It was a busy weekend for Irish running with fast running at home and overseas. Lindie Naughton reports on all the action. 

The evergreen Tommy Hughes of Termoneeny Running Club was the winner of the Larne AC Coastal marathon on Saturday (June 29) in a time of 2:32:30 – not bad for a 59-year old!

Hughes, who competed at the 1992 Olympics and has won both Belfast and Dublin marathons in the pat, set the Irish M55 record of 2:30:15 in Rotterdam last April.

He proved the class of the field winning by a margin of close to seven minutes. Second was Pater McGarry of Mallusk Harriers in 2:39:20; first woman in 3:19:10 was Patricia Blair of East Coast AC.

Conor Dooney of Raheny Shamrock made a return to racing at the St Coca’s 5km in Kilcock on Friday evening (June 28) winning in 14:13 after a good battle with the host club’s Kevin Kelly.

Kelly finished second in 14:18 with Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC third in 14:41; Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers was fourth and first M40 in 14:44.

First woman in 16:30 was Catherina Mullen of Metro St Brigid’s AC. Clare Sullivan of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was second in 17:42 and Annette Kealy of Raheny Shamrock third and first W50 in 17:53. Best of the juniors were Eoin Richard’s of St Coca’s in 16:39 and Sorcha Moloney of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC in 18:14. There were 556 finishers.

Raheny Shamrock finished best of the 19 men’s teams, with Dunboyne AC a close second and St Coca’s third. St Coca’s won the women’s team prize comfortably.

Pre-weekend racing

Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel AC was the clear winner in 25:30 of the Willie Neenan Memorial 5-Mile in Millstreet, Co Cork, on Friday evening. Mark Walsh of Leevale AC was second in 26:16 and John Shine also Leevale third in 26:21. Carol Finn of Leevale AC was first woman in 32:04, followed by Linda O’Connor in 33.46 and local athlete Denise Quilter in 34:46. Winning the Newtownards Half Marathon, also on Friday evening, was Neil Weir of Willowfield in 76:05

Peter Somba was back in winning form at the Clonee 10km held on Thursday (June 27) and organised by his club Dunboyne AC.

Somba led home 398 finishers in 32 mins 47 secs, finishing comfortably clear of second placed Stephen Conroy from Celbridge AC, second in 32:58. A distant third was Michael Morgan of St Finnbarr’s AC in Cork; he finished in 33:39 and was also first M40.

First woman was Courtney Lewis in 37:40. Second in 37:55 was Niamh Devlin of Dundrum South Dublin AC, with Hannah Carroll third in 39:52. Celbridge AC beat host club Dunboyne in the women’s team competition. Best of the men’s teams by a wide margin was Dunboyne AC.

In Galway, on Thursday evening, almost 300 turned out for the Grant Thornton Corporate Team 5km where Jamie Fallon of Winters Property Management was first home in 17: 30 and Michelle Egan of DHKN was first woman in 21:30.

Niall Shanahan of the Department of Education was the runaway winner of the VM-Ware BHAA 5km held on a warm night in Cork on Wednesday (June 26).

Shanahan’s time of 14:58 put him over a minute clear of second placed Shane Collins (Apple), who finished in 16:16. Third in 16:35 was James Grufferty (Glanmire Medical Centre).

First woman in 18:44 was Grainne O’Donnell of Kumon Douglas. Niamh Roe (Dept. of Education) and Linda O’Sullivan (Cope) were second and third. Making a welcome return to racing was former world masters champion Carmel Parnell (Cork Shops) who finished ninth woman and first W60. UCC, led by Kevin Devine, seventh overall and first M50, was best of the men’s teams in the A grade, with Musgrave first in B and UTRC-1 first in C. Department of Education won women’s grade A, with HSE first B and Marymount C. A total of 396 completed the race.

McElhinney building his track strength on the cross country Photo: Lindie Naughton

Track and Field and an Irish party in Watford

Darragh McElhinney of Bantry AC set a new Irish junior record of 8:01.48 when winning the 3000m at the BMC Meet in Watford on Saturday (June 29).

With a large Irish representation at the meet, Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers finished third in 8:03.83 and Michael Power of West Waterford AC seventh in 8:14.11. In the U20 race, Shay McEvoy ran a personal best 8:22.78.

Jayme Rossiter of Clonliffe Harriers finished second in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:46.81. On a good day for Irish steeplechasers, Michele Finn of Leevale AC won the women’s race in 9:51.22, while sister Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC finished third in a season’s best 10:04.41.

Zak Curran of Dundrum South Dublin AC moved to the top of the current Irish rankings with a time of 1:47.04 in the 800m; John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC ran a time of 1:49.06. In the 1500m, Luke McCann of Dublin City Harriers AC finished sixth in 3:41.70, followed by Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock eighth in 3:43.19, Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers 10th in 3: 45.39 and Fearghal Curtin of Youghal AC 12th in 3:45.97. Eoin Pierce of Clonliffe Harriers ran a personal best 3:42.87 to finish second in the B race.

In women’s 800m, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of Dundrum South Dublin AC finished fourth with a career best time of 2:01.67, narrowly beating Ciara Mageean, who finished half a pace behind for fifth place in 2:01.81. Mageean was opening her outdoor season after taking bronze in the 1500m at the European Indoors last March.

In the B race Nadia Power of Templeogue AC finished third in 2:03.68, Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC sixth in 2:04.66, Katie Kirk of Team New Balance eighth in 2:06.25 and Rose Anne Galligan ninth in 2:07/08. Iseult O’Donnell of Raheny Shamrock won the D race in 2:10.31 with Fiona Kehoe of Kilmore third in 2:11.33.

Roisin Flanagan of Omagh AC finished sixth in the 1500m in 4:17.70; Maisy O’Sullivan of St Abban’s AC was eighth in 4:19.41. Paralympian Great Streimikyte of Clonliffe Harriers ran a season’s best time of 4:44.17

In the women’s 3000m, Grace Carson of Mid Ulster AC ran a time of 9:31.63 , with Jodie McCann of Dublin City Harriers running 9:50.33 and North Down’s Jessica Craig 9:54.07. Mitchell Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF AC finished second in the B 5000m with a personal best time of 14:45.35. Clonliffe’s Ian Guiden ran 15:09.00 for eighth place.

Sexton not finished with athletics yet

At the Mannheim Junior Gala in Germany on Saturday and Sunday (June 29/30), sprinter and rugby player Aaron Sexton of North Down AC finished second in the 200m in a time of 20.79 secs – a tenth of a second off his season’s best of 20.69 set at the All Ireland Schools Championships

In the 4 x 400 relays, the Irish men’s 4 x 400m team of Ciaran Carthy, Adam Hughes, Jack Raftery and Tony O’Connor clocked a time of 3:15.59 for third place, while the women’s team of Simone Lalor, Miriam Daly, Deirdre Murray and Rachel McCann finished second in 3:44.33.

Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers finished a fighting second in the 800m with a time of 1:50.28. Just behind him for third in 1:50.72 was Mark Milner of Tullamore Harriers.

Overseas T & F

In Bottnaryd, Sweden, on Saturday (June 29), John Kelly of Finn Valley AC threw a personal best of 17.79m for fifth in the shot putt. There was also a discus personal best of 60.09 for Colin Quirke of Crusaders AC who was competing at Long Beach, California, also on Saturday.

A group of Irish sprinters were competing at the Résisprint International in La Chaux-des-Fonds, Switzerland, on Sunday (June 30), where Marcus Lawler of St LOT AC ran a wind-assisted time of 20.33 (+2.7) in the 200m; Eanna Madden ran 20.87 (+2.8). Lawler also ran a legal time of 10.6 secs in the 100m. In the 110m hurdles, Matthew Behan of Crusaders AC clocked a time of 14.17; his best this season is 13.9.,

Chris O’Donnell of North Sligo AC, who currently tops the Irish 400m rankings,  ran a time of 47.40 secs in the men’s 400m.

At the fifth Dublin Graded Meet of the season held in Tallaght on Wednesday (June 26),

Clare Mooney of UCD proved fastest in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:05.64. Peter Arthur of Liffey Valley won the men’s 3000m in 8 mins 41 secs.

Pippa Rogan of Sli Cualann AC soared over the bar at 1.89 for a high jump personal best in the Paris suburb of Montgeron in France on Tuesday (June 25).

Up in the hills

Luke McMullan of Newcastle AC was the runaway winner of the classic Croagh Patrick mountain race in Co Mayo on Saturday (June 29) clocking a time of 62:46 for the steep 10.70km distance. Almost four minutes behind for second in 66:23 was Tom Blackburn of Mooreabbey Milers, with Sean Quirke of Bilboa AC third in 67:10. Rosy Temple was first woman in 86:06

A day later, Blackburn outlasted Quirke to win the Nephin mountain run also in Co Mayo with just three seconds between them. Temple was again first woman.

Ruairi Long of UCD AC and Niamh Corbett of Cork O were the winners of the Leinster hill running league race at Sorrell Hill, in Co Wicklow on Wednesday (June 26). Eoin Richards of St Coca’s AC won the junior race.

Ireland’s 2:33 marathoner and ultra running international Nicola Duncan headed out to Chamonix, France to compete over the tough VK discipline. Whilst “only” five kilometres in distance, the route climbs 1000m and includes ladders and chains to get to the finish line. After an adventurous week exploring the tour du Mont Blanc, the athlete finished fifth in an international field.

Photo: Robbie Britton


Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan and Grace Lynch are your quickest parkrunners in Ireland this weekend (June 29th). Check out the top ten rankings in our full article 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!

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