The incredible stamina of Barry Sheil ensured that Longford Athletic Club completed an ‘historic first ever double success for Longford’ winning both the men's and women's race at the 18th annual Abbott Longford Marathon last August. Niamh Kiernan, of course, won the women’s race.
Also read: Overall 2019 Ganly’s Longford Sports Star of the Year will be revealed at Friday’s gala awards
Barry started running competitively in cross country and track as a teenager at St Mel’s College in the late 1990s. He drifted away from the sport in his twenties but returned to it over a decade later and he has been trying to make up for lost time ever since!
Barry has run 8 marathons including the Dublin Marathon on 4 occasions. His best marathon performance was at the 2018 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:33.29.
He has been standing on the podium in Longford several times for excellent half-marathon performances, 2nd place in 2015 and 2017, 3rd place in 2016, with his best time of these 1:13:33 in August 2017.
In April Barry won the Club’s annual 10K race with a pb of 32:55 and he is a frequent runner in Longford Parkrun where he is listed with pb of 15:33 for 5K May 2019.
This year’s Longford Marathon was Barry’s target for 2019. He generally trains alone after work in Dublin and does his long run at weekends when he is in Longford. Barry realised after the first mile that he was in the lead and he kept his focus on his pace. The last 6 miles proved to be a real struggle, and although missing out on his time target, he was really delighted to be the winner of his home town marathon this year.
* The 2019 Ganly’s Longford Sports Star Awards will be presented at a gala presentation dinner on Friday, November 29, at 8pm in The Longford Arms Hotel.
Tickets for the Ganly’s Longford Sport Star Awards, costing €35, are on sale and they can be purchased at reception in the Longford Leader office, telephone 043 33 45241.