The 40th edition of the Gold Coast Marathon festival took place in Queensland over the weekend June 30, July 1. It’s one of the major events on the Australian athletics calendar. There were eight races in all – four on each day. Our Melbourne based member Sinéad Diver made the trip to race the Half Marathon.
She came into the event on the back of a brilliant win and PB (31:59) in the Launceston 10k in Tasmania in May and a Half Marathon 71:40 PB in the World Championships in Valencia in March this year.
The Half Marathon started on Sunday morning (July 1) at 6am while it was still dark, with the marathon off at 7.20am. The out and back course is along the aptly named Runaway Bay turning for home at Paradise Point. There was a top class field of international athletes in both races.
Sinéad passed 10k in 32:39, ran the next 10k in 33:36 and the final k in 3:35 for a fantastic finish time of 69:53 and a brilliant second place in the women’s race and 25th overall. (7,398 finishers)
She smashed her Valencia PB by almost two minutes running an average 3:18k pace.
Sara Hall USA won the race in 69:27 – a PB (21st overall) – she’s an experienced marathoner (2:26 in May 2018) and wife of Ryan Hall US international marathon runner.
After Valencia, Sinéad was in 15th place in the Australian All-time list for the Half Marathon so she’ll move up after this race. American Laura Thweatt ran a PB for third place in 70:57 – she finished 6th in London Marathon 2017 in 2:25.
Sinéad says “I’m very happy with the race on Sunday. I was next to Sara the whole way until the last few k’s. I think the humidity hit me like a tonne of bricks around the 16k mark! Close enough to home to fight through the final few kms though”.
Sinéad’s magnificent achievements ensure her place in history as the fastest woman athlete of all time from the West of Ireland at 10k, half and full marathon. And she moves up to 8th place in the Australian All-time list for the Half.
Sadly, since 2015 Athletics Ireland’s all-time statistics have not included her in their lists. They say “since she declared for Australia, any performances achieved don’t count towards inclusion on our lists”.
Saturday June 30, 6th annual Padraig Keane Memorial races, Ballinlough.
1 Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) 31:45, 2 Tadhg McGinty (Swinford AC) 36:44; 3 Conor Dolan (GCH) 36:50
Over 40 Tom Prendergast 38:24
Over 50 John Bligh 51:25
1 Kathy Gleeson (Claremorris) 43:30, 2 Laura Rice 48:26, 3 Kate Giblin 53:48
Over 40 Linda Kehoe
Over 50 Bernadette Morris
5k Men: 1 Adrian Gurn, 2 Daniel Dill, 3 Michael Flynn
Juvenile: Dominic Cunningham
1 Breege Staunton (Mayo AC) 26:07 , 2 Sarah Towey 26:11; 3 Emer Carty (,Carrick on Shannon AC) 26:34
Juvenile Jessica Gannon
Well done Breege Staunton on a hot afternoon for racing.
Well done to 3rd placed 10k finisher Conor Dolan who has just completed 100 days of running in a row -more than 14 weeks = 1,349k, a daily average of 13.49k; including races: 1x10k, 1x Half, 2x10mile, 2x8k, 11x parkruns