The KBC Dublin Marathon saw some of the finest Irish performances in recent years and there were impressive results in the mountains, at the World 24hr Champs and in Valencia
Scullion clocks 2:12:01 and Northern Irish Record at Dublin Marathon
Northern Irish athlete Stephen Scullion produced the best Irish result in years at the KBC Dublin Marathon on Sunday (October 27) when he finished second overall in 2 hrs 12 mins 1 sec.
Scullion, based in Flagstaff, Arizona for the past three years, was improving on the time of 2:14:34 he ran in Houston last January. Most recently, he finished 43rd in the marathon at the World Championships in Doha witha time of 2:21.31.
“It’s the best day of my life – during the race in Doha, I wanted to retire!” he said. His target is qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, for which he will will need a time of 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.
In ideal running conditions, defending Irish champion Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock AC finished second of the Irish in a personal best of 2:13:19, while Hugh Armstrong of Ballina AC, making his marathon debut, was third in 2:14:22.
Sean Hehir of Metro St Brigid’s AC was fourth of the Irish in 2:16.01 and Eoghan Totten of Newcastle and District AC fifth in 2:16.09; another personal best. Gary O’Hanlon, Mark Kenneally and Sergiu Ciobanu, all Clonliffe Harriers, took the next three places all finishing in under 2 hours 18 minutes.
It was without question the best quality Irish marathon since the glory days of three decades ago. Even with David Flynn dropping out after 30km, there was no doubt either that Clonliffe would retain their men’s senior team title.
Cooke claims a stunning PB
Aoife Cooke, who has recently signed up for Eagle AC in Cork, knocked 14 minutes off her previous best to finish first of the Irish woman in 2:32.34.
Cooke, from Youghal, was a promising juvenile athlete who returned to athletics six years ago. Coached initially by her aunt Mary Sweeney, a pioneer of women’s distance running, she won the National Novice Cross-Country title in late 2015. After moving her training up a gear a year ago, she ran a time of 55 mins 17 secs at the Mallow 10-Mile in March and, last month, was first woman at the Charleville Half Marathon in 74 mins 41 secs.
“I think Ann-Marie [McGlynn] had a big enough lead on me for a while, but I was confident that if I got to 20km keeping to the pace I set out with, I would be strong enough to push on from there and that’s how it worked out,” she said after finishing.
Her time puts her fifth on the all-time Irish list with McGlynn, who finished in a personal best 2:32.54, moving up to sixth place behind her. Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers was third in 2:36:42, which improved her personal best by over a minute.
Caitriona Jennings of Letterkenny AC was fourth in 2:37.55 and Breege Connolly of City of Derry Spartans fifth in 2:38.28, which meant five Irish women broke 2 hours 40 minutes. Previous champion Laura Graham of Mourne Runners, who has struggled with injury over the past years, was forced to drop out after 30km.
Overall race winner in a new course record 2:08.06 was Othmane El Goumri of Morocco. In 2018, El Goumri returned to competition after a two-year ban for irregularities in his biological passport. First woman in 2:27.48 was Motu Gedefa; second was the 2018 champion Mesera Dubiso in 2:28.29. Ethiopian athletes took the top four places in the women’s race, with Natasha Cockram of Wales fifth in 2:30.50.
In the wheelchair race, Paralympian Patrick Monaghan of Le Cheile AC in Leixlip took a fifth title in 1:39:50. Callum Hall from England was a distant second in 1:48:44 with Tian Bosch of South Africa third in 1:49:58.
Tommy and Eoin break the Father-Son WR
At the Frankfurt Marathon, also on Sunday, Tommy Hughes and his son Eoin set a world record for the fastest combined father-son time when they finished in 4 hrs 59 mins 22 secs. The previous world record stood at 5 hours 2 minutes 12 seconds.
59 year old Tommy finished first of the pair in 2:27.52 with Eoin less than four minutes behind in 2:31.30.
Also running in Frankfurt were Eric Keogh of Donore Harriers who finished 28th in 2:18.24, Thomas Hayes (2:25:01), Michael Morgan (2:26:42), Lee Van Haeften (2:28:32) and Neasa De Búrca (2:59:48) amongst many other fine performances.
At the Valencia Half Marathon in Spain on Sunday, Emma Mitchell, recently signed with Clonliffe Harriers, finished 12th woman in 72 mins 28 secs, knocking two minutes off her previous best.
World 24-Hour Championships
Amy Masner from Co Wicklow finished 24th woman at the World 24-Hour Championships in Albi France held over the weekend (October 26-27).
Masner finished with a total of 219.548 km having risen as high as 16th in the rankings mid-race. Finishing 29th with a total of 215.668 km was Lorraine Mahon. Sinead Kane, the visually impaired ultra runner who won her battle to compete, completed 185.848 km with the help of two guides. Making up the Irish team were Yvonne Naughton 173.176 km and Louise Smart who completed 104.473 km.
Best of the Irish men was the vastly experienced Eoin Keith who maintained a steady 9km per hour pace to complete 223.123km and finish 49th. Not too far behind was Eddie Gallen, another experienced ultra man, with 220.141km for 54th place. Alex O’Shea completed 198.377 km, Padraig Mullans 131.311 km and Aidan Hogan 107.455 km.
World Mountain Running Cup winner Sarah McCormack finished second in the women’s race at the annual Trofeo Vanoni in Morbegno, Italy on Sunday (27 October).
Race winner was the Kenyan Lucy Wambui Murigi of Run2gether who finished in 21 mins 16.65 seconds; with McCormack, running for the Snowdon Race Team, home in 21:23.80, and Elise Poncet of France third in 21:28.10. Also running was IMRA’s Rebecca Quinn who finished 19th and first W45 in 25:21.65.
In the men’s relay race, Zak Hanna was running again with the Snowdon Race Team that had finished second a year earlier. They had to be content with sixth place this time in a collective time of 1hr 35 mins 56 secs for the three legs. Making up the team were Joe Baxter, Michael Cayton and Hanna on the final leg. Finishing 22nd in 1:43.14 was the Irish team of Tom Lupton, Ian Conroy and James Kevan. Race winners in 1:31.22 was the Valle Brembana team.
Joseph Hastings of Dundrum South Dublin AC and Clare Fagan of Mullingar were the winners at the Leinster Novice Cross-country Championship in Gowran, Co Kilkenny on Sunday (October 27).
Hastings beat James Kelly of Castlecomer AC to win the men’s race, with Michael Kelly of St Abban’s AC third. DSD finished best of the teams beating St Abban’s and Drogheda and District AC. Laois was the winning county ahead of Dublin and Kilkenny.
In the women’s race, Rose Finnegan of UCD AC was second and Lucy Barrette of Raheny Shamrock AC third. Raheny was first team with Mullingar Harriers second and Rathfarnham WSAF AC third. Dublin was a comfortable winner of the county title, with Westmeath second and Kilkenny third.