‘A terrible beauty is born’
On Easter morning, a dedicated cohort of masters’ swimmers rose to bravely face the Distance Event challenge. Athletes from as far as Sligo, Mullingar, Dublin, Belfast, Newtownards, Newry, Banbridge and Omagh descended on Monaghan town to compete in the inaugural Sliabh Beagh ASC Distance Gala. The host club themselves were excellently represented. The great expanses of the eight hundred and fifteen hundred metre races confronted all participants. Some had many years’ experience of competing in the gruelling distance events. Indeed, the participants included Irish record holders and international representatives. For others however, this was their maiden voyage into the great unknown. What followed was a build-up of lactate, which will live long in the muscle memory.
From the outset, all competitors attacked the competition with a tenacious spirit. Their enthusiasm, determination and positivity were evident as they drove themselves forward, metre by metre, length by length. As the distances fell, the efforts rose, until the final strokes touched home. Many of the travelling swimmers brought supporters with them and all in the gallery supported the efforts in the pool with applause and appreciation for their effort. The results of the gala are as follows;
In this new departure for the Sliabh Beagh Club, the results of hard work and commitment were reflected with quality performances by all competitors. The Gala itself was excellently coordinated. Particular appreciation must go to Una McGee, who managed the catering and refreshments, Mr.Frank Stevens, who martialled the officiating of the competition, Mickey West who provided the music and to David Moore, for providing the Coral Leisure Centre swimming pool and facilities.