Once again Lindie Naughton brings us all the action from the Irish endurance world, despite spending the weekend working hard to help juvenile track and field athletes as well. 

Jake O’Regan from St John’s AC in Co Clare set a new course record of 14 mins 22 secs on his way to victory at the Bweeng 5km near Mallow in Co Cork on Sunday (May 8).

O’Regan won by almost a minute from James Hayes from Cork TC who finished in 15:20. Third in 15:31 was Eric Curran of Leevale AC. Finishing sixth and first master in 16:05 was M50 athlete Joe Cunningham of St Finbarr’s AC.

Top three men at Bweeng 5k. Photo: Mick Dooley

O’Regan’s run sets him up well for Saturday’s ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’ at Parliament Hill, London where he should improve on his previous best of 29:29.23 set in Belfast in December 2020. O’Regan has also recorded impressive times of 48:40 for ten miles and 64:52 for the half-marathon this season.

Leevale completely dominated the women’s race, taking the top three places. Sinead O’Connor was first in 16:23 followed by Jessica Coyne in 16:40 and Michelle Kenny in 17:33; Kenny was also first W40.

Home win for Fogarty

Mick Fogarty made it a home win at the Ferbane 5km, also on Sunday, which is part of the Offaly Road Race Series. Fogarty finished in 15 mins 23 secs, just holding off junior athlete Luke Purcell of Nenagh Olympic who was given a time of 15:25. First woman was Kate Kelly of Athlone IT AC in 17:30.

John Travers of Donore Harriers, who lives in Sligo, won the Ballyshannon 5km in Co Donegal on Friday evening (May 6).

Travers finished in 14 mins 26, comfortably clear of Sligo AC clubmates Shane Hayes and Martin Brennan, who finished second and third in times of 15:45 and 16:14.

First woman was Michelle Lennon of Carrick-on-Shannon AC in 18:14. Sliog AC’s Mari Johnson was second in 18:58 and Emer O’Brien of Finn Valley AC third in19:09.

O’Flaherty flying on the runways

At the Run the Runways 5km, also on Friday, Owen Carleton was the winner in 15 mins 54 secs, with Olympic steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC second and first woman in 16:36.

Gareth Lyons won the 10km in 33:05 with Erin McConnell the first woman in 37:03.

A day later, on Saturday (May 7) in Co Kerry, Paul Moloney of Mallow AC led home over 800 finishers at the the Dingle Half Marathon with a winning time of 69 mins 18 secs. Derek Griffin was second in 71:48 and John Meade third in 72:03.

Hannah Steed was tenth overall and first woman in 82:16, followed by Catherine Thornton of Galway City Harriers in 86:44 and Greta Maher Collins in 92:04.

Winners at Pat’s 5 in Pomeroy Forest, Co Tyrone, also on Saturday, were Hughie Taggart in 18 mins 30 secs and Gemma Whitehouse in 21:54.

Victory for Harty and Gaffney

Photo: Mick Dooley

On Thursday evening (May 5), Michael Harty of East Cork AC continued his record breaking spree with a new race best of 24 mins 21 secs at the Midleton 5-miler, a race that has been on the go since 1984, writes John Walshe.

Harty finished 80 seconds ahead of Mark Walsh from Leevale with the remarkable Vivian Foley of Eagle AC recording 26:11 for third place, just over two weeks after he finished second M50 at the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:33:32.

Harty, disappointed that his recent 14:14 for 5km in Kilkenny may not be ratified as an Irish M40 record due to doubts about the course accuracy, had the consolation of setting a Irish M40 track best of 14:24.89 the previous Saturday at the Irish Milers Club meet at Santry. This was almost 10 seconds faster than the previous record held by Brian Maher.

Breda Gaffney from Mallow is another masters athlete in fine form and despite recent illness won a close women’s race at Midleton, her 30:18 giving her six seconds to spare over Rosaleen MacKeown of Leevale with the ever-consistent Carmel Crowley from Bandon third in 30:52..

Photo: Mick Dooley

High class track running stateside

At Friday evening’s Sound Running track meet in San Juan, Capistrano, California, Hiko Tonosa, representing Dundrum South Dublin AC, finished fifth in the 10,000m with a time of 27 mins 53.10 secs, which puts him top of the current Irish rankings. Sean Tobin finished 12th in 28:27.16 and Stephen Scullion one place behind for 13th in 28:42.76.

In the women’s 5000m, Northern Irish athlete Roisin Flanagan’s time of 15.38.64 for 18th place was inside the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard. Flanagan was repreenting Adams State University.

Running in the Section 2 race, Leevale’s Michelle Finn finished 10th in 15:54.24.

Over 1500m, Georgie Hartigan, representing the On Running team and competing in the Section 2 race race, finished third in 4:10.70. That time was outside her season’s best of 4:09.87 run at the Penn Relays a week earlier.

In the men’s elite 1500m, Andrew Coscoran clocked a time of 3:38.64 for fifth place, with Brian Fay of Raheny Shamock AC finishing ninth in 3:40.43.

On the same day, Ava O’Connor and James Dunne, both Tullamore Harriers, had travelled to Eugene for the Oregon Twilight Track and Field Meet. In the women’s 1500m, where she finished ninth, O’Connor’s time of 4:21.15 was a personal best and comfortably under World U20 Track and Field Championships standard.

Despite worsening weather, with a strong wind and driving rain, Dolan managed to clock a time of 3:46.25 for his 1500m heat when finishing 12th. Finishing fouth in the earlier heat with a time of 3:42.29 was Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers.

Off-road and into the wilds

Andrew Tees of the BARF club in Co Antrim was the clear winner of the Glacier Lakes solo run on Saturday (May 6).

Tees finished the 42.7km run through the remoter corners of the Wicklow Mountains in 4 hrs 39 mins 20 secs. Second and first M50 in 5 hrs 1 min was East Antrim AC’s Billy Reed, who runs in the M55 age group. The top 19 in this race were all over 35 and most of them much older.

Winning the handicap four-leg relay over the same route were orienteers Roisin O’Donnell W60 and Ruth Lynam W65 in 6 hrs 6 mins.

At the Leinster Eveing League round, to the top of Prince William’s Seat and back on Wednesday (May 4), Conal Whelan of UCD AC was the winner in 42 mins 9 secs, with Sarah Brady first woman in 48:54.