With the Autumn marathon season soon upon us there were several high class half marathon performances in Ireland this weekend, although not all are training for the 26.2 distance, as well as the Mourne Mountain Marathon for those a bit more adventurous. 

Gideon Kipsang Kimosop made it three in a row at the Belfast Half Marathon on Sunday (September 22) with his winning time of 66 mins 58 secs a good bit quicker than last year’s time of 67:44.

Eoin Hughes of Acorns AC was second in a personal best 68.30, with John Black of North Belfast Harriers third in 69.12.
Eoin and his supervet dad Tommy Hughes of Rathfarnham WSAF AC narrowly missed out on a Guinness World Record for fastest father and son completing a half marathon, with about 20 seconds in it. The pair are now aiming to beat the father and son record for a marathon at Frankfurt next month.

Dominant display for McGlynn

Dominating the women’s race was Anne Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC who had over three minutes to spare when winning in 72.58. Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers was second in 77.26 followed by Joanne McCandless third in 79.50. Earlier this month, Kimosop and McGlynn were the winners at the Waterside Half Marathon.

A day earlier, Yared Derese of Carrick Aces was the runaway winner of the KBC Dublin Half Marathon in the Phoenix Park on Saturday (September 21).

Derese broke from the field early in the race and, despite the windy conditions, clocked a time of 63 mins 45 secs, which is one of the fastest ever clocked on this course. [Derese isn’t building up to a Autumn marathon and that’s probably one of the reasons he was such a dominant winner over 13.1 miles – Editor]

For second place, David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers, running his second half marathon in seven days, sprinted clear of Eric Keogh of Donore Harriers to finish in 65:58 – faster than his winning time of 66:21 in 2018. Keogh was third in 66.07, while fourth and second M35 behind Derese was Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe Harriers.

First woman was Niamh Clifford of Kerry club Star of the Laune AC in 82 mins 28 secs. Second and first W40 was Shirley Coyle of Raheny Shamrock in 83.52 while third and second W40 was Sarah Baryga of Sli Cualann AC in 83:58. A total of 6,946 completed the race, which was the final round of the KBC Dublin Marathon Series.

Fast mile times all round

Dunshaughlin’s Thomas Moran clocked a personal best time of 4 mins 12 to record the fastest time at the Griffith Avenue Mile in Dublin on Sunday (September 22).

Second fastest and first M50 in a remarkable time of 4:19 was Shane Healy of Metro St Brigid’s AC – a new world best. Third was triathlete Niall Cornyn of Dunboyne AC in 4.24. First junior with a time of 4:35 was Callum Simpson.

Fastest of the women was Ciara Wilson, another triathlete and member of DMP AC, in 4:45. Emma O’Brien of Sli Cualann AC clocked 4:55 for second with Clonliffe’s Eleanor Alexander third fastest in 5:06. First W35 was Maura Kearns of Donore Harriers in 5:10.

Fastest of the lot was wheelchair winner Cillian Dunne from Tipperary who finished in a superb time of 2 mins 45 secs. With his track season over, Dunne is currently ranked in 25th in Europe, with Irish 100m and 800m records to his credit.

Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC in 3:18 was fastest wheelchair woman; although only 15, at the World U17 Para Championships in Notwill, Switzerland last month. Bocquet collected gold medals in the 100m, 400m and 1500m as well as silver in the 200m and 800m.
Sinead O’Connor of Leevale AC led home over 6,000 finishers at the Cork Women’s Mini Marathon 4-Mile on Sunday (September 21).

O’Connor’s time of 21 mins 19 secs put her forty seconds clear of clubmate Lisa Hegarty who finished in 21:59. Third was Claire O’Brien of Watergrasshill AC in 22.37 while fourth and first W45 was Breda Gaffney of Mallow AC in 22.58. Best of the juniors was Holly Carroll of Blarney Iniscarra AC in 24:24.

Elsewhere over 5 and 10km

Winners of the Charlestown 10km in Co May on Saturday were Jake O’Regan of St John’s AC in 34 mins 00 secs and Edel Reilly of Mayo AC in 40:38. At the Louisberg Clew Bay Half Marathon, veteran Brendan Conway of Westport AC was the winner in 78 mins 59, with Charlotte Kearney of Donadea RC first woman and first W40 in 89 mins 59 secs.

Although now competing in the M60 age group, Tommy Payne of Tinryland AC was the overall winner in 17 mins 42 secs at the Break for the Border Carlow to Wicklow 5km on Sunday (September 22). Third overall and first woman in 19:19 was Bronwyn McDonald of St LOT AC. Brian Kirwan of St LOT AC was the winner of the 10km race in 36:16 with Linda Fay of St Abban’s AC first woman in 49:03.

In Dungarvan, Co Waterford, the recent Ballinameela 5km brought the Intersport Elverys/Asics Summer Series of 12 races to a conclusion, with a big increase in entries. Overall winner was Raivis Zakis of West Waterford AC who picked up a total of 11 points from his best seven races. Kevin Kenneally, also West Waterford AC, was second and newcomer Tony Fogarty of Templemore AC third.

Retaining the women’s title was Sally Forristal of St Thomas AC in Kilkenny with eight points. Madeline Loughnane of Thurles Crokes AC took second on count-back from West Waterford’s Natalie Sheehan with both women on 14 points.

Catch-up: Three Irish athletes ran under 67 minutes for the half marathon on Sunday September 15. At Copenhagen Half Marathon, Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers ran a time of 66 mins 17secs. Not too far behind was Eoghan Totten of Newcastle AC in 66:53. In Philadelphia, USA, Stephen Scullion of Clonliffe Harriers continued his preparations for the World Championships with a time of 66:36.

Up in the hills

Zak Hanna of Newcastle AC took a brilliant win at the Salomon Mamores Vertical Kilometre at Na Gruagaichean on Friday (September 20).

Hanna defying the warm conditions to reach the finish of the 5km run with a lung-busting 1000m of climb on in 44 mins 43 secs

“Delighted to have taken the win in the @MamoresVK earlier today, over 1000m climbing in 3 miles is not easy! Super tough course with excellent support along the way,” Hanna tweeted after his win. It was a first run in the Scottish highlands for the 23-year-old Irish international.

Winners of the elite 55km race at the 2-day Mourne Mountain Marathon in Co Down (September 21-22) were Irish international orienteers Mark Stephens and Colm Moran in 8 hrs 40 mins 53 secs. A group of Cambridge University-connected orienteers had travelled to Northern Ireland for the race with Matthew Vokes and Ben Windsor elite category runners-up in 9:08.53, Chris Jones and Hannah Monkton first mixed pair in 10:28.09, and Helen Ockenden and Heather Corden, first female pair in the B category 45km race in 10:08.07.

First home overall in the B class were mixed pair Shane Lynch of Glenmore AC and Karalee McBride of Mourne Runners in 8 hours 40 mins 58 secs.

The cross country season begins!

Launching the cross-country season in Connacht was the Castlegar Open at Galway’s Merlin Woods City Park on Saturday (September 21) where Damien Landers won the men’s 6km in 20 mins 29 secs. Just two seconds behind for second was his Ennis TC club mate Rory Chesser, while third and first junior was Aaron Brennan of Galway City Harriers in 20:44.

Winning the women’s 4km was junior athlete Aoife O’Brien of Westport AC in 15.42. Catherine Casserly of Galway City Harriers was second and first W40 in 15:53 and Aine O’Farrell of Athenry AC third and second junior in 16.12.


At orienteering’s eighth round of the Leinster League at Three Rock Wood in Co Dublin, Spanish visitor Luis Sanchez Serrano of Villena-O proved the class of the field in the elite brown course, clocking 85 mins 50 secs for the 8.1km course with 16 control points. Anna Nilsson Simkovics of OLC Winerwald was second and first woman in 98:13, with Valdas Tilunas of host club 3ROC third and first M40 in 103.30.

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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!