Tuesday 25 October 2016

Athletics: Lille Half measures up nicely for Fionnuala McCormack

Fionnuala McCormack
Fionnuala McCormack

On the roads, Fionnuala McCormack (nee Britton) of Kilcoole ran a personal best 71:33 at the Lille Half Marathon in France.

Kenya's Peninah Arusei won the race in 68 mins 56 secs, which shows the kind of standard European distance runners are up against.

This was a second half marathon for Britton this season - she ran 73 mins 46 secs in the Czech Republic last May. Her time moves her to top of the women's half marathon rankings ahead of Leevale''s Lizzie Lee, who has run 73 mins 27 secs.

After running 2:31.46 in her debut marathon at the European Championships last August, Britton is chasing the Rio '16 qualifying time of 2 hours 42 minutes, which she should make easily.

Also chasing Olympic qualification is Raheny's Mick Clohisey, one of a number of Irish runners signed up for the Berlin Marathon on September 27.

Clohisey was an impressive winner of the Waterside Half Marathon in Derry last Sunday.

His time of 65 mins 8 secs put him over two minutes clear of his Raheny clubmate Freddy Keron Sittuk, winner of the Longford Marathon a week earlier.

Seventh overall was Pauric McKinney of Inishowen, who was also first over 50 and third master overall. First woman was Derry's Catherine Whoriskey.

Thomas Fitzpatrick and Laura McDonnell made it a Tallaght double at the Lakes 10km in Blessington. Fitzpatrick won the race in 30 mins 27, finishing well clear of Mark Kirwan, while in the women's race, McDonnell was chased hard by Annette Kealy.


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