Saturday 23 September 2017

Athletics: Plenty of ups and downs for road racers

World champion: Rob Heffernan. Photo: Sportsfile
World champion: Rob Heffernan. Photo: Sportsfile
John Meagher

John Meagher

Road racing may be a peculiar sport to look at and is still relatively obscure, but the country cheered when Cork veteran Rob Heffernan took Ireland's only gold at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow for the gruelling 50km distance.

Heffernan's star fell somewhat afterwards when he posted a series of ill-advised tweets about Ireland's Roma community. He apologised and removed the offending messages, but some damage had been done.

Airtricity stepped in to sponsor the 34th installment of the Dublin Marathon, but not in time to make money available to elite international athletes. Consequently, Sean Hehir became the first Irish male winner in 20 years, while the country's long-distance specialist Maria McCambridge defended her title.

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