Athletics: Byrne blisters home for Irish
On an eventful weekend for ultra running, John Byrne led home a record-breaking Irish men's team at the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km in Perth, Scotland.
In only his third ultra race, the Mayo man (pictured below) ran a personal best of seven hours, nine minutes and 33 seconds to finish third behind Craig Stewart of Scotland and England's Alan Smalls. It was the second fastest time ever for 100km by an Irishman.
Like Byrne, Daniel Doherty (7:19:29) and Keith Whyte (7:28:59), in sixth and seventh, were inside the qualifying time for the World 100km Championships in September. Their combined time, a new Irish record of 21:58:01, meant they finished as the second team behind Scotland.
Team captain and Irish record holder Thomas Maguire was the fourth Irish finisher, followed by John O'Regan. In the Wicklow hills, a record 56 finished the annual Wicklow Way 51km Ultra from Glencullen to Ballinastoe and back. Winning the race in 4:11:27 was Paul Tierney of the Eagle club in Cork. Seven minutes later, Newry veteran Dale Mathers crossed the line. John Tidd, another veteran, was third, Ed McEntee of Sportsworld fourth and Martin Francis fifth and the first over 50.
First woman, in 11th place overall, was former Irish mountain running and mountain biking international Beth McCluskey of Sli Cualann.
McCluskey's time of 4:52:25 put her comfortably clear of Caroline Reid from Dunboyne.
Lining out for the Wicklow Trail 25.25km was English mountain running legend John Brown. The big man from Salford duly won the race in 1:42:6, beating Rathfarnham's Brian Furey and Gary Crossan from Letterkenny. Donna Mahon of Rathfarnham was the first woman, edging out Karen Alexander of Sperrin.
Meanwhile, five months after he set off on his World Jog, ultra pioneer Tony Mangan from Dublin has clocked up over 5,000km.
After running across Ireland and Canada, Tony has arrived in Colorado. It was while living there in the 1990s that Tony acquired his love for long distance running.