Galway native Nicola Duncan is a name to watch out for in the coming months as she prepares to represent Ireland in the marathon at the European Track & Field Championships in Zurich this summer.
Duncan, who works as an actuary in Edinburgh, last weekend won the women's event in the Lasswade 10 Mile promotion near Edinburgh, finishing in 56.58 – three-and-a-half minutes faster than her time in the same event last year.
The 30-year-old posted a marathon time of 2:36.44 in Amsterdam last October – inside the qualifying standard for the European Championships.
Just two weeks ago she finished second in the Barcelona Half-Marathon; clearly an exciting new addition to the Irish road racing scene.
McCarthy tastes victory once again A week after her victory in the National Masters Cross-Country, Marie McCarthy was back in action to easily win the Rathmore four-miler, a race organised by the Gneeveguilla club in Co Kerry.
Finishing seventh overall, the Farranfore-Maine Valley athlete clocked a time of 23.20 with Carol Finn second in 24.52 and Siobhan Daly taking third in 25.02.
Arthur Fitzgerald made it a Farranfore-Maine Valley double, defeating Robert Purcell by five seconds in 21.58. Matthew Collins was third in 22.45.
IRVINE TAKES SILVER AT CHAMPIONSHIPS
Defending world champion Martyn Irvine has won a silver medal in the Scratch Race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team member rode strongly, putting every effort into defending his title, and settled for silver in the fast, aggressive 15k race.
Ryan Mullen also impressed, finishing fourth in the Individual Pursuit, narrowly missing out on a medal. Gold in the Scratch Race went to Ivan Kovalev (Russia), with Irvine taking silver ahead of King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong). These three riders lapped the field, meaning podium position was decided on the line.
Speaking after the race head coach Brian Nugent said: "He rode smart from the start, and he was determined to get in the main move. Just when it looked like the break was about to get caught, Martyn forced the pace and moved on alone. It was a brave move, and he worked lap after lap, until he lapped the field.
"No one else can sustain an effort like that, the way Martyn does. With two others already a lap up, it was too much to take the gold, but we're thrilled with the silver."
Irvine had a tough year following his world championship victory last year, breaking his femur shortly after the championships.
SHIELDS AND STACK WIN IN BUNDORAN
Keith Shields (Foyle Valley AC) led the way home in Saturday's annual Cara Bundoran 10-mile road race, finishing in 51.31. Eoghan McGinley (Rathfarnam/ WSAF) was second in 52.06 and Glenn Phair was third in 52.36.
Fiona Stack of Raheny Shamrock AC won the women's race in 59.34. Breege Connolly (NBH) was second in 59.46 and Caitriona Jennings, who ran the marathon in the London Olympics, made a comeback to competition to finish third in 1:00.36.