This Friday Jamie Costin from Ring, a member of West Waterford AC competes in Beijing in the most gruelling event of the Olympics 50km Walk (over 30 miles) and he will be joined by another Irish walker – Colin Griffin – from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim. Costing competed in the 2000 Games where he finished 38th and then four years ago was in Athens to compete again in the 50km but a few days before his race he was seriously injured in a car crash in Athens that threatened to end his career.

But showing a great determination and recovering from several broken bones, he got back into action within two years and last year did the qualifying time for his third Olympics. This was his best time and it read 3 hrs 53 minutes. Most of his racing since has been over 20km. To give an indication of the type of athlete he will encounter in Beijing it is worth taking a look at the big event of the year so far for the World Cup of Race Walking in May last.

This was won in a World Record time of 3 hrs 34 minutes and the first 16 home had times better than Jamie’s best of 3-53. Bearing in mind the extreme distance and extreme conditions it is obvious that an even pace all through is required, going too fast too early is not to be recommended. Everything going well it is hoped that Jamie can secure a placing in the top half of the field and all in Waterford athletics send him their very best wishes among the best in the world.

Last week

Robert Heffernan had a super race in the 20km walk to finish 8th overall after rubbing shoulders with the world’s best for quite a long way.

Roisín McGettigan had a great run in the 3000m steeplechase heat easily qualifying in second place but was not able to repeat it in the final.

Woodstown Road Race

This coming Saturday August 23rd with a 6.30pm start the 2nd Annual Alan Everett Memorial Road Race will be in Woodstown Co.Waterford and entries will be taken this year close to the start at “The Leap” Car Park on the Dunmore side of Woodstown Gap. A walk will begin at 6pm and all proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Society. Sponsors are Blue Wall Technology, Déise Decorating, Bobby’s Butchers and Smooth Running. Prizes will be presented in The Saratoga where tea and sandwiches will be provided. Lots of spot prizes.

Community Games Finals

This weekend on Saturday and Sunday August 23rd and 24th the National Community Games Athletics Finals are in Mosney and lots of Waterford athletes will compete. We wish the whole Waterford contingent all the very best.

Munster “B”

The Munster “B” Juvenile Track and Field championships are in Castleisland Co.Kerry on 31st August. Races for boys and girls U-9, U-10, U-11, U-12, U-13, U-14 and U-16 Sprint and Middle Distance in each age group.

High jump for boys and girls U-12, 13, 14, 16

Long jumps for all ages, shot putt U-13, 14, 15,16. First event 11am.

National ½ Marathon

Fixed for Saturday September 7th but due to the All Ireland Final this may be moved ahead a day – confirmation next week.

Munster Express/Caulfields Supervalu 10km

On Sunday September 14th at 12 noon the Annual Munster Express/Caulfields Super Valu 10km Run will start and finish at the RSC. Entry forms with each edition of the Munster Express. No entries on the day.

Run For Life

A 10 Miles Race in Waterford City on Sunday October 19th at 12 noon will start at the WLR/FM Studios Ardkeen. Entry forms from WLR or any AIB Branch in Waterford. Proceeds to fund New Cancer Support Centre in the South-East. One athlete can run the full course or two covering 5 miles each.

Ardmore 5 Miles

The 10th and final race in the Ger Wyley Sports Summer Series was held on Friday last. The “An Tobair” sponsored event attracted a record entry of 200 and Ravis Zakis West Waterford won the race in 25 minutes and 5 seconds. His clubmate Sandis Bralitis was second in 25.36 and Sean McGrath East Cork was third in 25.44.

Madeline Dorney Thurles Crokes won the ladies section in 30.01, Adele Walsh St.Senan’s was second in 30.08 and Corina Walsh West Waterford AC was third in 30.17.

The overall winners of the series were Sandis Bralitis in the men’s and Corina Walsh in the women’s.