Irish athletes performed far and wide this weekend and Lindie Naughton has the report on all the action. 

Track performance of a busy May Saturday (May 28) came at the IFAM meet at Oordegem in Belgium, where Darragh McElhinney of UCD AC ran a new Irish U23 5000m record of 13 mins 17.17 secs, beating John Treacy’s time of 13:26.5 which had endured for forty-four years.

In the same 5000m race, Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC was ninth in 13:26.02. Eoin Everard, now a master, clocked a time of 14:00.23, while junior athlete Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers finished in 14:04.77.

Mark English of Letterkenny AC who whose sights are set on both the world and European Championships this summer, took a good win in the 800m with a time of 1:46.61. Over the shorter distances, Robert McDonnell won the 200m in 20.51 secs, while Sophie Becker of Raheny Shamrock AC was second in the 400m in 51.83 secs and the women’s 4x400m team also took second in 3:37.65.

Over 180 Irish athletes of all standards had travelled to compete in this hugely popular meet which has a unique festive spirit and a packed programme that takes about twelve hours to complete.

Closer to home at the BMC Sport City Grand Prix in Manchester, Zak Curran of Dundrum South Dublin AC finished second in the 800m with a time of 1:49.01.

In the women’s 800m, Jenna Bromell of Emerald AC was second in 2:04.57. Competing in the women’s B race was Leevale’s W40 athlete Annette Quaid who clocked a time of 2:13.50.

Over 5000m, Jack O’Regan of St John’s AC, who has had some good recent wins on the roads, ran a personal best time of 13:59.90. It was his first time going under 14 minutes and he finished a fighting third in the race; Thomas Moran of Dunshaughlin AC was 12th in 14:29.18.

A busy day in Belfast too

Locally, Ciara Mageean of City of Lisburn AC had a comfortable victory in the women’s 800m at the Belfast International Track and Field Meet at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday (May 28)

Her time of 2:01.34 saw her finish one second ahead of Katie Snowdon of Herne Hill Harriers in 2:02.34. Claire Mooney of Naas AC was third in 2:04.96.

Fastest time from the three men’s 800m heats came from Mohammed Afsal Pulikkalakath in 1:48.24. Bohermeen’s Kevin McGrath with 1:48.55 was second fastest and Conall Kirk of Harrow AC, third in 1:49.15.

In the 1500m series, Carla Sweeney of Rathfarnham WSAF AC won the women’s race in 4:26.46, with Ellie Hartnett of UCD AC second in 4:27.44. Fastest over two heats of the men’s 1500m was Kieran Kelly of Raheny Shamrock AC with a time of 3:47.99. Annadale Strider Neil Johnston was second fastest with a time of 3:49.82, while U20 athlete Sean McGinley of Finn Valley AC, who won the second heat, was third fastest overall in 3:51.49.

Donore Harriers sisters Sorcha and Ide Nic Dhomhnaill made it a one-two in the women’s 5000m, with Sorcha clocking 15:58.52 for victory and Ide second in a personal best 16:03.44. Third was Grace Carson of Mid-Ulster AC in 16:12.81.

A fast pace in the men’s race in Pacé, where Efrem Gidey finished an excellent sixth. . Photo: Tom Craggs

European 10,000m Cup

Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers produced the Irish performance of the day at the low-key European 10,000m Cup held in Pacé, France, when he finished sixth in the men’s race. His time was 28:01.50. Jack O’Leary of Mullingar Harriers finished 32nd in 30:06.80.

Paul O’Donnell of Dundrum South Dublin AC was 11th in the B race, with a time of 30:01.39.

In the women’s race, Ann-Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC, running in this event for a third time, led the Irish team home in 25th place with a time of 33:31.74. Aoibhe Richardson of Kilkenny City Harriers was 28th in 34:22.31 and Emma Mitchell of Clonliffe Harriers 29th in 34:32.39. In the B race, Grace Lynch ran a time of 35:35.85.

France took the men’s team title ahead of Germany and Turkey, whilst in the women’s event it was Germany ahead of Turkey and GB&NI featuring Hannah Irwin.


Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC won the 5000m in 13 mins 28.41 secs at the NCAA Division 1 West Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday (May 27).

West Waterford AC’s Michael Power was ninth in 13:31.41.

In the 1500m semi-finals, Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers clocked 3:42.84 with a time of 3:43. Over 10,000m, Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers was 17th in 29:09.67 and Peter Lynch of Kilkenny City Harriers 25th in 29:20.26. Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC ran a time of 4:44.69 in the women’s 1500m semi-finals.

At NCAA East Preliminary at Bloomington, Indiana (May 25-28), Barry Keane of Waterford AC finished 14th in the 5000m with a time of 13:45.86 followed by Fearghal Curtin of Youghal AC who was 21st in 13:55.45.

Curtin did better in the 10,000m where he finished 12th in 28:45.92.

Roisin Flanagan of Finn Valley AC finished third in the women’s 5000m at the NCAA Division II Track amd Field Championships in Allendale, Maryland. Her time was 16:11.43.

In the men’s 5000m, James Dunne finished 16th in 14:30.42.

Earlier, Flanagan was caught on the line for victory in the 1500m, finished second in 4:15.88, just 0.04 secs behind the winner. In the men’s 1500m final, James Dunne was ninth in 3:50.07, having run 3:47.26 in the preliminaries.

Roads – Derese the Master in Newry

Yared Derese of Carrick Aces AC continued his comeback after injury with victory in the Newry Half Marathon on Sunday (May 29) – the biggest race of the weekend with 620 finishers.

Derese, now in the M40 age group, finished in 66 minutes exactly. Second in 68:45 was Andrew Annett of Mourne Runners, while third in 73:34 was Brendan Heaney of Armagh AC.

Tenth overall and first woman in 77:06 was Olympic steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle and District AC; like Derese, O’Flaherty is now a member of the over 40 club.

A distant second in 87:12 was Michelle Donnelly, with Eimear McCracken third in 88:20.

Winner of a closely fought 10km race run in conjunction with the half marathon was James Sloan of Newry AC, whose time of 32:54 saw him finished just fives seconds clear of Conal McGinley from City of Derry Spartans who finished in 32:59. Pauric McKinney of Inishowen AC, now aged 57, was third in 33:11, which is a new Irish M55 record time.

Pauric McKinney

On a good day for “super-vets”, Donna Evans, of Clones AC, aged 55, was first women in 40:34. Niamh O’Connell of Murlough AC, aged 50 , was second in 41:19, Jacqueline McMonagle of City of Derry Spartans AC, aged 53, third in 41:28, and Irene Clements of Clones AC, aged 61, fourth in 41:58. A total of 251 completed the race.

The Law on the run

Overall, it was a low-key week on the roads, with Saturday’s Calcutta Run 5km/10km in Dublin (May 28), an annual charity race organised by the legal profession, attracting the biggest numbers south of the border.

Leading home 446 finishers in the 5km was Eoin Molloy (Matheson) in 16:22, with Katie Nugent (Hays Solcs) first woman in 21.14. Conor Deane (JV Tierney and Co) was first of the 245 finishers in the 10km with a time of 33:15. First woman was Siobhan O’Doherty in 38:44.

Winners of the Tara Bishop 5km in Ballymurn, Co Wexford on Sunday were Niall Shiel of St Killian’s AC in 17:25 and Amy Frayne in 20:20.

On Friday evening, Mick Fogarty of Ferbane AC was first home at the Ballynaskagh 5km in 15:28, which is part of the Offaly Road Race Series. Lorcan Mullen of Mullingar Harriers was eighth overall and first junior in 16:33 and Danielle Donegan of UCD AC first woman in 17:59.

Also on Friday evening, Nick O’Donoghue of East Cork AC took a solid victory in 20 mins 30 secs at the Ballymacoda 4-Mile in Co Cork.

Keith Kelly of Youghal AC was second in 20:48 and Kieran McKeown of Grange Fermoy AC third and first M45 in 21:16.

First woman was Michelle Kenny of Leevale AC in 23:41, with Carmel Crowley of Bandon AC second and first W50 in 24:09 and Rebecca McEvoy of St Finbarr’s AC third in 24:22.

Sergiu Ciobanu Photo: DC Images.

Easing back in at the front

On a busy Friday evening for races, Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers was the winner at the Ardmore 5-Mile, which is part of the West Waterford Summer Series.

“After the few weeks off post marathon slowly getting back to fitness and enjoying summer races again. Loved running five miles in the beautiful village of Ardmore last night where I took the win,” said Ciobanu after the race.

Ciobanu finished in 24 mins 50, comfortably clear of Pat Hennessy of the host club West Waterford AC, who was second in 25:44. Third and first M40 in 26:35 was Dermot Gorman of Carrick-on-Suir AC.

First woman was Roisin McLaughlin of Grange Fermoy AC in 30:15. Just three seconds behind and first W50 was Angela McCann of Clonmel AC in 30:18, while third in 30:58 was Louise Morgan of Ferrybank AC who was also first W40.