With several road races over the past week attracting entries of over 400, thousands were out on the roads of Ireland – and especially Munster – last week. And that’s not even counting parkruns.
Among the big races was the Roscommon Harriers 10-mile on Saturday (July 1) which was round 6 of the Peugeot Race Series.
With race wins for Paul O’Donnell and Meghan Ryan, Dundrum South Dublin AC consolidated its position at the top of the Peugeot Series. Not only that, but the Dublin club took the first three places in the men’s race. O’Donnell, home for the summer from his US college, finished in a time of 51 mins 15 secs, followed by Killian Mooney in 51:54 and Emmett Jennings in 53:12.
Clane AC, currently second on the series table, were led home by Gavin Kelly who was fourth and first M40 in 54.48.
In the women’s race, Ryan in 59:52 was followed home by Isobel Oakes of Sligo AC in 60:36 and Kate Kelly of Athlone AC in 61:16. With Sarah Mullins fourth and Niamh Devlin fifth, DSD again won the mixed team category (three men and three women). Mullingar Harriers was second and Clane AC third. A total of 464 finished the race.
Also on Saturday, Tudor Mircea Moldovan of Clonliffe Harriers Tudor Moldovan won the Achill Half Marathon a time of 70 mins 52 secs , just six days after winning the Waterford Viking Marathon.
Friday nights all right for…
Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers ran a course record time of 13 mins 47 secs when leading home almost 600 finishers at the St Coca’s 5km, in Kilcock, Co Kildare on Friday (June 30).
Winning the battle for second place was David Scanlon of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in 14:42, followed closely by Stephen Cashin of Clonliffe Harrier third in 14.43 and Stephen Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC in 14:44. First junior in 15:234 was Mahad Egaal Jadda of Clonliffe Harriers in 15:23.
First of the women was Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC in 15:43, with Íde Nic Dhomhnaill of West Limerick AC just four seconds behind for second in 15:47 and Nakita Burke of Letterkenny AC third in 16:05. Fourth and first W40 was AnnMarie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC in 16:34.
At the Willie Neenan 5-Mile in Millstreet, Co Cork, Leevale AC’s Mark Walsh was the winner in 25:46 with Martina Kiely of St Finbarr’s AC first woman in 28:54.
Winners of the Courtmacsharry 10km, also in Co Cork, were Jeremy O’Donovan of St Finbarr’s AC in 33:08 and Aoife Cooke of Eagle AC in 34.51; 39 6 finished the race, the largest entry since 2017.
Winning the Ballymacarbry 5-Mile in Co Waterford by almost two minutes with a time of 24:59 was Evan Fitzgerald of Clonmel AC. Second and first M40 in 26:58 was Dermot Gorman of Carrick-on-Suir AC with Paddy Cummins of Moycarkey Coolcroo AC third in 27:40.
Kate Veale of West Waterford AC was first woman in 30:48, followed by clubmates Niamh O’Donovan in 33:26 and Grainne Moore, who is still a junior, in 34:08.
At the Ards Half Marathon, in Co Down, Craig McMeehan of North Down AC was the winner in 71 mins 58 secs. Jared Martin of Ballydrain Harriers was second in 72:23 and Dale Murray of North Down AC third in 74:03. Ivana Anderson was first woman in 80:10, with Fiona McQuillan of North Down AC second in 85:15 and Amanda Perry of Ballydrain Harriers third in 89:44.
These ones we prepared earlier
On Thursday evening (June 29) , Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC notched up her second win of the week at Cloyne 5km. Unlike at the Drumcollagher 4-Mile (see below) there was no course record this time for Lee, with her winning time of 16:51 eight seconds outside Jessica Coyne’s 2021 best of 16:43.
Another of the Leevale squad, Nadine Forde, took second in 18:15 followed by Vicki Spiteri of Midleton AC third in 19:17.
Local Cloyne man Michael Harty of the East Cork club, who will be 43 in September, was out on his own when winning the race in 14:53, the same time he ran when finishing second to Pierre Murchan of DCH AC in the recent Dublin Docklands 5km.
Junior athlete Robert Troy of Liscarroll AC – fourth in the Irish Schools senior steeplechase – was a surprising second in 15:37 with Tony Forristal of East Cork AC third in 15:41.
In Co Clare, Kenneth Rodgers of St Johns AC won the final race in the Run the Banner series for 2023 at Ennis, Co Clare in 15 mins 15 secs also on Thursday. First woman in 18:45 was Anne Marie Connellan of Ennis TC .
Just a round the corner
Still in Munster, James McCarthy and Sharon Rynne were the winners at the DePuy Synthes BHAA 4-Mile, in Ringaskiddy, Cork on Wednesday (June 28).
McCarthy, of Rooskagh Coffee Co finished in 21 mins 09 secs, with Donal Coakley of Gilead Sciences a close second in 21;12 and John Meade of Dept of Ed third and first M40 in 21.30. Rynne of Kepak finished twelfth and first woman in 24:07. Michelle Kenny of Dept of Ed was second in 24:11 and Meadhbh Moynihan of Complete Financial third in 24.58.
Not many races take place on a Monday night but one exception to the rule is the Dromcollogher 4-mile which has now been on the go for well over 40 years as part of the local carnival and took place on June 26 writes John Walshe.
In its early days it attracted the likes of Liam O’Brien, John Lenihan and Robert Costello.
This year another Olympian, Lizzie Lee from Leevale AC, was maintaining her impressive winning streak on the roads when coming home first woman in a course record 22:32. Second was Carol Finn, also Leevale, in 24:41 with Siobhan Daly from An Riocht AC third in 26:02.
Last year’s places were reversed for the men with Karl Lenihan turning the tables on his West Limerick AC team-mate Aogan MacDomhnaill, 21:03 to 21:19. Aaron Lynch from the same club (the race organisers) finished third in 21:43.
‘Spikes’ Record for Healy
Middle distance track performance of the week came from Sarah Healy of UCD AC who broke her own Irish U23 record for 1500m with a time of 4:01:75 at the Golden Spikes meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Tuesday (June 27). Healy finished fourth in the race. Her previous best of 4:02:86 was also set in Ostrava in May 2022.
At the Diamond League meet in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday, Ciara Mageean Of City of Lisburn AC ran a time of 4:03.4 for fourth in the 1500m. Shorter distance Irish performance of the night came from Sarah Lavin, who set a new PB of 12.73 and endeared herself to athletics fans worldwide with a wonderful interview about having to dry her only set of kit between the two races of the rainy night in Sweden.
Busy weekend for Griggs and Morgan
Having a busy weekend were Nicholas Griggs and Callum Morgan, both members of the newly formed Candour club in Belfast.
On Saturday (July 1), at the BMC meet in Watford, Griggs won the A 1500m in 3:40.63, while Morgan lined out in the 3000m finishing 17th in 8:03.93.
A day later, the pair were in Tullamore for the All Ireland U23 and U20 Track and Field Championships, where Griggs won the U20 1500m comfortably in 3:45.9. Morgan had a tougher time of it in a a closely fought U23 1500m, which he did manage to win in 3:57.20 despite the best efforts of Ennis TC’s Mark Hanrahan second in 3:57.71 and Frank O’Brien of East Cork AC third in 3:57.77.
Winning both the U23 1500m and 800m was Sophie O’Sullivan, with times of 4 mins 27.92 secs in the 1500m and 2:10.4 in the 800m.
Over 5000m, Anika Thompson of Leevale AC was the women’s U23 winner in a championship record time of 16:38.32 .
Winning the men’s race in 15:03.19 was Shay McEvoy of Kilkenny City Harriers followed by Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers second in 15:05.82 and Michael Morgan of Sligo AC third in 15:09.24..
In the U20 championships, Jonas Stafford of Ashford AC proved the class in the men’s steeplechase winning in 9:09.05, while in the women’s 5000m, Louise O’Mahoney of BMOH in Co Clare set a championships record of 16:48.65.
At the BMC Grand Prix, Mark English of Finn Valley AC won the B men’s 800m in 1:47.27, which was the fastest time across eight heats. Cillian Kirwan of Raheny Shamrock AC clocked 1:49.73, Roland Surlis of Annalee AC 1:50, 51 and Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers 1:50.61.
In the women’s A race, Georgie Hartigan of DSD AC was fifth in 2:04.44, while Susie Nestor of UCD AC ran 2:09.79.
In the A 1500m won by Nick Griggs, Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale AC was fifth in 3:41.61, while fastest of the Irish women in the 1500m with a time of 4:20.60 was Niamh Carr of Ballymena and Antrim AC In the men’s A 3000m, Fearghal Curtin of Youghal AC was fourth in 7:50.00.
Cian McPhillips of UCD ran a personal best 1:45.92 for 800m, putting him top of the current Irish rankings at Ordizia, Spain, on Saturday 24 June. McPhillips, who finished fourth in the race, was followed home in seventh place by Harry Purcell of Trim AC in 1:47.38.
Zak Hanna was back in Portugal trying to improve on his second place finish last year at the WMRA World Cup race at Montemuro, but unfortunately was heavily impacted by the heat. We have heard he is fine, but such is the risk when trying to hit the top step of the podium. Scotland’s Scout Adkin won the women’s race.