05 Oct 2022

Athletics-Race walkers defy the rain

Athletics-Race walkers defy the rain

Race walkers racing into the rain at the Pink Rock

It was a wet Friday evening as the county race walkers took to the flat riverside course at the Pink Rock in Glenmore.

Held in conjunction with the St Joseph’s AC open road walks, the county road walk championships attracted race walkers from various clubs in the county. After an incredible summer, it was difficult to face racing in the rain, but athletes are made of stellar material and ploughed through the most miserable of conditions.

The star attraction was former world youth champion Kate Veale of West Waterford, who has been a regular supporter of this event. Veale, who has raced much of the season over 35km this year, was delighted with the shorter 3,000m distance, late in the season.

St Joseph’s AC ran the event with their usual gusto and friendly manner. The local club have been running this event for the last eight years.

While Veale was an easy winner of the senior race, her seven-year-old daughter Fianna took part in the under-6 to under-10 event. She has all the signs of being an international star like her famous mother as she stormed through the 500m to take top honours, proudly showing her mother her first competitive medal.

A medalist at this year’s All Ireland’s, local athlete Evan Walsh looked as impressive as ever, as did Lily Ryan, who was an easy winner of the under-16 race. Tadgh O’Callaghan (St Senan’s) looked right at home in class company. All look forward to seeing him emerge at championship level in two years’ time.

While Maggie O’Connor did not race on the night, her expertise lent its hand to organising the event. In her absence the Masters race was won by Valarie O’Callaghan (St Senan’s), making a comeback to the walking world. Valarie is a former juvenile All-Ireland champion.

John Joe Lawlor held his rightful territory at the top of the Masters men’s event with another former Irish medalist John Lennon (Thomastown) also making a comeback.

Cross Country

Ciara Mageean closed out the track and field season with a fantastic second place at the Diamond League final last Thursday - but as one season closes, a new one opens.

The 2022 cross-country season will now be the main focus for most athletes in the county with some exiting fixtures looming.

The first of these kicks off in Kilmacow, with the St Senan’s AC Open Cross Country. The usual season opener, the South Kilkenny fixture is now in its 45th year. Athletes can expect some good competition and decent numbers in each race.

Races are for juveniles from under-8 to under-18 with junior, senior and masters races. Prizes are for individuals and for teams with Caulfield’s SuperValu sponsoring the senior events. The start time is 1pm.

The county championships start on October 2 with the county even age juveniles and seniors at Ballycurran Cross at 11am. This follows on October 9 with the uneven age juveniles and Novice in Castlecomer, also starting at 11am.


Under-6 to Under-10 Boys’ race (500m): 1 Sam Kinsella (St Joseph’s AC), Tom Doherty (SJAC).

Under-6 to Under-10 Girls’ race (500m): 1 Fianna Veale (West Waterford), 2 Lynn Doherty (SJAC), 3 Chloe Queally (WW), 4 Emily Doyle (SJAC), 5 Julie Kinsella (SJAC), 6 Lottie Widger (St Senan’s), 7 Amy Ryan (Clonmel).

Under-12 Boys (1,000m): 1 Tadhg O’Callaghan (St Senan’s).

Under-12 girls (1,000m): 1 Emma Walsh (SJAC).

Under-14 girls (1,500m): 1 Amy Walsh (SJAC), 2 Saorlaith Mullally (SJAC), 3 Aisleann Mullally (SJAC), 4 Kerry Widger (St Senan’s).

Under-16 boys (2,000m): 1 Evan Walsh (SJAC).

Under-16 girls (2,000m): 1 Lily Ryan (SJAC), 2 Clodagh Cooke (St Senan’s), 3 Megan Doyle (SJAC).

Senior women (3000m): 1 Kate Veale (WWAC), 2 Val O’Callaghan (St Senan’s), 3 Marie Widger (St Senan’s), 4 Tracey Malone (SJAC).

Masters women (3,000m): 1 Val O’Callaghan (St Senan’s), 2 Marie Widger (St Senan’s), 3 Tracey Malone (SJAC).

Senior men (6,000m): 1 Joe Mooney (Adamstown).

Masters men (6,000m): 1 John Laste (Clonmel), 2 John Joe Lawlor (SJAC), 3 John Lennon (Thomastown).

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