• Sport

The Seamie Weldon Memorial 5K – What You Need To Know

Tara McGuinness, Hannah Carolan and Niamh McGuinness at the 2016 edition. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie
There’s just over 36 hours left until hundreds of runners, walkers, joggers and strollers take to the streets of Ardee for Ardee & District Athletics Club’s Seamie Weldon Memorial 5K, so here’s all you need to know ahead of the big day! It’s getting close!
What is the Seamie Weldon Memorial 5K?

Open to seasoned athletes, novices or walkers of all ages and standards, the Seamie Weldon Memorial 5K is a annual run and walk held in Ardee by Ardee & District Athletic Club.

The now annual event returns for it’s third outing on Saturday (September 2nd), after the huge success of the 2015 and 2016 walk and runs which were attended by scores of local people and athletes from clubs all over the North East. The numbers of attendees last year dwarfed 2015 numbers and organisers hope are hoping for similar participation again.


How many years has the event been going?

It’s a relatively new event. Having held it’s inaugural race in 2015, it’s now in it’s third year. Back in 2015, legendary Irish athlete and Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan was in attendance to watch the runners come over the line and present the medals at the end of the day.

What times does it start?

The participants are due to take off from the start line at Ardee St Marys GFC at 12pm.

Do I have to register online before it starts?

You can, but you don’t have to. Registration is open – via this link – until 5pm on Friday. After that, you’ll have to register in person.

What time does registration open on the day?

Registration opens at 10am on Saturday. The cut off for registering on Saturday morning is 11.30am. Please note, you can also register on Friday evening (September 1st) between 7pm and 9pm at Ardee St Marys.

How much does it cost?

Online registration costs €15 so if you want to save €5, be sure to register online sooner rather than later! If you register on Friday or on the day, it’s €20. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Ardee Hospice.

Is the race chipped?

Yes, the Seamie Weldon Memorial 5K is an A.A.I (Athletic Association of Ireland) event and will be fully chipped.

What is the route?

Starting at Ardee St Marys, the runners will head towards Ardee before turning left onto Sliabh Breagh and continuing left onto Stoney Lane. From there they will head towards Oberstown Cross, keep left and then turn back onto the Drogheda Road at Blakestown Cross. They will then continue down the N2 to the finish line at Ardee St Marys.

How many people have registered so far?

Lots! As of Thursday night 300 people have registered so far, so this year is on course to smash previous participation numbers.

Who won last year’s event?

There are a whole host of categories but Kenyan runner Freddy Keron Sittuk was first over the line with a time of 15:29. That time beat the 2015 winning time of 15:32 by three seconds. The 27-year-old, along with Cillian O’Leary and Simon Ryan were the big winners on the day, taking home the Seamie Weldon Memorial Cup for Raheny Shamrocks, finishing ahead of 2015 winners North East Runners.

Denise Toner of Clones Athletic Club was the first woman home in the senior female category, with a time of 19:03. Drogheda & District AC athletes Mary Leech, Ciara Riley and Pamela Howard ran a superb race to take home the inaugural Jimmy Bradley Cup in the women’s team event.

In total, 336 people took part in last year’s event.

What prizes are up for grabs?

There’s cash prizes available for runners in all categories, totalling €2,000 to be handed out on the day. All first, second and third place in the senior male and female categories – as well as first and second place in the Masters (Over 40s, 50s, 60s) – will all receive cash prizes, as well as their personal awards. Best placed juniors will receive trophies

The main prizes on the day will be the Seamie Weldon Memorial Cup and the Jimmy Bradley Memorial Cup, for first placed mens teams and womens teams respectively. Winners and runners up in the teams category will also receive cash prizes.

Who were Seamie Weldon and Jimmy Bradley?

A former club member and mentor, Seamie Weldon was involved in all of the different guises of Ardee’s athletics club across 50 years and left an indelible mark on athletics in Ardee. He passed away in July 2014.

Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie after the inaugural event in 2015, Ardee AC’s Trudi McGuinness told us, “Seamie was one of the founding members of Ardee & District AC and he was the backbone of the club. He truly was a great man. I think Seamie would be very proud of how well the race went and the numbers who came out to run it. He would be especially proud to see Helen, Elaine and Barry who all ran the race.

Every year, Seamie’s wife Helen and children Elaine and Barry join the hundreds of participants in running the route.

Jimmy Bradley, who passed away back in March 2016, was a life president of the Ardee Athletics club and for decades was a very prominent supporter of the club in all of it’s efforts. Jimmy was involved alongside Sean Colgan and Patsie Callan in 1971 as they helped the De La Salle brothers to form the Ardee De La Salle Athletic Club.

What is the weather looking like for Saturday afternoon?

According to yr.no, the sun will be peeping out from behind the clouds for most of the day but it’s due to be pretty cloudy in Ardee between 12pm and 2pm on Saturday afternoon. There’s no rain forecast at all for the day. It’ll be 18 degrees as the runners and walkers take to the road, with a gentle south to south-easterly wind.

Who is sponsoring the event?

The main event sponsors are PJ Callan Ltd Farm, Garden and Landscape Machinery. A whole host of local business also offer their support to the event, with no fewer than 50 business sponsoring the 2016 run.

Will ThisIsArdee.ie be there?

Of course! We’ll be there in the morning and throughout afternoon, providing coverage across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We’ll have a full report and reaction to the day on ThisIsArdee.ie later on Saturday. Plus, our man with the camera Adrian Crawley will be there to capture it all so if you see him be sure to say cheese! A full gallery of images will be online later in the weekend.

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