Athletics: Ace Tomás Fitzpatrick hits home run
Despite dozens of competing events all over the country, the Tallaght 5km attracted some of the biggest names in the sport to Greenhills Road last Sunday.
In the men's race, Tallaght's own Tomás Fitzpatrick was taking on Olympic marathon runner Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe and Raheny's Mick Clohisey, who is still recovering after running 2:17.42 at the Rotterdam Marathon three weeks ago.
Fitzpatrick had won the race last year despite recent knee surgery, but this year he was the man in form and he proved it by coming home in an excellent time of 14 mins 37 minutes - over a minute faster than his winning time of 2014.
A day earlier, he had run a 5000m on the Gresytones track in 14 mins 14.56 secs, but never thought of not running again less than a day later.
"It's my club run so I wanted to turn out - and the 5000m didn't take too much of out of me!" he said. Training has been going well and next up is a BMC meet in Manchester. "I'll miss the Night of 10,000m in Highgate, but I'll run the Manchester BMC at the end of the month, then the national 10,000m and go for an autumn marathon.
"It will be my first marathon but I want to try and qualify for the Olympics next year. It's the only event in which distance runners have a chance."
Kenneally wasn't too far behind in 14 mins 46 secs, with Clohisey third in 14 mins 48 secs. "I needed a run like that after Rotterdam, and with Highgate in two weeks time," said Clohisey.
Maria McCambridge of DSD, who was eleventh overall and first woman in 16 mins 26 secs, will also run a 10,000m in Highgate where she set her personal best time of 33 mins 19.43 secs last year. Also running in Tallaght were members of the Tallaght Cancer Support Group, which has grown out of Mary Coghlan's longtime Meet and Train group, and, as usual, is targeting the women's mini-marathon.
Also in action were members of the South Dublin Special Olympics Club led by former Dublin marathon winner Ailish Smyth.
Elsewhere, Raheny's Freddy Keron Sittuk opted out of the Belfast Marathon citing lack of fitness, and instead lined out in the Great Limerick Run where he was a comfortable winner of the marathon in 2hrs 26 mins 38 secs.
That time would only have given him fifth place in Belfast where Kenyan visitor Joel Kositany was the winner in 2:19.36. Local man Eddie McGinley was fourth in 2:25.25.
Winning the women's marathon in Limerick was Pauline Curley. In the half marathon, Peter Somba from Kenya just edged out Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu.
Rathfarnham's Seán Hehir won the six-mile race where Catherina McKiernan was fourth overall.