To start the week Lindie Naughton brings us all the Irish endurance action from the weekend just gone.(Monday 18th March).

Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) finished less than four seconds off the Irish record when clocking a a time of 27:43.45 in the elite 10,000m at the ‘ The Ten’ track meet in San Juan, Capistrano, California.

The time puts Fay second on the all-time Irish list behind Alistair Cragg, whose Irish record of 27:39.55 dates back to April 2007. Race winner was Fay’s Nike team mate Grant Fisher in 26:52.04; Fay finished 22nd.

In another of the 10,000m races on offer, Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers) finished fifth in 27:49.30 with Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) one place behind him in 27 mins 53.14.

Both times were personal bests. In the same race, Barry Keane (Waterford AC) clocked 28:27.83 for 18th place. In yet another of the races, Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley AC) finsihed 11th in a time of of 29:25.70.

Nick Griggs star keeps rising

On the roads, Nick Griggs (CNDR AC, Belfast) set a new Northern Ireland record at The SportsShoes Podium Festival 5k in Leicester on Saturday (March 16). In the men’s elite race, Griggs finished fourth in a time of 13 mins 39 secs. Winner was Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia in 13:19.

Giggs’ clubmate Callum Morgan finished 29th in 14:15 and John Travers (Donore Harriers) 38th (of 54 finishers) in 14:26.

In the women’s elite race, Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers) was 41st in 16:26.

At the Lisbon Half Marathon on Sunday, former Irish champion Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers), failed to finish. Scullion is scheduled to run the London Marathon next month in a last-ditch attempt to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Scullion ran a time of 2:09.49 at the London Marathon of 2020, which is an Irish best time.

Also down to run in London on April 21 are Hiko Tonosa (DSD AC), Martin Hoare (Celbridge AC) and Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC).

Pierre Murchan (DCH AC) winner Streets of Portlaoise 5km Photo PopUp Races

St. Patricks Day Roads

Pierre Murchan (Dublin City Harrers) was the winner of the Streets of Portlaoise 5km held on the morning of St Patrick’s Day (Sunday March 17) in a time of 14 mins 24 secs. The race was the opening round of the 2024 Peugeot Race Series.

Second in 14:42 was Emmett Jennings (Dundrum South Dublin AC) with Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) just beating Colin Maher (Ballyfin AC) for third place in a chase for the line. Fifth was Fintan Kerins (Clonliffe Harriers), followed by Declan O’Meara (DSD AC) who was first junior.

Pre-race favourite Ann-Marie McGlynn (Latterkenny AC) was the winner of the women’s race in 16:19.

Grace Lynch (DSD AC) was second in 16:31 while Cliona Murphy (DCH AC) beat Catherina Mullen (Metro St Brigid’s AC) for third place in 16:48; Mullen was a second behind. Fifth was Hannah Steeds (Leevale AC) in 16:43.

Defending Peugeot team champion large Dundrum South Dublin squad had travelled from Dublin in forced and they began their title defence in some style taking the team prize with just 38 points.

DCH, new to the competition this year, were second on 80 points while third with 155 points was St Abban’s AC.

Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) first woman Tallaght AC. Photo Lindie Naughton

A double for Rathfarnham

Mitchell Byrne and Carla Sweeney made it a Rathfarnham WSAF AC double at the Tallaght 5km held on the morning of St Patrick’s Day (Sunday March 17).

Byrne, who has shown consistent good form over the past few years, pushed the pace from the start with only Aaron Hanlon (Drogheda and District AC) attempting to stay with him.

He crossed the finish line in 15 mins 2 secs; Hanlon was eleven seconds behind for second place in 15:234, while third in 15:23 was David Scanlon (Rathfarnham WSAF AC).

Sweeney finished first woman in 16 mins 55 secs, with Aine Cotter (North East Runners ) second in 17:08 and Lucy Barrett (Raheny Shamrock AC) third in 17:43.

The race was also a Dublin championships, and Sportsworld, led by Aoife O’Leary, who was also first W40, comfortably finished best of the women’s teams followed by Liffey Valley and Crusaders.

Much closer was the men’s compeition where Crusaders beat Clonliffe Harriers by just two points. Third was Rathfarnham WSAF.

Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) winner Tallaght 5km. Photo Lindie Naughton

In the novice grade, Andrea Rondina (Crusaders AC), who finished fourth overall, was first of the men with Laura Ryan (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) first novice woman.

In the team competition, Liffey Valley were the women’s winners, with Crusaders second and Donore Harriers third. Crusaders proved best of the men followed by Tallaght and Liffey Valley.

Somba leads the charge

Peter Somba (Dunboyne AC) led home well over a thousand finishers at the Mullingar Half Marathon, with his time of 69 mins 24 secs putting him three minutes clear of Andrew Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) who finished second in 72:28.Third was Ronan Potterton in 73:42.

Fiona Stack (Raheny Shamrock, W40) was first woman in 81:26, followed by Kate Kelly in 81:39 and Noreen Brouder (Sportsworld, W40) in 82:29. Host club Mullingar Harriers won both the men and women’s team competitions.

Athlone AC was second of the men, with Tullamore Harriers third, while Clones AC finished second of the women’s teams, with Crusaders AC third.

Should all races have the date in the name?

The compact McAuley Park in Harmonstown was the venue for the Paddy’s Day Half Marathon, 10km and 5km organised by Up & Out Fitness and attracting an entry of 478 across the three distances.

Winner of the half marathon was Christy McElligott in 79 mins 56. Robert Lea, of nearby club Raheny Shamrock, was second in 82:40. First woman in Seanagh Carton (D15 RC) in 89:10. Mary Walsh (Raheny Shamrock) was second in 90:31.

Anthony Byrne, of organising group Up & Out Fitness, won the 10km in 36:03, with Zoe Quinn (Raheny Shamrock) first woman in 39:29. The event attracted a number of the newer Dublin clubs, among them Coolock Running Club, North Clondalkin RC, Kilbarrack RC, The Liberties RC and Inner City RC.

Course record for Tobin, but not Armstrong

In Clonmel Co Tipperary, local athlete Sean Tobin was the winner at the Kilsheelan 10-Mile in a course record time of 51 mins 37 secs. Tobin’s Clonmel AC clubmate William Maunsell who finished second was given the same time.

Making it a Clonmel double – or maybe treble? – was Keeley Tideswell who was first women in 60:33 which was also a course record.

Michael Herlihy (North Cork AC) was third home of the men in 56:05. Second woman in 63:49 was Michelle Kenny (Leevale AC). Third was Eileen McCullagh (Thurles Crokes) in 67:10.

At the 51st St Patrick’s Day Tubbercurry 10km/5km, in Co Sligo, Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) set off with his sights set on the course record of 29:30 set by Andrew Coscoran last year.

Although around 15 seconds ahead of his target time at 5km, the headwind and rain on the tough second half of the race took its toll, and he finished eleven seconds outside the record with a time of in 29:41. Many times race winner Emmett Dunleavy finished second in 33:15, with his Sligo AC clubmate Brian Kinsella third in 35:11

Aoife Kilgallon (Sligo AC) was first woman in 36:56, with Eavan McLoughlin (DCH AC) second in 38:00 and Martina O’Connor (Mayo AC) third in personal best 38:30. Mayo AC took the women’s team prize.

Winners of the 5km race were Pearse Gallagher in 16:37 and Caitlín Hughes 19:29 ; both Swinford AC.

4000 out for 10k in Belfast

In Belfast , Stephen Connolly (Annadale Struders) was the winner of the SPAR Craic 10km, which attracted a record entry of over 4,000. Connolly’s time was 31 mins 42 secs. Second in 32:02 was David Spalding (Ballydrian Harriers), while third in 32:21 was Chris Madden (Beechmount Harriers).

First woman was English visitor Sophie Wood (Sale Harriers) in 35:10. Dearbhla Cox (Annadale Harriers) was second in 35:38 and Gladys Ganiel (North Belfast Harriers, W45) third in 35:47.

On Bank Holiday Monday (March 18), Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) was a clear winner of the Skerries 10km in north county Dublin with a time of 32:24. Second was local athlete Ronan Dunphy in 34:42. Fifth and first master (and first M50) was Declan Power (Clonliffe Harriers) in 35:13 First woman in 41:56 was Sive Duncan (UCD AC).

Saturday Roads

Winner of a well-organsied Run for Raphael’s 5km Leprechaun Run, in Celbridge, Co Kildare on Saturday (March 16) was Eoin Dowling in 17 mins 38 secs. First woman in 21:27 was Theresa Doherty.

Garry Morrow (Willowfield Harrier) was the winner of the Washingbay Green Run half marathon in Dungannon in a time of 72 mins 27 secs. Cathy McCourt, with a time of 92:17, was first woman.

In the 10km, the winners were James Downey in 37:24 and Ciara Ryan in 43:35, while in the 5km, David Rutherford (Annadale Striders) came home first in 16:49 with Laura Quinn first woman in 20:48.

Even Earlier…

Fastest time at the Queen’s 5km, Queen’s Sport PEC in Belfast on Wednesday (March 13) was Brhane Gebrebrhan (Annadale Striders) in 14 mins 31 secs. Just a second slower was his clubmate Neil Johnston who finished in 14:32 Third in 14:35 was Chris Fielding (Sale Harriers).

First woman in 16:50 was Anna Gardiner (East Down AC) who had won the girls’ senior title at the All Ireland Schools Cross-Country just four days earlier. Eimear McCarroll (Finn Valley) was second woman in 16:52 and Rebecca Rossiter (Loughview AC) third woman in 16:54. All three women are still juniors.

Clonliffe Harriers athletes took the first three places in the open 5km, with Cian Murray in 16:30 the winner.