Ciobanu helps Clon' be king of clubs

Clonliffe finished first team at the National Marathon, incorporated into last week's Dublin Marathon. Their team, which included Sergiu Ciobanu, the only locally based athlete to break two hours 20 mins, clocked up a total time of 7:14.21.

In second place was Rathfarnham WSAF led by Barry Minnock, with a total of 7:41.34, while a close third was West Waterford with 7:43.30. A minute behind for fourth was City of Derry, while Donore Harriers were fifth.

A stunning 28 club teams finished the men's race. Is this the biggest club race in the country? All of them battled their hearts out with Slaney Olympic's 'B' team finishing 28th in a creditable collective time of 10: 25.31. Their 'A' team finished ninth.

In the M40 category, Sportsworld was first of the 19 finishing teams with 8:36.12. All three of their runners broke three hours; City of Derry and Mullingar Harriers were second and third.

Fastest master on the day was Pauric McKinney of Letterkenny, 13th overall and first over 45 in 2:28.27. Winning over 40 gold was Joe McKinney of Innisowen who came home in 2:38.58, less than a minute ahead of Clonmel's Vasiliy Neumerzhitskiy.


Martin Francis of Bray Runners was first over 50, finishing in 2:59.03 and beating Willowfield's Robert Wilson and Adrian Tucker of Clonliffe. In many of the older age groups, non-club athletes clocked excellent times, but weren't eligible for medals.

This was particularly obvious in the over 60 class, where Mayo's Tom Hunt, Pat Twomey of Eagle and Raheny's Dave Brady picked up the gold, silver and bronze.

In the women's categories, Lucy Darcy not only helped the senior Sportsworld team to second place behind Raheny but also finished first over 40 in 2:52.49. Dunboyne's Catherine Dunne was second and Margo Dinan of St Finbarr's third. Winning over 45 gold was Rita Kansanniva of Civil Service, who ran a brilliant time of 3:06.19.

Mary Sweeney of St Finbarr's was first over 50 in 3:11.45, while Waterford's Mary Jennings set a new over 55 record of 3:18.28 on her way to victory in that age category. Second was Sli Cualann's Mary Nolan-Hickey, the only woman to have run all 31 Dublin marathons to date. Victory in the over 60 class went to Eileen O'Brien of Lucan.