Ageless Ryan races to third 'Streets' title
Published 11/08/2011 | 05:00
A seemingly ageless Gerry Ryan of Craughwell AC coasted to a comfortable victory in Saturday's Corrib Oil Streets of Galway 8k road race -- a remarkable achievement considering that the Galway runner is all of 47 years of age.
Ryan took the lead in the final two kilometres and led home an entry of well over 2,000 in this ever popular event.
"I was tracking Vinny Mulvey of Raheny Shamrock up to six kilometres before I decided to make a break for home," Ryan said.
"This was my third time to win the event. It was not my fastest time -- 24 minutes, 24 seconds -- but my most satisfying victory."
Mulvey followed Ryan home in second place in 24.29, followed by Neville Davey (Raheny Shamrocks) in 24.39.
Rosemary Ryan (Bilboa) -- no relation -- was a clear winner of the women's race in 27.16 from Siobhan O'Doherty (Borrisokane) in 27.47 and Orla Drumm (Raheny Shamrocks) in 27.57. "This was a good race for me and I feel that I am on course to run a good marathon in Dublin in October," Ryan said.
However, the talking point of the evening was the remarkable fitness and pace still displayed by Ryan who turns 48 at the end of October.
A former international runner and a winner of silver and bronze medals at the senior cross-country and track championships, Ryan was once offered an athletic scholarship to Villanova University in the USA.
"It will always be a regret of mine that I did not take up that offer," Ryan said.
The Galway man, who works for Boston Scientific, gave up the sport when he got married in his late 20s, but returned to competition after an eight-year absence to win the Streets of Galway race in 1997.