Lists, goalposts, marathons and Sinéad Diver on Late Late Show

Sinéad Diver out on a recent training run with Gary O’Hanlon

The Late Late Show have announced their line-up tomorrow night. Their preview says the show includes “Irish-born Australian long-distance runner, Sinead Diver, who took up running in 2010 after the birth of her eldest son, will be in studio to talk about becoming the 4th fastest Australian female marathoner of all time.”

https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/2019/1024/1085424-this-weeks-late-late-show-line-up-revealed/

Here is some recent context to Sinéad’s athletics story and marathon achievements.

This month saw some amazing athletics performances reported from Vienna and Chicago. Two very different marathons – thousands of finishers in Chicago, just one finisher in Vienna in the INEOS event.

In Chicago Fionnuala McCormack finished fifth woman in 2:26.47, almost four minutes inside her previous best of 2:30.38 run in Boston earlier this year. Her Chicago time is well inside the Tokyo 2020 qualifying standard of 2:29:30, and means that McCormack is on target to compete at her fourth Olympic Games next summer.

A fantastic achievement – and no doubt a big sigh of relief at Athletics Ireland Santry HQ.

They tweeted that her performance “Goes number 2 on Irish all-time list”. And was Retweeted by RTE’s Greg Allen ” Fastest Irish women’s marathon in 21 years. Only the great @cat_mckiernan has run quicker..”

Fast Running (www.fastrunning.com) also reported on McCormack’s feat –

“It also puts her third on the all-time list of Irish-born athletes led by Catherina McKiernan whose Irish record of 2:22.23 dates back 21 years to Amsterdam in 1998. Second on the list is Mayo-born Sinead Diver who ran a time of 2:24.11 in London last April; Diver runs for Australia. Only four Irish women have ever gone under 2 hrs 30 mins for the marathon.”

Reporting on Sinéad Diver’s London Marathon 7th place PB, Cathal Dennehy in the Irish Examiner last April (29/04/2019) said ” In the realm of Irish distance-running, this was the best performance for many years – a two-hour, 24-minute reminder to those in Athletics Ireland of what might have been.

When she clocked 2:34:15 for the marathon in 2014, she was all set to represent Ireland at the following year’s World Championships but Athletics Ireland soon moved the goalposts, changing the time required to 2:33:30. It meant she was 45 seconds short of the necessary time to compete for her country of birth.”

“I presumed I’d run for Ireland – I’m Irish” said Sinéad”.

Following this and her declaration to run for Australia, Athletics Ireland statistics excluded her from their all-time lists.

However, Sinéad Diver is undoubtedly the second fastest Irish-born woman over the marathon distance.

She has moved on from that disappointment and is focused on representing Australia in Tokyo. Her recent performances in World Championships 10,000 metres in Doha, and in the Great North Run, indicate she’s in great form. The New York City marathon on Sunday week will be her next test.

We will all have the opportunity of cheering and supporting both Sinéad and Fionnuala – two  superb inspirational athletes – in Tokyo Olympics next August.

They will both be interested in the announcement that the Tokyo Olympics Marathon course has been switched to the cooler climate of Sapporo. See link below:

Meantime, you can catch up with Sinéad ahead of her competing in the New York Marathon on November 4, if you tune into the Late Late Show on RTE1 on tomorrow night October 25. See above.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/16/tokyo-olympics-marathon-switched-north-sapporo-cooler-climate-athletics