To start the week Lindie Naughton brings us all the Irish endurance action and news from the weekend just gone (Monday 10th June).

Ireland made  a golden start to the European Track and Field Championships in Road on Friday evening when the 4x400m mixed relay team won only the country’s second gold ever at these championships. Making up the winning team were Chris O’Donnell, Rhasidat Adeleke, Thomas Barr and Sharlene Mawdsley.

Photo: James Rhodes

Two days later on Sunday, Ciara Mageean  (City of Lisburn AC) finally won the gold medal she  so richly deserved when winning the women’s 1500m in 4”04.66.  From the moment, Mageean came out on to the track , she looked every  inch the champion in waiting and so it proved despite anxious moment when she looked boxed in turning into the finishing straight. What a run!

In the same race, Sarah Healy (UCD AC) finished a creditable seventh in 4:06.77. Her day will come and the talented athlete has a key role model in Mageean to show her just what is possible.

On Saturday, in the men’s 5000m on Saturday, Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) finished 14th in 13:29.48, while on the he roads on Sunday morning, Hiko Tonosa Haso (DSD AC)  finished 43rd in the men’s half marathon  in a time a time of 65 mins 42 mins, while Shona Heaslip (An Riocht AC) was 34th in the women’s race inn 72:19, followed by Emily Haggard-Kearney 64th in 77:04. Haggard-Kearney has recently transferred her allegiance from Britain to Ireland.

The European Championship continue until Wednesday; more next week!

At last Wednesday’s Dublin Graded Track Meet in Tallaght,  the fourth this season Maisy O’Sullivan (St Abban’s AC) beat Sarah Lane (Nenagh Olympic) for victory in the women’s A 800m. Their times were 2:14.23, and  2:14.73 respectively. Winning the men’s A 800m was Neil Culhane (Ace AC) won the men’s A race in 1:54.04; Cian Kelly (St Abban’s AC)  was second in 1:54.75 and Sean Carrigg (Clonliffe Harriers) third in 1:58.05.


Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) led home 1,378 finishers at the the Irish Life Corkagh Park 5-Mile in Dublin’s Clondalkin on Sunday (June 9) – the first race in this year’s Irish Life Dublin Marathon Race Series.

Armstrong’s finishing time of 24:01 put him well over a minute clear of second placed Peter Somba (Ratoath AC) in 25:26. Third and first M40  in 26:03 was Tomás Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC), who has made a welcome return to racing in recents weeks after  long break.

First woman in 29:02 was Faye Dervan (Dublin City Harriers), who just held off the challenge of Caitlyn Harvey (North East Runners) who finished one place behind her in  29:06. Third woman was Sarah Mulligan (Dundrum South Dublin AC, W35) in 29:44.

Winners in the age categories included Fiona Stack (Raheny Shamrock) fourth overall and first W40 in 30:45, Mary Jennings (Waterford AC) W65, Mary Lynch  (Raheny Shamrock) W70, Kieran Little (Blackrock) 27.00, Declan Watters (Brothers Pearse) , M50 Didier Da Costa (Monroe Harriers), Alan Fairbrother (Brothers Pearse) and Sean Ryan (Civil Service Harriers).

Next race in the series is the Final 10km, in Swords, Co Dublin on Sunday July 14.

5 mile and 5 kilometres, whatever you prefer

Result of the day at The Mile Marker series of races in Danesfort, Co Kilkenny came in the 5 mile, run outright by Kealy Tideswell (Clonmel AC, W40) in 28:47. Second and first man in 28:57 was Shane Noonan (Gowran AC).

Keith Kelly in 55:59 and Linda Grogan (Dundrum AC, W40) 64:48 were the winners of the 10-mile; Paddy Kelly (Kilkenny City Harriers), M40) in 17.17 and Louise Fogarty (Moyne AC) in 19.34 best in the 5km.

Big race on Saturday was the Patrick Bell and Nicky Phillips 5km organised by Bohermeen AC in Co Meath, where Ian Guiden (Clonliffe Harriers) was the winner in 14 mins 37 secs.

Behind him came two Drogheda and District runners – Tadgh Donnelly in 14:49 and Aaron Hanlon in 14:54. Brian Conroy (Clane AC) was fourth in 15:19,  Ieuan Hopkins (Brothers Pearse) fifth in 15:28 and Sean Doran (Clonliffe Harriers sixth in 15:32.

First woman was Ciara Hickey (Brothers Pearse, W40) in 16:42. Junior athlete Freya Renton (Westport AC) was second in16:53  and Bohermeen’s own Nichola Sheridan third in 17:16.

Meelin 5km & Dromana 5-mile by John Walshe

Reputed to be Ireland’s highest village, Meelin in North Cork saw both course records broken on an undulating out-and-back Meelin 5km course.

Darren Coleman (Mallow) and Danny O’Connor of the promoting Duhallow club – winner of the inaugural race last year – were together until around 400 metres to go when Coleman moved ahead to win by 21 seconds, 17:22 to 17:43.

Visiting Kilkenny City Harriers runner Colm Smyth took third in 17:58.

Carol Finn from nearby Kanturk easily won the women’s race, the Leevale runner knocking over two minutes from last year’s winning time when crossing the line in 19:23.

Sarah Treacy (Watergrasshill) was second in 21:03 with Gillian Murphy of Mount Hilary, first 12 months ago, having to settle for third in 22:07.

On Friday night, the Dromana five-mile took place from Villierstown to Cappoquin, a famous route that John Treacy often ran in his young days on his way to St Anne’s school.

The race has been on the go now for around three decades and its unlikely that the Olympic silver-medalist’s record of 23:49 from the early days will be threatened anytime soon.

Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe) repeated his victory from the previous week’s Ardmore race when defeating last year’s winner, Evan Fitzgerald – now a member of the promoting West Waterford club – 25:41 to 25:55.

Pat Fitzgerald (Waterford) was third in 26:24, Aidan Connell (West Waterford) finished fourth in 27:01 with Leevale’s Donal Coakley – five days after his 2:37 in the Cork Marathon – taking fifth in 27:02.

There is no stopping Kealy Tideswell, the Clonmel runner adding another race victory as her time of 29:00 gave her over two minutes in hand over Sarah Mulcahy. The St Catherine’s athlete finished second in 31:47 with Emer McGlynn (Waterford) a close third in 31:53.

Winning the Paddy Murtagh Cup for men’s teams of six was Brothers Pearse, with North East Runners second and Drogheda and District third. First in the Mallon Cup for women’s teams of four was Mullingar Harriers, with Newbridge AC second and Bohermeen third. First of the men’s club teams (four to count) was Drogheda and District, followed by Brothers Pearse and North East Runners.

Always different distances to choose from

Some 350 took part in a programmer of four races at the Glenmore Running Challenge on Co Louth on Saturday (June 8).

Winners of the half marathon  were Shane Toner  in 79 mins 365 secs and Diane Watson  96:16. First home in the ten-mile were Drew Fowler in 59:1§6 and Weimar McCracken (Annadale Striders, W40) in 70:23.

Jacek Latala (Lucan Harriers) was first man home in the 10km with a time of  39:29; local woman Joanne O’Connor (Glenmore AC) was first woman in 45:00. Finally in the 5-mile, Mark O’Connor (North East Runners) led them home in 16:561 with Brenda Mullan (Carmen Runners) first woman 18:11.

Four distances from 50km down to 10km were contested at the Portumna Forest Marathon Festival in Co Galway, also on Saturday.

Louis Coyne won the 50km in a time of 3 hrs 30 mins 57 secs, with Sinead Egan first woman in  4:08.47

Winning the marathon in 2:55.07 was Darren Flanagan. Deirdre Morgan was first woman in 3:08.38.  In the half marathon, the winner was Shane Begley in 82:06 with Colette Tuohy first woman inn 92:50. Finally in the 10km, Juan Francisco Ortigosa Felipe was  the overall winner with Tara Gavin first woman in 45:35.

Big numbers in Killarney

Vinny Connolly (Mullingar Harriers) led home over  1,100 finishers at the Killarney 10km on  Saturday (June 8) finished in a time of 31 mins 02 secs.

Jake O’Regan was second in 32:15 and Darragh O’Leary (Killarney Valley AC) third in 32:256.  First woman was Siobhan Hoare (Togher AC) in 38:11.  Second was Brenda McGinn (Donoughmore AC, W40) in 39:34 while third in 40:34 was Marie Howard (Leevale AC)

Winners of the half marathon which also attracted over 1,100 entires were Maurice Feehan (Duhallow AC) in 77:16 and Jennifer Martin (Talfelta AC) in 84:59

Kevin Donagher (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) was a comfortable winner of the inaugural  Bru Na Boinne 5km in Donore Co Meath on Friday (June 7)  with a time of 16:41.  Second in 18:02 was Andrew Kinane (Donore Harriers), with Sean Hill fourth in 18:06. Making it a Rathfarnham double was Laura McDonnell  who was fourth overall and first woman in 18:18.

Also on Friday evening, Brandon McKeown (Annadale Striders) won the Connswater 5-Mile run 24:49, with Victoria Atkinson (Victoria Park and Connswater AC) first woman in 31:25.

Alex Gray (Kilcoole AC) in 15 mins 30 secs and Sheila O’Byrne (Parnell AC in 17:58 were  the winners of the Wicklow 5km Championships held in Arklow on Wednesday (June 5).   Finishing second and first M40 was guest runner Emmett Dunleavy (Sligo AC) in 15.47.

Parnell AC were clear winners of the women’s senior team title ahead of Kilcoole AC and Lakeshore Striders.

Kilcoole proved best of the men’s teams with Parnell second and Aughrim AC third. In the masters categories, Lakeshore Striders AC won both the W35  and M35 categories, while Inbhear Dee AC was first of the M50 teams, with Parnell AC winning the W50 category. Junior team winners were the Bray Runners men and the  Greystones women.

Photo: Geoff Lowe


British ultra runner Sophie Power has run the length of Ireland from north to south in the fastest ever time recorded by a woman. Power, a 41-year-old mother of three, set off from Malin Head in Co Donegal – the northernmost tip of Ireland – early on Tuesday May 28 and arrived at Mizen Head in Co Cork – the southernmost point of Ireland three and a half days later on Friday evening, May 31.

To give more accurate figures, Power completed the 563km (341.19 miles) distance  with 17,502 ft of elevation in 3 days 12 hours 8 minutes, knocking over three hours off  fellow Briton Mimi Anderson’s 2012 record of 3 days 15 hours 3 minutes. Clocking more than a hundred miles each day, she managed on just 2 hours 17 minutes sleep over the three and a half days. Her average speed per mile was 14 mins 33 secs.

Power, who took up ultra running in 2012, when she ran a 45 mile race in England and the 6-day Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, ran for the British team at the World 24-Hour Championships in Taipei last December, completing 227.285 km and finishing nineteenth overall and ninth woman.

With her all the way was her husband John, a native of Cork and two older children, along with ultra cyclist Kate Strong.

*In July 2021,  Irish ultra runner Ed McGroarty  from Raphoe, Co Donegal set an overall record for running from Mizen to Malin (545 km)  of 3 days 1 hour 55 minutes  (yes; in the opposite direction). That time broke Eoin Keith’s  2017  record of 3 days 3 hours 47 minutes.