Thornton keeps pace at Great Northern Run

Galway City Harrier's Gary Thornton produced another fantastic run when finishing 14th in the prestigious Great Northern Run won by Ethiopian legend and world marathon record holder Haile Gebresalaisse last weekend.

Thornton went out hard, breaking the five kilometre mark in 14:30 and was among the leaders at the 10 kilometre in an amazing 29:55. Despite the tough going in the end, Thornton held on for an outstanding finish time 65:24 - his second super run in as many weeks, having finished fifth in the Great Yorkshire 10k in 29:30, only 40 seconds behind the winner Craig Mottram of Australia.

This weekend Thornton is expected home to compete in the inaugural Grey Lake 10k in Loughrea on Sunday. This is the first time this historic race has moved beyond its traditional five mile distance. Many elite athletes are competing, including Freya Murray who was the impressive winner of the 2010 Great Ireland Run last year.

In other senior athletics news, Athenry AC's Claire McNamara won the Northern Ireland Pentathlon with a combined score of 3807, well clear of her nearest rival Claire Wilkinson of Ballymena.

Several Galway athletes put in exceptional performances at the Connacht Secondary Schools Combined Events which took place in Athlone IT.

There was double glory in the minor age category where Craughwell AC's Damien O’Boyle, representing Calasanctius Oranmore, took the Connacht title in the boys’ event and Sinead Treacy of St Raphael’s Loughrea took the title in the girls’ event with 1471 points.

Maria McNamara, Pres Athenry, posted an exceptional 2524 points to take the Connacht title in the junior girls. Schoolmate Sinead Gaffney Pres Athenry racked up 2396 points to claim the silver medal, while Ella Bryan, St Raphael’s, took bronze with 2089 points.

Craughwell's Ciara Green, Bower Athlone, took the bronze medal in the minor girls with 1261 points, with Ellen Treacy, Loughrea VS, taking fourth, and Conor O’Donoghue, Pres Athenry, in fourth place in the boys.

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