Sunday 18 February 2018

Up and running: New star on the road racing scene

Galway native Nicola Duncan. Photo: Bob Marshal
Galway native Nicola Duncan. Photo: Bob Marshal
L-R: Roisin Farragher (3rd), Eimear O'Leary (1st) and Grainne Ní Uallacháin (2nd) at the Rock and Road Half- Marathon in Kinvara. Phtoo: Dolores Madden

John Walshe

Galway native Nicola Duncan is a name to watch out for in the coming months as she prepares to represent Ireland in the marathon at the European Track & Field Championships in Zurich this summer.

Duncan, who works as an actuary in Edinburgh, last weekend won the women's event in the Lasswade 10 Mile promotion near Edinburgh, finishing in 56.58 – three-and-a-half minutes faster than her time in the same event last year.

The 30-year-old posted a marathon time of 2:36.44 in Amsterdam last October – inside the qualifying standard for the European Championships.

Just two weeks ago she finished second in the Barcelona Half-Marathon; clearly an exciting new addition to the Irish road racing scene.

McCarthy tastes victory once again A week after her victory in the National Masters Cross-Country, Marie McCarthy was back in action to easily win the Rathmore four-miler, a race organised by the Gneeveguilla club in Co Kerry.

Finishing seventh overall, the Farranfore-Maine Valley athlete clocked a time of 23.20 with Carol Finn second in 24.52 and Siobhan Daly taking third in 25.02.

Arthur Fitzgerald made it a Farranfore-Maine Valley double, defeating Robert Purcell by five seconds in 21.58. Matthew Collins was third in 22.45.



Defending world champion Martyn Irvine has won a silver medal in the Scratch Race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team member rode strongly, putting every effort into defending his title, and settled for silver in the fast, aggressive 15k race.

Ryan Mullen also impressed, finishing fourth in the Individual Pursuit, narrowly missing out on a medal. Gold in the Scratch Race went to Ivan Kovalev (Russia), with Irvine taking silver ahead of King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong). These three riders lapped the field, meaning podium position was decided on the line.

Speaking after the race head coach Brian Nugent said: "He rode smart from the start, and he was determined to get in the main move. Just when it looked like the break was about to get caught, Martyn forced the pace and moved on alone. It was a brave move, and he worked lap after lap, until he lapped the field.

"No one else can sustain an effort like that, the way Martyn does. With two others already a lap up, it was too much to take the gold, but we're thrilled with the silver."

Irvine had a tough year following his world championship victory last year, breaking his femur shortly after the championships.

Bright new talent, teenager Mullen, came close to a medal in his bronze medal ride-off, putting in a measured performance that saw him come within 0.1 of a second of New Zealand's Marc Ryan in the closing laps. However, the An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly rider was pipped on the line for the medal.

Nugent was impressed, saying: "Ryan put in a superb performance for his first world championships. I'm so pleased for him, as he has done everything right over the past number of months to gain this result tonight. He has worked really hard and made huge progression. This is only the beginning for him."


Keith Shields (Foyle Valley AC) led the way home in Saturday's annual Cara Bundoran 10-mile road race, finishing in 51.31. Eoghan McGinley (Rathfarnam/ WSAF) was second in 52.06 and Glenn Phair was third in 52.36.

Fiona Stack of Raheny Shamrock AC won the women's race in 59.34. Breege Connolly (NBH) was second in 59.46 and Caitriona Jennings, who ran the marathon in the London Olympics, made a comeback to competition to finish third in 1:00.36.



Mark Christie of Mullingar Harriers showed top form as he sped to victory at the annual Generali-sponsored Bohermeen Half-Marathon.

Christie finished in 1:07.16, with John Byrne of Mayo AC second in 1:10.51. Neil Callaghan (Star of the Sea AC) was third in 1:12.37. Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) was a clear winner of the women's race in 1:19.19. Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC) was second in 1:27.15 and Aisling Coppinger was third in 1:27.18. Kevin Danagher won the 10k event and Pamela Howard won the women's race.



Joe Cawley from Slí Cualann AC won Saturday's Rock and Road Half-Marathon in Kinvara, Co Galway, in 1:16.11. Cawley, who is training for the London Marathon, finished well clear of Paul Fitzgerald (Limerick AC) 1:17.01 and Oliver Mullins (Craaugwell AC) 1:17.14.

Eimear O'Leary (MSB) won the women's race in 1:27.30. Grainne Ní Uallacháin (GCH) placed second in 1:29.12 and Roisin Farragher (Le Chéile AC) was third in 1:30.09.

Reidy lands his first BHAA race at airport

John Reidy was a clear winner of Saturday's Dublin Airport BHAA cross-country race over five miles at ALSAA, Dublin Airport.

Reidy, who was running his first BHAA race, finished in 28.38, well clear of Patrick Malone (Turf Club) who was second in 29.15. William Morris was third in 30.00.

Soyna O'Connell (TCD) led the field home in the women's 2.5-mile race in 12.55 and she was closely followed by Paula Grant (Secondary Teachers) who placed second in 12.58. Laura Behan was third in 13.00.

This was a well-supported event with the usual BHAA post-race hospitality extended to all. See for details of future races.

Irish Independent

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