County Road Walks

September, 2021, Rosbercon

Kilkenny has always had a very strong tradition of race walking. Going back for over 50 years the county has had countless national titles, athletes on international teams and strong representation from clubs at various events. The annual county road walks, normally held in June was held last Friday night at the Pink Rock. Left in the hands of Maggie Hellen O’Connor and her St Josephs’ backroom team of professional event organisers, this event took on a new lease of life.

6 years ago it was decided to open the event to guest, a great idea with high caliber athlete from Waterford and Wexford racing in the event. This year teams travelled from, West Waterford, Wexford, Newbridge and even Cork for the event. Senior and Masters athletes came out of retirement. Overall the event had great numbers. However, it was left to predominantly St Josephs and to a lesser extent St Senans to field athletes on the night.

Both St Senans and St Josephs’ AC have been very active members of the Robert Heffernan Race Walking Academy during the lockdown. A fantastic initiative set up by international and Olympic race walking athletes to further the sport of race walking and its support thereof. Creating a team environment for training with the standard of race walking in the country rising substantially. It is perhaps something other events should look to for inspiration. Maybe even in Kilkenny something our senior and junior athletes can do to keep them going at senior level.

The Senior event was won by West Waterford AC guest and former world youth champion Kate Veale. Maggie Hellen herself took the county ladies title. John Joe Lawlor took the men’s county title. The cup for the best overall club in the county for race-walking (based on track and field and road walks) surely now goes to St Josephs’ AC.

In the Juvenile races, from the county Lily Ryan (St Josephs) was impressive as was Tadgh O’Callaghan (St Senans).

Results

Key: St Josephs = (SJ), St Senans = (SS), Newbridge = (NB), West Waterford = (WW), Waterford AC = (WAC), Clonmel = (C), Adamstown = (A)

Girls U6 – U10 500m: 1 Emma Walsh (SJ) 2 Aishling Hickey (NB) 3 Emma Barron (SJ) 4 Amy Barron (SJ) 5 Emily Doyle (SJ) 6 Julie Kinsella (SJ) 7 Lucy Melbourne (SJ) 8 Fianna Veale (WW) 9 Amy Ryan (C)

Boys U6 – U10 500m: 1 Tadgh O’Callaghan (SS) 2 Sam Kinsella (SJ) 3 Donnacha Archbold (NB) 4 Stephen Doyle (SJ) 5 Michael Mullally (SJ) 6 Richie Mullally (SJ) 7 Luca Kinsella (SJ) 8 Freddy Boland (NB) 9 Paddy Crampton (NB)

Girls U12 – 1,000m: 1 Olivia Mullally (SJ) 2 Meave Moore (NB) 3 Amy Walsh (SJ) 4 Saorlaith Mullally (SJ) 5 Siobhan Hickey (WW) 6 Erica Russell (SS) 7 Saoirse Doyle (SJ)

Boys U12 – 1,000m: 1 Jack Brennan (NB) 2 Harry Boland (NB) 3 Ruaidhri Archbold (NB)

Girls U14 1,500M: 1 Lily Ryan (SJ) 2 Eabha Brennan (NB) 3 Megan Doyle (SJ) 4 Aisleann Mullally 5 Mairead McDonald

Boys U14 1,500M: 1 Ben Kramption (NB) 2 Evan Walsh (SJ)

Girls U16 2,000M: 1 Lily Doyle (SJ) 2 Eabha Hickey (WW)

Senior Ladies 3,000 metres: 1 Kate Veale (WW) 2 Maggie Helen O’Connor (SJ) 3 Meave O’Connor (WAC)

Seniors Men – 6,000 metres: 1 Joe Mooney (A)

Masters Ladies 3,000 metres: 1 Martina Lanigan (SJ) 2 Tracey Malone (SJ) 3 Florence Lanigan (SJ)

Masters Men 6,000 metres: 1 John Laste (C)  2 John Joe Lawlor (SJ)

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