Frank Cloherty describes the events of last weekend's Turlough 8k:
Beautiful mild early Spring conditions greeted the large attendance of runners, joggers and walkers at The National Museum of Ireland at Turlough Park for the 11th annual hosting of the ever popular Turlough 8k..
An amalgam of Parke Keelogues Crimlin GAA, Parke Keelogues Crimlin LGFA, Mayo AC, The National Museum of Ireland at Turlough Park & Mayo Mental Health Association partnered to promote this event.
Mayo AC are a welcome additional event partner this year of 2023.
A large crowd gathered near the starting line at midday to respectfully observe a minute s silence in memory of the founding member and Chairperson of Mayo Mental Health Association PJ Murphy who was a great supporter of the event over many years. Sadly, PJ went to his eternal reward on Saturday evening. Go mbeidh leaba i measc na naomh agus na n-aingeal aige.
The challenging 8k course starts and finishes in the beautiful grounds of Turlough Park, passes by Turlough Round Tower and on towards the undulating countryside of the Parke and Turlough townlands, returning via Turlough Village to the finish line at beautiful Turlough House.
Race conditions were favourable for establishing course records and some valiant attempts were made by some of the almost 400 entrants taking part.
Participants travelled from near and far and prizes were awarded to various categories as follows:
Seamus Somers, Sligo AC led the field home in a very impressive time of 26.51. He ran an exceptionally impressive race and only narrowly missed out on the course record held by local running legend and current Mayo AC Club chairperson John Byrne.
Rowland McIntyre, Mayo AC was second in a time of 28.51.
Pearse Gallagher, Swinford AC was 3rd in 29.20
Local lady Sarah Byrne, Mayo AC made a very impressive Turlough 8K debut coming home 1st in a time of 31.57 Roxanne Sands, Moy Valley AC came a close 2nd in 32.12.
Gracie O Brien, Moy Valley AC who is also a great local competitor with PKC LGFA was 3rd in 33.06
In the Female Masters competition, the 1st lady home was Jo Hughes in 34.12, Marcella McDonell, Mayo AC was 2nd in 40.40 and Veronica Woods, Swinford AC 3rd in 42.02
In the Male Masters Garret Bracken, Westport AC was 1st in 31.40, David Sands, Liquid Motion was 2nd in 32.38 and Raymond Clarke Mayo AC ran well for 3rd in 33.17.
The female U18s was won by Pearl Sands, Moy Valley AC in 36.11 Isabelle Hanrahan, Castlebar AC finished 2nd in 37.25 and local PKC LGFA player Caoimhe Harte was 3rd in 45.21
The 1st Male U18 home was Matthew Kelly, Castlebar AC in 32.02.
Matthew plays his football very well with PKC GAA. 2nd place in this category went to another local footballer Kyle Davitt in 35.27 Kyle showed his battling qualities and kept going. Aidan Dempsey, Castlebar AC was 3rd in 36.45
Congratulations to all who placed and all who participated.
Niall Dunne from Mayo Mental Health Association spoke to the gathering assembled in the courtyard for post-race refreshments and congratulated all for turning out in such great numbers.
He said that a positive approach to physical health is closely aligned to establishing and maintaining good mental health.
Seamus O’Donnell from The National Museum of Ireland at Turlough Park expressed his warm welcome for the large turnout from the local community and further afield.
Event organiser Frank Cloherty thanked all event partners who assisted in ensuring that the 1st live Turlough 8K event since 2019 was a great success.
Full results of the race are at www.mayoac.com