Sinéad Diver must have pinched herself as she stood on the start line of the IAAF Women’s Marathon final earlier today – Belmullet, South Melbourne AC, Bird’s Nest Stadium Beijing, Running Mums Australia, and Mayo AC!
Alongside her were leading marathoners and champions – Edna Kiplagat, Mare Dibaba, Eunice Kirwa and sixty plus athletes from around the globe. As they stood on the line she ranked 31st in PB terms of the 67 on the startlist. Of the 53 who had declared season’s best times her 2014 marathon ranked 26th, all based on her one October 2014 marathon time of 2:34.15.
Sinéad joined teamates Sarah Klein and Julia Degan as they headed out onto the streets of Beijing. It was a decent calm morning, they were blessed with the weather according to the commentators. Plans for hydration and acclimatisation were re-assessed. It was 22c with 83% humidity. As they eased into the early kilometres we saw Sinéad and Sarah Klein striding out and looking good as global images lit up Mayo sitting rooms. Midnight oil, kettle on, ..again.
We tracked the five kilometre splits. Sinéad passed halfway in 77:44 and 29th place, 2:28 behind the leading group of 19. And as the leading pace quickened on to 30k in 1:50.39 now 24th, 35k in 2:09.34 now 23rd. The leaders ran 16:34 for the next 5k. At 40k in 2:28.35 and then finishing in 2:36.38 in 21st place and first of her team. A brilliant performance – half marathon splits of 77:44 and 78:54.
Well done, Sinéad! We’re proud of you. Soak it in.
For more, see James Sullivan’s Running Review report and Sinéad’s post race comments at
And this from Irish Independent Mon 31st August :