Race 3 of Dalys XL Series this Sunday 10th February
All roads lead to Lifford this Sunday morning 10th February for the finale of the Daly’s XL 3 Race Series, a combination of 5K races for adults, and one mile races for juveniles. The race in Lifford with a 10am start will be the culmination of a series which has attracted record numbers to the first two races in St. Johnston/Carrigans and Raphoe, with Sunday’s race promising to break the 300 mark. The popularity of the series has seen runners from across the county and further afield turning out in force, as well as affording recreational runners and walkers the opportunity to post times, from which improvements will be made as the season goes on.
With nearly €1,500 in prizes on offer, the points table going into the last race is certainly an interesting one, and if it is anything like last year, a final day performance, good or bad, will influence the top three winners in each of the categories.
This series has the capacity to showcase local talent as well as unearthing athletes not accustomed to the roads or the sport of athletics. In David Taylor, the Strabane man has proved to be just one of those nuggets not seen on the race circuit previously. A second placed finish in St. Johnston/Carrigans and with over half a minute taken off his time in Raphoe to win the race, the new Lifford AC recuit goes into the final race six points clear of FinnValley’s Dean Toland, with Foyle Valley’s Adrian McGovern in third.
The womens race will also be an interesting one, which will lead to changes in the table should everyone turn out on Sunday. Leading the way is Lifford AC duo Natasha Adams and Claire McGuigan, with City of Derry’s Amy McDaid in third. With Adams competing at the Indoor Masters in Athlone on Saturday and Lifford AC’s Ann Marie McGlynn missing out in Raphoe due to Indoor competition, both girls could have an impact on the eventual direction of the first three placings.
For the first placed runners in each of the Masters categories from V1 to V4, similar performances to their first two races should lead to victory in each of their respective categories. In the V1, Finn Valley’s Kenneth O’Donnell is only four points clear of Lifford’s Eddie Kelly, while in the V2, O’Donnell’s team mate, Raymond Doherty, leads the way by what looks like an unassailable seven points. In the V3 and V4 categories, Letterkenny’s Joe English and Tír Chónaill’s Donal Haughey have maximum points from both races and should prove outright winners come Sunday. The V5 category could prove most interesting, with both Malcolm McCausland and Letterkenny’s Brian McBride not just on equal points, but also on exactly the same best time, so whoever wins this battle will win this category.
In the Masters V1 category, a first and second placing in the two races gone by puts Lifford AC’s Amanda Monaghan in pole position to claim the top prize, with four points to spare over Laura Corbett. In the V2 and 3 categories, Letterkenny’s Ruth McCrudden andFinnValley’s Gloria Donaghey hold six point leads respectively over their rivals and look good for claiming the top spots, with several runners well positioned to change the picture for the second and third placings. In the V4 and V5 categories, both Leslie Brown and Lifford AC’s Betty Burns will claim top spots.
Junior Men and Women
A maximum return from the first two races sees Letterkenny’s Enda McBride in pole position to claim top spot, City of Derry’s Zachary McGowan well positioned for second, with Shane Gallagher and Lifford AC’s Dáire O’Mahony battling it out for third. In the Junior Women, City of Derry’s Hannah McGowan has a six point advantage over her nearest rival Aloise Carlin from FinnValley. However, after a maximum return from winning the race in Raphoe Milford’s Gillian Marley could overtake Carlin for second should Marley continue her form in Lifford.
For the first time, the club has introduced a juvenile mile to the series with good interest shown in the first two weeks at U9, 11, 13 and 15. With Sunday’s race now in Lifford, a bigger turnout of juveniles is expected. Amy Quigley, Aine Marie McBride, and sisters Olivia and Claudia Cuskelly all lead the way going into Sundays race, while in the boys, Oran Gallagher, Connor Gibson, Niall Quinn and Letterkenny’s Ben Carr all hold top spots.
The Lifford 5K has for over a decade proved an attractive race venue with some of the biggest fields of entrants on the Grand Prix circuit. Its town centred circuit proves an ideal viewing point for spectators, and with that creates a buzz and excitement for both athletes and spectators alike, churning out fast times and personal bests year after year.
The start time for all races on Sunday will be 10am. Registration desks will open from 9am, with additional pre registration desks open this Sunday in anticipation of the expected numbers. Athletes are encouraged to pre-enter on line at liffordac.com with race number collection and the €5 entry fee payable on the morning of the race.