Mooreabbey Milers 'sparkle' on the international stage

Lynda Hynes

Reporter:

Lynda Hynes

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

Gerard Griffin: 
Gerard from Limerick joined Mooreabbey Milers shortly after its intervention nearly 10 years ago. Gerard started his sporting life as a winger for Garryowen rugby club. On retirement from rugby he took to the roads and cross country but over the last decade and a half the hills and mountains have been his playground. The 15th World Masters Mountain Running championship was held across the water on the beautiful foothills of Snowdon. Hosted in the village of Betws-y-Coed on Saturday 12th of September 2015. Competitors were greeted on the course early morning by warm misty showers that gave way to autumn sunshine in the afternoon. The course composed of road, track, steep inclines and declined around forests and lakes. All those competing in the O/55 category had 8.6km to cover. Ireland had never won a gold team title in these championships so it was history in the making when the O/55 team won the gold medal with Germany and England in close pursuit. On that team that day was Martin McDonald (Laois), Gerard Maloney (Wexford) and our own Mooreabbey Miler club man Gerard Griffin. It was stated that he had ran out of his skin for Ireland that day to pip Germany by two points. Gerard also lays claim to a silver medal won in 2011 in Paluzza Italy with the same team mates. 


Willie O'Donoghue: 
Willie a born runner began his running career with Croom AC his most notible outings were competing in the '83 '84 '85 &' 87 Dublin City Marathon. Accomplishing a phenomenal time of 2.59.08 in 1988. After breaking his leg in '88 he never quiet returned to running and focused the next 26 years on soccer and football. Willie returned to running after a soccer injury in 2014 left him unable to play his beloved football and soccer. Willie 
joined the Mooreabbey Milers in 2015 after a few chats with Tom Blackburn. In November 2018 Willie O'Donoghue travelled to Swansea in Wales to take part in the British & Irish masters cross-country. Willie a proud and dedicated club man took on the tough and windy 8k course putting heart and soul into the run. Having moved up through the field of competitors we saw Willie take the 3rd and final place on the bronze winning international team. 


Robert Cunningham:
Robert joined the Mooreabbey Milers in 2013 because his wife Patricia was out training and he couldnt let his wife have all the fun and wanted to be better than her as admitted by the lovely Patricia. Roberts first race was the Milford Hospice 10k a very worthy cause. In September 2019 the 19th edition of the World Masters Mountain Running Championship took place in Gagliano Del Capo Italy. In sweltering temperatures the route was
a rocky and grassy, uphill and downhill
terrain over 10.9k on the the long course. Robert claimed silver with Niall McGeorge (Dublin) and Paul Twomey (Dublin) on the O/35 Irish team.


Patricia Blackburn: 
Patricia has been running most of her adult life after all being married to the famous Tom Blackburn how could you not. Patricia is a qualified chi running style coach. Patricia helps to set you up for a lifetime of injury-free running, builds confidence, go farther or faster with less effort, improve your body alignment for optimal efficiency, lower impact to your joints, reduce the work of your legs, build core strength with every step, run with whole body relaxation and gow to become more mindful in how you use your body. Patricia has competed in many World Masters Mountain Running Championships. In Paluzza Italy in 2011 Patricia won a silver medal with the O/45 Irish team. The following year in 2012 in Buhlertal Germany went one better and won a gold medal with the O/45 Irish team. To round out Patricia's success to date in 2019 in Gagliano Del Capo Italy Patricia claimed bronze with the O/50 Irish team. 


Tom Blackburn: 
When Galbally man Tomas Blackburn returned home to his native village he had a yearning to display his skills and knowledge to others. Tomas an athlete most of his adult life does it all, road, cross country, track, trails and mountains and has ran at levels from fun runs to international. Tomas more known to all as Tom after leaving Bilboa AC started his own club in his native village which was to become known as Mooreabbey Milers. 2011 in Paluzza Italy was to be the time and venue for Tom to claim his international glory with an Irish team bronze with clubmate Michael 'Curley' Cunningham (Tipperary(RIP)) Keith Ryan (Limerick). 2015 in Wales, UK was the next time Tom claimed an international medal and again it was to be bronze with Bernard Fortune (Dublin) and Paul Synnott (Dublin). 


Stuart Moloney:
Stuart retired from football in 2010 and began running for fitness in 2011. Stuart joined Mooreabbey Milers also shortly after its interception in 2012 with his first outing in the club colours to the County Novice Cross Country in Clonmel where he finishing 6th. Stuart claims his busiest years were between 2014 - 2016. This is when Stuart had some of his biggest achievements. 
In 2015: O35 Gold Team and 4th Individual at the British & Irish Masters cross country Dublin 
In 2016: Bronze at the European Indoor O35 3000m Indoor in Ancona Italy in a time of 8.46. 
In 2017: Gold at the British & Irish Masters cross country in Derry. 


Michael Curley Cunningham
(RIP) 
2011 in Paluzza Italy (bronze team). 


More Top Tips From Tom
Hi I hope you have had a good week, with restrictions beginning to ease new routes and longer runs and walks are something to look at. To keep a good programme doing a change of route can add so much with loads of new sights to look at as you exercise and if you are close enough to the woods I recommend using the trails. These are easier on the feet and joints but only use routes you know at the start you don’t want to go too far get lost and add miles more than you planned.
Clothes: The weather at the moment is a little crazy with warm sunny weather one day and the next thunder storms and cold temperatures. So how do you dress for this, I say take a rain jacket or wind breaker a hat and a drink with you. Whether your running or walking they are no load but can make the difference between being too hot or drenched wet and cold. As they say better to be looking at it than looking for it.
Hydration: Hydration can pose loads of problems, what to take how much to take and how to carry it. I find a small bottle great you can get special ones that fit around your hand or you can get special jackets that you put bottles into, you can even get back packs which have a bladder bag in them and a pipe to bring the drink straight to your mouth. The last 2 are only if you are on a serious adventure and plan on going a huge distance. To be fair if you are going out for a run or walk of 5 to 10km a small bottle is plenty. Some people get obsessed with what to drink and will bring sugary drinks, chocolate drinks or isotonic drinks to training, unless you have a series medical problem water will get you around. I wouldn’t recommend drinking water out of rivers or ponds unless you are sure it’s clean you could get very sick otherwise. When you come back from your run or walk if you are thirsty or feel really tired try an isotonic drink. You can get Dioralyte in the chemist it dissolves in water and has electrolytes and everything you need and is a lot cheaper than the drinks you buy in the shops. 
Breathing: Just to check your breathing exercise is going well breathing through in your nose for four steps and breathing out through your nose for four steps also. Remember to take full breaths in and always empty the lungs. If you feel you can do more than four steps go for it, but don’t overdo it. 
Devices: Using devices to help with training can be helpful but unless you understand how they work properly you could end up confused. The most common ones are the step counters. The GPS watches which map and measure the distance of your exercise, and last but not least the heart rate monitor which give you information on how hard you are working. All of these can be very helpful. The heart rate monitor can be tricky they all work on a mathematical formula. Your maximum heart rate is 220 beats minus your age so as you get older your max heart rate reduces so if you are 20 your very max heart rate is 200, if you are 37 your max heart rate is 183.Newer models just ask you to imput your date of birth and they use the formula to finish the set up. This is where the problem can happen if you have a condition like a really slow heart rate or a really fast heart rate and your level of fitness can differ from the norm. They say the best way to find out your resting rate is to take your pulse before you get out of bed for 3 or 4 mornings. Imput this to your device and set a high level before you start to work out or better still go to your doctor and get yourself checked out fully. 


Cahir Half Marathon And Relay 
In line with government guidelines and in the interest of public safety we have taken the heart breaking decision to CANCEL the Cahir Half Marathon & Relay for 2020. As the clubs biggest fundraiser we would like to thank those who had registered to date. We would like to assure you all that a refund can be sought by privately messaging us here or if you would prefer you can be automatically transferred to the 2021 date. Please let us know at your earliest convenience which option you will be taking. See you all in 2021. Take this as your opportunity to get in some extra training. Stay well and stay safe. We're all in this together.