John Byrne, representing Ireland finished in fifth place in the IAU World Trophy 50k race in Italy last Saturday morning. In very hot conditions and a strong sea breeze, finishing times were down. Participants completed eight laps of the 6.25km course at the coastal towns of Vallecrosia and Bordigheria. The race was won by British athlete Steven Way in 2:54, as the top three broke the three hour mark. John finished in 3:10, a brilliant effort by Mayo AC’s ultra man. In the early stages he ran in group of four in eighth place, including Daniel Oralek (Czech ), a former World 100k winner. As the temperature hit 25c he moved into sixth place after 16 miles, and fifth after 20. “It was a battle for survival from then on,” said John. Although he dropped back to sixth with four laps to go, a typical gritty finish by the Straide man saw him gain fifth again which he sustained to the line after 31.1 miles of running.
Half a dozen headed to Phoenix Park Autumn classic
Six Mayo AC members made the trip to the Gerry Farnan cross country races in sunny breezy autumnal Phoenix Park last Sunday. Conditions were surprisingly good and firm underfoot, though the one mile lap course is tough on the outward half. Race starts were exciting, frantic, and intense (for spectators! ) as competitors looked for vital early positions. Many well known international senior runners were there too, intent on putting down an early season marker in the open races.
The two races also incorporated trials for Irish Masters teams for next month’s Home Countries event in Belfast. In the women’s three mile race (easily won by Fionnuala Britton ) Catherine Conway (Senior ), Colette Tuohy W40, Angela O’Connor W45 and Pauline Moran W55, were all taking part for the first time and finished in that order. Colette, Angela and Pauline finished well up in their age categories and are waiting to see if they made the team for Belfast, which will be announced on Wednesday. TJ McHugh M35 and Danny Green M55, completed a very demanding five miles over the same course and were among many who were exhausted at the finish.
Good runs in cross country events
In the Mayo County AAI Cross Country Championships held in Swinford on
last Saturday, conditions were good underfoot for most part. Peter Hynes (Swinford AC ) won the men’s masters event, with Dominic Regan (Mayo AC ) finishing second. The women’s masters event was won by Joan Walsh (Mayo AC ), with Michelle Reynolds (Ballina AC ) finishing in second. There was more success for Mayo AC in the intermediate grade with Ann Murray winning the ladies title and Brendan Gill the men’s event.