The final few marathons of the autumn and the start of the cross country season make for a good Irish round-up this week from Lindie Naughton. 

Sinead Diver from Co Mayo finished fifth woman at the New York Marathon on Sunday (November 3). She missed out on fourth place by just two seconds.

Diver’s time of 2 hrs 26 mins 23 secs saw her finish ahead of the American pair Desiree Linden who finished in 2:26.46 and Kellyn Taylor a close seventh in 2:26.52. Diver went through 10km in 34 mins 9 secs and halfway in 72 mins 2 secs. Race winner was Joycilene Kepkosgei of Kenya in 2:22.38.

In the wheelchair race, Patrick Monahan, winner of the Dublin Marathon last week, finished eighth in a time of 1 hr 40 mins 5 secs.

Time to get muddy at cross country

Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers and Catherina Mullen of Metro St Brigid’s AC were the winners of the Dublin senior cross-country titles at Santry on Sunday (3 November).

Mullen proved the class of the field in the women’s 6km race finishing in 23 mins 1 sec. Crusaders AC pair Niamh Allen and Clara Costadura finished second and third, helping their club to a four point victory in the team race. Raheny Shamrock AC finished second and Donore Harriers third.

Photo: Lindie Naughton

In the men’s 10km race, Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin pushed the early pace with his clubmates Paul O’Donnell and Emmett Jennings and Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers a pace or two behind after the opening lap. Not far off were Cathal Doyle and Ian Guiden of Clonliffe Harriers and Cillian Kirwan of Raheny Shamrock.

Leading a chasing group was Mitchell Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF AC. The sticky underfoot conditions took their toll and soon it was Gidey up front with O’Connell on his heels and Tonosa in third place.

Gidey, the 2018 Irish junior champion, continued to push the pace and had a clear lead heading into the final lap. At this point, O’Donnell was forced to pull up with a back spasm and the fight was on for second place, with Cathal Doyle now in the top three.

Gidey sprinted home for victory in 32 mins 28 secs with Doyle second in 32:54 and Tonosa third in 33.21. With Colm Rooney fourth and Ian Guiden sixth, Clonliffe Harriers were comfortably first team ahead of DSDAC and Rathfarnham WSAF AC.

Traditionally, the top six places counted in the team competition, but for the first time this year, that number was reduced to four. As it happens, counting six finishers would have made no difference to the top three rankings.

In the junior races, DSD was top team in both the men and women’s races, with Aaron Donnelly winning the men’s 6km from his clubmate Oisin Kelly. First home in the women’s 4km was Aoife Coffey of Lucan Harriers. DSD pair Roisin Treacy and Emma Ryan finished second and third.

Making it a family double at the Donegal Cross-Country Champions in Stranorlar on Sunday (November 3) were Ciaran Doherty of Letterkenny AC and his wife Teresa of Finn Valley AC. Ciaran had run 2:31.20 at the Frankfurt Marathon a week earlier.

Leinster Senior XC Champs

Dublin clubs took both team titles at the Leinster Senior Cross-Country championships in Gowran, Co Kilkenny on Saturday (November 2).

Dundrum South Dublin, led by individual race winner Joseph Hastings, won the men’s race, while Raheny Shamrock AC finished best of the women.
A close second behind Hastings in the men’s race was James Kelly of Castlecomer AC, with Michael Kelly of St Abban’s AC third. St Abban’s finished second of the 15 club teams entered with Drogheda and District AC third.

Winning the women’s race was Clare Fagan of Mullingar Harriers. UCD’s Rose Finnegan was second and Lucy Barrett of Raheny Shamrock third.

In the junior races, Shane Coffey of Naas AC won the men’s race from Cian Kelly of St Abban’s AC and Cian McDonald of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District. Tullamore Harries were first team.

Danielle Donegan was first of the junior women also leading Tullamore Harriers to team victory. Holly Brennan of Cillies AC was second and Roisin O’Reilly of Menapians AC third. Mullingar Harriers and St Senan’s AC were second and third of the teams.

A race that’s older than your gran

At the 85th McConnell Shield Cross-Country in Ballyclare on Saturday (November 2), Eksandr Turki, who has transferred from Monaghan Town Runners to Annadale Striders, was a clear winner of the men’s race ahead of JP Williamson of City of Derry Spartans and Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley.

Winning team was Acorns AC, led by Matthew Neill in fifth place. Finishing 14th and first M55 was the remarkable Tommy Hughes of Rathfarnham WSAF who had set a world record for his age at the Frankfurt Marathon only a week earlier.

Sarah Lavery of Beechmount Harriers won the women’s race, with Sarah Kelly of Inishowen Ac second and Robyn McKee of Dromore AC. Beechmount Harriers took the team prize.

Unusual race categories in Dungarvan

A completely unique race is the Brickey 5km organised by West Waterford AC in Dungarvan each year and held on Sunday (November 3). In an effort to spread the goodies around, prizes are awarded not only to the top three men but also to the winners in six weight categories from under 60kg to over 100kg.

So although Andrew Connick of Ferrybank AC was first home 15 mins 47 secs, with Noel Murphy of Waterford AC a close second, and Evan Fitzgerald of Clonmel AC third, there were also weight category prizes for Craig O’Brien of Ferrybank, Philip Harty, also Ferrybank, Pat Hennessy of West Waterford, Brian Graham of Carrick-on-Suir AC, Michael Callaghan of West Waterford and Kenneth O’Donnell of West Waterford.

The women’s race is more straightforward with Louise Morgan making it a Ferrybank double when winning in 20:12. The up and coming Sarah Nyhan of West Waterford was second and Mary Molloy of Carrick-on-Suir AC third. Finishing fourth was Sarah Nyhan’s mother Liz.

One of the oldest races on the Cork BHAA calendar

On a blustery morning at Tramore Valley Parkin Cork, Gavin O’Rourke of Eli Lilly and Carol Finn of Fin Physiotherapy were the winners of the annual HSE 5km at Tramore Valley Park.

The race, organised by the Business Houses Athletic Association attracted an entry of over 370 finishers including a sizable contingent from the Wibbly Wobbly Wonders.

O’Rourke led them home in 15 mins 53 secs, with guest athlete Tommy Connolly a close second in 15:56 and Fionn Harrington , also a guest, third in 15:59. Finn finished in 18:36, followed by Grainne O’Donnell of Kumon Douglas and Rosaleen Mackeown of Run with Ros. In the team categories, Army won men’s grade A, CPO grade B and Cork County Council C, while HSE was first in women’s grade A, UCC won B and Avondhu MF grade C.

Next BHAA race is the Irish Life Cross-Country in Santry, Dublin, on Saturday November 16 which will celebrate 40 years of the organisation.

Are you a fan of Fast Running? Then please support us and become a patron. For as little as the price of a monthly magazine you can support Fast Running – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

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!