can watch our own athletic stars like Cian Mc Philips perform and where the stars of tomorrow can train and develop.

We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sports in Longford to consider buying one of our €2000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and you will be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Your money will be secure and repaid in full.

Our completed project will be close to €1.5 million in value. If we fail to get it started in the next few weeks approximately €750k in grant aid and other inputs will be lost to Longford. We know there are many supporters of running and athletics in Longford with a great appetite for finally having proper athletics facilities in Longford, just like in most other counties. We are very close to reaching our goal. It is within our grasp.

Please help if you can. Email for more information.