The Hollymount 10k women’s race top three (all Mayo AC). From left: Sarah Byrne (2nd), Norah Newcombe Pieterse (1st) and Aisling Bell (3rd).

Historic day at Hollymount 10k

LAST Sunday afternoon, the village of Hollymount welcomed athletes back for the 57th edition of their annual road races.

As usual, the excellent local organising team were on duty at the community centre, delighted to see familiar faces pick up bibs and t-shirts.

The annual visitors from Liverpool had arrived too. Ten travelled this year, led for the umpteenth time by Neil Chester.

This year’s 10k winner was Michael Flanagan, GCH, in 35:41. He had a ding-dong race up front with second placed David Hickey, Westport AC, who finished in 35:48. Eamonn Joyce, Mayo AC, recovered sufficiently from his brilliant recent Dublin Marathon and moved up into third place on the final lap to cross the line in 35:50.

The women’s race winner was Mayo AC’s Norah Newcombe Pieterse. She finished seventh overall, making a successful return to racing with a comfortable win in a great time 38:06.

Sarah Byrne was always going well and ran a well paced race to come home in an excellent second place in 40.13. Mayo AC newcomer and Hollymount native Aisling Bell was third, making it a podium finish for the club. She ran 43:01.

A 10k race for both men and women was contested for the first time. It replaced the longstanding programme which included a separate 6k for women and 10k for men. The change has been mooted for some time. Though not universally popular, most runners feel it’s a move with the times.

Typical Hollymount weather and ‘not a bad day for November’, as race founder Sean Reilly put it, resulted in bright sunshine, a chilly breeze and 8°C for the 3k lap course. Most importantly local showers kept their distance. It was a good day for running.

The course start is just round the corner from the main street and competitors finish at the top of the village having completed three laps on mainly single track slightly undulating roads.

Sean Reilly reminded everyone at prizegiving that it was a unique day for the event results as it was the first time in the event’s 57-year history that a father and son won the race. Tom Flanagan, father of winner Michael, won the race back in 1967!

The Hollymount 10k category prizewinners were: men – O40 Andrew Hayes (Mayo AC’s second finisher in 37:09), O50 Ian Egan (38:59 – he ran his first Hollymount 10k as a 19-year old in 1986),

O60 Tommy Neville (39:57); women – O40 Deirdre Moran Smyth (43:17), O50 Patricia Brennan (48:46), O60 Mags Glavey of Mayo AC (47:43 – looking fresh and well recovered from her international cross-country success the previous weekend).

Other Mayo AC finishers were: Andy Neary (40:21), Johnny Cribbin (43:29), Paula Donnellan (43:50), Mikey McAndrew (44:22), Tony O’Malley (44:35), Jimmy Feeney (48:47), Noelle Kilduff (49:48), Joan Walsh (52:01) and Colette McTigue (63:48).

Mr. Reilly thanked everyone who made the day possible – organisers, stewards, and refreshments providers.

Well done to all who supported the Hollymount 10k and junior 3k, and congratulations to the prizewinners. The full results and photographs from the event can be found at