The Birmingham Commonwealth Games women’s marathon took place this morning. The course was a real test with hilly sections in the two 18k suburbia loops and also back towards the city centre finish.
A small field of 16 runners were on the startline at 10:40.
They included three from Australia – Sinéad Diver, Eloise Wellings, and Jessica Stenson. Sinéad was competing in her first Commonwealth Games.
Helalia Johannes (Namibia) was also there trying to retain the title she won in 2018. The Australian trio led out in the early stages. through the first 5k in an easy 18:08.
After the leaders went through halfway in 75 minutes Sinéad fell back into sixth place during a tough patch, but running on her own she still kept a steady pace through the hilly sections. At 30k she was a minute behind the leaders.
Up front the five leaders became three – Stenson, Mariuki (Kenya) and Johannes.
Stenson (formerly Tredgrove) was looking strong and hoping to improve on her two bronze medals in the event in 2014, 2018.
She put in a fast 5k 16:30 and established a clear lead which she held to the finish and a well deserved gold in 2:27.31. Mariuki came home in 2:28.00 for second with Johannes third 2:28.39.
A great result for the Aussies.
Eloise Wellings finished in fourth with a time of 2:30:51 with Sinéad Diver just behind her in fifth with a very creditable finish time of 2:31:06. She was delighted with her fifth place.
The Belmullet native and Mayo AC member added another brilliant achievement to her extensive list of career performances to date.
Well done, Sinéad!