Hehir excels in London; Queen’s and Raheny trump Road relays

Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham) was the leading Irish finisher at the London Marathon yesterday morning in 2:16:18 while Queen’s University women and Raheny Shamrock men won the Irish Life Health National Road Relays in Raheny (April 23).

Hehir, from Clare, came through strongly to run a qualifying time for the World Championships in London in August and was followed home by Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s) in 2:17:08, Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) in 2:17:59 and Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) in 2:18:34.

Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) was first of the Irish women home in 2:42:38 with Barbara Sanchez (Clonliffe Harriers) next in 2:47:36.

Day of drama as Queens and Raheny triumph at Road Relays

Drama and excitement. It’s what we’ve come to expect at the Irish Life Health National Road Relays in Raheny today (April 23) where Queen’s University women and Raheny Shamrock men came out on top in the senior races.

From the get go there were big changes in position with Annmarie McGlynn, who had a busy afternoon, guiding Letterkenny AC to the F35 title over 4 miles, 1-2-1 mile format, in a record time of 22:32.

The F50 women were also in action alongside their F35 counterparts and it was the Raheny Shamrock team of Adrienne Atkins, Orla Gormley and Nora Byrne who brought home the gold in 25:22 from Dundrum South Dublin in 25:44 and Finn Valley in 27:42.

The masters’ men were next and Raheny Shamrock was first across the line in the M35 in a new record of 19:28 with Ian Conroy getting them started followed by Michael McMahon and John Dunne on the anchor.

St Finbarr’s clawed back Raheny in the M50 race with an excellent last leg by Ken Devine who clocked 4:59 to win gold for the Cork team in 21:13 overall. Raheny had to settle for silver in 21:21 with Rathafarnham WSAF third in 22:22.

This set the stage for the senior races with roads in Raheny lined with people on both sides and a palpable buzz in the air. Leevale came in as defending champions but it didn’t go to script. They were right in the hunt after Carol Finn’s first leg but no one accounted for Queen’s University who made their debut in the event. Emma Mitchell was in sparkling form on the 2 mile leg running 10:18 having taken over from Sinead Sweeney. This
teed up Rebecca Henderson for a surprise victory.

The final race of the day in the senior men’s 8 mile saw high drama in the first lap of the first leg. The leading pack were bunched around 1km in when they came together and it saw Raheny Shamrock’s Mark Kirwan and Ennis Track’s Karl Fitzmaurice take a heavy fall losing track on the main pack.

Kirwan was visibly in pain, later learning that he had broken his collarbone, but gathered himself to be in touching distance of the leaders at the changeover for the one-mile leg. Kieran Kelly took over and blitzed the 1 lap circuit in 4:20 to put the defending champions back in the lead.

It was then down to the crucial 3 mile leg with Kevin Dooney now carrying the mantle with Donore Harriers’ John Travers in hot pursuit. Travers was in form and sped around the 3 mile leg in 14:04 to equal the course record and bringing Donore into the lead. Dooney hung on gamely and handed over to his brother Conor who had to chase down Eric Keogh on the last 2 mile leg.

With one lap to go Keogh looked menacingly calm sitting in behind Conor Dooney who had turned from hunter to hunted. The aficionados were awaiting the return of the duo leaning towards Keogh but it was Dooney who had enough at the finish to hold off by one second and guide home the host club in 37:38. Donore Harriers had to settle for silver in 37:39 with Kilkenny City Harriers third in 38:10. Raheny Shamrock won the Paddy Boland trophy for the best overall trophy on a day where competition and participation
combined seamlessly.

Irish Life Health National Road Relays, Raheny

Women

F35 4 miles

1. Letterkenny AC 22:32 (record),

2. Crusaders 23:01,

3. Drogheda & District 23:06

F50 4 miles

1. Raheny Shamrock 25:22,

2. DSD 25:44,

3. Finn Valley 27:42

Senior 4 miles

1. Queen’s University 20:58,

2. UCD AC 21:04,

3. Letterkenny AC 21:15

Men

M35 4 miles

1. Raheny Shamrock 19:29 (record),

2. Finn Valley 19:31,

3. Sportsworld 19:53

M50 4 miles

1. St Finbarr’s 21:13,

2. Raheny Shamrock 21:21,

3. Rathfarnham WSAF 22:22

Senior 8 miles

1. Raheny Shamrock 37:38,

2. Donore Harriers 37:39,

3. Kilkenny City Harriers 38:10

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