John Travers of Donore Harriers coasted to a comfortable victory in Sunday's St Patrick's Festival 5k. There was a record entry of more than 1,700 in this year's event, which started and finished on St Stephen's Green.
Colm Rooney of Clonliffe Harriers set the early pace before Travers moved to the front and powered his way to a clear victory in 14.07. Rooney was second in 14.23 and Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel AC was third in 14.43. Darragh Green (Dunleer AC) finished fourth in 14.50 and Ray Hynes (Donore Harriers) was fifth in 15.02. Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham/WSAF) finished sixth in 15.15.
Fionnuala Britton made a surprise appearance in the women's race and the double European cross-country champion from Slí Cualann AC led all the way to win in 15.23. The performance of the day, though, was FIT columnist Catherina McKiernan's battling performance which earned her second place in 15.58 ahead of Ann Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) who finished third in 16.01.
Orla Drumm (Crusaders AC) placed fourth in 16.13 and Ciara Durkan (Skerries AC) was fifth in 16.17. National Novice and Intermediate women's cross-country champion Michelle McGee (Brothers Pearse AC) was sixth in 16.37.
This was an encouraging home-town victory for Travers – who attends Athlone IT on an athletic scholarship – and who was running his first road race in a long while. "I felt good all the way and winning this event is great for my confidence," he said. "I am now looking forward to competing in the road mile in next month's SPAR Great Ireland Run, after which I will concentrate on track competition."
The event also served as a Great Ireland Run tune-up for Britton, who will also be looking forward to the track season and the European Championships in Zurich.
It was a special day, too, for Brian Tyrrell who was singled out for special recognition by St Patrick's Festival race director Eamonn Coghlan.