O’Flaherty wins National Title in Dublin
On Sunday (23rd July) at the Irish Athletics Championships in Dublin, Newcastle & District AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty saw the culmination of three weeks of hard steeplechase races by winning the 3k Steeplechase National Title in 10:01.40. On a warm afternoon in Santry Stadium the early pace was shared between fellow-Olympian Michelle Finn from Cork (Leevale AC) before Finn hit the front with 4 laps to go. She took the lead out to between 10 and 15 metres but after a couple of laps started to tire with O’Flaherty closing fast. Then Finn hit the second barrier of the penultimate lap with her trail knee and crashed to the track with O’Flaherty soon hurtling past her. The steeplechase is perhaps the toughest event on the track and requires the athlete to clear 28 ordinary barriers and 7 water jumps. Afterwards, O’Flaherty said she was disappointed with her winning time, disappointed for her rival Finn, but she should be delighted with winning the National Steeplechase title for the first time since 2011.
O’Flaherty secures 1st Commonwealth Games Consideration Standard
Just over a week earlier (Saturday 15th July) O’Flaherty came home 3rd in a competitive international race in Flanders in Belgium. The 3k Steeplechase in the Memorial Rasschaert International Meeting in Ninove was won by Algerian Rima Chenah with Vicky Mitchell from Australia in second place. O’Flaherty came home in 3rd in a season’s best of 9:50.75, just over 3 seconds inside the Commonwealth standard. The selection policy requires her to achieve a second standard and she will look to do that over the coming month. Earlier in the same week (Tuesday 11th July) O’Flaherty raced to 9:54.40 and 8th place in the Folksam Grand Prix in Gothenburg, Sweden. Agonisingly this was 0.4 seconds outside the Commonwealth Games consideration standard but nonetheless a season’s best at the time as she continued to recover from the early season injury.
Totten sets new personal best over 10000m at the National Championships
Congratulations to Eoghan Totten who came home an excellent 7th place in 30:52.75 at the Irish Championships on Saturday (22nd July). This knocked 9 seconds off his personal best from Highgate in May. He becomes the fastest club member over 10,000m since Deon McNeilly was at his best nearly 30 years ago. Mere mortals among us will only look on in awe when considering that Totten’s time represents running 6.21 miles at 4:59 mile pace. In the same race, 23 year old Kevin Dooney took his inaugural National title over 10,000m in 29:30. Kevin set out in 71second laps and did not ease off, outkicking fellow Raheny Shamrock Mick Clohisey, an Irish representative in the Marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Kevin is following in his father’s footsteps, himself a 2:13 marathoner. Clohisey came away with the silver in 29:35. Clonmel AC brothers Kevin and William Maunsell took 3rd and 4th positions, Kevin taking the bronze in 29:52, a seasoned athlete on the Irish scene. William came away with 30:07.
There is no stopping him
Recent reports have covered the exploits of David Simpson in racing frequently and winning more often than not! This week was no exception as he raced the Portaferry 10 in Tuesday and won in just over 55 minutes. He followed this up with victory in the Dalriada Festival 10k in just over 35 minutes on Friday night. He planned to complete the weekend by taking part in the Acorns AC Bluebells 5k and was extremely disappointed when he arrived to register that this was a ladies only race! no doubt he will appear at the RGU on Wednesday and Crossgar on Friday!!!
The busy summer of racing continues this week. On Wednesday the RGU Downpatrick host their annual 10k road race and team relay supported by East Down AC. On Friday Evening Crossgar Harriers host their 10k and on Saturday many will make the trip south to Castleblayney for the 10k. This race has the added feature, at no extra cost, of hearing Connell Nugent preach from the pulpit of the market house in the opening mile – enough to spur any athlete to greatness. Also on Saturday is the Eoin Farrell & James Miskelly Memorial 5k Run & Family Walk in Rostrevor in memory of two young men who lost their lives tragically on the roads. no doubt all of these events will be well supported in the week ahead and we will bring you all the highlights next week!