It was the half marathon distance that gave the biggest with some runners focusing on the shorter distance before running marathons, virtual, elite or otherwise, later in the autumn.

The Antrim Coast Half Marathon already featured in our Sunday round-up, where Irish marathon champion Stephen Scullion, of Clonliffe Harriers and Northern Ireland, took two minutes off his half marathon PB with a time of 61 mins 08 secs for fourth place and a new Northern Irish record on Saturday (September 12).

Kevin Seaward of St Malachy’s AC finished fifth in 63 mins 05 secs, while in 20th place, Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers knocked 30 seconds off his previous best finishing first M45 in 66: 26.

Winning the over 60 class was Tommy Hughes of Stripe AC in a time of 71 mins 9 secs, which is a new age group world record.

In the women’s race, Jessica Craig of North Down AC in seventh place finished best of the local entry in 75 mins 45 secs; a week earlier, Craig had run 16:18 for 5km at Down Royal. Finishing eighth in a personal best time of 76:25 was Ciara Hickey of Brothers Pearse AC in Dublin, while tenth and second W40 was Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers in 78.12.

Antrim Coast Half. Credit: Steve Donegan Photography

Strong wins for Clohisey & Connolly

Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock was the winner of an elite only Charleville Half Marathon held in Co Cork on Sunday (September 13).

On a day of blustery winds, Clohisey, who will run in the 40th anniversary London Marathon elite race on Sunday October 4, finished in 65 mins 10 secs. Jake O’Regan of St John’s AC was second in 65:40 and Hugh Armstrong of Ballina AC third in 66:31.

Breege Connolly of City of Derry Spartans was first woman in 77:28 followed by Ide Nic Dhomhnaill of Donore Harriers in 78:36 and Mary Mulhare of Portlaoise AC in 79.51. A total of 73 finished the race; full results here.

Sean Hehir of Metro St Brigid’s AC won the MyRun Club Series with Avondale Sports Day 5km held at Rathdrum on Thursday (September 10).

Hehir finished in 16 mins 5 secs, with Joe Byrne of SBR AC second in 16:30 and Derek Crammond of Parnell AC third in 16:42. First woman was Catherine O’Connor in 19:21, followed by her Parnell AC clubmate Sheila O’Byrne in 20:03 with Rebecca Harris of Ashford AC third in 21.02.

Winning the Thursday Club 5km Handicap, also on Thursday at Mondello Park in Co Kildare, was Mick Fogarty of Ferbane AC in 15 mins 17 secs (35:04). Paul Mitchell of Tullamore Harriers was second in 15:44 (35:20) and Paul Buckley of Ferbane AC third in 16:15 (35.30). First woman in 18:05 (34.50) was Edel Gaffney. Ruth Kelly of Sportsworld AC was second in 19:09 (35:44) and Laurena Meagher third in 19:58 (35.29).

Ciara Mageean at the Mid-Cheshire 5k earlier in the year Photo:

Track – Irish on Tour

Ciara Mageean of City of Lisburn AC finished 13th in the 1500m at ISTAF Berlin on Sunday (September 13) in a time of 4:12.82; her season’s best is 4:10.99, set in Stockholm on August 23.

Earlier in the week, at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Tuesday (September 8), Mageean, who improved the Irish record to 1:59.69 in July, clocked a time of 2:01.40 to finished fifth in the women’s 800m. In the 1500m at the same meet, Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC finished in 4 mins 17.60 secs.

Next up for Mageean is the 800m at the Diamond League in Rome on Thursday (September 17)

Also in Berlin, in the stadium where he had won his European bronze medal two years ago, Thomas Barr of Ferrybank AC finished fourth in the 400m hurdles in 50.41 secs. On Friday, at the PTS Meeting in Samorin, Slovakia on Friday, Barr had gone a marginally faster 50.30 secs.

European and UK performances continue

Irish champion Michele Finn of Leevale AC finished 11th in the women’s steeplechase in Berlin with a time of 9 mins 53.50 secs – well off the 9:38.04 she ran while in Australia last February and her 9:41.62 effort in Espoo Finland a month ago.

Nadia Power of Dublin City Harriers AC improved her 800m personal best to 2:01.01 when finished finishing third in Rovereto, Italy on Tuesday (September 8). The time was an Irish U23 record. Power took over a second off her previous best of of 2:02.39,

Three days later, in Samorin on Friday, Power finished third over the same distance with a time of 2:02.12. In the same race, Claire Mooney of Naas AC ran a season’s best 2:05.64.

On the same night in Poznan, Poland, Nessa Millet of St Abban’s AC put herself top of the current Irish rankings with a time of 57.44 secs for fourth place in the 400m hurdles.

Closer to home, England-based Kevin Moore of Dundrum AC in Co Tipperary, ran a hand-held time of 8:24.9 for fifth in the elite 3000m at the Highgate Harriers Middle Distance Open in London’s Parliament Hill on Wednesday (September 9).

Eoin Pierce of Clonliffe Harriers clocked 3:46.1h to finish second in the elite men’s 1500m at the Aldershot Night of 1500m Thursday (September 10). At the same meet, Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC was fourth in the women’s 1500m in 4:21.4h, with Ciara Everard of UCD fifth in 4:22.1.

Local track racing

Nakita Burke of Letterkenny AC underlined her current good form when winning the women’s 5000m at the NI and Ulster Track and Field Championships held at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Friday and Saturday (September 11-12).

Burke’s time of 16 mins 58.76 secs saw her finish comfortably clear of Grace Carson from Mid-Ulster AC in 17:07.03 and Olympic steeplechasere Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC in 17:13.56.

Winning a competitive men’s A 5000m in 14:28.80 was James Edgar of City of Lisburn AC. Nigel Johnston of Annadale Striders was a close second in 14:19.77, with Eoghan Totten of Newcastle and District AC third in 14:41.04 and Mark McKinstey of North Belfast Harriers fourth in 14:42.32

Over 1500m, Jonathan Whan of Clonliffe Harriers was the men’s winner in 3:49.64 while Denise Toner from Clones AC took the women’s title in 4:33.54.

Two lap showcase

Two 800m championships bests were posted at the final day of the All Ireland National Junior Championships in Santry on Sunday (September 13).

In the women’s race, Amee Hayde of Newport AC, who had taken the 1500m a week earlier, was a comfortable winner in 2:08.43 knocking half a second off the previous record. Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers then set a new best time of 1:50.93 when winning the men’s title.

Over 3000m, Tadhg Donnelly of Drogheda and District AC had over five seconds to spare when taking the title in 8:34.15. In second place was Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers in 8:38.52, with Dean Casey of Ennis TC third in 8:47.32.

In a battle to the finish line, Siobhan Whelan of Clonmel AC held off the challenge of Joanne Loftus from Moy Valley AC to win the women’s 3000m in 10 mins 02.48 secs. Loftus finished in 10:03.22 with Aoife O Cuill of St Coca’s AC third in 10:07.14.

Cross-country (YES!)

St Catherine’s AC attracted a strong entry for the East Cork Championships at Conna on Sunday (September 13) where Kevin O’Brien and Fiona Santry made it an East Cork AC double.

In the women’s 4000m, Santry proved the class of the field finishing in 15 mins 49 secs.

Second was Linda O’Sullivan of Watergrasshill AC in 16:21, while third was Sinead O’Driscoll of Midleton AC in 16.27. Carraigh na bhFear beat Wateregrasshill AC to win the senior team category by two points, with East Cork third; Watergrasshill were first of the W35 teams and Ballymore Cobh best in the W45 category, with Sonia O’Sullivan the team’s first finisher in tenth place.

Kevin O’Brien was a clear winner of the men’s 6000m in 20:55, followed by Paul Hartnett of Midleton AC in 21:16 and Sean McGrath of East Cork AC third and first M35 in 21.28.

With seven finishers in the top ten, East Cork proved unstoppable in the seniro team category, followed by Midleton AC and Youghal AC. East Cork also won the M35 category while Carraig na bhFear was first M45 team.

Want to run faster? For just £30 per month athletes are provided with a Final Surge plan for each day of the week, coaching advice from Robbie Britton and Tom Craggs, as well as access to the unique Fast Running Performance community.

If you would like more information on joining the project, click here