Hills: Team gold for Ireland at World Masters. M45 title for Des Kennedy.

Raheny’s Ian Conroy took individual silver and led Ireland to a comprehensive M35 team victory at the World Masters’ Mountain Running Championships in Slovakia.

With Rathfarnham’s Eoin Flynn fourth and Brian Furey sixth, the Irish finished with just 13 points, taking a clear victory over the home team on 44 points. Of the top twenty finishers in this age group, ten were Irish.

There was further glory for Ireland when Des Kennedy of Raheny won the M45 title, beating Italy’s Danilo Bosio, while in the M60 age group, Martin McDonald of Ballyroan and District finished second. Winning the M70 age group was Jim Patterson, the legendary Newcastle and District athlete from Northern Ireland.

In the women’s W40 race, Gillian Wasson  finished third and, with Hazel McLoughlin, took team bronze. All races, from over 35 to over 75 in both men and women’s categories, took place on a 9.6km course.

DIANE WILSON of Dromore AC was first woman at the annual Ben Nevis  mountain race in Scotland. It was a second victory at Ben Nevis for Wilson, who also won in 2015. In the men’s race, Jonny Steede of Glens Runners finished tenth and William McKee of Mourne Runners 15th.

World Masters Mountain Running C’ships, Slovakia

Men’s 9.6km
M35 (36 starters) : 1 Zachary Freudenburg (Ned) 38.42, 2 Emanuele Manzi (Ita, M40) 38.58, 3 Ian Conroy (Irl) 39.33, 4 Eoin Flymn (Irl) 40.10, 5 Ben Moounsey (GB) 40.56, 6 Brian Furey (Irl) 41.19, 7 Michael McCarthy (Irl) 41.56. Other Irish: 11 Paul Deane 44.27, 12 Sean Quirke 44.32, 14 John Kinsella 45.06, 16 Jason Kehoe 45.30, 17 Brian O Mhurchu 45.33, 20 Brian Flannelly 46.35. Teams (5) – 1 Ireland 13, 2 Slovak Republic 44, 3 Great Britain 53.
M45 9.6km (50 starters): 1 Des Kennedy (Irl) 40.30, 2 Danilo Bosio (Ita) 40.51, 3 Jezsef Sai (Hun) 41.00. Other Irish: 18 Bernard Fortune 46.24, 32 Brian McGuckin 50.57. Teams (5)- 1 Italy 11, 2 Germany 24, 3 Slovak Rep 45, 4 Ireland 51, 5 Czech Rep 53..
M50 9.6km (54 starters) : 1 Simon Strnad (Slo) 43.03, 2 Alec Woods (GBR) 43.08. Irish: 12 Keith Ryan 47.00, 16 Tom Blackburn 48.18.
M55 (68 starters) : Marek Dziegielewski (Pol) 43.08. Irish: 8 Gerard Maloney 45.59, 18 William O’Donoghue 50.10, 49 Syl Ivers 60.12. Teams (8) – 1 Italy 7, 2 GBR 13, 3 Slovak Rep 15….7 Ireland 26
M60 (56 starters): 1 Milos Smrcka (Cze) 44.26, 2 Martin McDonald 45.50. Other Irish: 46 Peter Bell 65.03.
M65 (40 starters): Adolfo Accalai (Ita) 48.34. Irish: 32 William John Brown 70.04. Teams (8)- 1 Austria 9, 2 Czech Rep 12, 3 Slovak Rep 15….7 Ireland 48.

M70 (27 starters): 1 Jim Patterson (NI) 55.03
Women’s 9.6km
W40 (20 starters): 1 Katarina Paulinyova (Slovak) 48.23, 2 Kirsty Hall (GBR) 50.42, 3 Gillian Wasson (Irl) 51.08. Other Irish 12 Hazel McLaughlin 59.57. Teams (5) – 1 Slovak Rep 5, 2 Czech Rep 15, 3 Ireland 15, 4 Hungary 16, 5 Italy 25.
W45 (17 starters): Sara Wagner (USA) 49.38. Irish: 7 Shileen O’Kane 52.32, 11 Zoe Melling 61.33. Teams – 1 Italy 7, 2 Slovak rep 10, 3 Czech Rep 14, 4 Ireland 18.
W50 (23 starters): Nives Carobbio (Ita) 47.47…13 Anne Sandford (NI) 64.47. Other Irish 23 Patricia Blackburn 75.37

Open Race – (20 starters): 6 Edward Casey (Irl) 49.03

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