Friday 9 December 2016

Hartnett keeps it in the family with fitting ballyhooly triumph

Published 18/08/2011 | 05:00

There was an appropriate winner to the John Hartnett Challenge 10km road race at Ballyhooly in Cork on Sunday as Sean Hartnett, the 20-year-old son of the former Olympian and Irish mile record holder John, took the honours in a time of 35:31. A student at Monmouth University in New Jersey, the younger Hartnett has a best of 15:21:47 for 5,000m this year.

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He finished over half a minute clear of Fermoy triathlete Michael Lyons.

Afterwards, John Hartnett spoke movingly about his young days in Ballyhooly, remembering all those who helped him to win the International Junior Cross-Country title at Vichy in France back in 1970 and of his time at Villanova University, where he was ranked among the world's top middle-distance runners.

He competed in the 1972 Olympics in the 5,000m and in 1973, at Eugene in Oregon, he broke Ronnie Delany's Irish mile record with a time of 3:54:7 -- which still ranks as the 11th fastest on the national all-time list.

In the same year he was honoured as the Penn Relays' most outstanding performer.

In 1974, Hartnett ran a memorable 3:56:3 mile on the old Mardyke grass track during the Cork City Sports.

Irish Independent

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