In a busy weekend, well week, for Irish athletes across Europe, Lindie Naughton covers the results. 

At the Griffith Avenue Mile, in Dublin, held in horrendously wet conditions on Sunday (September 17), John Travers of Donore Harriers was just two seconds off breaking the four-minute barrier. Travers pushed hard from the start and finished in 4 mins 1 sec, while behind him Harry Purcell of Trim AC, better known as a track man, and Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers were both given a time of 4 mins 2 secs.

Fastest woman was Irish 5,000m champion Íde Nic Dhomhnaill of West Limerick AC in 4:45. Áine Burke of St Coca’s AC was second in 5:07, holding off Edel Gaffney of Trim AC who finished in 5:08. Finishing in 5:31 was wheelchair athlete Libaan Ahmed Mohammed of Sanctuary Runners.

Photo: Clonliffe Harriers

In Belfast, Eskander Turki of Annadale Striders took a hard-fought victory at the Belfast Half Marathon. Turki was chased all the way to the line by Conan McCaughey of North Belfast Harriers, with the pair given times of 69:10 and 69:11 for the difficult, twisting course. Third in 70:51 was Gary Slevin of Foyle Valley AC in 70:52.

Ann Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC was a clear winner of the women’s race in 74 mins 53 secs. Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers was second in 76:16 and Caitlyn Harvey third in 78:41.

Abroad, Mayo native Sinead Diver won the Australian women’s marathon title at the Sydney Marathon, where temperatures were in the high 20s. Diver, aged 46, finished eighth in 2:31:27, nearly nine minutes clear of Kate Mason.

Less than a year ago, in December 2022, Diver clocked a personal best time of 2:21.34 at the Valencia Marathon in Spain, the fastest time ever run by an Irish-born woman and an Australian record. She has raced sparingly since then. Diver opted to run for Australia, where she has lived with her family since 2002, after Athletics Ireland refused to accept her qualifying time for the 2015 World Championships.

Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC took his second win in two weekends at the Rás Gael Scoil Eanna 7km, in Navan, Co Meath. Somba’s time of 22:55 saw him finish over three minutes clear of the chasers led by John Masterson, second in 26:3 with Paul Quinn third and first M40 in 26:49. First woman in 32:05 was Ciara Shaw of Kells AC who was also first W40.


Fourth time lucky for Lizzie

Ten years after winning the event for the third time, Lizzie Lee returned to the winner’s rostrum with at the 42nd Cork Women’s Mini-Marathon, this year held over the shorter distance of 5km, writes John Walshe.

In the decade since she last won, the 43-year-old has run the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics, captained the Irish team to bronze medals at the 2015 European Cross-Country, along with winning numerous national titles.

As predicted, the race quickly developed into a two-way battle between Lee and her Leevale AC clubmate, Hannah Steeds, who have battled it out in several local races this summer.

At the one-kilometre mark, reached in 3:27, they were accompanied by the surprise packet of the race, Amy Pollmann-Daamen of Riocht AC, with a sizeable gap already back to Carol Finn and Michelle Kenny.

After passing Páirc Uí Chaoimh with around a mile to go, Lee opened up a slight lead which at the finish had grown to six seconds. Crossing the line with the clock showing 17:19, proved just enough to take the top spot as Steeds closed strongly to finish a clear second in 17:26.

Amy Pollman-Daaman finished third in 17:43 with Carol Finn and Michelle Kenny, both Leevale AC, fourth and fifth.

Saturday Results

Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers rolled back the years to win The Lakes 10km in Blessington, Co Wicklow. Maher, a former Irish 10,000m champion who celebrates his 46th birthday next week, was a clear winner of the race in 31 mins 16 secs. Second in 32:56 was Colm Turner of Brothers Pearse AC, while third in 33:46 was Robin Mooney of Sli Cualann AC. Sixth and first woman in 37:31 was Sheila O’Byrne of Sli Cualann AC.

Winners at the Medieval Marathon in Kilkenny were Richard Hobson in 79:57 and Edel Byrne in 89:10. Aubrey Storey won the 30km in 1:47.03 with Sarah Flanagan first woman in 2:06:43. Carlos Gonzales won the marathon in 2:53.36; Lise Friis was first woman in 3:25.58.


Ciara Mageean of City of Lisburn AC closed out her track season at the Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday (September 16), with a time of 4:03.09 for 11th place in the women’s 1500m.

That time was well off her Irish record of 3:55.87 set a week earlier in Brussels. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, the undisputed queen of distance running at the moment, was the race winner in 3:50.71; Scotland’s Laura Muir was third in a season’s best 3:55.16.

A day later, in the men’s 3000m, Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC clocked a time of 7:54.73 for seventh place in the men’s 3000m.


At a well-supported Castlegar Open Cross-Country held on the Galway Race Course on Saturday (September 16), Fiona Gettings of Longford AC was first of the women in the combined 4000m race, with a time of 16 min 9 secs.

Winning the battle for second place was Sarah Doohan of Corrib AC in 16:20 with Edel Gaffney of Trim AC one second behind for third. First W50 was Michelle Lannon of Carrick-on-Shannon AC in 17:07. Second was Mari Johnson of Sligo AC with Collette Tuohy of Mayo AC.

Expect some of these women to be battling it out for places on the Irish team for the annual British and Irish Masters International at next month’s trial races in Abbotstown.

Also running 4000m were the U18 men, with Luke O’Sullivan of Craughwell AC winning in 14:43. Oisin Spillane of Ennis TC won the men’s 6000m race in 20 mins 20 secs, followed by Letterkenny AC’s Donal Farren in 20:27 and Kenneth Rogers of St John’s AC in 20:37. A clear winner of the U20 men’s race was Barry Conway of Ennis TC in 21:21.

In the age groups, Seamus Somers of Sligo AC was first M50 in 22:39, Aidan McMoreland of North Sligo AC first M40 in 22:49 and Derek Hunter of Sligo AC first M60 in 25:23. Ennis TC took both men and women’s team titles.

Mountain Running

Dee Collins of Ennis Track Club proved the star of the Irish team at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Madeira. In the 9.2m uphill race on Friday (September 15), the opening day of competition, Collins finished first in the W35 age group with a time of 57 mins 58 secs and also took team gold, backed up by Elaine Langley 4th and Marina Quinlan fifth.

On Sunday, Collins finished third overall and first W35 in the long distance 32.4km race, also taking team silver along with Lisa Byrne eighth and Karen Crean ninth.

Ireland’s other individual winner in the uphill race was Martin McDonald of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC who retained his M65 world title. McDonald finished in 55 mins 26 secs after taking the lead with 3km to go, with the M65 team finishing third.

In the W40 age group, Kealey Tideswell of Clonmel AC finished second W40 in 54 mins 2 secs and helped the team to gold. The W45 team also took gold, while the W50 team took silver. Of the men, the M35 took gold as did the M40 team, with the M50 taking silver on count-back and the M70 team bronze. There was more gold for Ireland in the M35 long distance 32.4km two days later, with Edward Connor finishing fifth overall and first M35.

Into the mountains at home

Locally, Shane Lynch and Adam Cunningham were the winners of the elite 55km class at the Mourne Mountain Marathon (Saturday September 16- Sunday September 17). Their time for the two-day navigational challenge, which includes an overnight camp, was 8 hrs 5 mins 21 secs.

Billy Vokes and Ben Windsor were second in 9:45.54 with Billy Reed and Paul Mahon third and first veteran team in 11:51.18. First mixed team was Pippa Dakin and Don Dakin in 12:49. No women’s teams finished. In the B class (45km), Clodagh Moran and Emer Perkins in 11:21.31 were the winning women’s team. Only seventeen of the thirty-four teams entered in this class finished.

Photo: Alessandro Zambianchi


Emma Stuart, an Irish athlete based in the English Lake District, won the 330km race at the annual Tor des Géants in the Italian Alps, from September 10-16. The veterinarian has had a wonderful year of running with a win at the Ultra Trail Snowdonia in Wales and a podium at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in the Italian Dolomites too.

In 82 hours, 42 minutes and 28 seconds the Scarpa athlete ran “una gara perfetta”, a perfect race, to take the victory in the worlds premier 200 mile race.

Finishing sixth in a special 460 km Tor des Glaciers race at the same festal of mountain running was Paul Tierney, the ex-Cork footballer, who turned to long-distance mountain running when he retired.

Tierney, now based in the English Lake District [seeing a theme here – Ed.], completed this gruelling endurance test in 135 hours 22 mins 37 secs. Last year Tierney also finished the 460k race and has placed well in the 330km event too, which seems is now a little too short for him to get excited about.

Also invited to compete in the invitation-only challenge was Eoin Keith, like Tierney originally from Cork, but based in Dublin. Keith finished 38th in 169 hours and 33 seconds. The start and finish of the race was in Courmayeur, Valle d’Aosta.