I was competing at the Irish national senior indoor championships in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland and not without a bit of excitement. I was kept outside the warm-up area until 15 minutes before the start. The officials said things where running late, but when I entered the arena the other female pole-vaulters where already inside and warmed up. Talk about an unfair advantage whats going on there, I thought "afraid of the opposition so hold them back,|" watch out for your opposition sometimes its not the athletes.
I asked an official at the pole-vault to go to the toilet and then was approached on my arrival back to the arena that I needed to have someone go with me, Of course I knew that but why do officials not follow the rules at the right time instead of upsetting athletes during competition or perhaps that was the plan. Most officials know the rules and some know all of them but the hard bit is practice them and understanding their responsibility and the athletes responsibilities,which not to remind officials of their rules and regulations. Unfortunately on my first jump after clearing the opening height I spiked my calf badly with my own spicks on landing on the mat. I received 7 stitches and excellent caring from the first aid, so a big thank you to them. I exited the event with no attempt on the masters record this time.
I went on to make the final of the shot putt in a fine field of putters with first place going out to 13.34 meters. The next day was a great day weather wise and had a wonderful turn out in the Old Castle venue of The battle of the Boyne in County Meath which hosted the Ras na hEireràan by Dunleer A.C. What a great job they did in organizing and following through with their event. Thousands watching and large numbers in all events, unlike the previous National indoors which had 3 and 4 people in some events like the walks and pole-vault.
The starter Tommy Neary was excellent at his job starting races on time and as scheduled.
My own Club Newry A.C had great success in the first event with fast times recorded in all category's and medals to all who raced. Well done to my Champion athletes You did me proud, See you all at training on Tuesday to celebrate.
I myself won the ladies 3000m cross-country race run in memory of the late and great legend Larry Mc Guill the father of Dunleer athletics. I was presented with a beautiful commemorative medal with Larry's face engraved on the back, great to see his whole family out and his friends from all over Ireland running the memorial race, people like Brian Vallely Ex president of athletics some years ago when ex athletes ran the association and passion for sport ran high and was top of the list in priorities.
My first real memory of Larry it was at a cross- country race in Mount-pleasant in Dundalk I was running for Mount-pleasant club doing lots of road races and long distance races for the club team. I remember him smiling at me during the race and approaching me afterwards when I was exhausted from the long distance I had just finished. Larry was never afraid to approach an athlete to offer a better opportunity and that's what he offered to me." I will not ask you to run for the club or a team if you don't want to, he said just do what you do best jump hurdle and throw. He knew I was talented at that and recognised my needs, he praised me smiled his big warm smile that made me feel welcome to his family. He hugged me as a father does to his child and I was hooked. I ran to please the Big Man, for his words of praise and smile was worth its weight in gold to me. I turned to Larry not only to share my success but also in times of trouble, and I had plenty of that in my 30 years of competing. He never ever lost faith in you when you where injured or sick, never had one bad word or criticism for any athlete except to encourage me and them to train more and be the best they could be.
He would chat on the phone to me about the junior talent that is being wasted due to lack of encouragement and promotion from clubs in the newspapers, he would be ringing the radio stations and Louth newspapers to keep the latest star in the lime light to make them feel special as special as he made me feel every race. He was delighted to see me soar to greater heights within the club, county, province, country and then the World especially when our own country supports and ignores the home talents. He would say you have to leave Ireland to be appreciated by the Irish. I threatened to leave the club and athletics on a few occasions but Larry listened, supported but never forced his views on me but true to his word let me do as I wanted.
I am still running and winning thanks to the quietness, support, encouragement and love from the Big Man. I intend to portray his strength of spirit and constant fight in all my future endeavours.
You will be sadly missed by all who knew you, but there will always be an empty space in my heart, until we meet again.
A short presentation for the people who Larry made feel special. How Larry became A Legend.
Produced By Cole McCann @ http://www.starinovations.com
Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I will try and keep you up to date on all my future Events, plus results from students competitions and training progress.