Starting in the obvious place with one of the highlights of the Irish running calendar at Armagh International 5k, but also covering a whole host of different action too. Lindie Naughton reports.
Henry McCluckie of Shaftesbury Barnet AC was the winner of the Armagh International 5km held on Thursday evening (February 9) at the Mall, Armagh City – the big road race of the week.
McCluckie finishing in 13 mins 37 secs, with American visitor Tai Dinger just holding off Fearghal Curtis of Youghal AC for second place with the pair given identical times of 13:46.
Next of the Irish was Andrew Milligan of North Belfast Harriers who finished 13th in 13:51, followed by Neil Johnston of Annadale Striders 20th in 14:01 and Ian Guiden of Clonliffe Harriers 21st in 14:02.
Clocking a time of 14:31 was John Craig of Annadale Striders – the fastest time by an M35 in Britain or Ireland so far this year. Craig turns forty next July.
Winning the women’s 3km in 9 mins 2 secs was Alexandra Bell of Pudsey and Bramley AC. Fifth and first Irish was the in-form Niamh Kearney of Raheny Shamrock AC in a personal best time of 9:14. Fionnuala Ross of Armagh AC was seventh in 9:14 and Grace Carson of Mid-Ulster AC ninth in 9:16.
Lughaidh Mallon of Lagan Valley AC won the mens’ 3km in 8:27.
5 and 10k races elsewhere too
Winners of the Enniscorthy 10km on Sunday (February 12) were Isak Erikson of Halle IF in 31 mins 42 secs and Meghan Ryan of Dundrum South Dublin AC in 35:43.
Also on Sunday, junior athlete Danny Nugent of Dreadnots C25k won the Clogherhead Seaside 5km in 16 mins 23 secs. First woman in 18:11 was Kelly Breen of North East Runners.
Leading home the entry at the Galway Women’s Mini Marathon 10k in Craughwell on Monday (February 6) was wheelchair whiz Shauna Bocquet of the organising club in a super time of 28 mins 28 secs. Second was Jane Anne Meehan in 38:06, while third was Emer O’Leary in 38:56.
Down Munster Way – Tralee 10-Mile
The 10-mile season is truly underway and the two course records marked the fourth running of the Tralee race over the distance which attracted over 140 participants, with a similar number taking part in the accompanying 5km, writes John Walshe.
Held in aid of the Kerry Hospice Foundation, both events were organised by Michelle Greaney in memory of her late father, Michael Greaney, who spent his last seven weeks in the Palliative Care Unit in Tralee.
Better known for his track exploits, Oisin Spillane was a surprise entrant and went on to smash the previous course record by almost two-and-a-minutes with a time of 51 mins 45 secs. Formerly a member of the local Tralee Harriers, the 21-year-old has joined Ennis TC where he’s coached by Rory Chesser.
Derek Griffin, the previous record holder, was second in 54:07 with Bandon man Simon Nolan third in 55:16.
Another Kerry native, Niamh Clifford, now with Donore Harriers who ran 2 hrs 46 mins 10 secs for the Dublin Marathon last October, improved on her own course best when taking the women’s title in 60:35. Second was Mary O’Shea in 66:27 with Gwen Conroy from Watergrasshill third in 71:02.
Janssen 5Km (Cork BHAA)
Despite the busy racing Sunday, 275 turned out for the Janssen 5km at Little Island over the same course as used three weeks ago for the IFF-Dupont race. Performance of the day came from national 10km champion Sinead O’Connor who finished fourth overall in a personal best 16 mins 9 secs.
O’Connor’s Dept of Education colleague Michelle Kenny was second in 17:26; both were absentees from the National Masters in Gowran where surprisingly Leevale, the defending W35 champions, were unable to muster a women’s team. Carol Finn took third spot in 17:44.
Another Leevale runner, Eric Curran (Merck), added to his BHAA list of victories when winning the race in 15:28 from Fergus Nugent (Mater Private, Cork), 15:40, with Barry Donovan (PM Group) third in 15:50.
Tim O’Donoghue and Fiona Santry made it an East Cork AC double at the All Ireland Masters Cross-Country Championships, hosted by Gowran AC in Co Kilkenny on Sunday (February 12).
O’Donoghue, the 2022 champion, proved the class of the men’s field finishing well clear of Dublin champion Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock AC in a time of 21 mins 45 secs for the6km course.
Clohisey finished in 22:05 and Eoin Flynn of Rathfarnham WSAF AC third and first M40 in 22:28.
First M50 and 22nd in 23:55 was Declan Toal of North East Runners AC. First M45 and 26th was Paul Smith of Drogheda and District AC in 24:02. Winning the M55 title was Pauric McKinney of Inishowen AC in 24:25. First M60 in 26:37 was Kevin Griffin of An Riocht AC. A total of 204 completed the M35-60 race.
Taking the team title with 40 points was Leevale AC led home by Conor McCauley in fifth place. Last year’s winners Rathfarnham WSAF AC was second with 54 points and East Cork AC a close third with 58 points. For a second year, Cork proved best of the county teams ahead of Dublin and Louth.
United Striders AC were first of the M50 teams ahead of defending champions Inishowen AC. Dublin took the county title ahead of Wexford and Donegal.
Fiona Santry took the women’s title with a time of 14 mins 16 secs for the 4km race. Second and first W40 in 14:24 was Fiona Gettings of Longford AC while third in 14:35 was Edel Gaffney of Trim AC. Finishing sixth and first W45 was ultra runner Sorcha Loughnane of Donore Harriers in 15:08.
In eighth place and first W55 was Annette Kealy of Raheny Shamrock AC in 15:13. First W50 in 14th place was Breda Gaffney of Mallow AC in 15:31. Taking her umteenth masters title was Niamh O’Sullivan of An Riocht AC who finished 35th and first W60 in 16:18. First W65 was Pauline Moran of Mayo AC, another perennial winner, in 17:24. Also from Mayo AC, Margaret Glavey was first W70 in 19:13.
All in for the team
Best of the teams was Sportsworld AC with 75 points, led by Maria Jones in ninth place. Second was Mullingar Harriers with 104 points, while just one point behind for third was Clonliffe Harriers. Raheny Shamrock, led by Annette Kealy, was first W50 team ahead of Mayo AC and Mullingar Harriers.
Dublin won both the W35 and W50 county team titles; Meath and Tipperary were second and third W45 and Cork and Mayo second and third in the W50 class.
Luke Dinsmore of Annadale Striders won the inter men’s title in 25 mins 33; Avril Deegan of Dublin City Harriers led home the women. In the team competition, Dublin City Harriers added yet another women’s title to their growing collection, while Annadale Striders took the men’s title with four athletes in the top eleven. Antrim was first of the men’s county teams ahead of Dublin and Galway. Dublin won the women’s county title with Cork second and Kilkenny third.
Winner of the men’s race at the Stormont Cross-Country in Belfast on Saturday (February 11) was Craig McMeechan of North Down AC in 21 mins 59 secs. Brandon McKeown of Annadale Striders was second in 22:12 and Patrick McNiff of Newcastle and District AC third in 22.32. Winning the M60 race in 20:24 was Laurence Johnston of North Belfast Harriers.
Sarah Lavery of Beechmount Harriers won the women’s race in 19:14. Catherine O’Connor of East Down AC was second and first W35 in 19:35 and Gillian McCrory of St Peter’s AC third and first W40 in 19:48.
Taking the team titles were the North Belfast Harriers men and the St Peter’s AC women.
Highlight of the Leinster Schools Cross-Country Championships in Santry last Wednesday (February 8 ) was the senior boys’ race where Cormac Dixon of HFCS Rathcoole had the narrowest of wins over fellow Irish junior international athlete Jonas Stafford of Glendalough School. The pair were given identical times of 18 mins 48 secs.
Finishing third in 19:03 was Billy Coogan of Kilkenny CBS. First team was Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar ahead of Belvedere and St Aidan’s CBS.
Winning the senior girls’ race was Hannah Kehoe of Loreto Kilkenny. Aimee Wallace of St Finian’s was second and Emma McEvoy of Loreto Stephen’s Green a close third. Institute of Education took the senior team title ahead of Loreto Kilkenny and St Dominic’s Cabra.
At inter level, Noah Harris of ETSS Wicklow won the boys’ race with St Aidan’s CBS the winning team. Emily Bolton not only won the girls race but led her school Mount Sackville to team victory. All these – and more – will turn out again at the All Ireland Schools Cross-Country Championships on Saturday.
The Dundrum South Dublin women and the Clonliffe men made it a Dublin club double at the final of the All Ireland Indoor League in Athlone on Saturday (February 10).
In the men’s competition, Clonliffe beat Leevale AC and Nenagh Olympic, while in the women’s competition DSD AC got the better of Ratoath AC and Craughwell AC. Both DSD and Clonliffe are the reigning outdoor track and field champions.
Hardest working member of the DSD team was England-based Georgie Hartigan who returned from racing in the USA to win the 1500m and 800m and was also part of the 4 x 400m relay team.
A closely fought invitational 800m was won by Roland Surlis of Annalee AC in 1:48:38. John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC was second in 1:48.50, Kevin McGrath of Bohermeen AC third in 1:50.01 and Mark Milner of UCD fourth in 1:50.17.
The event clearly has a great future as a developmental event, with encouraging entries from smaller clubs.
A day later, the National Indoor Arena was packed to the rafters for the third day of the Dublin Juvenile Indoor Championships. A stunning total of 3,500 entries have been received for these championships, which resume on Saturday February 25.
Tudor Moldovan of Clonliffe Harriers and d Deirdre Martin of Carrick AC were the winners at the All Ireland 50km Championships held on a 5km circuit in Donadea on Saturday (February 11 ) Moldovan was the only athlete to break three hours finishing in 2 hrs 59 mins 4 secs.
For Donore Harriers, Ian Fitzgerald was second in 3:11:18, followed by his clubmate Wayne Waldron in 3:15:18.
Deirdre Martin of Carrick AC (title picture) went one better than last year when she took the women’s title in 3:35:11. Patricia McLoughlin of Le Cheile AC was second in 3:43:16.
Luke McCann of Dublin City Harriers AC finished eight in the mile at the Millrose Games held at The Armory, New York on Saturday ( February 11).
McCann’s time of 3:53.55 was a personal best by .32 of a second. Race winner was Yared Nuguse in a stunning time of 3:47.38.
In the men’s 800m, Mark English of Finn Valley AC finished sixth in 1:48.76. English was leading after the first 400m, but was passed in the chase for the line.
Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC not only won the women’s mile at the second day of the Washington Husky Classic in Seattle on Saturday (February 11) but improved her personal best time to 4 mins 33.23 secs. O’Sullivan had run a time of 4:39.35 just a week earlier.
On American university indoor circuit, Jane Buckley of Leevale AC won her 3000m heat in a personal best 9:06.44 on the opening day of the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Friday (February 10) in Boston.
At the same meet, Eilish Flanagan of Finn Valley AC finished 12th in her 5000m heat in a career best 15:33.37. Iseult O’Donnell of Raheny Shamrock AC ran 2:04.39 and Jo Keane of Ennis TC 2:07.80 for 800m.
In the women’s 3000m, Ava O’Connor of Tullamore Harriers ran 9:18.76 and Orla O’Connor of Waterford AC 9:41.03; in the mile, Laura Nicholson of Bandon AC clocked a PB 4:48.25.
Finishing fifth in the 3000m was Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale AC in 7:46.67. Behind him, Abdel Laajdel of Donore Harriers was 22nd in 7:54.51. In the 5000m, Barry Keane of Waterford AC was eighth in 13:28.85, Darragh McElhinney of UCD AC 28th in 13:42.97 and Evan Byrne of Togher AC 37th in 13:47.03
In Chicago, at the Wisconsin Badger’s Windy City Invite, Michael Power of Waterford AC ran 13.40.96 for 5000m, finishing seventh in the race. Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers was 13th in 14:01.27. Shay McEvoy of Kilkenny City Harriers was fourth in the 3000m in 8:01.49.