Thornton leads from start to finish

Gary Thornton of Galway Cit Harriers won the Galway senior men’s cross country title at Loughrea AC's complex at Bushfield.

Leading from gun to tape to take victory, Thornton finished ahead of young clubmate Keith Fallon, who was followed by Peter O’Sullivan of Craughwell in third. Oliver Mullins and Rob Hogan of Craughwell both had excellent runs to complete the top five, with Mullins taking the masters over 35 title in the process. Tommy Joe Whyte led the way for Tuam AC and also won the M50 category once again.

GCH took the team prize with Conor Dolan and John Cronin also scoring alongside Thornton and Fallon, ahead of Craughwell AC in second.

The women’s race saw a resurgent Caroline Whiriskey take the county title to great acclaim on home turf. Running in the colours of host club Loughrea AC, Whiriskey took an early lead from GCH’s Alvy Carragher and stretched her lead over the 4km race to end up a comfortable winner. Carragher ran a strong race to take second, a solid performance having run a half marathon the day before, with GCH athlete Niamh Hennelly taking bronze. Again, GCH won the team crown, with Jane Walsh and Imelda Gormally also scoring- Gormally also took the masters title with a flying last lap.

The even age Juvenile races also took place on Sunday, in advance of the adult races, and there were big fields and strong individual and team performances across all events.

Craughwell AC had winners in Sean Cotter (gold u12 boys ), Oisin Lyons (gold u16 boys ), Caron Ryan (gold u16 girls ), Ciara Greene (gold u18 girls ), Ben Vahey (gold u18 boys ) and Conor Gillen (gold junior men ). GCH athletes took gold at u12 Girls via Cara Mcclain, Eadaoin Langan at u14 Girls, and Aaron Brennan at u14 boys.

There were superb wins also for Mark O Halloran of Athenry AC and Ava Mckeon of Ballinasloe AC at u10 level.

At team level, Craughwell AC took five titles – u10,12, 14 and 16 boys and 16 girls, whileAtenry AC took u10 and 14 girls’ team titles, and GCH the u12 girls’ category.

Galway Bay Half Marathon and 10km

Some 2000 athletes completed the Galway Bay Half Marathon and 10k on the Prom in Salthill on Saturday, with excellent weather making for some good times for athletes.

Nicola Duncan of GCH had an excellent win in the woman’s race in 1:18:32, a superb performance after a long injury, with Olympian Pauline Curley in second in 1.20.29. Third home was Helen Corbett of GCH in 1:26:41 . Other strong local runs were from GCH athletes Barbara Dunne who ran 1:28:19 and Esther O’Flaherty 1:33:12.

Clonliffe Harriers athlete Sergio Ciobanu won the half marathon race in an impressive time of 67.04, to take his third win in a row, from Tom Hogan 72.52 and David Mansfield 73.40 – in second and third respectively.

Conor Dooney of Raheny Shamrocks won the 10km in 30.44, well ahead of Philip Harty in 31.55 and Dave Bradford who ran 32.04. Ballina AC athlete Norah Newcombe won the women’s race in 36.06, ahead of Sinead Whitelaw, Mullingar Harriers in 37.25 in second.

Fixtures

The fourth annual Trísport Conamara 10k race takes place again this year in Carna at 4pm on Saturday. The Conamara 10k starts and finishes at Carna Bay Hotel and takes runners on a wonderful scenic route over into Mynish Island and returning through Carna village. This popular race organised by Connemara club Trísport is open to all runners, joggers and walkers and will be officially chipped timed and AI certified and all runners will receive a free T-shirt.

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