McCormack on target for Tokyo
On a good weekend for Irish athletes called McCormack, Fionnuala McCormack ran a personal best at the Chicago Marathon while Sarah McCormack confirmed her victory in mountain running's World Cup.
In Chicago, Fionnuala McCormack finished fifth woman in 2 hrs 26 mins 47 secs, knocking almost four minutes off her previous best of 2:30.38 run in Boston earlier this year. That time is comfortably inside the Tokyo 2020 qualifying standard of 2:29:30 and means that McCormack, now aged 35, is on target to compete at her fourth Olympic Games next summer.
It also puts her third on the all-time list of Irish-born athletes led by Catherina McKiernan, whose Irish record of 2:22.23 dates back 21 years to Amsterdam in 1998. Second on the list is Mayo-born Sinead Diver who ran a time of 2:24.11 in London last April; Diver runs for Australia. Only four Irish women have ever gone under 2 hrs 30 mins for the marathon.
At the final World Cup race in Slovenia, Sarah McCormack finished second behind defending champion Lucy Murigi of Kenya.
McCormack, who is based in the Lake District, had already done enough to lift the World Cup trophy after a consistent season, where she ran six of the seven World Cup races, winning at Snowdon and finishing second in two others.
In the men's race, Zak Hanna of Newcastle AC finished ninth which put him fifth overall in the World Cup rankings. Both athletes will represent Ireland at the World Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia Argentina next month.