Report written by Neil Kingston
Three Eagles represented the club at the National Indoor Masters Track and Field Championships in Athone on Sunday and came away with five medals – 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.
Hugh McSweeney – M70 1st 60m 9.29; 200m 1st 31.27
Ken Higgs – M65 200m 3rd 31.58; 400m 2nd 1:09.65; 800m 4th 2:56.71
Neil Kingston – M45 400m 4th 58.17; 800m 3rd 2:11.67
When you arrive inside the arena in Athlone you can see the venue is
top class, when you run on the track you can tell why such fast
times are being run there so it was a great experience to race on it.
I wonder what times my childhood hero Eamonn Coghlan the “Chairman of
the Boards” himself would have run for the mile on a track like that.
First of the Eagles to go on the day, Hugh looked the part as he got
himself set in the blocks for the 60. After pushing his main rival
right to the line for the Munster title in Nenagh recently the rematch
was on and the tension was high. As we so often see in the Olympics
and Diamond League, and especially in the 60m indoor competitions,
every millisecond counts in the short sprints and a good start from
the blocks is essential. The atmosphere in the arena was one of high
drama as Hugh’s rival false started and was disqualified.
At the ripe young age of 69, Ken ran his age in seconds the 400 and took the silver medal. He didn’t believe me when I told him that this is quite an extraordinary
achievement so well done Ken. Think about it, how many 50 years olds
can run 50 seconds or 80 year olds can run 80 seconds? See more here
For myself, this was another great learning experience in my second
year racing track and first time racing an 800 indoors. While I didn’t
match my medal haul from the national outdoors in Tullamore last
August I was more than happy to run 2 PBs on the day. There was some
drama in my own events as there was a question over residency and
eligibility for national medals of another runner. So having finished
in 4th and 5th place in the 800m and 400m races, I ended up being
bumped up a position in both races, and I have the 800m bronze to
I ran a half marathon in December and a 60m sprint in February so in the last
few months I have experienced almost the full range of distances….for
me there is nothing that compares with racing the 400 and 800 indoors,
apart from the 400 and 800 outdoors 🙂 I definitely think the short
sprints are a lot of fun… if you are more of the endurance type and
fancy trying something just a little shorter and quicker than a 5k,
I’d imagine it would be a great experience to run a 3k on the boards
without having to contend with wind, rain and cold!
So that’s the end of the indoor season on the domestic front and
Hugh’s two wins put him clearly top of the club medals table this
year. Hugh still has the World Championships to look forward to in
Poland later this month! Best of luck to you there Hugh, no doubt
you’ll don the Irish vest with pride.