Five Irish women ran under 2 mins 5 secs for 800m at three venues in the space of a couple of hours on Saturday (February13).
At the Brygge Sports Invitational in Manchester, Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC ran 2 mins 3.52 secs to finish second in the race, followed by Katie Kirk of UU 2:04.09 and Ciara Mageean of City of Lisburn AC 2:04.40. The race won by British athlete Ellie Baker in 2:02.72.
Also in Manchester, Amy O’Donoghue of Emerald AC finished fourth in the 1500m with a time of 4 mins 14.54 secs.
Meanwhile at the World Indoor Tour event in the Belgian town of Ghent, Nadia Power of Dublin City Harriers, won the women’s 800min 2:02.83 – not far off the Irish record time of 2:02.44 she had run in Vienna fortnight earlier. In the same race, Claire Mooney of Naas AC finished sixth in 2:06.79.
Meanwhile in France
In Eaubonne, France, Iseult O’Donnell of Raheny Shamrock won the Val d’Oise 800m in a personal best 2:03.27, putting her second in the rankings behind Power this season. Like Shanahan, O’Donnell was adding her name the list of 800m runners who have achieved the European Indoors qualification standards 2:03.85.
Mageean’s outdoor 800m Irish record of 1:59.69, set last summer, means that she has already qualified, while Nadia Power has also run comfortably under the mark several times.
On Sunday, in Val de Reuil, close to the French base of the Dublin Track Club training group, Paul Robinson of St Coca’s AC finished sixth in the elite 1500m at the Meeting d’Athletisme de l’Eure. His time of 3:39.36 was a personal best and his first run under 3 mins 40 secs indoors. Winner was Getnet Wale of Ethiopia in 3:35.54. In a rough-and-tumble race, Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC ended up tenth in 3:41.62.
In another 1500m race, Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock was the winner in 3:41.73 with Luke McCann of Dublin City Harriers recording a personal best 3:41.74 for second place.
Michelle Finn of Leevale AC ran a personal best 4:15.23 in the 1500m, while after a late call-up, Iseult O’Donnell ran 2:04.22 in her second 800m race of the weekend.
This one we made earlier
Earlier in the week in Barcelona, Robinson had finished second in the 1500m in 3:42.27 on Monday (February 8). McCann was sixth in the same race in 3:43.15.
In the 3000m, Sean Tobin of Clonmel AC finished third in 7:51.49; not far off the personal best time of 7:48.01 he had run two days earlier in Metz, Germany. The Irish were competing after an arduous 12-hour train journey from Metz to Barcelona.
A day later in Calais, Coscoran finished fifth in the men’s 1500m in 3:37.20; a personal best.
Over the bigger pond
In the USA on Saturday (February13, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Dundrum South Dublin AC ran a personal best time of 4:09.67 for 1500m at the New Balance indoor meet at Staten Island, New York, finishing third in the race.
A year earlier, Buttner had run 4:11.96 at the same meet. The time is second on the overall Irish rankings only behind the 4:06.42 run by Ciara Mageean in Boston a year ago.
Stephanie Cotter of West Muskerry AC was in action on the same day in Topeka, Kansas, where she won the women’s mile in a time of 4:46.85. Running in the men’s 800m were Aaron Mangan seventh in 1:54.99 and James Dunne eighth in 1:55.00. Both are members of Tullamore Harriers.
A day earlier, Hope Saunders of Clonliffe Harriers ran the mile at the same venue and recorded a personal best time of 5:24.87.
Irish middle distance athletes were also running in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, with Aisling Joyce of Galway City Harriers finishing third in the million 5:11.07 and seventh in the 3000m in 10:34.20 – well off her best of 10:00.27 recorded in 2017.
In Houston, Texas, Alanna Lally, Galway City Harriers and ex-UCD, ran 2:09.24 for second in the women’s 800m. Her best of 2:06.00 dates back to 2018. Lally and Laura Nicholson are part of the roster at Temple College.
On Thursday (9 February 11), Alex O’Neill of Ennis TC ran 2:53.99 for 1000m in Kingston Rhode Island.