Former title holder, Galway’s Gerry Ryan, had to settle for second in this year’s Streets of Galway 8k Road Race which took place on Saturday evening.
The winner was the national 10,000m champion Josphat Boit of the Clonliffe Harriers club, who led from start to finish, equalling the course record. In the women’s race there were no surprises as Rosemary Ryan of Bilboa AC won her fifth streets title - her fourth in a row.
This year’s event celebrated its 24th anniversary with the biggest number of entries with more than 2,000 taking to the streets on its traditional course from South Park through to Eyre Square, UCHG, Pearse Stadium, and back home via the prom. Some 1,700 locals supported the run, boosted by runners from the rest of Ireland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, and Japan.
From the 7pm starting gun, Boit took the lead, accompanied by Gerry Ryan and Mark Kirwan of Raheny Shamrocks. These three were closely followed by a group of athletes from Raheny, North Cork, and Ferrybank clubs. At the 3k mark, Boit began to open up a leadwhich he never relinquished. As he hit the 7k mark in 20 mins, Clare man Seamus Power’s 1998 course record of 22:49 looked like it could finally be broken by the Kenyan. In the end, with the crowd roaring him on, he crossed the line in 22:49.5, equaling the record.
Gerry Ryan of host club Galway City Harriers followed in 24:40, with Mark Kirwan in third. The renowned Raheny club had four athletes in the first eight home, easily taking the team honours.
Rosemary Ryan won comfortably from Aoife Brady of Sportsworld and Ruth Mills of DSD, two Dublin based athletic clubs. Regina Casey of GCH was the first Galway woman home in sixth place, closely followed by Caroline Clancy of Loughrea.
Veteran winners included Mick Rice of Athenry AC, Martin Corcoran of Craughwell AC, Ronald Naylor of Mayo AC, Andrew Talbot of Clare River Harriers, Sean Ryan, Brian Geraghty of GCH, and Roger Rushe of Tuam AC. In the women’s Vets the winners were Fionnuala Keane of Loughrea AC, Ann Lennon and Ann Murray of Mayo AC, Ann Burke, Ann Ryan and Shirley Potter. Danny Murray of Mayo AC won the junior men with Nicola O’Ceallaigh of GCH winning the junior womens.
Sponsored by Future, this year’s event saw men outnumber women by six per cent. Athenry AC was the largest club represented with 66 runners crossing the finish line, while Craughwell AC was next with 47.