Sinéad Diver wins the Melbourne Marathon (photo Melbourne Marathon press)
Mayo AC’s Melbourne based member Sinéad Diver ran the race of her life today. She was first woman finisher in the Melbourne Marathon in a new personal best time of 2:25.19, knocking a massive six minutes off her Nagoya, Japan finish time from March 2017, 2:31.37. A fantastic performance by any standards.
Not only that, Sinéad becomes the second fastest Irish woman ever in the marathon. The current record is held by the great Catherina McKiernan who ran 2:22.23 in Amsterdam on November 1, 1998.
Sinéad came into this race having run a world masters W40 record time and pb of 69.20 in the Half Marathon on the Gold Coast last August. She told us here at Mayo AC a couple of weeks ago that she was in great shape – “fingers crossed for a good day as I’m fitter than I’ve ever been at the moment so it’d be nice to show that with a good marathon time. Melbourne has been very windy this winter though so I’m a little nervous!”
Well, we now know what happened and join with her Belmullet family and friends in celebrating her magnificent achievement.
Her 5k splits averaged just over 17 minutes and she passed half way in 1:12.37. See details below.
She won $20,000 and also pocketed the $20,000 bonus for breaking the Melbourne Marathon race record held by Lisa Weightman of 2:26.05.
This has been a remarkable season for her on the road, winning four times, producing four personal bests and four course records as well as claiming the national half-marathon title.
Her run on Sunday was the seventh marathon of her career after her debut in 2014. It is her first marathon for 11 months and her third outing in the Melbourne Marathon having finished second on her debut in 2014 and was runner-up again in 2016.
Sinéad runs with South Melbourne AC in Victoria and is a two-time Australian world championships marathon representative (2015 & 2017).
On this performance Sinéad looks set to qualify to run in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
What will Sonia O’Sullivan say about Sinéad’s performance in her next Irish Times column? Sonia”s best marathon time was 2:29.01 in London in 2005.
Congratulations Sinéad, what a performance and what a story!