Big wins for Irish athletes at home and overseas, including one last weekend at the Ultra-Trail Snowdonia. Lindie Naughton reports.
Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers made it two wins from the two rounds of the Peugeot Road Races Series held over the past week.
First up was the Bob Heffernan/Mary Hanley 5km, in Enfield on Tuesday (May 16), where Everard was a comfortable winner in 14 mins 33 secs. Second and first M40 was Niall Shanahan of An Bru AC in 14:45 with Vinny Connolly of Mullingar Harriers third in 14:41.
Íde Nic Dhomhnaill’s time of 15:30 saw her finish seven seconds ahead of Leevale AC’s Michelle Finn the runner-up in 15:43. Third in 16:04 was Aoife O Cuill of St Coca’s AC.
Five days later in Tullamore, Everard was again the winner at the Ashling Murphy 4-miler with a time of 19 mins 22secs.
Dundrum South Dublin, currently leading the team table, had sent their best team for this one and Killian Mooney finished second in 19:33, just pipping David Mansfield of Clonmel AC who finished third in 19:33.
Winning the women’s race was current Irish marathon champion Courtney McGuire of Clonmel AC in 21:38. Fiona Clinton of DSD AC was second in 22:20 and her clubmate Sarah Mulligan third in 22:52.
Dundrum South Dublin AC were the team winners aking it four wins from four. Can anyone ever catch them? Clane AC and Tullamore Harriers were second on this occasion with 32 teams of three men and three women entered.
Next round is the Dunshaughlin 10km on Saturday June 17.
No stopping Lizzie Lee
Taking place on Saturday (May 20) in Dublin’s Phoenix Park was the Irish Runner 5km, where the winners were Pierre Murchan of Dublin City Harriers in 14 mins 26 secs and Leevale AC’s Lizzie Lee in 16:47.
Jake O’Regan of St John’s AC was second in 14:36 followed by David Scanlan of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in14:58.
Second woman was Ellen Moran of Galway City Harriers in 16:58 with Cliona Murphy of Dublin City Harriers third in 16:58.
With four in the top 10, Clonliffe Harriers took the senior men’s team title ahead of Raheny Shamrock AC, Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Liffey Valley AC. Clonliffe also took the M35 title ahead of Brothers Pearse and Rathfarnham WSAF. Best M50 team was Inishowen AC from Donegal led by the ageless Pauric McKinney.
Best of the senior women’s teams was DCH with Raheny Shamrock AC second and Dunboyne AC third. Newbridge AC was first W35 team ahead of Donore Harriers and Raheny Shamrock AC. First W50 team was Lucan Harriers.
Busy week for Maher
On Sunday (May 21) Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers was a comfortable winner of the Stoneyford 10km in Kilkenny, although his time of 32:51 was well outside his course record of 30:50 set last year, writes John Walshe.
Clonmel AC’s Keeley Tideswell continued her good form to win the women’s race.
Maher, now in the M45 category, had finished fourth in Enfield on Tuesday night in 14:53 while pacing KCH club-mate James Ledingham to a sub-15:00 time. Now taking a step back from serious competition, he was happy in the warm conditions with his winning effort.
Myles Gibbons of SBR AC was second in 33:22 with Thomas Harrington of United Striders third in 36:12.
Tideswell, who had finished fourth at the Cheetah Run in Fota on Thursday night clocked a time of 37:11, putting her well clear of unattached runners Grace Reilly (38:37) and Erika Dowling (39:49).
Over the 5km distance, the honours went to Padraig Ruane (KCH) and Katie O’Shea (unatt) in respective times of 16:31 and 20:27.
David Rooney of Raheny Shamrock AC won the LSA 4-Mile on Sunday in 20:52. Aoife O’Leary of Sportsworld AC was first woman in 23:34.
Winners at the Fastline 10km in Clondalkin, Dublin, also on Sunday, were Jake Russell-Carroll in 32 mins 10 secs and Alicja Kowalczik of Polish RC Ireland in 38:02. In the half marathon, Matthew Collins of Portmarnock AC was the winner in 72:39 with Shibeal McCann first woman in 87:08.
At the River Moy Half Marathon, in Ballina, Co Mayo, on Saturday (May 20), the winners were Andrew Nevin of Mullingar Harriers in 73:15 and Michelle Needham of Westport AC in 90:16.
On a busy Friday evening for races, Rory O’Connor of North Cork AC was the winner of the Leixlip 5km in Co Kildare. His time was 15:21. First woman was Aoife O’Leary of Sportsworld AC in 17:38.
On the same evening James Doran of An Riocht AC won the Buttevant AC 4-Mile in Co Cork with a time of 20:45. Leevale AC’s Carol Finn was first woman in 23:22. Winners at the Poulmucka 8km in Co Tipperary were Evan Fitzgerald of host club Clonmel AC in 25:18 and Dymphna Ryan of Dundrum AC in 27:59.
And now for something slightly different
A record number turned out for the fifth annual Lap of the Gap Marathon and Half Marathon held in and around Glendalough and Glenmacnass on Saturday (May 20).
Tudor Mircea of Clonliffe Harriers, who had set a record of 70:35 for the half marathon a year earlier, had signed up for the marathon this time hoping to break 2 hr 30 mins for the tough hilly course. He remained on target until the last 10km and despite losing some momentum, finished in 2 hrs 33 mins 16 secs, which is a course record.
Second in 2:35.28 was Mircea’s coach and Clonliffe clubmate Gary O’Hanlon who was also first M40. In third place and second M40 was Sean Brosnan in 2:54.07. No-one else broke three hours, although not far off it was Jo Appelen, one of a visitign group of nine Belgian runners, who finished fourth in 3:06.47.
Finishing in tenth and first woman in 3:21.27 was Michelle Kenny. Less than a minute behind Kenny was last year’s winner Julie McNamee of Tir Chonaill AC in 3:22.21. McNamee’s next big prace in the UTMB in the Pyrenees. Third in 3:42.17 was Jade Harbron, a talented young runner, training with Cherry Orchard AC – one of Dublin’s newer clubs.
Not too worried about their times was a large group from the Marathon Club of Ireland, with Eimear Hurley W60 completing her 261st marathon in 6:08.42. Not present was Colette O’Hagan from Dundalk, another MCI member who was planning to complete her 900th marathon in Northern Ireland a day later.
A clear winner of the half marathon in 77:46 was Marc Augustin of Le Cheile AC in Leixlip. Crossing the line together in 81.26 were Marc Fitzachary of Rathfarhnham WSAF AC and Karl Milligan of Brothers Pearse AC.
First woman was Niamh O’Connor of Mullingar Harriers in 89:41.
No Cheetahs over 5k
Fota Island in Co Cork is the venue for the annual Cheetah Run 5km, where the background noise includes the roaring of wild cats and the chattering of chimpanzees.
Winners of this year’s race on Thursday (May 18) were Ray Hynes of Donore Harriers and Hannah Steeds of Leevale AC. Hynes finished in 15: 26 , with Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers twelve seconds behind for second place and Denis Hegarty of Watergrasshill AC third in 15:49.
Steeds finished in 17:35, followed by her clubmate Michelle Kenny in 17:53 and Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC in 17:57.
Dublin BHAA members were on the beach for the annual ESB Beach 5km on Sandymount Strand, also on Thursday and leading them home with a time of 15:32 was Thomas Sherlock of Bank of Ireland. Second in 16:42 was Pat Burke while third in 17:02 was Phelim Glynn of Eir.
Fourth and first woman was Laura McDonnell in 17.22. Next BHAA promotion is the popular Dunboyne 5-Mile on Tuesday May 30, promoted by the Government Services Group. Newcomers are always welcome.
Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers clocked a time of 28 mins 01.55 secs to finish 15th in the championship race at the Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PBs in London on Saturday (May 30).
In the same race, Dean Casey of Ennis TC finished 34th in 29:14.77; Stephen Scullion was a non-starter.
In the graded races, Stephen Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC clocked 30:35.20 when finished third in Race 3, while winning Race 1 in a PB time of 31:36.48 was Iuan Hopkins of Brothers Pearse.
In one of the women’s races, Danielle Donegan of UCD AC finished 11th in a PB 35:14.73.
Highlight of the Leinster Schools Track and Field Championships held over two days in Tullamore (May 17 and 20) were two meet records for Irish junior international Jonas Stafford representing East Glendalough school.
In the opening day of competition, Stafford won the senior boy’s 200m steeplechase in a time of 5 mins 53.07 secs which knocked over three seconds off the 2008 record. Three days later Stafford’s winning time of 14:30 91 in the 5000m lowered the time of 14:34.22 set by Efrem Gidey in 2019.
Winning the inter boys’ 3000m was Noah Harris of ET Wicklow in 9:00.55. Making it a middle distance double was Emily Bolton of Mount Sackville who won both the inter girls’ 1500m and 3000m.
Two records fell at the Munster Schools Championships in Castleisland, Co Kerry on Saturday (May 20). In the inter girls 1500m steeplechase, Caoimhe Flannery of Skibbereen CB reduced the record to 5:14.72, while in the senior girls 3000m, Louise O’Mahoney of Colaiste Mhuire Ennis smashed the previous record with a time of 9:45.70.
All winners will compete again at the All Ireland Schools Championships in Tullamore on Saturday June 3.
Stephen Mangan was the winner of the Beara Way Ultra in Co Cork, which started in Castletownbere on Friday (May 19). He completed the 170 km with 5,354 m of climb in 21 hrs 53 mins 32 secs. Second and first woman in 23:11.19 was Lianne van Dijk. A total of 24 from 38 starters completed the challenge.
Aislinn Nic Dhomhnaill of West Limerick AC finished the Copenhagen Marathon in a personal best 2:43:03 on Sunday May 14.
Emma Stuart, England-based but originally from Sligo, continues to make waves in the ultra world winning the Ultra Trail Snowdonia 100-mile race in a time of 28 hrs 23 mins 29 secs last week. Stuart, who was eighth overall, becomes the first Irish female to win a UTMB series race, beating Sabrina Stanley, Hardrock 100 winner, into second place.
‘Awesome performance in probably the toughest of the UTMB race series in the world,’ reported Eoin Keith who himself finished first M55 in the race with a time of 33:20.31.
Earlier this year, Stuart shattered the course record when winning the Arc of Attrition 100.