Athlone Institute of Technology was the venue last weekend for the All Ireland Masters Indoor Championships where the facilities are just superb.
In the Men’s over 50 400m, Joe Whelan ran a brilliant race. This event was decided on times as there was a great entry.
So Joe went in one of the earlier heats and going into the race he know he had to run faster than 61 secs to have any chance of a podium position.
Over the 200m circuit Joe put in a great effort especially on the bends and he kept the pace going all the way to the line to win his heat in 60.747 secs, which was later turned to an All Ireland Bronze medal as he was the 3rd fastest in his age group.
In the 3000m over 15 laps of the 200m circuit, in the over 50 category, Derek Nolan competed.
In this race the top two athletes went out very strongly and soon moved away from the chasing pack as they battled for the title.
In the chasing pack of 5, Nolan was well positioned in the early stages.
Then as the race reached halfway he took up a more prominent role at the head of the chasing pack.
Then with about 1100m to go, he increased the tempo as there were a few athletes in close attention.
So Derek set himself a target of reeling off 40 secs laps and this soon had the effect of breaking up the chasing pack into Indian file and with 800m to go he had opened a gap he held all the way to the line to win the Bronze medal in 10 mins 5.94 secs.
Well done to both Joe and Derek on winning their first All Ireland Indoor Championship medal, fantastic performances all round and a brilliant way to start 2014.
The All Ireland Junior and Under 23 Indoors Championships also took place in the fantastic AIT indoor facility on Sunday last.
Clonmel had two athletes in action in the Junior Men’s 3km walk.
Evan Lynch took the initiative from gun and showed a clean pair of heels to the chasing pack.
Evan progressed through the race picking up the pace as he strode toward the end winning his first All Ireland title of the year in a fine time of 12 mins 42 secs.
Anthony Tobin made his intentions known from the onset and picked a pace which allowed him to progress through the field and earn himself a third place finish and a bronze medal performance in a personal best of 14 mins 33 secs.
Both athletes should be delighted with these performances as they open their account for 2014 in fine style.