Friday 15 December 2017

McCambridge and Ciobanu rule the Ballycotton 10

Maria McCambridge, Dundrum South Dublin AC
Maria McCambridge, Dundrum South Dublin AC

Maria McCambridge of DSD and Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu provided the stars of the 38th Ballycotton '10' held on a balmy day in east Cork, conditions that were perfect for running.

McCambridge smashed her own course record with a winning women's time of 54 minutes 20 seconds, while Ciobanu was winning the race for a record fifth consecutive year.

At the front of the race, Ciobanu, Rathfarnham's Seán Hehir and Greg Roberts of City of Derry had broken away early, although the 2007 race winner Alan O'Shea of Bantry, who also finished second behind Ciobanu last year, wasn't far behind.


Just before the halfway point, Hehir took over in front and from then on, he and Ciobanu swapped the leads until the race back into the village.

Ciobanu's winning time of 49:03 was not far off the personal best 48:58 he clocked last year. Hehir finished 11 seconds adrift with O'Shea running his fastest Ballycotton time when he finished third in 50:38.

There was a remarkable run by Tinryland's 55-year-old Tommy Payne who finished sixth master behind five over 40 athletes. His time of 56:34, reduced the previous M55 record by over a minute. Leevale's John O'Leary was also in record breaking form, improving his own M75 best to 81:40.

McCambridge's blistering pace from the start of the race put her in a class of her own - she finished 21st overall and beat all but one of the master men.

Ballycotton 'regular' Siobhán O'Doherty of Borrisokane, who won the race last year, was second in a solid 57:24.

McCambridge can now claim the three fastest women's times in the race - she ran 54.48 in 2012 and 55.01 a year later. Not even Sonia O'Sullivan, who won Ballycotton in 2001, has run as fast.

Clearly the work McCambridge put into improving her speed over the winter has paid rich dividends.

Only a few weeks ago she won the 3000m at the National Indoors and she followed that with a resounding victory at the National Cross Country.

Elsewhere, Mullingar's Martin Fagan continued his preparations for the Zurich Marathon on April 19 by winning the Meath Spring Half Marathon in Bohermeen in a time of 65:42.

It's just about a year since Fagan returned from a two-year drugs ban and his form in Zurich will be closely watched.

First woman in Bohermeen was the ageless Pauline Curley of Tullamore Harriers in a time of 79:31.

On a busy weekend for road running, John Frazer of Crusaders returned to his Northern Ireland roots to win the Albertville 5-Mile. His time of 25 mins 22 secs put him well clear of Paddy Hamilton from Slieve Gullion Runners. First woman was Cathy McCourt.

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