Lindie Naughton reports on action at home and at the Olympics for Irish athletes.

****Apologies for the later Irish round-up this week, totally down to our editor Robbie being rather tired from a long bike race around Switzerland.****

John Travers of Donore Harriers was a comfortable winner of the Milford 5km in Donegal on Friday evening (July 30).

Travers’s time of 14 mins 50 secs put him forty seconds clear of Declan Ferry of Rosses AC who finished in 15:30. A close third in 15:33 was Mark McPaul.

Finishing seventh and first woman in 16:20 was Aoife Kilgannon of Sligo AC. Maria McCambridge of Dundrum South Dublin AC was second woman in 16:41, which is (unofficially) an Irish W45 record for 5km on the roads, beating a record held by Catherina McCambridge. Third woman was Breege Connolly of City of Derry Spartans in 16:43.

Gary Scully of Nenagh Olympic was fifth overall and first M40 in 16:01 and Liam Brady of Inishowen AC first M50 in 17:17.

Fishing for real victories

Two days later, Letterkenny AC angled their way to victory in the men’s race at the Donegal Road Relays in Ireland’s fishing capital of Killybegs.

John McCallion ran the first of the four 1500m legs, running a time of 4 mins 21 secs and handing over to Raymond Birch in third place. Birch maintaining that placing, running 4:42. On the third leg, Danny Mooney overhauled the front two runners to take the lead, leaving it to the veteran Ciaran Doherty to run the glory leg.

Fisherman Doherty, no stranger to Killybegs, easily held the lead clocking a fast time of 4:19. The team’s overall time was 17 mins 35 secs.

Winner of the Wicklow 5km Series round 3 in Avondale Forest Park, Rathdrum, also on Saturday, was Sean Hehir of Metro St Brigid’s AC in 16:16 . Niall Shiel of St Killian’s AC was second and first M40 in 16:49 and Tim Grummell of Inbhear Dee AC third in 17:58.

First woman was Sheila O’Byrne of Parnell AC in 18:42. Nessa Smyth of Love to Run AC was second in 22:02 and Jacinta Conneely third in 22:36. First junior was Edward Byrne of Parnell AC in 18:45.

Finish before midnight

Barry Minnock of Tullamore Harriers was the winner of the Mondello Try and Finish Before Midnight Marathon held in conjunction with the Donadea 50 on Friday evening ( 7pm start) at Mondello Park in Co Kildare (July 30).

Minnock ran the twelve-lap course in 2 hrs 50 mins 47 secs, so finishing comfortably before midnight. Second in 2.51:55 was Barry Drohan of Carrick-on-Shannon AC, while third was ultra man Keith Whyte of Ennis TC in 2:52.13.

First woman was Deirdre Lynn of the Marathon Club of Ireland in 3:21.55. Behind her, Lorraine McMahon of Wexford MC and Anne Jennings of Dublin Bay RC finished together in 3:42.31. A total of 42 completed the marathon distance.

First home in the six-lap half marathon was Paralympian and wheelchair racer supreme Pa Monahan of St Coca’s AC in a stunning time of 48 mins 13 secs.

Padraig Sheehan of Crusaders AC was second in 74 mins 50 secs with Ciara Brady first woman in 90 mins 34 secs.

Track running outside of Japan

Top class fields turned out in many races at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Track and Field Championships held at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday (July 31)

In the fastest of three men’s senior 5000m races, Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC was the winner in 13:53.08. Conor Bradley of City of Derry Spartans was second in 13:56.19 and Gavin Corey of Strive AC third in 14:52.15.

Winning the women’s 5000m was Fast Running’s Hannah Irwin of English club Cambridge and Coleridge AC in 16:03.15. Nakita Burke of Letterkenny AC was second in a personal best 16:13.20 and Grace Carson of Mid-Ulster AC third in 16:13.90.

Photo: Callum Gillett

Plenty of racing over 1500m

Over 1500m, Roisin Flanagan of Carmen AC won the fastest of two races in 4:18.54. Maisy O’Sullivan of St Abban’s AC was second in 4:29.84, and Cheryl Nolan, also St Abban’s AC, third in 4:27.91. Roisin’s twin, Eilish, recently recruited to Finn Valley AC, was in action at the Tokyo Olympics early on Sunday (August 1) where she ran a personal best time of 9:34:86 for 12th in her first round heat of the steeplechase.

Three men’s 1500m races were held with Samuel Stevens of Leicester Corinthians AC clocking the 3:47.16 for victory in the fastest of them. Paddy Taylor of Crookstown Millview AC was second in 3:48.03, Johnny Whan of Clonliffe Harriers third in 3:49.00 and Danny Mooney of Letterkenny AC fourth and first Ulster man in 3:50.00.

Cara Laverty of Finn Valley AC won the women’s 800m in 2:09.27, with Andrew Milligan of North Belfast Harriers winning the men’s race in 1:51.96.

Winning the men’s 3000m steeplechase in 9:44.91 was Stephen Connolly of Annadale Striders.

Munster Champs also exciting

Niall Shanahan of An Bru AC won a close-fought men’s 5000m at the Munster Senior and Masters Championships, Templemore, Co Tipperary, also on Saturday.

Shanahan finished in 14 mins 52.82 secs, with Sean Doyle of North Cork AC a close second in 14:54. 50, Kenneth Rogers of St John’s AC third in 15:02.33 and Rory Chesser of Ennis TC fourth in 15:16.58. Winning the women’s 5000m in 17:06.59 was Ruth Heery of Waterford AC.

Winners of the 1500m titles were Liam Harris of Togher AC in 4:00.74 and Lucy Holmes of West Waterford AC in 4:51.14.

In a thrilling women’s 800m, Aoife Delargy of Nenagh Olympic AC just held off Shona O’Brien of Cork Track Club to win in 2:18.47; O’Brien was timed at 2:18.97. Mark Carmody of An Bru AC won the men’s 800m in 1:54.76.

Highlight of the master’s races was an M65 Munster record in the 400m for Joe Gough of West Waterford. Gough’s time of 62.42 improved on his own record of 62.67 set in 2018.

Making it a double in the 1500m and 3000m was Vivian Foley of Eagle AC. Foley was not only first M50 but fastest overall of the day in the 1500m, winning in 4:26.12. He then repeated the feat in the 3000m, finishing fastest overall in 9:20.35.

Breda Gaffney of Mallow AC won the women’s 3000m in 10:38.92. Becky Coughlan was first in the 1500m in 5:03.06, with her Ennis TC clubmate Ann Marie Connellan a close second in 5:03.74.

Big PB for Griggs

European U20 champion Nicholas Griggs of Mid-Ulster AC picked up where he left off two weeks ago when he won the 3000m at the Franconville U18 Meet in France on Saturday (July 31)

Griggs’s time of 8:07.46, which put him ten seconds clear of the chasers, is a national youth record and the fastest time in Europe so far this season for that age group. His previous best time was 8:11.15, run at Santry in late June.

Doheny AC’s Maeve O’Neill was another superb performer, winning the 800m in personal best time of 2:06.38. In the men’s 800m Oisin Kelly of Cranford AC clocked 1:56.98 for sixth place. Rebecca Rossiter of Loughview AC was a close fourth in a tactical women’s 1500m in 4:35.53, while Aidan Burke of Waterford AC was seventh in the men’s race in 4:10.75.

Photo: European Athletics via Getty Images

Olympic Games

At the Tokyo Olympics, Ciara Mageean and Sarah Healy were in action in the opening round of the women’s 1500m at the Olympic Stadium, Tokyo on Monday (August 2)

At her second Olympic Games, Mageean, from the City of Lisburn club finished 10th in her heat in a time of 4 mins 7.29 secs. Healy, who is from the Blackrock club in Dublin, was 11th in her heat in 4:09.78 in her Olympic debut.

I’m feeling disappointed to say the least,” said Mageean afterwards. “Anybody who’s seen me racing over the last number of years knows that I’m a tough competitor, I know I am, and whenever I put my Irish vest on I raise my game, and that was sub-par for me today.”

One of the youngest members of Team Ireland, Sarah Healy, was hoping for more from her heat, saying: “Everybody says that they’ll be back next time, but I’m here now, and I felt like I could make a semi-final if I ran to my potential. Obviously I want to be back for Paris but it’s not going to take away from the disappointment I have today.”

Andrew Coscoran for Star of the Sea AC goes in the men’s 1500m tomorrow (Tuesday) followed by the marathon runners at the weekend – Fionnuala McCormack and Aoife Cook on Saturday and Stephen Scullion, Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward on Sunday.

Paddy loves a fancy watch. Photo: Ian MacLellan

Up in those hills

US-based ultra man Paddy O’Leary from Co Wexford proved the class of the field at the Galtymore mountain race in Co Tipperary on Sunday (August 1).

O’Leary’s time of 1 hr 22 mins 53 secs for the 13 kilometre distance put him four minutes ahead of second placed Sean Quirke from Bilboa AC ; Quirke was first M40 in 1:27.01. In a well spaced-out race, Brian Furey of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was third in 1:31.15.

First woman in 1:41.55 was Lisa Hegarty of Leevale AC. Ciara Largey was second in 1:48.20 and Caroline Harney third and first W40 in 1:51.50.