Kelly proves king of road
Kenyan Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC made a welcome return to the Irish roads when he led home over 800 finishers at the Irish Runner 5-Mile in Dublin's Phoenix Park on Saturday.
Somba's time of 14 mins 36 secs put him comfortably clear of Kieran Kelly from Raheny Shamrock AC, who finished in 14:45 to be awarded the inaugural national championships title.
Kelly, who is new to the roads, already has national medals at 400m, 800m and 1500m on the track. Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers was third in 14:5.
Robert Murphy of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was first M35 in 15:21, with John Dunne of Raheny Shamrock first M40 in 16:09 and Paul Cowhie of Civil Service AC first M55 in 16:54.
North Belfast Harriers, led by Philip Goss in 14th place, won the senior term title from Raheny Shamrock and Liffey Valley. Rathfarnham WSAF AC proved best in the M35 age group, with Civil Service AC taking the M50 title.
First woman and also first W45 was Catherina McKiernan of Annalee AC in 17:15. Mary Mulhare of Portlaoise AC was second in 17:28 and Bronagh Kearns of St Senan's AC third in 17:42. Dunboyne AC, led by Laura Buckley in seventh place, took the senior team title with Raheny Shamrock second and Dundrum South Dublin AC third. Donore Harriers was first W35 team, while Raheny Shamrock took the W50 title.
Irish international marathon runner Gladys Ganiel ran a personal best of 2:37. 32 when finishing fourth woman at the Belfast City Marathon. That, of course, was after her time was adjusted to take account of the extra 0.4 of a mile that was inadvertently added to the new course by a straying lead car.
Ganiel has previously run 2:37.55 at the 2017 Berlin Marathon and went on to represent Ireland at last summer's European Championships where she finished 33rd. Her Belfast time is just 32 seconds off the standard for the World Championships in Doha later this year and puts her second behind Fionnuala McCormack on the current Irish marathon rankings list.
First woman for a second year was Caroline Jepchirchir whose adjusted time of 2:34.55 is a Belfast record and a thumb's up for the new flatter, faster course from Stormont to Ormeau Park.
Winning the men's race for a fourth time was Joel Kositany in 2:17.09. In a closely run race, last year's winner Eric Koech was second in 2:17.18 and Bernard Rotich third in 2:17.22. Jim Corbett was fastest in the wheelchair race with a time of 2:19.21
Setting a new record was the entry of approximately 5,000 signed up for the marathon alone with 18,000 participants in all between the marathon, the relay and the fun run and walks.
Just missing out on a sub-2:20 time at the Great Limerick Marathon was Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers who had almost ten minutes to spare when winning the race in in 2:20.26. First woman was Elaine Walsh of Galway in 2:59.59.
Winning the half marathon for a second year - and his second race of the weekend - was Peter Somba, just a day after winning the Irish Runner 5km in Dublin.