Lindie Naughton brings an Irish running round-up that includes the highlights of a big week in Budapest and all the action at home as well. 

And so another World Championships have ended. Although there were no medals for Ireland in Budapest, there was much to celebrate

The Irish highlights include fourth places for Rhasidat Adeleke in the 400m and Ciara Mageean in the 1500m; a long awaited Irish 100m hurdles record for Sarah Lavin; Sarah Healy breaking four minutes for 1500m in a new Irish U23 record time, a personal best for Sharlene Mawdsley in the 400m, and the 4 x 400m women, anchored by Mawdsley, making the relay final.

The countdown to next year’s Paris Olympics begins!


World class road running in Antrim

Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC was first of the Irish athletes in the elite race at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon held in Larne, Co Antrim, on Sunday (August 27)

For Tonosa, back racing after an extended break, it was a first run over the distance and he finished a creditable ninth in 62 mins 22 secs. Race winner was Daniel Mateiko of Kenya in 58:26.

Other good Irish times came from Fearghal Curtin (Youghal AC) 11th in 62:34, Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s AC) 15th in 64:33 and John Travers (Donore Harriers) 19th in 65:40.

First woman was Mestawut Fikir of Ethiopia in 66:44. Of the Irish women, Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC finished fourth woman in 70:34 and England-based Hannah Irwin in 71:05.

In the ‘masses’ race, Conal McCambridge of North Belfast Harriers was first home in 71:03 with Jayne Bleakley first woman in 74:17.

On Saturday, Leevale AC’s Ryan Creech had almost three minutes to spare when winning the Tullamore Half Marathon – and with it the National Half Marathon title – in 65 mins 49 secs. Creech’s next big challenge is the Dublin Marathon at the end of October.

In the battle for second place, David Mahon of Slaney Olympic AC in 68:40 beat Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC who just two seconds adrift in 68:42. A close fourth in 68:44 was Tudor Mircea Moldovan of Clonliffe Harriers.

Natasha Adams of Letterkenny AC was first woman in 78 mins 15 secs, followed by Heather Murphy of St Michael’s AC in 78:56 and Nora Newcombe of Mayo AC in 79:14

Winning the men’s team title was Celbridge AC, led by national marathon champion Martin Hoare in fifth place, with Leevale second and Clane AC third. First M35 team was Newbridge AC. Donore Harriers, led by Darragh Keegan , were second. First M50 team was Inishowen AC led by Pauric McKinney.

Sli Cualann, led by Sarah Baryga, proved best of the women’s teams ahead of Mullingar Harriers and Mayo AC. Mayo AC was first W35 team and Celbridge AC first W50 team.

A good Sunday for a swift half

At the Donegal Half Marathon in Letterkenny on Sunday, Yared Derese of Carrick Aces proved the class of the field with his winning time of 67 mins 22 secs a course record.

Second in 73:38 was Shane O’Donnell of Rosses AC, with Helen McCready, also Rosses AC, first woman for a second year in 81:54.

At the Longford Marathon Festival, with a variety of distances on offer, Barry Sheil won the half marathon in 70 mins 26 secs, with Adrianna Mulligan first woman in 82:04. Dermot Gorman was first home in the marathon with a time of 2:29.53; Deirdre Martin as first woman in 3 hrs 01 min 07 secs.

Winning the 39.3 mile ultra in 4 hrs 30 mins 41 secs was Alastair Higgins. Keith Russell was second in 4:37.44 and Patricia McLoughlin first woman in 5:28.26.

First home in the Streets of Longford 5km was 13-year-old Rian McCaffrey in 18 mins 22 secs – his second 5km win in four days. Sixth and first woman was Leia Valentine in 21:19.

Winner of the Oylegate Half Marathon in Co Wexford was former Irish marathon champion Sean Hehir of Croghan AC in an untroubled time of 71:10. Beth O’Connor of United Striders was first woman in 93:27. Winners of the 10km were Niall Sheil (St Killian’s AC) in 34:20 and Jackie Carty ( Kilmore AC) in 41:18.

In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, the annual Boston Scientific Half Marathon was cancelled following the tragic death of four young people in a road crash near the town on Friday night.

Shorter racing

At the Coillte 5km, in Castleisland, Co Kerry on Sunday (August 27) , Oisin Spillane (Ennis TC) was the winner in 15:16. Aoife Cooke (Eagle AC) was first woman in 17:52.

On Friday evening, Ricky Johnston of Jog Lisburn was first home in 34 minutes exactly at the Strangford Festival 10km, with Catherine O’Connor of East Down AC first woman in 37:50. Winners of the 5km were Gary Crummy (Newry AC) in 14:20 and Cheryl Denvir of East Down AC in 22:10. First U17 was Jacob Crawford (East Down AC) in 16:26.

On the same evening, Scott Rankin won the Portrush 5-Mile in 27:25, with Kathleen Law first woman in 32:01, while at the Antrim Coast Classic Mile – brought forward a day – , Stefan Nillessen narrowly failed to break the four-minute barrier when winning in 4 mins 1 sec. Winnie Nanyondo was fastest woman in 4 mins 36 secs.

In Co Meath, at the Tara AC 5km in Skryne, also on Friday, the winners were Dean Ryan (Newbridge AC) and Laura McDonnell (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) in 18:05.

A day earlier, Daire Flynn (DCH AC) was the winner of the Celbridge 5km, in Co Kildare in 15 mins 59. Second and first M40 was Brian Maher (KCH AC) in 15:08. In a race well supported by junior athletes, Luke Duffy (Tullamore Harriers) was first of them in15:32. First woman in 17:01 was Fiona Clinton (DSD AC), followed by Emily Grennan (Tullamore Harriers) in 17:42.

Winners at the Lombardstown 5-Mile in Co Cork, were Gavin Sweeney (North Cork AC) in 26 mins 31 secs and Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) in 28:28; Lee was fourth overall.

Sean Doran with a time of 16 mins 10 secs was the winner of the Pfizer BHAA 5km, held at Grange Castle, Dublin on Wednesday (August 23). Just four seconds behind for second was Kevin Donagher, with Ronan O’Reilly third in 16:34. First woman was Catherine Brogan in 19:55.

Junior athlete Rian McCaffrey of Longford AC and Louise Callaghan were the winners at the fourth and final Longford 5km Trail Series round at Newcastle Woods also on Wednesday.

Off the roads

Master athlete Seamus Somers of Sligo AC successfully defended the title he won last year at the Warriors’ Run at Strandhill in Co Sligo on Saturday.

Somers finished comfortably clear of the field with a time of 59 mins 18 seconds for the demanding 15km course which mixes a climb to the top of Knocknarea with some hard road running. Second in 60:03 was Barry Minnock of Tullamore Harriers; like Somers a M45 master athlete. Third in 60:15 was Aidan McMoreland.

First woman was Aoife McCavana from Dublin, better known as an orienteer, in 70.15. Second was race regular and former winner Heather Foley in 71.49, followed by Sinead Fowley, another race regular, in 73.49.

All 1,200 places for this year’s Warriors’ Run sold out in three hours last April, underlining the popularity of this unique race.

When first held in 1985, well-known Kerry athlete John Lenihan took the first of five consecutive victories. He pocketed £1,000 for his efforts and turned from the roads to the hills with spectacular result, winning the world mountain running title in 2001. In 2005, he took his sixth and final win in Sligo.


Closer to home than Budapest, Harry Purcell of Trim AC finished second in the men’s A 800m at the BMC Gold Standard Races in Watford on Wednesday (August 23).

Purcell in 1:47.03 was followed in third and fourth places by Cian McPhillips (UCD AC) in 1:47.07 and Paul Robinson (St Coca’s AC) in 1:47.77. Seventh in 1:47.78 was Mark Milner of Tullamore Harriers. Claire Mooney (Crusaders AC) clocked 4:23.80 to finish ninth in the women’s A 1500m. Paralympian Greta Streimikyte (Clonliffe Harriers) finished in 4:35.35.

At the England Athletics Open U17 and U15 Championships in Birmingham over the weekend (August 26-27), Emer McKee of Willowfield Harriers finished second in the U15 3000m with a time of 9:35.73.

Two years ago, as a 12-year-old, McKee set a world best time of 16 mins 27 secs for her age in the 5km. In the boys’ U15 race, Noah Watt, running as a guest, was third fastest in 9:15.73, while in the boys’ U17 race, Francis Donoghue ran a time of 8:50.27.