After last week’s 10,000 metres win in the Oceania championships, Sinéad Diver was back on top of the podium again last weekend. She was one of over 28,000 competitors taking part in eight races in the Gold Coast Marathon Festival in Southport, Queensland.
Running against top opposition, the in-form Belmullet native and Mayo AC member further pressed her claims to represent Australia in the marathon at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
After being runner-up last year, Sinéad went one better this year to claim her first Gold Coast Half Marathon in 69:46, the fifth fastest performance in the history of the race.
Her Half Marathon personal best is 68:55, which she ran in Japan last February. She went into the race having been placed three times in previous years: second 2018, second 2014, and third 2016. The race started at 6am and runners defied wet conditions but many came away with personal bests. Sinéad won the half marathon from Ellie Pashley (second last week also ) 69:51, Laura Weightman third 70:32, and last year’s winner Sara Hall (USA ) fourth 71:58. Sara won in 2018 in 69:27.
Sinéad said afterwards: "Today was definitely a tough race, I mean the front was so strong. Myself and Ellie and Sara and Lisa ran together for quite a long time, I think I got a break around 16km and I just kind of went for it from there.
"It was super close all the way and there was a lot of rain just before 10km, which was kind of good in a way because it distracted us. Lisa had a few surges just before 10km, so I stuck with her for that. Myself and Ellie and Sara and Lisa were just together playing cat and mouse and then I made a break, probably around 15km and 16km and I just thought I have got to go for it."
Sinéad Diver recorded a 2020 Olympic marathon qualifying time of 2:24.11 when finishing seventh in the London Marathon in April. After today’s wonderful performance she said “Half marathons are always great prep for the marathons.”
In the Gold Coast Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Japan ), won with a new course record of 2:07.50, while in the women’s marathon, Kenyan, Rodah Jepkorir, held off a strong finishing burst from Tasmanian, Milly Clark, who ran a 2:28.08 PB. Milly crossed the line inside the Tokyo Olympics qualifier and joins Sinéad Diver in contention to represent Australia.
Murray wins Achill Half Marathon
David Murray was the winner of the Achill Half Marathon in a time of 76.23 last Saturday, the top female finisher was Catherine Thornton in at time of 1:32.36. The best Mayo AC finisher was Pat Morrision who finished in seventh place overall in a time of 1:21.42 - other Mayo AC finishers were Eamonn Joyce 1:29.12, Noel Gibbons 1:30.12, James Malone 1:37.19, Eugene McCartan 1:50.32, John Niland 1:59.20, Eileen Donnellan 2:09.58, Siobhan Walsh 2:10.01, Elaine Patterson in 2:224.40. In the 10k race Mayo AC's Johnny Cribbin finished first in the M50 section and seventh overall in a time of 42.47, while Bernice McCartan came home in a time of 53.00
DeCare Dental 5k sees large numbers take to the streets in Claremorris
The De Care Dental Claremorris 5k took place last Thursday evening (July 4 ). It’s the 18th year that De Care have hosted a race. The 5k one lap course is the same as that used for Mayo AC’s Summer Series.
Conditions were good though not quite as warm as last year’s race in the middle of the hot summer spell. There was an excellent turnout of 134 runners and walkers, with numbers boosted by the Corporate challenge .
It was also a target race in the 2019 Mayo AC Club League with over 20 members competing. The Corporate Challenge was won by CBE led by TJ McHugh (18:17 ). They were one of 16 teams who competed. All proceeds from the race go to De Care’s Charity of the Year, which is Claremorris Red Cross.
The gents' winner was John Brennan, in a time of 18.02, second place went to Tom Prendergast in 18.23 and Darren Brewer came home in third place in a time of 18.49. The women's overall winner was Mary Gleeson in a time of 19.32, with Pauline Moran in second place in a time of 20.42 and Paula Walsh finished in third place in a time of 21.30. The junior prize winners were Mikey Kelly in 20.41 and Lauren McDonnell in 23.01. The over-50 winners were Ann Murray in 25.01 and Dominic Regan in 20.47. The over 60 winners were Jimmy Feeney in 22.23 and Mags Glavey in 23.24. The top DeCare runner was Samantha McDonagh in a time of 28.13 and the top DeCare walker was Megan Kilgallen in a time of 43.07.
Roscommon Harriers AC 10 miler
The Roscommon Harriers AC Annual 10 mile took place on Saturday. The winner was Mick Clohissey (Raheny Shamrock AC ) 48:57, and first woman was Michelle Finn (Leevale AC ) 58:49. Mayo AC's finishers were led home by Brendan Harrison in 32nd place overall in a time of 62.26, he was followed home by Lynda Hession in a time of 78.50, Tracey Cunnane in 82.17, Paul Damron in 83.38, Erika Ryan in 84.00, Nathasha Kelly in 85.20, Martin Fitzmaurice in 88.00 and Geraldine Murphy in 93.07.