Double for Toner at National Masters



Having been a major doubt during the week, only extensive work on the physio table coupled with grit and determination seen Denise Toner take her place on the start line at the AAI National Masters Championships in Tullamore on Sunday last. The Knocks lady had been down to compete in three events prior to picking up a calf injury but went into the Championships with the view of taking it one race at a time. Having done a light warm up, very heavy rain and the treat of lightning suspended proceedings just before the 800m got underway. The twenty minute delay didn’t faze Denise as the tactic was to run even paced and try and control the race.

From the gun she did just that and led the field through the 400m in just over 72 seconds. Half way down the back straight on the 2nd lap she picked up the pace a little and this along with her competitors fading seen Denise coast to victory and a first National Masters title in a time of 2:21.59 well ahead of Nicola Walsh of Dunleer 2:27.39 with Jackie O Connor of Ennis Track Club taking Bronze in 2:28.15. After some rolling out of the calf and no reaction from this, Denise took to the blocks for her first competitive 400m.

After slowly coming out of the blocks as a precaution Denise ate up the stagger on the ladies outside her with the only pressure coming from Karen Crean just inside her in lane 3 as the competitors reached the 200m mark.

Around the top bend Toner exerted some pressure and started to put daylight between her and Crean and got stronger up the home straight and as a  result came home well clear to take her second title in 61.62 with over three seconds to spare over Crean of St Brigids 64.64 with Raheny Shamrocks athlete Maria Murphy taking Bronze in 65.46. After the 400m Denise made the decision that she was thankful and delighted with her lot and would not take on a third race the 1500m as it could be a race too far on this given day.

All in all two superb performances to add too the two Irish Indoor Age Group records she took in what has been a good year after she was forced to move to the track and the shorter stuff after picking up an ankle injury at the Belfast International Cross Country in January.

Denise will now rest up for a few days before returning to light training to see if she will make the Northern Ireland Masters Championships at the Mary Peters Track in just over a fortnight’s time.

Once again our members turned out in great numbers in Scotstown last Friday evening for the 4th annual Ned 5 Miler. In near perfect conditions most athletes were happy with their performances and a special well done to those who ran the distance for the first time. Congratulations also to those who recorded personal bests and to Shane Brady who took third overall.

Over the weekend Ciaran Mc Caffrey chalked up another two 10k’s towards his million metre challenge. On Saturday he took part in the Ballinderry Bridge event which crosses three bridges and takes in two counties. Buoyed by setting a new personal best for 5 miles on Friday night, Ciaran had a solid performance with a time of 44:46. On Sunday he was amongst nearly 300 athletes that turned out for the Riverine event in Lifford. Here Ciaran had a very good run clocking 44 minutes flat.

There a number of races in the region during the week and the club will again be represented at these.


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