Athletics: Fagan delight after priceless Great Ireland Run success
Martin Fagan had to shell out some €2,000 just to get to the starting line for yesterday's Spar Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park, but felt it was money well spent after becoming the first Irish athlete to win the men's event.
His outlay was due the travel chaos which faced him after he arrived in New York from Arizona last Thursday and managed to get the last seat on a flight out of Boston on Friday night.
"In situations like that you do not count the cost. This race was on my radar for weeks and I was determined to be there, even it was a little expensive for the last leg of my journey," said the 26-year-old from Mullingar, who won the 10km event in 29 minutes, 15 seconds.
"When I was quoted this figure I did not consider the cost and was delighted to get out of the US and be on the starting line here."
Fagan got the better of the tenacious Galway man Gary Thornton over the second half of the race to win by 18 seconds, with Meath's Andrew Led third (29:45) in a race that was missing up to a dozen Europeans because of the travel chaos.
Freya Murray made it from Scotland to win the women's race, timing her effort to perfection to haul in England's Jo Pavey to win going away in 32:28.
Australia's former world cross-country champion, Benita Willis, was a well-beaten third in 34:24, with Linda Byrne of Dundrum in fourth taking the Irish gold medal.
Meanwhile, Joanne Cuddihy won over 400m in Melbourne in 51.94, while Mark Christie ran a lifetime best for the 5,000m when taking first place at the Auburn University invitational in 13:41.79.