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Foyle Valley out in Force

As we see restrictions beginning to ease (for what is hopefully the last time), runners are finally taking their first tentative steps back into the world of training and racing.

Like many of the local clubs in Derry, Foyle Valley Athletics Club is excited to be back, and its members are hard at work after the pandemic hiatus.

Protecting Our Members

Throughout the pandemic, the Foyle Valley AC Family have taken every precaution to ensure the health and safety of its members including providing safety instructions at the start of each session, socially distanced paced groups and contact tracing. Thankfully, due to the tremendous work of our coaches and team behind the scenes, we have been able to keep each and every member safe and informed.

Discussing Athletics Northern Ireland Safety Instructions before setting off for warm up

Socially distanced paced groups

                        Trainers On and Ready to Race

Many of our members have been thrilled to see that the racing calendar is beginning to fill up again. Races from track distance right up to ultramarathon are back on the timetable and our athletes have been excited to lace up, pull on the purple vest, and set some new personal bests!

Seamus on his way to a Half Marathon PB at the end of April

Ciaran and Liam taking part in the back-to-back Marathons in Carrickfergus at the end of May

Chris McGuinness taking part in the Cheshire Elite Marathon  at the end of April with a scorching time of 2.29.53

Scott Rankin winning half marathon in 70:09

                            More than Just a Running Club

Foyle Valley AC has runners from all walks of life, and we couldn’t do what we do without the help and support of the wonderful community around us. From local charities like Foyle Hospice to the national charities like the NSPCC and Cancer UK, we hope to make every step matter by taking part in community programs and raising money through our events. Each year, a portion of our race funds is provided to a different charity and we hope to do even more in the weeks, months and years ahead. For more information on what races are coming up and our fundraising efforts, please be sure to check out our official Facebook page.

As restrictions slowly begin to ease, our team are working hard behind the scenes to set up our own start lines again. Our beloved Marty’s Run 5km, which marks the anniversary of one of our own incredible athletes, Martin Gallagher, usually appears on the race calendar in October. We hope to have a return to this race in 2021 and are keeping a close eye on local restrictions as well as communicating with Athletics NI to make sure that this race can be run safely.

When it comes to our sport, many athletes will tell you it is not just physical fitness that’s important to peak performance, but mental toughness as well. During the period of lockdown, it has become evident that mental health needs to be given more focus both in sport and in everyday life. Taking these new insights onboard, Foyle Valley AC have decided to offer ‘Performance and Mindset’ Seminars for all of our members.

The first of these seminars took place on the 25th of May 2021 and the second one on the 8th of June 2021. The seminars are hosted by the incredible Catherine McIntosh from ‘There Human’.

There Human is a fantastic company that draws from neuroscience, psychology, health, and evolutionary biology to support both teams and individual athletes in building up mental toughness and getting the most out of their training and racing.

On the 19th of June 2021, both of our groups came together to run 10 miles in memory of Dr Tom McGinley, raising money for the Foyle Hospice. You can find out more information and see photos on this amazing event on our official Facebook pages and on the link below:


                                Welcoming New Members

Our doors are always open to any new runners who would like to join us in our weekly session. With several friendly groups to choose from, there are plenty of sessions to fit your schedule.

Our Waterside group trains Wednesday, at St Columb’s Park Track at 6pm and Saturday at St Columb’s Park Track at 10am, with a Junior’s group available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at St Columb’s Park Track or Pitches (Foyle Arena) at 6pm too. They offer sharp, speedy sessions that cover both road and grass.

Our Templemore group trains Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with longer distances ranging from 5km right up to half marathon, full marathon, and ultramarathon. Tuesdays and Thursdays located are decided before the start of each week and rotate between Prehen and Bay Road most weeks. Saturday long runs leave from the Carpark at Dunelm at 8am sharp.

Please feel free to reach out to us on our official Facebook page for further information on session locations and how to take part.