The 9th Annual West of Ireland Women’s 10k took place today in Castlebar. At the Mall, the start area was full of excited participants warming up well before the event began at noon.
Many were sporting the colours of various charity organizations and fitness groups and there was a good display of athletics club vests. We had a good turnout of Mayo AC competitors.
Conditions were dry and warm after a grey misty morning. It’s not an easy course with some challenging climbs after the field turns off the Pontoon Road. In addition heat was a factor for many in the later stages.
Top finishers from previous years made the early running but soon Regina Casey (GCH) Sinéad Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers) and Maeve Gallagher (Swinford AC) moved clear. All three have been in regular and successful competitive action in recent weeks. As the race went on the gaps between them lengthened and there was almost two minutes between first and third as they finished in that order.
1 Regina Casey 37:41, 2 Sinead Whitelaw 38:56, 3 Maeve Gallagher 39:33
It was a well deserved victory for Regina Casey who has been a top finisher in this event over the years. Kathy Gleeson (Claremorris) also maintained a consistent performance in the race finishing fifth in 40:13 and first W40 as did our own Sarah Syron – the first Mayo AC runner home in 6th place in 41:06.
The course record was never threatened – it is held by Sinéad Diver (Mayo AC) who won the race in 2016 in 35:27 although Laura Shaughnessy (DSD came close last year in 35:41.
Congratulations to all the Mayo AC runners who ran well in the conditions. We had seven finishers in the top fifty and among them Breege Blehein finished first W50, and Mags Glavey first W60.
Overall there were four finishers under 40 minutes, 12 under 45 and 39 under 50. There were 1363 finishers in total.
The event was well organised and seemed to be fine tuned all around the course thanks to an excellent squad of volunteers and marshals as well as Gardai and medical support.
Catrina Houlihan 57:37
34 Ann Marie Clarke 49:17
Maria Kneafsey 53:55
Patricia Nyland 1:12.06
Ann McDonnell 52:08
38 Reiltin Shaw 49:56
Claire Murphy 55:35
Carmel Cloherty 55:54
39 Natasha Kelly 49:58
20 Margaret Glavey 47:08, first W60