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From ‘Comer to the Sahara Desert

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

CASTLECOMER AthleTic CLub has been honoured with an individual athlete and a club award from Kilkenny Athletics County Board.

James Morrissey received the 2022 senior roads’ award based on the diverse profile of his achievements.

He won the county10-mile Road Race and was third in the county 10km. He also raced cross country. 

However even more interesting were his marathon and half marathon endeavours in Greenland on ice-covered roads amid constant snow falls and severe winds. 

While not included for the 2021 award criteria, James has recently completed the Marathon de Sables, 26 miles through the Sahara Desert carrying his own rucksack, as per photograph.

The 2022 Club Recognition Award recognised Castlecomer AC’s choice of tribute recipient, the coaching team. 

Each Club was invited to pay tribute to individuals or collectives within ranks for their input during Covid. 

Castlecomer A’s tribute highlighted the role of the ‘Coaching Collective’ that as a group sustained the core activity for the cohort of people whose lives it touches.

The latter was achieved as the group adapted routine activities to the stops, starts and uncertainty which became the new norm.  

Rarely if ever has the collective response been as necessary, as significant and as effective – with this community of athletes challenged by the universal loss of Covid times and also its own deeply personal experience of loss.

The 2022 county junior award and Juvenile Track and Field award went to Cathal O’Reilly of Kilkenny City Harriers  whose earlier years of athletics were in his local Castlecomer AC. 

This recognised his successes at U19 over 3,000m (gold), Steeplechase (silver) and 1,500m (bronze). 

Finishing fifth at the National Junior Cross Country secured selection for the Irish team for the European Cross Country Juniors. 

Here he was on the silver medal winning Irish team. A month later he represented Ireland at the Celtic International.

Athletes are now preparing for the Track and Field season while more recently James Kelly was 29th in the Great Ireland 10km in Phoenix Park, Dublin on April 9.

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