Records fell on a busy week for track Irish athletes not only in Ireland, but also in the UK, the USA and Belgium. Lindie Naughton reports.
At the British Milers Meet in Manchester on Saturday (May 27), Ciara Mageean reclaimed the Irish women’s 800m record when finishing a fighting second in the women’s elite race with a time of 1:59.27.
Mageean, who is based in the UK but still a member of City of Lisburn AC, had become the first Irishwoman to break the two minute barrier when running a time of 1:59.69 in 2020. Last year at the IMC meet in Belfast, Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC improved that record when beating Mageean in a thrilling race which she won in a time of to 1:59.42.
Just last week, the pair were back in Belfast racing each other over 800m at the IMC meet and although Shanahan again was the winner, Mageean, back from injury, ran an eye-catching time of 2:00.36, setting her up for her faster time in Manchester.
In Belgium at the IFAM meet in Oordegem, Nick Griggs of Mid-Ulster AC smashed Darragh McElhinney’s Irish U20 5000m record of 13:54.10 with personal best time of a time of 13:36.47. Griggs finished 26th and first junior of the massive entry of 143 athletes who had raced over the 5000m distance.
In August, Griggs will defend his 3000m title at the European U20 Championships in Israel. He set an Irish U20 record for the distance of 7:53.24 two weeks ago at the IMC meet in Belfast.
Then on Sunday, in Rabat, at the Diamond League Meet, Sarah Healy of UCD AC made an impressive return to track running with a time of 4:03.57 for seventh place in the 1500m.
Irish runners flying in the USA
Although we don’t normally cover the shorter distances here at Fastrunning.com, it would be remiss of us to ignore the achievements of 20-year-old Rhasidat Adeleke, who improved her own Irish 400m record when running a time of 49.54 secs at the NCAA West qualifiers in Sacramento, California, on Saturday night. It was the Tallaght AC’s sixth Irish record this year.
At the same championships, Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballinamore Cobh AC came from behind to win the women’s 1500m in in a personal best time of 4:08.06, while Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC was an impressive winner of the men’s 5000m in 13:24.71. All three will now compete at the NCAA Championships in Texas in June starting on June 7.
Other good performances came from Cormac Dalton fifth in the 10,000m in 28:21.98
In the opening round of the NCAA East qualifiers in Jacksonville, Florida, Barry Keane of Waterford AC finished second in the 10,000 semi-finals with a time of 28:57.59 . Paul O’Donnell of Dundrum South Dublin AC was tenth in 29:11.54 with both qualifying the NCAA finals. Also qualifying was Leevale AC’s Jane Buckley after she ran a personal best t 15:41.68 in the women’s 5000m.
Back at home, Roisin O’Reilly of UCD AC won the women’s 1500m title with a time of 4:45.16 at a well-supported Leinster Track and Field Championships held over two days on Saturday and Sunday (May 27/28) in Carlow. Taking the men’s title in 4:03.47 was Brian Kelly of St Abban’s AC.
A day later, Kate McDonald of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC won the women’s 3000m in 10:00.54, with Roisin O’Reilly second in 10:04.51. Winning the masters title in 10:45.35 was Michelle Cox of Newbridge AC.
Winner of the senior men’s 5000m title was David Scanlon of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in 15:18.72.
First M50 and overall masters winner was Lea Fulcher of Plant Based AC in 16:32.91.
Winners of the Dublin 800m Championships held in conjunction with Dublin Graded Track Meet No 3 in Lucan on Wednesday (May 24) were Amy O’Donoghue of Dundrum South Dublin AC in 2:09.47 and Jack Byrne of Donore Harriers in 1:57.27.
At the Colm Horkan Memorial Half Marathon in Co Mayo on Sunday (May 28), Enda Marren of Swinford AC in 73:43 and Colleen Durkan in 94:37 came out on top. In the 10km, Finn Valley AC’s Barry Gallagher was first home in 36:15 and Adrianna Mulligan of Longford AC third overall and first woman in 38:14.
Also on Sunday, Adam Smyth was the winner of the Newry Half Marathon in 71 mins 26 secs. Eimear Nicholl was first woman in 83:29. Gary Crummy won the 10km in 31:07, with Edel Gaffney first woman in 36.47.
Conor Deane of J.V. Tierney & Co was the winner of the 25th Calcutta Run 5km/10km on Saturday (May 27). His time for a 10km course starting and finishing at Blackhall Place and taking in the Phoenix Park, was 33 mins 35 secs.
First woman was Jennifer O’Sullivan of Volkswagen in 41:03. This annual race is organised by the Law Society to raise funds for homeless charities.
Earlier in the week, Andrew Coscoran of host club Star of the Sea AC, better known as a track athlete was the winner of the Michelle McKiernan 5km, Stamullen, Navan, Co Meath on Tuesday (May 23).
Coscoran finished in a time of 14 mins 53 secs with Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC second in 15:24 and junior athlete Christopher Keenan of Drogheda and District AC third in 15:39. First woman in 17:29 was Aine Cotter of North East Runners. Laura McDonnell of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was second in 17:50 and Aoife Parella of Star of the Sea AC third and first W40 in 18:53.
Raheny Shamrock AC took the men’s team title by just three seconds from Star of the Sea AC with Star of the Sea Ac the winning women’s team
Guest runner Sean Doyle in 145 mins 55 secs and Lizzie Lee of Apple in 16:41 were the winners of the John Buckley Sports BHAA 5km, at Marina, Cork on Tuesday (May 23). A massive 897 runners completed the course – double last year’s figure.
First BHAA runner was Mark Walsh of Dept. Of Ed. who finished third with a time of 15:14; Paul Hartnett, another guest runner was second in 15:04. Second woman was Hannah Steeds of Eli Lilly in 16:57; third was Martina Kiely of Dept. Of Ed in 17:01. The Department of Education won both the men and women’s A grade team categories.
In Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, at round 3 of the Mayo 5km Series, John Courell of Ballina AC had another impressive win in 16:04, his fastest time so far. Norah Newcombe Pieterse of Mayo AC claimed her second series win finishing seventh overall in 17:40. Just one round remains.
Ger Hartnett of Tuam AC was the winner at the fifth and final round of the Galway 5km Series held in Caltra.He finished in 16:24 for his third win in the series. First woman in 18:32 was Julie Bradshaw.
Winners at the second round of the Woodburn Forest Series in Carrickfergus, were James Hamilton of Ballymena Runners in 24:56 and Karen Wilson of Jog Lisburn RC in 30:27.
A day later, David McEvoy of the host club was first home at the St Abban’s 4km Summer League Round 2, at Killeen on Wednesday (May 24).His time was 13 mins 15 secs. First woman was Grace Reilly of Portlaoise AC in 14:41.
A total of 676 teams turned out for the Staff Relay, held in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Thursday (May 25). Winners were a team from DC Fitness Physio with a collective time of 1 hrs 25 mins 35 secs.
In Kilmallock, Co Limerick, Declan Moore of Bilboa AC was a comfortable winner of the Zac Bishop Memorial 4-Mile in a time of 20 mins 20 secs on Friday (May 26). First woman in 23:14 was Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC.
Also on Friday, Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers came home first at the Ardmore 5-Mile held in Co Waterford.
Ciobanu finished in 25 mins 7 secs; comfortably clear of second placed Pat Fitzgerald of Waterford AC in 26:02.First woman in 30:44 was Kate Veale of West Waterford AC. Mags Murphy of Mallow AC was second woman in 30:51.
Mountain running and mixed terrain
Noah Harris of Parnell AC proved best of the two Irish teams competing at the World Mountain Running U18 Cup in Annecy, France on Saturday (May 28).
Harris finished 14th in the boys’ race – 80 seconds behind the winner – and was followed closely by Colm O’Neill of Greystones AC in 17th place.
In the girls’ race, Northern Ireland’s Katie Graham finished 21st and best of the two Irish teams. For the Republic, Nicole Dinan of Leevale AC was 24th. Both races were over 4.7km with a steady climb and a fast descent to the finish.
Chris Jeuken in 2 hrs 46 mins 27 secs and Sarah Flanagan of Tullamore Harriers in 3:19.03 were the winners of the Clare Burrren Marathon Challenge in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare on Saturday (May 27).
Leading home over 500 finishers in the half marathon was Barry Hartnett of Tipperary club Dundrum AC in 89:04, with Áine Greene first woman in 1:45.40.
In the 10km, James Lynch of Carrick Aces AC in 34:03 and Freya Renton in 37:31 were the winners; Renton was also first under 16, with her sister Holly second woman in 39:36.
In Italy Sarah McCormack, building up to the World Mountain Running Championships in Innsbruck in June, broke the course record at the uphill race Darfo Cervera (7km and 1100m+), but strong competition, as ever in Italy, saw two others break the record beforehand and McCormack had to settle for third.