Mayo AC vests added lots of colour to the scene on Sunday morning at the North Wall Quay for the start of the National Half Marathon. The race was incorporated in the Dublin Rock n Roll Half marathon. Over 5,000 souls from 47 countries gathered ready to rock out on the 13.1 mile slightly changed course. Conditions were good for running as the overnight heavy rain had cleared for an unsociable 8:30 start. Waves of runners formed up alongside the Liffey ready to roll. Soon the sound of trainers and racing shoes on tarmac beat out a rhythm, helped along by many live bands en route. The day turned out to be one of the most successful for the club in recent years.
John Byrne and Norah Newcombe led us out as we searched for an even pace and tried to ease back on the accelerator. It’s a race of two halves – the early miles by the river through city streets and then the pleasures of the park with wide open stretches and narrow paths under trees.The final two miles are tough gradients. Finishing times of our 33 runners have already been published.. Not alone did we double the number of individual medals on last year and win three team medals, many improved their times on last year, some achieved PBs and newcomers represented the club at championship level.
John Byrne won silver M40, behind Matt Bidwell in gold – well done to our track coach. It was the second silver in a great week for John and added to his bronze M35 last year. Norah Newcombe followed up her 3rd place in 2014 with a fine 4th place finish and gold in W35. It’s great to have two athletes of this calibre to lead our men and women. Roger Barrett only returned to training recently and Sean Murphy knocked a couple of minutes off his 2014 time. The combined time of John, Roger and Sean 3:53:37 won silver in the men’s o35 team section, where there were 44 teams competing.
Colette Tuohy won her W45 category with another strong run and together with Norah and a resurgent Sarah Syron improving her 2014 time by a minute, our Senior women’s combined time of 4:23.38 won silver – a top performance. The women’s o50 team retained the gold title with a combined time of 5:14.46: Pauline Moran together with brilliant runs from Ann Murray (4th W50) and Monica Joyce. Pauline Moran also won her second W55 silver in a week. And with Mary Walsh, Una McGrath 4th W55 and Mary Murphy bronze W60 again, this is a formidable o50 line-up. Siobhan Ruttledge had her first championship experience in the W35 team and finished with a brilliant run alongside Ann McDonnell and Ann Murray. The were joined by Jimmy and Edel Feeney. Padraic McVann was another delighted finisher with a 1:38 pb. We were top Connacht medal winning club. Well done to Westport AC who won gold in the women’s W35. Thanks to all who supported along the route especially Michael McGrath who seemed to be at every significant mark. It was a fantastic all round day for all of our members. Well done to them all.
Mayo AC National Half marathon championships medals and summary results.
Senior Women – Silver: Norah Newcombe, Colette Tuohy, Sarah Syron, 4:23.38
Women o50 – Gold: Pauline Moran, Ann Murray, Monica Joyce, 5:14.46
Men o35 – Silver: John Byrne, Roger Barrett, Sean Murphy, 3:53.37
W35 Gold: Norah Newcombe
W45 Gold: Colette Tuohy
W55 Silver: Pauline Moran
W60 Bronze: Mary Murphy
M40 Silver: John Byrne
M65 Silver: Tom Hunt
other team results: W35: 12th of 41; W50 ‘B’ 5th; M50 5th; M35 ‘B’ 38th.