Bidwell takes half-marathon crown in Connamara

Galway’s Matt Bidwell celebrates crossing the line in the Connemara half marathon at the weekend.

Galway’s Matt Bidwell celebrates crossing the line in the Connemara half marathon at the weekend.

Galway’s Matt Bidwell was the winner of this year’s half marathon in the Connemara Marathon series of races held at the weekend.

The Galway City Harrier claimed the title for a second year in a row in a time of 1.19.29.

Strong winds made it a difficult day for fast times, but it did not deter almost 2,800 competitors taking part in the three races that also included a full marathon and the ultra marathon.

Bidwell was followed home by Phil Kilgannon of Sportsworld in second and Clive Brown in third, while the ladies’ event was won by Irish international Deirdre Byrne from Dublin in 1:30.

In its 12th year, The Connemara Marathon series continues to be one of the most popular and also one of the toughest, and on Sunday conditions were cold and windy.

The full marathon saw a clear victory by long-serving Clonliffe Harriers athlete Gary O’Hanlon in a time of 2: 35, some 25 minutes ahead of second place.

The women’s race was won by Catherine Hogan of London’s Serpentine AC in 3:26.

The ultra marathon ( 39.3 miles ) was won by Keith Whyte of Clare in a time of 4: 25 and he was closely followed by Vasily Neumerzithsky and Wayne Reid. The ladies’ race was won by Amy Masner of Parnell AC in 5:32.

In addition to the top-class athletes, the races attracted some well known folk, including Keith Duffy, Sile Seoige, and Des Kenny of Kenny’s bookshop.

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