Pictured from left: Darren Butler, Offaly Athletics Chairman; Kathleen Murphy making the presentation of the Ashling Murphy trophy to Clonmel AC’s Courtney Maguire; Mary Daly, Offaly Athletics Competition Secretary & PRO; and John Cronin, President of Athletics Ireland. Photo: Ger Rogers.

Records broken as Ashling Murphy race attracts another large turnout

The second edition of the Offaly Athletics-hosted Ashling Murphy 4 Mile Race was another vibrant and exciting event in Tullamore last Sunday morning.

The atmosphere was filled with anticipation and energy from early in the morning, with lots of people actively getting everything ready in different areas of O'Connor Square and around the course, ensuring that everything was set for the race.

The support and involvement from the athletics clubs in Offaly and volunteers from around Offaly were truly fantastic. Volunteers are the backbone of any successful event. Their selfless contribution of time, effort, and expertise ensures that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. From setting up the course to managing registrations, handing out water and goody bags, and providing support along the route, their presence and enthusiasm contribute hugely to the success of this or any event.

The Ashling Murphy 4 Mile Race is more than just a running race - it carries a special significance and holds a deeper meaning for the participants and the community around Tullamore and much further afield. It is obviously a platform for athletes to showcase their running abilities, but it also serves as a tribute in memory of Ashling Murphy.

Ashling’s mum Kathleen, her sister Amy, her brother Cathal, her boyfriend Ryan, and her other family members and friends all took part.

The presence of the Ashling Murphy Foundation team and friends from Ballyboy Comhaltas serves as a poignant reminder that the race is not just about running—it's about coming together, supporting one another, and keeping the memory of Ashling alive.

The organisers thank all those who sponsored the event and contributed to its success. They are also grateful to the many people who didn't compete on the day but who made donations to the Ashling Murphy Memorial fund

Race MC Fintan O'Reilly, Athletics Ireland, welcomed the participants from far and wide, and John Cronin, President of Athletics Ireland, introduced the first race of the Offaly Athletics Endurance Series and the fourth round of the Peugeot Series, welcoming Ashling's family and friends for this special occasion. The walkers set off first with a 15-minute lead over the racers.

Over 600 participants took off from Bridge Street (outside the Brewery Tap) on a one-loop circuit of the town. The route was lined with marshals and supporters all along Arden Road, Sragh Road, and right to the finish down High Street onto William Street.

While the day was not blessed with May sunshine, the athletes found the damp weather and constant drizzly rain to be quite refreshing and cooling, considering the humid temperature.

First across the line with a time of 19.22 was Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers. Eoin smashed the course record of 19.43, which had been set by Peter Somba last year.

The second man was Killian Mooney of Dundrum South Dublin (19.33), and the third man was David Mansfield of Clonmel, AC (19.34).

National Marathon champion Courtney Maguire of Clonmel AC was the first lady. She was presented with the Ashling Murphy Perpetual Trophy following her record-breaking run with a time of 21.37 (beating Lizzie Lee's time of 22.29).

Fiona Clinton of Dundrum South Dublin (22.19), was the second lady, and Heather Murphy, St. Michael’s AC (22.30), was the third.

Age group winners

1st O40: Gillian Clyne (24:20), Clane AC; and Mick Fogarty (20:25), Ferbane AC.

1st O45: Maria McCambridge (22:59), Dundrum South Dublin; and Gavin Kelly (20:38), Clane AC.

1st O50: Rita Daly (27:34), Tullamore Harriers AC; and Brendan Donagher (22:00), Naomh Mhuire AC.

1st O60: Ann Spain (31:34); and Christy Donegan (24:33), Tullamore Harriers AC.

1st O70: Eileen Kenny (29:22), Athlone AC; and Ger Woods (30:03), Banagher AC

*See this week's Offaly Independent for more photos from the race.