Lindie Naughton covers Irish endurance action from all over the globe this weekend. Indoors, on the road, cross country and ultra-running, we have it covered.
Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC took her second Irish indoor record in the space of a week when finishing fifth in the 1500m in a time of 4:03.83 at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Lievin, France on Saturday (February 10).
Last weekend, Healy, who turns 23 next week, set an Irish indoors record of 8:36.06 for 300m. Her immediate target is next month’s World Indoors in Glasgow, where she hopes to make the 1500m final. Healy is currently based in Wigan, training with Trevor Painter and Jenny Meadows, since May 2023.
Also in Lievin, Nick Griggs (CNDR AC) finished fourth over the rarely-run distance of 2000m in 5:02.58.
In New York, at the Armory where the Millrose Games took place on Sunday (February 11), Róisín Flanagan (Finn Valley AC) ran a time of 9:36.70, finishing 11th; race winner was Scotland’s Laura Muir in 9:04.84.
Mark English (Finn Valley AC) finished third in the men’s 800m in 1:46.61 – not far off his own Irish indoor record of 1:46.10. Finally, in the Wanamaker Mile, Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC), was well off his best when finishing 12th in 4:01.69.
In Lyon, France, Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) ran 2:03.09 to finish fourth in the 800m on Friday (February 9).
A number of Irish athletes were running in US indoor meets also on Friday (February 9).
In Chicago, Sean Donoghue (Celtic DCH AC) ran a personal best 3:58.07 to finish third in the mile.
At the Boston University David Hemery Invitational, also on Friday, Cian McPhillips (UCD AC) finished second in the 800m in 1:46.43, just shy of his indoor best of 1:46.13. Laura Nicholson (Bandon AC) ran a personal best 4:34.35 to finish 12th in the mile, knocking over 13 seconds off her previous best.
In the men’s mile, Charlie O’Donovan (Leevale AC) finished tenth in 3:54.16 , James Dunne 23rd in 3:57.26 and Shane Bracken 29th in 3:58.56. Over 3000m, Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers) finished 13th in 7:52.52 and Michael Morgan (Sligo AC) 15th in 7:56.01.
Earlier in the week, Niamh Kearney of Raheny Shamrock AC won the women’s A 3000m with a time of 9:25.27 at the BMC Indoor Meet in Lee Valley on Wednesday (February 7). Cheryl Nolan of St Abban’s AC was third in 9:40.53.
Georgie Hartigan (DSD AC) ran a time of 2:04.56 to finish second in the women’s A 800m while in the men’s A 800m, Robert Hewison (Kildare AC) was second in 1:51.02.
Indoors at home
At the Irish Universities Indoor Championships in the NIA, Abbotstown on Saturday (February 10), DCU retained the women’s title for a 17th time and an eighteenth time since overall since 2005. For a fourth year UL finished runners-up. UCC was third.
In the men’s competition, DCU was taking a seventeenth title, with UL, winners in 2022, finishing second and MTU third.
For a third consecutive year, Tim O’Donoghue of East Cork AC, now aged 37, won the men’s title at the All Ireland Masters Cross-Country Championships held in Dundalk on Sunday (February 11).
O’Donoghue’s time of 24 min 50 secs for the 7km course put him 49 seconds clear of Clonliffe’s Colm Rooney in 25:39 who was first M40. Finishing third was Brian Conroy of Clane AC in 26:06, while fourth and second M40 in 26:15 was Eoin Flynn of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in 26:15.
In fifth place, Philip Goss was leading North Belfast Harriers to team victory over Clonliffe Harriers, with Annadale Striders, led by John Craig in sixth place, the third team. First M45 was Mick Fogarty of Ferbane AC. Stephen Duncan of Omagh Harriers was first M50 and Pauric McKinney of Inishowen AC first M55.
Omagh Harriers proved best of the M60 teams, with Grange Fermoy and Inishowen second and third.
Dublin won the M35 county title ahead of Antrim with just a single point in it. Donegal was third. Dublin also won the M50 team category beating Donegal and Tyrone.
Purcell goes one better than Dublin
Kate Purcell of Raheny Shamrock AC, runner-up in the Dublin Championships, won the women’s 4km race with a time of 16:45 for the 4km distance. Fiona Gettings of Longford AC was second in 16:54 and Fiona Roche of Raheny Shamrock third in 17:01; all three women were over 40. Fourth and first W45 was Sarah Flanagan of Tullamore Harriers. First W50 was Michelle Lannon of Carrick-on-Shannon AC.
Annette Kealy of Raheny Shamrock was first W55 and Niamh O’Sullivan of An Riocht AC two seconds behind Kealy and first W60. Pauline Moran of Mayo AC was first W65 ahead of Mary Browne of Lucan Harriers. Margaret Glavey of Mayo AC was first W70. All four of these were retaining titles won a year earlier.
Raheny Shamrock was first of the W35 teams, ahead of Finn Valley and Donore Harriers. Mayo AC was first of the W50 teams, followed closely by last year’s winners Raheny Shamrock, with Sportsworld third. In the county championships Dublin, with four in the top ten, took the W35 title ahead of Donegal, with Kildare third. Dublin also won the W50 title beating Clare and Mayo.
Retaining his M65 title race with a time of 17:20 for the 4km distance was Tommy Payne of Tinryland AC. Laurence Johnston of North Belfast Harriers was second in 17:41 and Martin McDonald of Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District third in 17:45.
Joe Gough of West Waterford was fifth and first M70 and Martin McEvilly of Galway City Harriers 12th and first M75. Jim Langan of Tullamore Harriers was first M80.
Defending champions Tinryland AC were clear winners of the M65 team title ahead of St Finbarr’s AC and Kilmurry/Ibrick/N.Clare AC.
Intermediate cross country races
In the intermediate races, Amy Green of Finn Valley was a clear winner of the women’s 5km in 21:25. With Orla Duffy second in 22:12.
Susan McManus third in 22:24 and Aoife Carr fourth in 22:40, backed up by Clare O’Connor 22nd, Dublin City Harriers won the team title by ten points.
Clonliffe Harriers, with four in the top twelve, finished second. With only Dublin clubs competing, Raheny Shamrock was third, Sportsworld fourth, Liffey Valley fifth and a second DCH team sixth of the six teams entered. No prizes for guessing who took the county team title.
Paul Hartnett of East Cork AC won the men’s 8km race in 29:03, with Mihail Sprincean of Clonliffe Harriers second in 29:12 and Michael Murphy of Tullamore Harriers third in 29:55.
Clonliffe proved best of the teams ahead of East Cork and Dublin City Harriers. Dublin was first county team. Just 33 men and 39 men entered these races. A total of 356 ran the masters’ races.
Dublin took all six county team titles.
At the annual Stormont Cross-Country in Belfast on Saturday (February 10), Craig McMeechan of North Down AC comfortably won the men’s race.
McMeechan’s time of 22 mins 44 secs for the 4.4 mile distance put him almost a minute clear of the chasers, led by Timothy Johnston of Annadale Striders who finished in 23:43. Third and first U20 in 24:24 was Noah Kavanagh of Beechmount Harriers., while first master was Martin McKenna of Armagh AC in 24:49.
Winner of the women’s 3.3 mile race in 19 mins 57 secs was Elisoa Crawford of North Belfast Harriers. Catherine O’Connor of East Down AC was second in 19:58 and Sarah McNutt of Lagan Valley AC third in 20:03. All three women were over 35. First junior was Aisling Smith of Ballymena and Antrim AC in 21.08.
Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC finished 15th at the Barcelona Half Marathon on Sunday (February 11) in a time of 63 mins 11 secs. Race winner was the Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie in 59:22.
Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) was 34th in 64:54, while Daniel Stone (Raheny Shamrock) finished in 66:26, John Paul Williamson (City of Derry Spartans) in 66:47, David Scanlon (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) in 67:15 and Jamie Fallon(Craughwell AC) in 68:48.
Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC) proved the class of the field at the Rathcoffey GAA 10km in Co Kildare on Saturday (February 10) 16 mins 37 secs. A distant second and first man was Shane O’Reilly of Sligo AC in 18:23.
At the Cork BHAA Janssen 5km on Sunday, Conor McCauley and Carol Finn led home 358 finishers.
McCauley, who finished in 15 mins 10 secs, was also first M40 and was leading Apple to team victory over Dell Technologies led by Anthony Mannix who finished second in 15:14.
Third in 15:17 was John Shine of the Dept of Ed. Carol Finn finished 19th overall in 17:13. Noemie Leduc in second place with a time of 17:46 was leading Avondhu MF to team victory, while a close third in 17:48 was Nadine Forde of the HSE.
At the National 50km Championships in Donadea, Co Kildare, Sorcha Loughnane (Donore Harriers) set a new national record of 3:18:04 when finishing first woman and first W45.
In a Donore Harriers double, Ian Fitzpatrick was first of the men and overall winner, finishing in 3:04.44. John Weldon of Newbridge AC was second and first M40 in 3:09.00 and Gavin Kelly of Clane AC third in 3:13.02 and second M40.
Deirdre Martin of Carrick-on-Shannon AC was second woman in 3:45.51 and Aoibhe McCarthy of Kilcoole AC third woman in 3:532.29. Grainne Grennan of Blackrock AC was first W60 in 4:33.30