Weekly News

Weekly Notes – 22nd March 2021

Virtual Ireland Run: Well done to everyone that took part in our week-long Virtual Ireland Run. Over 400 people registered to run, jog or walk their chosen distance with entries coming in from all over Ireland and overseas. 

Fundraising Appeal: Our thanks to all who have purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing the club’s planned indoor facility at St. Mel’s College. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. The €2,000 bonds will be secure and repaid in full over 10 years. Bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to bonds.longfordac@gmail.com

Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver the facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Return to Sport: The Government’s most recent Covid advice included a provision for a return of outdoor, non-contact training in pods of 15 at Level 4 restrictions. Athletics Ireland has been lobbying weekly with representatives of Sport Ireland regarding the sport’s return. We patiently await what progress can be made with the situation overall before we receive clarity as to when club training can resume.

Weekly Notes – 15th March 2021

European Indoors Recap: Cian McPhillips became the fourth Longford athlete to compete for Ireland at the European Indoor Championships with his recent strong showing in the 800m. Torun in Poland hosted the 36th edition of the event since its inception in 1970 and Longford has now been represented by a quartet of esteemed middle-distance runners.

Ray Flynn & Cian McPhillips

Ray Flynn & Cian McPhillips

Ray Flynn ran in the 1500m in both 1979 and 1980 securing silver in the latter with a time of 3:38.50 at Sindelfingen, West Germany. He is one of 17 Irish athletes to have won a medal at the European Indoors over the years. Had he not been US-based, Ray would certainly have achieved more championship appearances and medals. The American indoor scene was thriving in the 1980s with Ray to the fore in big races such as the Wanamaker Mile at New York’s Millrose Games.

Enda Fitzpatrick has the Longford record for having appeared at the most European Championships with four. In fact, Enda ran at the World Indoors before he competed at the Europeans when he ran in the 1500m at the inaugural world games in 1985 aged just 19. His fourth European Indoors came in 1990 when he competed in the 3000m and, three weeks later, Enda showed his range of talent when he wore the Irish singlet at the World Cross Country Championships 12km race in France.

Aisling Molloy also represented Ireland at the 1990 European Indoors in Glasgow in her event of the 800m. She finished an impressive 6th place in the final with 2:05.98. This was Aisling’s second championships having competed at The Hague in 1989. One of Ireland’s leading female athletes during that period, Aisling also qualified for and ran at the 1991 World Indoor Championships.

Cian has now joined this select group and hopefully we will see him ‘toe the line’ in Istanbul at the 2023 staging of the now biennial event. Other track and cross-country championships await in the meantime. We also hope that it is not too long a wait for the next Longford athlete to join the group!

Some coverage in the past two weeks has highlighted the exciting nature of indoor athletics as was witnessed in Torun. The 200m-sized track certainly makes for an entertaining spectacle along with the close proximity of the field events adding to the overall watch. Last week’s championship saw great performances by some of the world’s top athletes such as Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Femke Bol and Armand Duplantis. This summer’s Tokyo Olympics is set up to be a good one.

longford ac virtual run

Virtual Ireland Run: Our week-long Virtual Ireland Run is up and running ending this Sunday, March 21. Distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and 3k for children for anyone seeking a challenge! Register on www.myrunresults.com. Proceeds from entries will go towards our ongoing fundraising efforts. Having completed your distance, please submit your time on the MyRunResults website as per the instructions in the registration email.

Fundraising Appeal: Many thanks to all who have purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility at St. Mel’s College. Over €130k of the €200k target has been raised in just the past six weeks. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. The €2,000 bonds will be secure and repaid in full over 10 years. Bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to bonds.longfordac@gmail.com

Longford AC Bond Sales 12.03.21

Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver our planned facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Weekly Notes – 8th March 2020

Chapeau Cian: We were all so immensely proud watching Cian McPhillips represent Longford and Ireland with such distinction at the European Indoor Championships last weekend. He looked right at home taking on some of the continent’s top middle-distance runners many of whom are full-time athletes. Friday’s heat was a brilliantly executed run to qualify in second place. The semi-final on Saturday was a step up in standard but Cian ran with such composure despite the leaders’ frantic early pace to move up two places and finish in 4th. His time of 1:48.06 set a new official European Junior 800m record in a fully ratified event where all protocols were in place. A great end to a short but sweet indoor season.

Very well done to Cian for performing so impressively, both on the track and with media, and to coach Joe Ryan for having him so well prepared. Congratulations to Cian’s proud family from us all at Longford AC. Parents Laura and Paddy give so much to support Cian’s athletics commitments such as with travel to training and races. Cian’s sister Sarah is one of our leading juvenile athletes having enjoyed much success in the sprints and jumps events. Paddy has been instrumental in developing our club over many years and has done so much work promoting athletics in the county. It was great to see our sport gain so much coverage and interest with the fine displays by Cian and his Irish teammates.

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC)

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) at the Arena Torun in Poland last week ahead of their 800m heats at the European Indoor Championships. Coach Joe Ryan had the duo so well prepared for what was their first senior international.

He can now enjoy a well-earned rest before training resumes ahead of the start of the outdoor season. We look forward to what that brings. The highlight no doubt will be July’s European Junior Championships in Estonia where Cian will aim for glory in the 1500m. He will be hard stopped!

Texans Triumph: Well done to Nelvin Appiah and his South Plains College teammates who on Saturday were crowned best men’s team at the National Junior Colleges Indoor Championship in Kansas. The SPC Texans team were convincing winners and Nelvin certainly played his part. He had a busy couple of days competing in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday and in the individual high jump event.

Nelvin finished in 6th place (out of 19) in the 7-event heptathlon with a score of 4471 points. Highlights were his first-place finishes in the 60m, 60m hurdles and 1000m which was the last event. His time of 2:46 in the latter is very impressive especially given the energy-sapping nature of the multi-events. The heptathlon also included the long jump, high jump, shot put and pole vault.

Nelvin competing in Kansas

Nelvin Appiah crossing the finish line in first place in the 1000m event as part of the heptathlon in the NJCAA Indoor Championships in Kansas last Saturday.

He narrowly missed out on a medal in the high jump on Saturday when he placed 4th with a best jump of 2.00m. This did however contribute valuable points to the total SPC team score. It was overall a very good debut championship for Nelvin in the Texans singlet. The team can now look forward to the outdoor season of competition which starts in April.

Fundraising Appeal: Many thanks to all who have so far purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility. Over €120k of the €200k target has been raised in just the past five weeks. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. This facility will have the potential for even further development in the future and could become a leading athletics venue. A place where the people of Longford can watch our own athletic stars like Cian and Nelvin 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 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 bonds.longfordac@gmail.com
Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver our planned facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Virtual Ireland Run: Our Virtual Ireland Run takes place during the week of St. Patricks Day (March 15 – 21). Virtual distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and a 3k for children. Register on www.myrunresults.com with the choice of purchasing a t-shirt and medal available also. Having complete your run/jog/walk, please submit your time on the MyRunResults website as per the instructions in the registration email.
Membership: Club membership is open and registration renewals have been emailed out to last year’s members. Interested new members can register at membership.athleticsireland.ie

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