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Saturday 24 August 2019

PB hat-trick at highgate!

Thomas Anthony Pitkin of Clonliffe Harriers AC Dublin, on his way to winning the U23 400m final during the Irish Life Health Junior and U23 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Tullamore last weekend. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Thomas Anthony Pitkin of Clonliffe Harriers AC Dublin, on his way to winning the U23 400m final during the Irish Life Health Junior and U23 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Tullamore last weekend. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Ryan Forsyth and Eoghan Totten, both from Newcastle AC, and Aoibhe Richardson of Kilkenny City Harriers all ran personal best times at the Night of 10,000m PBs in London - what some call the Glastonbury of athletics because of its party atmosphere.

In the elite women's European Cup A race, Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole AC continued her comeback with a fighting fifth place in 32.05.29.

Behind her, Ann Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC 33:38.50 - a slower time than the 33:16.73 she had clocked a year earlier. Finishing 33rd was Emma Mitchell of team New Balance, who is recovering after a lay-off, in a time of 34:12.50.

Richardson was running in the women's B race, where she finished tenth in 33:41.15. In the same race, Fionnuala Ross of Armagh AC was 21st in 34:25.78.

Forsyth, along with Matt Bergin of Dundrum South Dublin AC, was running in the men's B race, and on the eve of his 23rd birthday, he finished a creditable eighth place with a time of 29 mins 1.27 secs. Bergin unfortunately was forced to drop out.

Other Irish in action included Grace Lynch of Iveragh AC and Kilcoole's Una Britton who ran times of 35:42.23 and 36:29.95 respectively in the women's C race. In the men's E race, Declan Reed of City of Derry Spartans ran 31:15.63 and Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley AC 31:19.14.

Locally, Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock and Leevale's Michele Finn proved the class of the fields at the Roscommon 10-Mile road race.

Clohisey's winning time of 48 mins 56 secs was, just off his course record time of 48:47 set in 2017. It was a third consecutive win for the current national marathon champion who had won last year in 49:31.

In tough, humid conditions, David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers was second in 49.32 while Hugh Armstrong from Ballina AC, another athlete on the comeback trail, finished third in 51.06.

In the women's race, Michelle Finn's time of 58 mins 47 secs was a new record for the fast, flat course.

Finn, one of the three Irish 'steeple chicks' who who qualified for the Rio Olympics, has been in impressive form recently running a personal best 15:45.55 for 5000m as well as clocking a time of 9:51.22 for the steeplechase. Qualifying mark for the World Championships steeplechase is 9 mins 40 secs.

Behind Finn, Mary Mulhare of Portlaoise AC picked up valuable KIA Race Series rankings when finishing second in 60:40. Leevale's Sinead O'Connor, who was topping the KIA rankings going into the race, finished third in 61.13. Mulhare and O'Connor are now tied on 10 points apiece.

With KIA points also on offer to master athletes, Paddy Sharkey of Longford AC, fourth place overall, was first M40 in 55:02, while Caroline Donnelan of Edenderry AC was first W40 in 63:11 ahead of Maria McCambridge of DSD AC who finished in 65.25.

Of the nine races in the KIA Series, just three remain. Next round is the Edenderry 10-Mile on July 21, where a win for Mary Mulhare could see her pull away at the top of the rankings.

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