We often focus purely on endurance events, but sometimes we include some truly special efforts by Irish athletes in shorter events too. Lindie Naughton reports. 

Rhasidat Adeleke Of Tallaght became the first Irish women to break 50 seconds for 400m when she ran a time of 49.90 secs at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Florida, USA, on Saturday (April 15).

Adeleke lost out to Britton Wilson for victory in the race; Wilson clocked a time of 49.51. A day earlier at the same meet, the Tallaght athlete had improved on her own Irish record when she finished fourth in the 200m with a time of 22.34, helped by a wind reading of +1.8.

At the Bryan Clay Invitation (April 13-15), in Azusa, California, Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC won the fastest 5000m race of the day in 13:21.99.

A large number of Irish athletes were competing at the Providence College Friar Invitational, where Jane Buckley of Leevale won the 3000m in a personal best 9:09.78. Best of the Irish in the men’s 5000m was Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers who was second in a huge personal best time of 13:44.28.Laadjel’s previous best for the distance was 14:02.94.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Ava O’Connor of Tullamore Harriers improved her personal 10:07.96, which is comfortably under the European U23 Championships standard of 10 mins 25 secs.

Improving his 1500m time to 3:40.68 in Princeton, New Jersey on Friday (April 14) was Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale AC who finished second in the race. In Gainesville Florida, Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers ran a time of 1:48.79 for 800m.

Marathon Strength

At the Rotterdam Marathon on Sunday (April 16), national champion Martin Hoare of Celbridge AC ran a personal best time of 2:18.54, finishing 35th in the race. The 2019 women’s champion Aoife Cooke of Eagle AC ran a time of 2:36.50, finishing 20th and fourth W35.

A number of Irish also ran the Manchester Marathon, where Shane O’Donnell of Rosses AC finished 23rd in 2:31.07 and Garry Morrow of Willowfield AC was 28th and second M40 in 2:31.45. Of the women, the current Irish women’s marathon champion, Fionnuala Ross of Armagh AC, finished seventh in 2:44.52.

Race chaos in the park

Athletics Ireland has issued an apology after runners in Sunday’s Great Ireland 10km (April 16) were misdirected and ended up running 1.5km short of the stated 10km distance.

When Jake O’Regan of St John’s AC crossed the line in 26 mins 8 secs, it was clear that something had gone wrong. All results have since been declared null and void. Close to two thousand had signed up for the race which incorporated the National 10km Championships. Organising club was Dublin City Harriers.

The Women’s Meet and Train Winter league fun run and prize-giving in Bushy Park was an altogether happier occasion. Awarded the Paddy Craddock Trophy for her support of the Meet and Train Leagues down the years was Ann Woodlock of Donore Harriers, who won the W80 3000n and finished third in the 1500m at World Masters Indoor Championships in Poland last month.

Overall series winner was Aoife Carroll of Sportsworld AC, who only started running seriously two years ago. In the team categories, the winners were Crusaders AC A (platinum division), Esker Runners A (gold), Clonliffe Harriers C (silver) and Donore Dawdlers (bronze).

Road races elsewhere too

Outside Dublin, Ray Hynes of Donore Harriers was the winner of the Clara 5km in 15 mins 54 secs, with Emily Grennan of Tullamore Harriers the first woman in 17:57. The race was the third round of the Offaly 5km Series.

At Limerick Racecourse, Karl Lenihan of West Limerick AC clocked a time of 57 mins 7 secs to win the Michal Rejmer Memorial 10-mile. First woman was Niamh Clifford of Donore Harriers in 61:20.

Alan O’Shea of Bantry AC was the winner of The Great Railway Run 25km from Cork to Carrigaline, Co Cork in a time of 86 mins 32 secs. Second in 89:06 was Michael McMahon. LornaWolfe was first woman in 1 hrs 42 mins 42 secs, with Leevale AC’s Nollaigh O’Neill second in 1:44.20.

Winning the Streets of Ballyshannon 5km on Saturday (April 15) was junior athlete Francis Donoghue of South Sligo AC in 15 mins 24 secs. Gearoid Tuohy, of Sligo AC, also a junior, was second in 15:48 and Teresa Doherty of Finn Valley AC fourth overall and first woman in an eye-catching time of 16:23. Second woman was Michelle Donnelly of Carmen Runners in 18:12.

Andrew Lennon of Athlone IT AC in 16 mins 53 secs and Anna Donnor of the organising club Roscommon Harriers in 19:34 were the winners at the Roscommon Harriers 5km Series Rd 2 (of 4), held on Friday evening (April 14)

On Wednesday evening (April 12), James McCarthy of Rooskagh Coffee Co was first home in the PwC BHAA 5km in Cork. His time of 15:35 put him six seconds clear of Barry Donovan of PM Group with Anthony Mannix of Dell Technologies just a second behind again in third place.

Lizzie Lee of Apple was first woman in 16:56, followed by Fiona Santry of Rooskagh Coffee Co in 17:09 and Hanna Steeds of Eli Lilly in 17:37.

In the team categories, Department of Education were the winners in the both men and women’s grade A. Apple and Musgrave won grade B and Depuy Synthes and Stryker grade C. Next Cork BHAA race is the Pfizers 5-Mile on Wednesday May 10 (8pm).