In typical Connemara weather, where after 4 hours I still couldn’t figure out which way the wind was blowing (and it was blowing), there were some very impressive times posted across the three distances on offer in Sunday’s Connemarathon.
The club took three titles home from Maam Cross with Ruthann Sheahan & Lezan Kimutai both winning the ultra marathon & Peter Brandon winning the half marathon. With course records on their minds prior to the race start, both Lezan & Peter were undone by the swirling winds, particularly on the half marathon course, which everyone had to tackle. They still posted impressive times though with Lezan completing the 39.3mile course in 4.07.50 & Peter finishing the half marathon two & a half minutes outside the course record in 1.09.46.
Despite finding the going tough at times, Ruthann Sheahan still had a large winning margin, a clear 15 minute gap to the second placed lady, with her winning time of 5.05.39. She was second club member home too with Kieran Guiry, Aaron Turner, Pat Forde & Martina Passman also completing the course. Kieran Guiry in particular had an impressive day, on his first attempt at this distance he finished with a brilliant time of 5.17.16 & the family bragging rights after beating his brother John (a sub-3 marathon runner) by 30 seconds. Pat Forde was over the moon by beating his sub-6 hour target with a time of 5.59.27.
We had one member representing the club in the marathon & he didn’t let us down. With a fantastic time of 2.45.51, Lyall Guiney finished in 5th position & a near 7minute PB. Amazing running on a tough course & on a tough day.
We had 10 members competing in the half marathon, again with some impressive times. Mick Rice came home in 1.23.40 for 6th position. Any other day you’d expect a category prize for that time / position but amazingly seven of the top ten were O40. Liam Egan was next home with a 1.47.39, not bad for a training run. Liam is off to Austria soon for his Ironman 70.3 & was using this as a warm up, so was pleasantly surprised with his time. Fiona Doughan was close behind with a 1.54.53.
Following not far behind were a group who have come a long way since their Fit4Life days with Frances Egan, Yvonne Dowling, Caroline Mitchell, Shirley Quinn, Sinead Reilly, Janette Murray & Maria Hehir-Warde all finishing between the 2.00 - 2.25 mark.
As always this race brought a huge contingent of supporters from Athenry with members lining the course throughout & I know the ultra runners in particular were appreciative of the support in the latter stages of the race.
Race results attached below.
Also, Lyall's outstanding report is posted here.