Niamh Devlin and Alan O'Shea showed their preparations for Dublin in three weeks' time were going to plan with impressive victories in Sunday's Cork to Cobh 15-miler, writes John Walshe.
Making her debut in this classic event, DSD athlete Devlin came home with two-and-a-half minutes to spare, recording 1:33.23. "It was my first time in the race and I really loved it. I got great support from Rory O'Sullivan, who ran with me all the way," said the Dave Corcoran-coached athlete, who hopes to run around 2:45 on Marathon Monday.
Second was Jill Hodgins, whose father Dick was a winner of the Cork to Cobh on a number of occasions in the late 1960s.
O'Shea was using the race as an opportunity to practise taking on board the refreshments he will be using in the marathon. The winning time wasn't his concern, although his 1:21.25 still gave him a clear margin of more than three minutes.
O'DONOGHUE TOPS PODIUM AT WEST WATERFORD OPEN C-C
There was a fine Munster representation at the annual West Waterford open cross-country, which took place over the usual fast course at St Augustine's College.
After the second of the four laps, it was down to Tim O'Donoghue of East Cork and James Doran from Ríocht, with O'Donoghue coming out on top, 24.48 to 25.04. Sean McGrath, also East Cork, took third in 25.30.
The women's race saw one of the biggest turnouts in recent years, with Dymphna Ryan of Dundrum winning in 13.52.
Corinna Walsh of the promoting club was second in 14.33 and Suzanne Dullaghan, also West Waterford, was third in 14.54.