Manning Inter-schools Cross country 2015

Manning Inter-schools Cross country

Sunshine and smiles were the order of the day in Bushfield last Wednesday 16th September 2015 for the 5th annual Manning Inter-schools Cross country event. Once again the rain stayed away and the sun shone down on the 446 children from 16 different schools around the Loughrea area as they competed on behalf of their schools for the coveted Manning Cross Country trophies.

With all schools having taken part in previous years, the teachers, children and volunteers all understood what was expected of them and the event ran like clockwork. From 10am the buses started arriving packed with eager participants and many of these buses left straight away again to fetch more children from other schools. Military precision is the only way to describe how Colm Moorehead, Martin Collins and their volunteers direct so many vehicles into their parking spaces so successfully while ensuring the safety of all the children disembarking.

Loughrea AC are very grateful to the staff of the FootGolf course now in operation in Bushfield for their permission to use their FootGolf course for the day. Special thanks must go to Gerard Fahy from Ballinakill NS who repaired the megaphone and thus saved the MC from loosing her voice.

There was a slight delay in the start of the first race due to the volume of traffic arriving and to allow all children for the Junior Boys race to get to the start on time. But by the time the siren was sounded the 112 boys from 3rdand 4th class took off in the 600m race in a splendid display of youthful enthusiasm. The biggest entry was in the junior girl’s race and these 124 girls from 3rd and 4thclass were lined up and ready to go almost before the junior boys had reached the first turn on the course.

The 106 senior boys and 104 senior girls competed over 800m and were much more competitive as many had taken part in the Manning event in previous years. The many teachers and parents that had come out to support were very impressed by the standard of the running and the sheer determination of these children to overtake even one more opponent in order to gain a valuable extra point for their school’s team score.

While the children, teachers and parents enjoyed a picnic lunch on the hilltop overlooking the entire cross country course or in the shade of the newly named Joe Grace Stand, the results recorders undertook the painstaking task of compiling the team results in each race. Each school was allowed to enter as many children as they wished in each race – as the aim of the event is to encourage as many children as possible to take part in cross country athletics. A team score was made up of the finishing positions of the first four finishers from the school. This is where a skill in reading handwriting (and use of a calculator) is a great advantage !! With 3 trophies to award in each race the recorders had to make sure they had got it right.

Finally, with all 446 children gathered in the stand to hear the results, the organiser Siobhan Glynn commented on what a splendid sight it was to see such an array of colourful running gear. She went on to thank all involved in making it yet another great event:- the Manning family for their continued sponsorship of this event and all the teachers and volunteers without whom the event would not happen. She wished the children competing in the Galway cross country the following week the best of luck and then called upon the president of Loughrea AC, Colm Moorehead, to present the trophies.

As the name of each winning team was announced they were cheered loudly by the crowd and the winning children stood for official photographs taken by the talented Larry Morgan. With the formalities over the teachers gathered the children for their return to school – although not too happy about having to return to classwork, many of the children were eager to return to school to show off their trophy. We hope that when the children look back on their school days, the Manning Cross Country event will be a happy memory for them and may have been a starting point for a future career in Cross Country running or athletics of some form.

The results were as follows:-

Junior Boys

1st Bullaun 25pts (1st, 4th, 7th, 13th)

2nd St. Brendan’s 33pts (2nd, 6th, 11th, 14th)

3rd Mullagh 44pts (8th, 9th, 12th, 15th)

Junior Girls

1st St. Ita’s 28 pts (2nd, 7th, 8th, 11th)

2nd Leitrim 37pts (3rd, 6th, 9th, 19th)

3rd Bullaun 61 pts (4th, 15th, 16th, 26th)

Senior Boys

1st Bullaun 26pts (1st, 2nd, 9th, 14th)

2nd St. Brendan’s 39pts (4th, 7th, 10th, 18th)

3rd Kilnadeema 74pts (16th, 17th, 20th, 21st)

Seniors Girls

1st Bullaun 43pts (4th, 5th, 8th, 26th)

2nd Kilnadeema 61pts (7th, 14th, 19th, 21st)

3rd Woodford 62pts (6th, 10th, 22nd, 25th)

The inaugural Manning Mile will take place in conjunction with the Loughrea AC annual road race on Sunday 27th Sept 2015 @1pm. Full details from Barry Beirne (086) 177 7736.

Loughrea ACs annual FUN Run for primary school children around the streets of Loughrea will take place on Sunday 27th Sept starting at 1.30pm outside the fire station. Full details of this Fun Run can be found on our club website www.loughreaathleticclub.com or from Siobhan Glynn (087) 9880552.