TJ’s win in Cork Half Marathon tops successful Holiday week-end



In was a busy week-end for our athletes. Mayo AC were involved in many events near and far. Nine runners participated in the testing endurance distances 10k, half marathon, marathon and tri-athlon.

One of the major races was the Cork Marathon and Half marathon on Bank Holiday Monday. Six runners took the long road south and reaped great rewards. TJ McHugh had a brilliant win in the Half Marathon in 72.51 – 45 seconds inside his previous personal best. He was surprised to find himself in the lead after 4 miles and held on there extending his lead to win by 80 seconds in a field of over a thousand. This win will rank highly for the Claremorris man alongside his National medals in the half and full marathons. Well done too to Catherine Conway, who was 3rd woman finisher in 83.56, behind winner Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) 79.45. Lizzie was first woman in Ballycotton ’10’  last March.
Sarah Syron was delighted with her personal best of 91.45. She has put in a lot of hard work in recent months around the Castlebar circuit and it is great to see her efforts pay off.

There were 1400 finishers in the full marathon which started 2 hours earlier alongside 750 teams in the relay which made it difficult for the organisers.  John Byrne put in another great run to finish 6th in the Marathon in 2.33.39, having hit halfway in 1.15.48. Sergio Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) – also a winner of Ballycotton ’10’ this year, was the winner in 2.25.34 – a course record. John was very happy with his form and it will be a big boost for him as he builds up for his next Ultra in September. Christy O’Malley was not sure where his 3.38.21 came from, Christy has run numerous races recently (nothing new there) and still had time to get a few long runs in – an amazing example. John Fahey was not far behind in 3.46.03.

Meanwhile, in Dublin Colette Tuohy finished  a brilliant 11th (and 1st over 40) in the Women’s Mini Marathon (10k) in one of her fastest times 38.13. It was cold hanging around among the 40,000 but a fast start helped her into a strong pace. Caitriona Jennings (Rathfarnham AC) was the winner in 35.28. 

In Louisburgh on Saturday, Derval Devaney was first woman in the Tri-Burgh Triathlon – swim 1500m 32.09, Bike 40k, 1.19.23, run 10k 41.23 – finishing in 2.34.37 including transitions. Derval was also first in 2010
As a warm down she followed this up on Sunday with a second place finish in the Clifden10k in 41.01. Micheal McNeela ran well to finish sixth in 40.16.

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