Whenever us old stagers enter the Athlone Indoor Purpose Built Track Facility it takes the breath away. The mind casts back to the days of the wooden indoor track in the Curragh Camp which consisted of two adjacent hangers but with no line of sight from one to the other. The facility developed in Nenagh, which is still operational stood us in good stead for a few decades. It was often said that because of its structure it was colder inside the Nenagh track than outside on a snowy day. The national championships were held for a number of years at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast where a cantilever track could be laid over the ice rink and , which could be colder even than Nenagh.
Today we flocked to the new Mecca for indoor running in the midlands at the newly named Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest following the amalgamation of Limerick and Athlone institutes of technology, for the Leinster Championships where we had runners in junior, senior and masters events.
Claire ran competitively in the junior 800M finishing 2nd in 2.30.42 a short while before her mother won her masters age group in 2.33.49. Sarah worked hard throughout her 800M to take 5th in 2.27.71. Niamh made her Athlone debut and picked up the bronze in the junior 400M in 69.78.
We had four seniors in the w omens 3000M where Lauren running to a predetermined time schedule tried to make all the running but was overhauled on the last lap by Celine who recorded a PB of 9.47.18 to win this prestigious title. Lauren stayed on for 2nd in 9.53.92, while Slije took 4th in 10.24.85 and Alison in her first indoor race in many years finished 5th in 10.31.53. Conor possibly left too much in the tank when finishing 5th in the junior mens 3000M in 10.27.16 but nonetheless gained valuable experience.
This brings down the curtain on indoor and cross country and we now head for the road and outdoor track and field seasons with much work ahead.
Congratulations and thanks to all those represented our club so well in the period September to March