The 2015 West of Ireland Women’s Mini marathon (10k) took place today in Castlebar. Conditions were good and thankfully a lot warmer and calmer than Saturday, with a few showers about to cool the participants. It was slightly humid as the day warmed up and many found the going tough towards the end. It’s not an easy course and the ups and downs can be stamina sapping. There seemed to be a significant drop in the numbers participating – 1589 finishers (2014 1983) – but the atmosphere and organisation was as good as ever. A moving rainbow of colours – Mayo Day red, Mayo AC red and green singlets, oranges and lemons – streamed down Market Square reflecting the many charities benefitting from the event.
It was wonderful to witness the personal effort, commitment and achievement made at all levels all around the course and at the finish in the Mall..
Mayo AC’s women runners were there in record numbers and there were many others from the club supporting, stewarding and pacing. Well done to them for their valued contribution.
Lizzie Lee (Leevale) came into the race as favourite and was soon into her stride as the field turned into Ellison St. She had established a good lead by the 3k mark, with Regina Casey (GCH) running hard and focused in second. Mayo AC newcomer Norah Newcombe looked relaxed in third a few metres back, and Colette Tuohy was into a steady pace in fourth. Sonia O’Sullivan, Michelle Needham (Westport AC) , Fiona Boyle – who had just flown in from Taiwan – Aisling Van Rensburg (Sligo AC) Angela O’Connor, and a few more were further back making up the top dozen.
As the field emerged from the cross over single track to Turlough Road, Regina and Norah were still locked in battle for second, but as they approached 8k Norah made a move and got a few metres ahead. Between there and the finish she stretched that lead. Lizzie Lee put on a great display of running to win her second West of Ireland title in 35:34 a deserved and popular success. She won the race in 2013 in 37:20, and has established herself as one of Ireland’s top women athletes since then. Norah Newcombe was delighted with her performance and Regina was ‘happy with my run’ for third. Colette Tuohy in 4th finished a few seconds down on her 2014 second place but maintained a great record in this event. The age category prizes look to be o40 Sonia O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh AC) – Ann Murray o50, and Mags Glavey o60 both Mayo AC.
West of Ireland Women’s mini marathon (10k) first 15 finishers:
1 Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) 35:35, 2 Norah Newcombe (Mayo AC) 37:14, 3 Regina Casey (GCH) 37:25, 4 Colette Tuohy (Mayo AC) 39:36 5 Fiona Boyle (Attymass) 40:58, 6 Sorcha McAllister (Westport AC) 41:06, 7 Sonia O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh AC) 41:31, 8 Lorraine Carey 41:53, 9 Angela O’Connor (Mayo AC) 42:11, 10 Michelle Needham 42:39, 11 Claire O’Boyle (Ballina) 43:10, 12 Aishling Van Rensburg (Sligo AC) 43:39, 13 Anne Heaney (Mayo AC) 44:07, 14 Ellen Moran 44:14, 15 Annemarie Miskell (Tuam AC) 44:39.
Finish times of Mayo AC runners plus photos are in a separate posting.