The highlight of the day was the winning double achieved by our top two men and women – John Byrne and Norah Newcombe – in the second running of Mullingar Half Marathon. Both came home winners in a field of 865, with John a minute clear in a brilliant new personal best 69:37.
It’s the first time he’s broken the 70 minute barrier in numerous attempts over a twenty year racing career. On the basis of resilience, hard work and talent nobody deserves it more. John is preparing to have another go at his long term goal – a sub 2:30 marathon – in a few weeks time and this result will give his confidence a major boost.
Norah Newcombe has come through a few setbacks in recent months and the Mullingar Half was her first outing in 2016. It’s great to see her back in this form and clocking an excellent 79:55 finish, over two minutes ahead of Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers). Our other two finishers were Noel Gibbons 21st overall (Mayo AC) just ahead of Norah in a great time 79:20 and 18th woman Anne Marie Staunton 98:13 – well done.
There was more club success at the 43rd Tubbercurry 10k which also took place in fine dry conditions. Catherine Conway ran a very well paced race to finish third in the women’s race. Half way in 19:55, she came home five seconds clear of the great Lucy Brennan.
This was Catherine’s first race since she returned to training recently and she was well supported by TJ and their four-month old daughter, Erienne. It seems like the other day but she won this race in 2008 in 39:52.
Emmett Dunleavy won the 10k race for the third successive time. He and Damien O’Boyle were well clear together in front all the way round the tough one lap course, but the Sligo AC man won the battle for the line over the final 500 metres. Anna Reddin (Crusaders) won the women’s race in a fine time 37:03.
Mullingar Half Marathon (865 finishers) http://www.myrunresults.com/
Men: 1 John Byrne (Mayo AC, M40) 69.37, 2 Barry Shiel (Longford) 70.47, 3 Kevin Baker ( Mullingar Hrs) 72.31. M50: Sean Ryan (CSH) 83.42. M60: Tommy Archbold (Mullingar Hrs) 1:40.09 .
Women: 1 Norah Newcombe (Mayo AC) 79.55, 2 Aine O’Reilly ( Mullingar Hrs) 82.05, 3 Lisa Murphy (St Michael’s) 88.58. W40 Michelle Langan (Blackrock AC) 96.07. W50: Olivia Sheerin (St Michael’s) 94.08. W60: Kathleen Delaney (Birr) 2:31.02.
43rd Tubbercurry St Patrick’s Day 10k (finishers 176, 5k = 204) results www.coretiming.com
W50 Lucy Brennan (Sligo AC) 39:48, 2 Noreen Joyce 47:14
other Mayo AC: Anto Devaney 38:33, Michael McNeela 40:43, Paddy Walsh 41:22, Chris O’Connell 50:10, Christy O’Malley 53:47