5K series gets off to searing start

Athletics

Angela McVann (Mayo AC)  leads a group along Upper Main St at the Ballyhaunis 5km on Tuesday evening.

Angela McVann (Mayo AC) leads a group along Upper Main St at the Ballyhaunis 5km on Tuesday evening.

The first two races in the Mayo AC Vodafone C&C Cellular 5km Summer Series took place over the past few days with races in Foxford and Ballyhaunis. In the first race in the series in Foxford there were 160 competitors taking part. 

Richard Gorman (Sligo AC ) was first over the line in 15:52, with just five seconds to spare over Sean McLaughlin (Westport AC ) and Michael Canty (Moy Valley AC ) who was third in 16:17. James Ryan was first Mayo AC runner home in fourth place in 16:56. In the ladies' event, Sarah Syron (Mayo AC ) ran a great race and led the women home in a fast 19:17, 20 seconds ahead of Ciara McDermott (Moy Valley AC ), with Anne-Marie Staunton (Mayo AC ) third in 20:48. 

The second race in the series in Ballyhaunis took place on Tuesday night and in the gents' race, Michael Canty (Moy Valley AC ), who was third in Foxford, was the clear winner in 16:10, almost two minutes ahead of Ivan Kelly (Ballina AC ) 17:59, with John Nolan (Mayo AC ) in third place 18:04. Sarah Syron (Mayo AC ), who came home first in Foxford, ran another excellent race to finish strongly up the hill in the final kilometre to win again in Ballyhaunis in 19:37. Behind Sarah there was a battle between Lisa Mulvihill (Ballina AC ) and Laura Heneghan (Mayo AC ) with the Ballina AC runner holding on second place by seven seconds in 22:35. Laura’s 21:42 finish was a big improvement on her third place 22:14 last year. The third Summer Series race is at Castlebar on Tuesday June 6 at 8pm. Registration from 6:30pm at St Gerald’s School Hall. Please arrive early. Bring your bib number if you’ve entered the Series. Enter online any of the three upcoming Series races at www.mayoac.com

Diver selected for World Championships

Erris native Sinéad Diver has been selected to represent Australia at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London next August (4-13 ). She ran a marathon PB in Nagoya, Japan last March when she finished 10th in 2:31.37 and that put the South Melbourne AC athlete in contention for a place. Her selection was confirmed by Athletics Australia last week. Her Nagoya finish time knocked almost three minutes off her previous personal best of 2:34.15 which she ran in her debut marathon in Melbourne in October 2014. She first represented Australia at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing where she finished a strong 21st in 2:36.38. Diver, a late comer to athletics, only began competing in her early thirties after she moved to Australia and joined South Melbourne AC where she is coached by Tim Crosbie.

Her Nagoya time puts Diver 11th on the Australian all-time women’s marathon list, and fifth on the Irish all-time list behind Catherina McKiernan 2:22.23 (1998 ), Carey May 2:28.07 (1985 ), Sonia O’Sullivan 2:29.01 (2005 ), and Fionnuala McCormack 2:31.22 (Rio 2016 ). A mother of two, she is also the fastest marathon woman over 40 in both Australia and Ireland. Both men and women’s marathons will take place on the same day at the London World Championships, starting and finishing on Tower Bridge and run over a course of four 10k laps.

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