Thursday 27 October 2016

Sprint win for Somba in park

Gladys Ganiel wins her first Irish Runner 5 Mile Picture: Sportsfile
Gladys Ganiel wins her first Irish Runner 5 Mile Picture: Sportsfile

Kenyan athlete Peter Somba, who runs with Dunboyne AC when on his annual visit to Ireland, just pipped Rio-bound marathon man Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock for victory in the SSE Airtricity Irish Runner 5 Mile in  Dublin's Phoenix Park.

Somba timed his race to perfection, burning off Clohisey with the line in sight. He finished in 23 mins 58 secs, with Clohisey a second behind.

Michael Harty of East Cork AC was a fighting third in 24:11, with Tallaght's Thomas Fitzpatrick fourth. Next up for Clohisey is the 10,000m at the National Championships.

"I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't win, but I like to race. It keeps me sharp," he said afterwards.

Somba, who is based in Clane, has no plans to run on the track. He's pleased with his current form.

"Last year I wasn't running so good. But this year is a lot better - I've trained hard in Kenya and I do long runs and fartlek around the roads in Clane."

The rest of the time he spends resting. "I sleep and I eat!" He returns to his native Kenya in July.

Does he miss home when he's here? "No, I like it here - it's a good country and the people are very nice to me. I hope to come back next year."

Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers won the women's race for the first time after a number of attempts.

Her time of 28 mins 36 secs put her comfortably clear of Catherina McKiernan who finished in 28:47 secs. In third place was Catherina Mullen of Shercock AC, who has spent the last few years in England and was running her first race on home soil after a long gap.

Ganiel is working on her speed in the run-up to the European Championships where she will run in the half marathon as part of a strong Irish team than includes Clare McCarthy from Cork.

"My coach is insisting that I race over shorter distances, so I'm pleased with my run today. I have plenty of endurance but not much speed," she said.

Ganiel, a new mother, will run in Saturday's Dunshaughlin 10k.

"I'm told it's a good course - very fast. But it's in the evening and I'm wondering how I'll do after a whole day looking after a baby!"

Out in force were the Waterstown Warriors from Palmerstown who have recently affiliated with Athletics Ireland. After starting as a jogging group, the Warriors made the big decision to become a 'proper' club and are delighted with their decision.

The group organises a popular Parkrun in the park which gives them their name and get about 120 runners every Saturday morning.

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