Hoey stars in phoenix park
Former Irish junior cross-country international Mark Hoey from Star of the Sea club in Meath raced to an impressive victory in Saturday's National Lottery Half-Marathon in the Phoenix Park, an event that received many compliments from participants for its high level of organisation.
Hoey (24), who comes from Smithstown in Meath, came through in the final five miles after early race leader Seamus Power (Kilmurray/Ibrickane) was forced to slow down with a stitch.
Hoey finished strongly in a personal best time of 68:50 in only his third race over the distance. Last year the landscape gardener finished sixth in the same event, but Saturday's winning performance was his best career performance to date.
"It is a great feeling to have won such a big event with a huge entry, " Hoey said. Hoey started out his athletics career with Dunleer Athletic Club before moving to Star of the Sea. He also spent a year on an Athletics Scholarship in America.
Martin Conroy from Sligo AC finished second in 69:29 and Patrick Cassidy (Glaslough Harriers) placed third in 69:36.
Power struggled over the final miles but still finished sixth in 71:28. And there was an impressive performance too by Hoey's coach, David Carrie, who placed 11th in 73:29 to win the men's Over-45 category.
There was a personal best too for Siobhan O'Doherty of Borrisokane AC in Tipperary, who coasted to victory in the women's race in 76:25, her best performance since finishing second in this year's Mini-Marathon.
Annette Kealy of Raheny Shamrock AC finished second and another Raheny Shamrock runner, Lorraine Manning, placed third in 79:54. Angela McCann from Clonmel AC finished fourth in 80:15 and then went on to win the race on the following day at the inaugural Charleville Half-Marathon in Cork.
Carrie, meanwhile, is training a big group of runners -- Team Carrie -- for this year's National Lottery Dublin Marathon. The entries are coming in fast and early entry is advised. Online entry is available at www.dublinmarathon.ie.