All roads led to Tuam for the final event of the 2014 Galway 5k series, and Galway City Harriers continued their dominance, taking seven of the top 10 places.
Regina Casey of GCH took her fifth win of the series in 17.31, and made it a perfect series with five wins from five races. This was also a series best time by over 30 seconds.
Sinead Brody, also GCH,was second with an 18.44 time, holding off clubmate Grainne Ni Uallachain who was a further six seconds back. Jane Ann Healy (Meehan), who ran a 3.00.46 marathon a day earlier in Cork, still managed to run an impressive 19.37.
Matt Bidwell, Conor Dolan and John Greaney, all of GCH, were the first three over the line, with all of them under the 16 minute barrier. Bidwell posted a series best time of 15.23 for victory.
Monivea half Marathon and 5k
Some 300 athletes took to the start lines of the Monivea 5k and half marathon races on Saturday in superb running conditions.
In the 5km, favourite Matt Bidwell had a battle with American Jon Hager of the Atlanta Track Team (USA) with Bidwell taking the win (15.48 and 15.46 respectively). Nicolae Buceanu was third in a time of 17.11.
Athenry AC athlete Mairead Sullivan claimed her maiden win of the season with a time of 21.43. Laura Garvey, also of Athenry, was second in 22.36, with Josephine Heffernan in third.
In the half marathon Jane Ann Healy added to her titles with another excellent victory in 1.25.43 over Sinead Brody of GCH (1.29.50). Claire Morrissey, originally from Athenry but representing London Heathside, completed the podium a further 6mins back (1.35.22).
The men’s half marathon win was taken by the strong running Craughwell athlete Oliver Mullins with a time of 1.18.12, followed by Tullamore Harriers' David Murray in 1.19.09. Mullins, a latecomer to running, is now among the top long distance runners in the county. Third man home was Athenry's Ray Somers who prevailed in the eagerly anticipated club head to head with Mick Rice, with Mick less than 40 seconds back in fourth (1.19.56 & 1.20.32).
Some 400 runners, joggers and walkers took to the roads of Rahoon to compete in the 2014 Tonabrucky Challenge on Saturday evening, organised by Rahoon Newcastle Hurling Club to raise money for a nominated charity each year. The 2014 race was held in aid of On The Road Again (OTRA) and the Rahoon Newcastle Hurling Club. OTRA is a non profit organisation that promotes the self-sufficiency of people by engaging them in walking and running as a means to build confidence, strength and self esteem. In a field of 250 runners, GCH athletes Martin Hegarty claimed the title of Tonabrucky Challenge 2014 winner in a time of 22:30, with Esther O’Flaherty also of GCH leading the ladies home in 24:52 .