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Athletics News - Wednesday 21 Sep 2005

A number of top Irish athletes will be among the starters at the 26th Annual Rockford Rooftile 4 mile Road Race in Tinryland Village on Sunday next at 2 pm. Top Irish International Seamus Power of Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) who has yet to run in this race, will be one of the favourites to win along with last year’s winner Gerry Ryan of Galway City Harriers who recently returned to the village to win the National Half Marathon. An interesting aspect to this year’s race is the participation of British Athlete Peter Riley of Leigh AC. The Manchester born athlete is a former English Schools CC Champion and current International and having run times of 13 mins 50 for 5 km and 28 mins 30 for 10 km would definitely be in contention to win the race and threaten the course record in the process. A late addition to Sunday's line up is Irish Olympic 1500m Athlete James Nolan. The Tullamore man had a fine run in the Great North Mile on Saturday last and if he runs to his undoubted potential over what is a longer distance than usual for him, he should be in line to take the honours.

Over the years the ‘Rockford’ has seen some fine individual performances and with a prize fund of 8000 Euro on offer on Sunday the long standing course record of 18.46 is sure to be tested with a bonus of 500 Euro for any athlete who breaks Dave Taylor’s 1982 mark. Pat Byrne of the local Tinryland AC who has previously finished third in this event will also be expected to figure prominently along with Mick Kelly of Gowran and Colm Burke of St. Abban’s. An added incentive for athletes is a dash for cash bonus, which will be awarded to the first athlete to reach the 1-mile mark and finishes inside 22 minutes 30 seconds.

In the women’s section last years winner Maria McCambridge will aim to break her womens course record of 21.20 and with former winner Pauline Curley of Tullamore also there should be a close battle for the title.
The mens and womens team events are always well contested with the host club Tinryland defending the mens event for the Paddy Byrne cup and Tullamore hoping to retain the womens team category for the Sean Delaney trophy.

The main event on Sunday will commence at 2pm and will be preceded at 1pm by races for boys and girls Under 11, 13, and 15.

The prize presentation will take place in Tinryland GAA Club at 4 pm where a video of the race will also be shown.

There will be valuable goody bags and refreshments for all entrants.

The entry fee for the race is 10 Euro and athletes can register in the local school from 12 pm onwards.

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