Robert Heffernan has been named as the Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards.

Heffernan (Togher) got the top honour as a result of finishing eight in the 50km Race Walk at the World Athletics Championships - this also saw him collect the Endurance Athlete of the Year award.

The Cork man held off Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) who won the Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.

Ray Flynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2017. Flynn ran an impressive 89 sub 4-minute miles throughout his career and he is the current Irish record holder for the 1500m & mile. 

Flynn's career also saw him represent Ireland at two Olympic Games – 1980 & 1984. He was a finalist in the 5000m at the '84 Olympics in LA.

Flynn was also part of the quartet that set the 4 x 1 mile world record in Dublin in 1985 alongside previous Hall of Fame recipients Marcus O’Sullivan, Eamonn Coughlan & Frank O’Mara. 

Al Guy was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award while Pat Kelly of St Abban's AC won the Outstanding Official of the Year.

Award Winners
Athlete of the Year: Robert Heffernan (Togher) 
Hall of Fame: Ray Flynn
Lifetime service to Athletics: Al Guy
Outstanding Official Award: Pat Kelly (St Abban's) 
U20 Athlete: Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock - Louth)
U23 Athlete: Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD) 
Endurance: Robert Heffernan (Togher)
Track & Field: Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) 
Inspirational Performance: Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers)
Special Recognition Award: Deirdre Ryan and Paul Hession 
Performance Club: Clonliffe Harriers
Development Club: Nenagh Olympic AC
Team of the Year: Irish men's European Race Walking Team
Service to Coaching: Hayley and Drew Harrison
Mountain Runner: Des Kennedy (Raheny Shamrock)
Master Athlete: Mark O'Shea (Drogheda and District)
Ultra Athlete: Eoin Keith (Sportsworld)
University Athlete: Phil Healy (Bandon/UCC)