Galway celebrated a home win in this year's Kearney Cycles Streets of Galway 8k which took place on Saturday.
It was a superb result for top local runner Gary Thornton in this 30th running of the famous Streets of Galway event.
Once again thousands took to the streets for this popular summer run, and it was the Galway City Harriers' Thornton who took the honours for the first time.
In the ladies' section, returning Streets winner from 2012, Olympian Maria McCambridge of Dundrum South Dublin took the honours.
The Galway City Harriers organised event, in conjunction with local businessman Martin Kearney of Kearney Cycles, was once again a tremendous success with 2410 finishers crossing the line in South Park.
The early running was taken up by Kenneth Rogers of St John’s AC, closely tracked by Thornton and multiple national title winner Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers AC. It was not until the 2.5km point at the hospital that Thornton moved to the front with a huge surge of pace. Ciobanu gave hot pursuit with early leader Rogers dropping back, and moved close to the Galway leader at points on the course. However once the race hit Salthill prom just before the 6km mark, Thornton upped the pace once more, and struck for home. He ran the last 3km in a quick 8.45 to secure a well-deserved win in a time of 23.53.
Ciobanu came home second in 24.12, and Rogers was third in 24.53. Ger Gallagher of Finn Valley AC, was placed fourth, and local man Matt Bidwell of GCH took fifth.
The ladies' race saw Maria McCambridge take the lead from the gun, and she finished in an impressive time of 26.58. Top local athletes Regina Casey of GCH and Jane Ann Meehan battled hard for the other two podium spots with Casey just pipping her friend Meehan for second spot, in times of 28.56 and 29.01 respectively. Aubree Piepmeier of GCH finished fourth, and her clubmate Barbara Dunne was fifth home .
The junior events were won by Rory Owens and Ciara King of GCH, while the over 40 prizes went to regular visitor Davy Byrne of Clonliffe Harriers, and Clare Rowe of GCH. Both team prizes went to local club Galway City Harriers on a successful day for the host club.
Although the serious athletes took the limelight, the race to the finish was a challenge for the thousands of Galwegians, young and old, as well as more than 500 visitors, who participated in this hugely popular event.
Race-director Brian Bruton said there was a great atmosphere pre and post race in the Claddagh and South Park.
"Sincere thanks must go to all those who contributed to the event this year, and who helped make this another great "Streets" race to remember."
National Senior Track and Field
The National track and field championships took place over two day in Santry Stadium last weekend, and there was great success for the Galway athletes who travelled to the Dublin venue.
Craughwell AC athlete Cathriona Farrell retained the national high jump title with a huge leap of 1.80m, a season’s best and proof that she is in the form of her life. There was double national gold for thrower Sean Breathnach, GCH, with a big win in the shot, throwing 17.63 metres. He also took victory in the weight for distance event with 7.90m.
It was a Galway one-two in the women’s 5km walk. Veronica Burke of Ballinasloe and District AC took gold in a time of 25.18, and Maeve Curley of Craughwell AC claimed silver in 26.16.
Alanna Lally of GCH placed a fine sixth in the senior women’s 800m final, running 2.09, while Keith Fallon, also GCH, was seventh home in 3.59 in the men’s 1500m event.