Galway athlete Gary Thornton claimed the runner-up medal in this year’s AAI National 10k Championships which were incorporated into the Great Ireland Run for the first time.
More than 11,000 competitors took part with a huge representation from the Galway clubs, and with the elites of Europe kept away from Phoenix Park by Icelandic ashes, it was a certainty the race would be won for the first time by an Irish man.
Ireland's top distance professional Martin Fagan was the favourite and he did not disappoint, but he did not have it all his own way with Galway City Harrier Gary Thornton pushing the pace strongly from the start. Thornton led through a blistering first 5k before finishing only 19 seconds behind the national half marathon record holder Fagan who lives and trains at altitude in Flagstaff Arizona.
"“I gave it a good effort at the front early on,” said Thornton, “ and I am happyI held on well for second place.”
It was double-silver for GCH with talented athlete Alanna Lally running brilliantly to finish second in a field of more than 450 girls in the Great Ireland Junior Run.
Gerry Ryan of Craughwell AC finished 10th overall in one of the fastest 10k times by an M45 athlete, easily winning his category by a minute and a half, while it looks certain from preliminary results that Craughwell AC veteran team of Gerry Ryan, Mark Davis, Peter O'Sullivan, Martin Corcoran and Tony Fitzpatrick did enough to claim victory in the first national team medal for the senior club in its five year history.
Also pending official notication are Bernie Kelly with bronze in the W50 and Martin Keane of Athenry AC bronze in the M65 category.