Norah Newcombe storms to victory in Women’s 10k
The 12th Annual West of Ireland Women’s 10k took place today (Sunday April 30, Bank Holiday weekend) in a new location- Ballina Co Mayo. In all previous years it was held in Castlebar, the county town.
This year’s 10k event was part of celebrations of the town’s 300th birthday and followed on from US President Joe Biden’s recent visit there – one of his Irish ancestral locations.
Recent local 10k races at Tubbercurry, Westport, Kilmovee and Foxford gave some runners an opportunity to test their race pace ahead of the Ballina event.
This year’s race took place over a newly measured course from a start at Market Square, a technical 2k around the town centre either side of the river Moy, and 8k out of town via the Killala road with the finish on Tone Street. It was quite a technical course with numerous twists and turns.
There was the usual air of excitement and anticipation as runners and walkers gathered at the race start area for this unique celebration of women in sport.
Finishers were cheered to the line by an excited crowd of supporters and friends who lined the streets around the finish area in Tone Street. As usual the post-race atmosphere was full of endorphin fuelled exhuberance as finishers collected their medals..
Mayo AC women athletes have been dominant in the event since it’s inception – in 2022 they accounted for seven of the first twenty finishers.
Today was no exception – a good turnout of 19 Mayo AC competitors who enjoyed the brilliant atmosphere created by runners and supporters. They’re were 12 from our club in the top 50 finishers.
Norah Newcombe Pietrese led our runners home – winning by over a minute in an excellent time 36:47. It was an emotional day for Norah and family, following the passing recently of her Dad John, RIP – her number one supporter, usually waiting on her arrival at the finish line. She focused on this hometown race in recent months and it certainly paid off today.
Norah has a great record in the Women’s 10k over the years – second in 2015 (37:14), third 2016 (37:51) and third also last year in 38:03.
In the early kilometres Norah and Sinéad Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers AC also a Ballina native, and second last year) vied for the lead well ahead of a group. However, Norah came away to win with Sinéad second in 37:49.
Sinéad Tuffy now running with Dundrum South Dublin AC finished third in 39:00 – she has consistently performed well in the event.
Michelle Needham Westport AC was fourth in 39:38, another fine run following a 3:07 finish recently in the Rotterdam Marathon.
There were encouraging cheers for Sarah Byrne as she approached the Tone St finish line – eyes firmly focused as the clock ticked down, and she duly surged to a sub40 39:48 finish- a brilliant time, fifth again this year and our second athlete home.
Martina and Angela O’Connor were next – 8th 42:31, and 9th 42:37 respectively. That made it four Mayo AC in the top ten.
Congratulations to our race winner Norah Newcombe, and well done to all Mayo AC runners today.
Other Mayo AC finishers, :
11 Colette Tuohy 42:57
15 Donna Gallagher 43:36
19 Paula Donnellan 44:28
23 Dee Corcoran 45:27
25 Ann McDonnell 45:38
33 Sheelagh McDonnell 46:32
37 Dee Finnegan 47:19
43 Mairéad Bristow 47:55
Tara O’Malley 51:30
Marcella McDonnell 51:27
Regina Kiernan 58:27
Maureen Costello 66:57
Colette McTigue 68:07
Catherine McHale 69:30
Loretta Caulfield 71:26
More photos and other news from today in due course.
Results show 1613 finishers of a reported 2,000 plus entries. Of these 278 finished in under an hour.
Let us know if we’ve missed any current members among the 1613 listed AND supply times if possible please