The sun shone brightly on Sunday morning at the Phoenix Park for the Irish Runner 5k which incorporated the National 5k Championships as some of Ireland’s top athletes produced sensational performances.

The first race in the Athletics Ireland Race Series sponsored by Sports Travel International saw nearly 800 participants toeing the names which included some big names vying for prestigious and highly sought-after National medals.

The star of the show was without question Clonliffe Harriers Efrem Gidey. Gidey has had a very good Spring and is looking to bring that form into the summer now. Having battled with injury issues in 2021 it is great to see him back in action and running so well.

The former U20 European medallist was the clear winner of the National title leaving the field in his wake as he ran an impressive time of 13.51.

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That time was over 40 seconds quicker than his nearest challenger in the race, Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC. Somba was not entered in the National Championships but still ran a strong time of 14.33.

The battle for National silver was hotly contested with Rory O’Connor of North Cork AC just getting the better of Gidey’s Clonliffe Harrier’s clubmate Sean O’Leary, who had to settle for bronze. Both athletes posted times under 15 minutes with O’Connor running 14.41 to O’Leary’s 14.49.

Gidey and O’Leary were both part of the gold winning medal Clonliffe team at the recent National Road Relay Championships.

The Women’s National title went the way of Ciara Hickey from Brother Pearses AC. The Masters athlete clocked a time of 16.24.

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National Duathlon Champion and former National Indoor 3000m gold medallist Ciara Wilson of DMP AC in Wexford finished second running a new PB of 16.41.

Emma O’Brien of Sli Cualann finished third but it was Tallaght AC’s Faye Dervan who took National bronze running 17.26. Dervan is still only a Junior athlete.

Clonliffe Harriers took the Men’s team title with Gidey and O’Leary being joined by Darren O’Dwyer and Cathal McHale.

Crusaders AC took silver while Liffey Valley won bronze.

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Brother Pearses were crowned Women’s team champions with Ciara Hickey joined by Dee O’Keefe and Sinead Tighe.

Clonliffe Harriers won the silver medals, with Rathfarnham WSAF taking bronze.

The next instalment of the Athletics Ireland Race Series is the Irish Runner 5 Mile, set for Sunday June 12th in the Phoenix Park. The race will incorporate the National Championships for the distance.

Registration is open and more details can be found here https://eventmaster.ie/event/6zoYUEpT5G.

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