Correction: I’ve just checked the AAI website and the Irish standard for men is 2 hrs 13 mins. Eoin McQuillan tells us that the UK standard is 2:14.30
North Sligo’s Mary Cullen set a new course record of 25 mins 55 secs at the Axa Raheny 5. The injury-prone Cullen, who hasn’t raced in over two years, set a blistering pace from the start holding off the challenge of last year’s winner Linda Byrne of DSD who finished second in 26 mins 37 secs. Overall winner of the race was Joe Sweeney of DSD, who was chased hard by Tomas Fitzpatrick of Tallaght and Brian Maher of KCH.
A smell of barely dried paint and traces of sawdust greeted competitors at the National Combined Events Indoor Championships at the magnificent new indoor track in Athlone IT. The venue brought out the best in competitors, with Katie O’Donoghue of Craughwell edging out Vivian Fleischer of Celbridge and Kilkenny’s Caitriona Twomey to win the junior women’s title, and Shane Aston of Trim just 23 points clear of Eric Stam from Bandon and Kieran McGinley four points adrift for third of the junior men. Kilkenny’s Michael Bowler, with 11.62 in the shot and 6.11 for the hurdles, was an impressive winner of the senior men’s event.
Lizzie Lee of Leevale was first woman at the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 with a time of 57 mins 35 secs. In second place was Claire Gibbons McCarthy of St Finbarr’s in 57.57, with DSD’s Niamh Devlin third in 59.10. Clonliffe’s Gary O’Hanlon was overall race winner in 51 mins 21 secs. Last year’s winners Maria McCambridge and Sean Hehir were non-starters.
Linda Byrne and Ava Hutchinson leads a strong Dundrum South Dublin team in the women’s race at Sunday’s European Club Cross-Country Championships in Castellon, Spain. DSD also represents Ireland in the junior women’s race with the team led by Siofra Cleirigh Buttner. Clonliffe, with a team including stalwarts Sergiu Ciobanu and Gary O’Hanlon, go in the senior men’s race.
Derry is the venue on Sunday for the Woodie’s DIY National Masters and Intermediate Cross-Country Championships, with the masters in particular, always a closely contested race. Former champion David Morwood warmed up for the event with victory in the Ulster championships last week, but faces tough opposition from a field of over 200 that is likely to include defending champion Ciaran Doherty and a strong team from Dublin, led by Raheny’s Mick Traynor and former champion Peter Matthews of DSD. In the women’s race, Pauline Curley from Tullamore is the defending champion and will resume battle with her old rival Annette Kealy of Raheny.
Star of the Woodie’s DIY AAI Games in Athlone was Clonliffe’s Brian Gregan who set a new personal best time of 46.08 when winning the 400m. The time was a new Irish indoor all comers record. Thomas Barr of Ferrybank was second in 47.46. Ferrybank’s Kelly Proper showed a welcome return to form when she won both the 60m and the long jump. In the women’s 800m, leader Ciara Everard of UCD and then Riocht’s Laura Crowe fell within sight of the line leaving Jana Hartman from Germany the winner in 2:04.14. Raheny’s Siobhan Eviston was second in in 2:04.35 while third was DSD’s Siofra Cleirigh Buttner in a new Irish junior record time of 2:05.26.
* Update: UCD’S Ciara Mageean hopes to qualify for the European Indoors at Friday’s Irish University Indoor Championships in Athlone. In Karlsruhe, Germany, Fionnuala Britton is to make an attempt on Mary Cullen’s Irish indoor 3000m record.
DSD athletes ventured away from the track and road to make it double at the Hell and Back 10km in and around Kilruddery. Mark Conway was first man and Grace O’Malley first woman. Close to 2,000 registered for the run/assault course.