Caitriona Jennings of Letterkenny finished third woman at the 94th Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa on Sunday (June 9).
Running the 87 kilometres from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on the “uphill” route, Jennings went through 56km in second place behind Gerda Steyn who held on to her lead to win the race in 5:58:53 and became the first woman to run the “up run” Comrades in less than six hours. Finishing second in 6:17:40 was Alexandra Morozova with Jennings clocking 6:24:12 for third place.
Men’s race winner was Edward Mothibi in 5:31.
Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC and Breege Connolly of City of Derry Spartans were the winners at the Patrick Bell/Nicky Phillips Memorial 5km in Bohermeen, Co Meath on Friday (June 7).
Somba finished in 14:59 secs, relegating Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers Maher to second in 15:04 with Sean Doran of Clonliffe Harriers third in 15:39.
Connolly was a clear winner of the women’s race in 16:48. Karen Costello of Dunleer was second in 18:29 and Aoife Parrella from Star of the Sea AC third in 19:00. In a well-supported team competition, Sli Cualann AC was first of the men ahead of North East Runners and Brothers Pearse AC, while Dunleer AC took the women’s prize from Navan AC and Sli Cualann.
Winning the Wexford Marathon in 2:42.15 on Sunday (June 9) was Freddy Keron Sittuk, who has been back in Ireland for the past few weeks.
First home at the Clara 5km in Co Offaly on Friday (June 7) on were Mick Fogarty of Ferbane AC in 15.43 and Aisling O’Connor of Edenderry AC in 17.51.
Irish marathon champion Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock made the trip to Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny for the annual Little South Run on Sunday (June 9) winning the four-mile race in a time of 19:15. Second was Raivis Zakis of West Waterford AC in a time of 20:54 with Conor Rochford of host club St Senan’s AC third. First woman was Sally Forristal of St Joseph’s AC. Tara Ramasamwy and Aine Kinsella, both St Senan’s, were second and third.
Track and field across the world
Britain’s Andy Robertson ran the fastest 100m time ever record in Ireland at the Le Cheile International held in Leixlip on Saturday (June 8)
Helped by an over the threshold wind, Robertson won the race in 10.03 seconds, with Marcus Lawler of St LOT AC second in 10.33. Earlier in the afternoon, Lawler had won the 200m in 20.74, pushed hard by German athlete visitor Steven Muller who was second in 20.74.
Winning the women’s 200m was Gina Akpe-Moses of St Gerard’s Dundalk in 24.09 secs; Aoife Lynch of Donore Harriers was second in 24.18. In the 200m, Akpe-Moses clocked 11.56 to finish a close third behind British athlete Hannah Brier who won the race in 11.52. Second was Shannon Malone of Deeside AC in 11.54.
Over 400m, Catherine McManus of Dublin City Harriers was the women’s winner in 55.50.
Leading home 25 finishers in the men’s 3000m with a time of 8:22.27 was Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC. Second in 8:25.47 was Eric Keogh of Donore Harriers, while third in 8:30.50 was Clonliffe’s Colm Rooney.
A clear winner of the men’s 1500m in 3:55.01 was Mitchell Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF. Setting a new W55 world record of 2:19.63 for 800m was Anne Gilshinan of Slaney Olympic AC.
Conall Kirk of Annadale Striders won the men’s 1500m in 4:00.23 at the NI and Ulster Championships at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast on Saturday (June 8).
A close second in 4:01.21 was Craig McMeechan, whose North Down AC clubmate Rachel Craig won the women’s 1500m in 4:29.16.Master athlete Denise Toner of Clones AC was second in 4:50.48.
Kirk also won the 800m in 1:51.92, with Andrew Wright of Willowfield Harriers second in 1:52.56. Niamh Carr of Springwell RC won a competitive women’s 800m in 2:15.10.
Winning the men’s 100m in 10.84 was Dean Adams of Ballymena and Antrim AC. Of the women, Janine Boyle from Finn Valley AC proved fastest with a time of 12.28.
Andrew Mellon of Crusades AC won the men’s 400m final in 47.94, while Rachel McCann of North Down was fastest woman in 57.22.
In the 5000m, steeplechase Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC won the women’s race comfortably in 16:50.65. For the men’s title, Neil Johnston of Springwell RC clocked 14:50.67 to beat Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers who finished in 14:53.80 with Irish steeplechase champion Adam Kirk Smith of Derry TC third in 14:56.94.
Sommer Lecky of Finn Valley AC proved the class of the field in the women’s high jump winning with 1.83m. Darragh Kirk of Lifford Strabane won the U18 boys javelin with a throw of 53.39, while a heave of 54.98 gave the women’s hammer title to Hayley Murray of Rugby and Northampton AC.
Winning the long jump was Shane Howard of Bandon AC with 7.34; first in the women’s competition was Sarah McCarthy of Mid-Sutton AC with 5.46.
Mark English made a return to racing at the FBK Games in Hengelo, the Netherlands, where he finished 9th in the 800m with a time of 1:48.46. Race winner was the Kenyan Cornelius Tuwei in 1:45.67.
In the north of Spain, at the Gram Premi Lose Corrales de Buelna on Saturday (June 8), Michele Finn of Leevale AC ran a personal best time of 15 mins 45 secs to finish third in the women’s 5000m – the fastest time by an Irish woman in almost two years.
In the men’s 5000m, Sean Tobin of Clonmel AC finished third in 13:56.69.
Further south, at a meet in Salamanca, Eanna Madden from Carrick-on-Shannon AC ran a personal best time of 10.55 for 100m, with Stephen Gaffney of Rathfarnham WSAF running 10.60 in the same semi-final.
Also in Spain, but in the Canary Islands this time, Anna McCauley of City of Lisburn AC, although still only 18, was competing in the senior women’s event at IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Arona, where she finished 14th. In her first outdoor heptathlon of the year, she was lying 12th after the first day with 3111 points, but fell back on the second to end up on 5,044 points. Her biggest points came in the 100m hurdles, the 200m and the 1500m.
In the men’s U20 decathlon, Troy McConville of North Down AC finished fifth of ten starters with a score of 6.317. His best points came in the 100m hurdles, the high jump and the 400m.
At the NCAA finals in Austin Texas, on Wednesday (June 5), Irish champion Eric Favors of Raheny Shamrock, finished 18thin the men’s shot putt with a 18.57m effort.
Racing in Leiden, the Netherlands Holland on Saturday (June 8) was David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers who finished 18th in a 10,000m track race which incorporated the Dutch national championships in 30:30.50
Catch-up: In the USA, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Dundrum South Dublin ran a time of 2:01.83 to win the women’s 800m in the Battle Road Twilight Series meet at Bentley University on Saturday June 1.
On the trails
Ireland’s women finished second at the Inter Celtic Trail Running Championships held in conjunction with the Trail de Guerlédan in Brittany, France, on Saturday (June 8).
Over a tough 26km course, Elizabeth Wheeler led the Irish team home in a time of 2 hrs 42 mins 36th secs. Deirdre Galvin was just one place behind in 2:45.04, while Niamh O’Gorman was 16th in 2:58.37. Arlette Pichot led a clean sweep of the top three places for Brittany in 2:28.32, with the home team comfortable winners of the team competition. Ireland beat Wales for second with Portugal fourth.
Wales dominated the men’s race with Rob Samuel the winner in 2:00.25 and Mark Hopkinson third. Leading the Irish home was Killian Mooney 16th in 2:13.15, followed by Thomas Lupton 30th in 2:19.44 and Ruairi Long 55th in 2:28.30. The team finished third. Overall team winners were Wales, followed by Brittany and Ireland.
At the World Trail Running Championships in Miranda do Corva, Portugal, Brian Flynn finished 90th in the men’s race with a time of 4:16.48, while Nicola Duncan was best of the Irish women finishing 94th in 5:24.09. Winners were Jonathan Albon of Great Britain 3:35.35 and France’s Blandine L’Hirondel in 4:06.18.
Locally, both men and women’s records fell at the IMRA-organised Wicklow Way Solo race from Marlay Park to Clonegal on Saturday (June 8).
Overall, Fast Running’s Robbie Britton’s time of 12:11:07 for the 127km course knocked almost 14 minutes off Eoin Keith’s 2013 record of 12:25:06. Finishing second in 13:00:23 was recent Wicklow Round record breaker Gavin Byrne while third in 14:08:37 was Cork based US runner Remi Delille.
In the women’s race, Aoife Mundow finished in 16:06:30 to break Sarah Brady’s time of 16:50:04 from last year by over 43 minutes. Also inside the old record was Clare Keely who finished second and first W40 in 16:16:06. A total of seven women and 46 men reached the finish line. A further 27 started but did not finish.
Craig Simpson and Sarah MacMahon are your quickest parkrunners in Ireland this weekend (June 8). For full top tens check them out here.
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Lindie Naughton is a journalist and writer based in Dublin who joined the athletics club at her college many many years ago and has never quite escaped.
You’ll normally find her jogging around some orienteering course somewhere – or down at the Irishtown track coaching kiddies!