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Fionnuala Britton fourth in Great Ireland Run

Updated: Sunday, 06 Apr 2014 17:01 | Comments

Fionnuala Britton came fourth in the Spar Great Ireland Run. Picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
Fionnuala Britton came fourth in the Spar Great Ireland Run. Picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) and Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) were victorious in the Woodie’s DIY National 10k Championships in the Phoenix Park.

The national championships were run in conjunction with the Great Ireland Run with 600 club athletes battling it out for the national titles.

Two-time European Cross-Country champion Britton started as one of the pre-race favourites along with current European champion Sophie Duarte of France.

However, there was a surprise in store when Iwona Lewandowska of Poland made her break with seven kilometres remaining.

Britton, crucially, allowed the Polish athlete and Duarte to move away, and it was a gap the Kilcoole AC athlete could never manage to close.

Lewandowska stayed strong to the finish to win the race in a time of 33.39 with Duarte second in a time of 33.48 and Spain’s Alessandra Aguilar third in a time of 33.49

Britton ran very strongly over the second part of the race and closed the gap on the leaders to finish fourth in a time of 33.54.

She had the consolation of winning the national 10k title as Catherina McKiernan, ten years after winning the event, finished a fine second with Dundrum South Dublin athlete Sarah Mulligan third.

In the men’s race, Japheth Korir, the World cross country champion was comfortably in control from 4k onwards and kept Britain’s Andy Vernon at bay.

Korir crossed the line in 29:12 with Vernon seven seconds behind. Michael Shelley of Australia was third in 29:33.

Mark Hanrahan from Leevale in Cork claimed sixth place and the Irish title in 30:20.

Before the 10k races got underway the elite men’s mile race took centre stage.

Defending champion Paul Robinson (St Coca’s AC) showed his winter training has gone extremely well producing a powerful kick over the last 400m to win in a time of 4.02.

After an up and down indoor season, a resurgent John Travers (Donore Harriers) finished in second place in a time of 4.04, impressive performances by both athletes in wet and windy conditions. 

Elsewhere, David Rooney (Raheny Shamrock AC) got the weekend off to a good start when he finished fifth in the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational in California on Saturday. 

His time of 28:41.72 knocked 13 seconds off his previous best and is also a ‘B’ Athletics Ireland standard for the European track and field championships in Zurich.

Clubmate Kevin Dooney competed in Section 2 and finished second in a time of 29:10.13, an improvement of 46 seconds on his previous best.

Sarah Collins (Finn Valley AC) finished seventh in Section 1 of the 5000m in 15:31.03 also the B qualification for the European Championships. 

Her time improves on her previous outdoor best of 16:19.80, and puts her within reach of Sonia O’Sullivan’s national U23 record of 15:26.9 from 1990.

Kerry O’Flaherty (Nee Harty) was seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:14.33.

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