Another awesome weekend for Irish athletics all over Europe with a few highlights that stand out. Lindie Naughton reports.
Ciara Mageean produced the run of her life to set a new Irish women’s mile record of 4:14.58 when at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday (July 21), taking almost three seconds off Sonia O’Sullivans 1994 record of record of 4:17.26.
Mageean finished second in the race behind runaway winner Faith Kipyegon from Kenya who was setting a new world record time of 4:07.64, almost five seconds faster than any woman had run before.
Mageean’s previous best was the 4:19:03 dated back to 2019. Last year, Mageean took some two seconds off O’Sullivan’s Irish 1,500m record, running 3:56.63 at the Diamond League in Brussels.
It is worth noting that post race the record wasn’t enough for Mageean, who did an additional fartlek session after the race to get her training in for the weekend. Coach Helen Clitheroe of Team New Balance Manchester keeping her on her toes.
A Diamond weekend
Two days later, at the Diamond League in London, three Irish distance athletes were in action. First up was rising wheelchair star Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC who finished fourth in the wheelchair 800m in 1:51.55. Bocquet recently competed at her first World Para Games, where he qualified for the 1500m final, finishing tenth in a personal best 3:31.05.
In the mens’ 1500m, Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC finished 14th in 3:32.42, well off the Irish record 3:30.42 he had set a week earlier.
Michelle Finn of Leevale AC lined out in the women’s steeplechase and battled it out all the way to the line to record a season’s best time of 9:34.76. Finn, a double Olympian, will aim to win her ninth national steeplechase title in Santry next Saturday (July 29).
In his second race of the week, Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers won the 1500m at the Flanders Cup meet in Ninove on Saturday (July 22) in 3:36.85. Shane Bracken of Swinford AC clocked 3:41.06, while in the women’s 800m, Claire Mooney of Naas AC recorded a time of 2:05.13.
At the Spitzen Leichathletik held in Luzern, Switzerland on Thursday (July 20), Luke McCann of UCD AC finished sixth in the 1500m with a time of 3:38. Not far behind was Nicholas Griggs of Belfast Candour AC eighth in 3:38.44
Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers clocked a time of 1:48.51 to win the men’s 800m at the British Milers Meet held at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast, on Wednesday (July 19).
Leevale AC’s Charlie O’Donovan was second in 1:49.06 and Roland Surlis of Annalee AC third in 1:49.30.
American visitor Michaela Meyer won the women’s A 800m in 2:02.91, followed by Jenna Bromell of Emerald AC in 2:03.42.
Over 1500m, Callum Morgan of Belfast Candour AC was second with a time of 3:44.83 behind the Australian Will Lewis who finished in 3:42.67. Third in 3:45.97 was Andrew Milligan of North Belfast Harriers, followed closely by Neil Johnston of Annadale Striders in 3:46.17.
Ellie Hartnett of UCD AC won the women’s A 1500m in 4:20.11, with Niamh Kearney of Raheny Shamrock AC second in 4:24.20, Rebekah Osborne of Dromore AC third in 4:25.52 and junior athlete Lucy Forster of Willowfield AC fourth in 4:26.65.
In the men’s A 3000m, Mitchell Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF AC finished third in 8:02.85, followed by Oisin Spillane in 8:12.44. Conall McClean of St Malachy’s AC was sixth in 8:12.95 and Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers seventh and first M35 in 8:13.33. Jodie McCann of Dublin City Harriers won the women’s 3000m in 9:29.93 followed by Aoife Ó Cuill of St Coca’s AC in 9:31.20.
Louise Gaffney of Rathfarnham WSAF AC ran a smart race to win the combined A/B 1500m at the seventh Dublin Graded Track and Field meet of the season at Tallaght on Wednesday (July 19).
Gaffney caught early leader Sorcha McAllister of Dublin City Harriers in the race for the line to finish in 4 mins 48.89 secs. Second in 4:49.82 was Gaffney with Ellen Byrne, also DCH, third in 4:54.36.
Áine O’Connor of Ratoath AC was first in grade C in a time of 5:00.64 and Orla Duffy of DCH AC first in D with 5:00.63. Jared Murray won the A men’s 1500m in 4:05.38.
John Travers of Donore Harriers and Meghan Ryan of Dundrum South Dublin made it a Dublin double at the Irish Runner 10-Mile held in the Phoenix Park on Sunday (July 23).
On a tricky, twisting course, Travers did well to break 50 minutes winning the race in 49 mins 57 seconds. David Mansfield of Clonmel AC was second in 50:33 and Emmet Jennings of DSD AC third in 50:40.
Ryan was a clear winner of the women’s race with a time of 58:03. Her clubmate Fiona Clinton was second in 59:15 and Kealy Tideswell of Clonmel AC – running her second race in three days –third in 59:25. A total of 1,424 completed the race which also doubled as a national championships.
In Co Louth, Peter Brandon Somba of Dunboyne AC returned to winning ways with victory in the the Duleek 10km with a time of 32 mins 18 secs. Second in 32:40 was Aaron Smith of Cilles AC with Robin Mooney of Sli Cualann AC third in 32:56.
Barbara Murray of Glaslough Harriers was first woman and first W40 in 42:49. Nina Holmes of Crusaders AC was second in 43:14 and Susan Gannon third and first W50 in 45:18.
5k, 5 mile and 10k racing
At a well-supported Galbally 5-mile and 5km, in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Martin McKenna of Armagh AC won the 5-Mile in 27:29 with Gillian McCrory of St Peter’s AC first woman in 30:23. Winners of the 5km were David Graham of Mallusk Harriers in 18:31 and Tara Jayne Murphy of Keep ‘Er Lit AC in 20:45
On Saturday (July 22), Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley AC was a clear winner of the Larne Coast Road 10km, in Co Antrim. Rankin finished in 32:19, with Ricky Johnston of Jog Lisburn RC second in 332:50 and local athlete Jordan Heron of Larne AC third in 33:01.
First woman was Ivana Anderson in 35:08, followed by Elisoa Crawford of North Belfast Harriers in 37:34 and Debbie McConnell, also North Belfast Harriers, in 38:39.
In Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, Mark McNally and Natasha Scott made it a double victory for Glaslough Harriers. McNally led home over 200 finishers in 59 mins 36 secs, while Scott was first woman in 66:58.
Further south, Peter McGovern won the Brandon Bay Run 10km in Co Kerry in 37 mins 1 secs. Second and first woman was Paula Fernandez Perez in 39:17.
Friday night at the races
Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers was the winner of the Bob Burke 4-Mile at Grange, Fermoy Co Cork in 19 mins 40 secs. Second was James McCarthy of East Cork AC in 20:36, with Donal Coakley of Leevale AC a close third in 20:39. First woman was Aoife Cooke of Eagle AC in 22:34. Leevale AC’s Michelle Kenny was second in 23:21 followed by her clubmate Marie Howard in 26:11
Keith Donagher of Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Gillian Earley of Crusaders AC were the winners of the Donadea 10km, Co Kildare, on Friday (July 21).
Donagher won the race, held around Donadea Forest Park, in 33 min 58 secs, with Clane AC’s Gavin Kelly second in 34:05 and Vincent McGuinness of Crusaders AC third in 34:15. Earley finished 11th overall in 42:03 followed by Donna Mahon of Rathfarnham WSAF in 44:24 and Niamh Garvey of Brothers Pearse AC in 46:04.
Winners of the 5km were Cathal McCarron of host club Donadea AC in 16:34 and Katie McElroy in 22:51.
Winners at the Rhode 5km, the seventh round of the Offaly 5km Road Series, were Jack Moran of Mullingar Harriers in 14:59 and Mary Mulhare of Portlaoise AC in 16:35.
At the Ballinameela 5km in Co Waterford, Dermot Gorman of Carrick-on-Suir AC won a chase for the line with Pat Fitzgerald of West Waterford AC, with both men given times of 15:43.7. Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC was first woman in 17:59, with Kate Veale of West Waterford AC second in 18:16. The race was the final round of the West Waterford Summer Series.
Stephen Moore and Siobhan Daly were the winners of the Kilgobnet 4-Mile, in Beaufort, Killarney, Co Kerry. Moore finished in 22 mins 10 secs and Daly in 25:37.
Timothy Johnston of Annadale Striders led home 705 finishers at the Sea 2 Sky 10km from Newcastle prom in Co Down. His time was in 34:01. First woman in 40:34 was Gillian McCrory of St Peter’s AC.
Earlier in the week
Conor Burke of KPMG was a clear winner of the Dublin City Council BHAA 5km at Irishtown Stadium on Wednesday (July 19) in a time of 15 mins 45 secs. First woman in 19:55 was guest runner Carmel Cooney. Revenue won both women and men’s team categories s
In Cork, Niall Shanahan and Lizzie Lee were the winners at the Gas Networks Ireland BHAA 5km at Cork Boat Club, Blackrock on Wednesday (July 19). Shanahan was a clear winner of the race leading home a stunning entry of 6241 finishers in 14 mins 56 secs. He also helped the Dept of Ed to team victory.
Lizzie Lee, representing Apple, finished in 16:41. HSE was first team. Among the category winners was Carmel Parnell, back after a long break, who was first W65.
Winners of the Portaferry 10- mile on Tuesday (July 18) were Dale Murray of North Down AC in 54 mins 57 secs and Alice Brear Clarkson of East Down AC in 63:59.
Zak Hanna of Newcastle and District AC finished 51st in a time of 2 hrs 15 mins 8 secs at the classic La Montee du Nid d’Aigle mountain race, in St Gervais, France on Saturday – a relentlessly uphill 19.5km course with 2,000m of climb. The race was part of the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.
A good group of Irish runners were among the 361 finishers, with David Power of Rathfarnham WSAF AC finishing in 2:25.39, Virginia Hourihane (second M1F) in 2:33.47, Luke McMullan of Newcastle and District AC in 2:38.34, Rosy Temple in 3:08.41, and Hazel McLaughlin of Lagan Valley AC in 3:44.29.
Catch-up on the Mountains at home
Tony Forristal of East Cork AC won the Carrauntoohill Classic (15km, 1,100m) on Sunday July 16 in a time of 93 mins 30 secs. Henry Browne of West Muskerry AC was second in 96:58 and Seán Quirke of Bilboa AC third in 97:53. Fiona Dowling was first woman in 2 hrs O mins 45 secs.
Donal McMorland of Glenmore AC in Co Louth has become the first Connemara ‘rounder’ completing the route in 20 hrs 31 mins – well under the 24 hour target after setting off at 3.30am on July 17.
Starting from Letterfrack, the Connemara Loop takes in the twenty-nine peaks of the Twelve Bens, Maumturks and Partry Hills mountain ranges, a distance of about 94km with 7,700m of climb. In June 2022, McMorland completed the Wicklow Round in 16 hrs 15 mins 31 secs, putting him second on the all-time list.
Catch-up on track
Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers won the 5000m at the Morton Games on Friday July 14 in a personal best 13 mins 25.53 secs. Darragh McElhinney of UCD AC was second in 13 mins 27.81 secs, Tom Mortimer of GB third in 13:29.77, Scott Battie of GB fourth in 13:30.12 and Samuel Barata from Portugal fifth in 13:32.75.
Then came two more Irish: Fearghal Curtis of Youghal AC sixth in 13:34.44 and Clonliffe’s own Efrem Gidey seventh in 13:37.56. Stephen Scullion, also Clonliffe, was tenth in 13:48.94 and Pierre Murchan of DCH AC twelfth in 13:55.66.