Sinead Diver ran the fastest ever marathon by an Irish woman in Valencia on Sunday, however Catherina McKiernan's national record remains intact as Diver now represents Australia.

Diver, who moved Down Under for employment purposes in 2002, finished in 12th in a time of two hours 21.34 minutes.

The Belmullet woman, who turns 46 in February, improved her previous best by two and a half minutes.

The time clocked is almost a minute faster than the long-standing Irish record of 2:22:23 which Catherina McKiernan ran in Amsterdam in 1998.

It is also the fastest marathon time for a woman aged 45, and also a new Australian record.

The Melbourne-based athlete beat the previous Australian record, a 2:22:36 run by Benita Willis Johnson back in 2006.

Diver improves her previous best of 2:24:11 clocked when finishing seventh in the 2019 London Marathon.

Ethiopian athlete Amane Beriso won the race and went close to the women's world record with her winning time of 2:14:58.