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Robinson leads Oz crusade

THREE Irish middle distance athletes compete in Saturday's Hunter Track Classic in Glendale, near Newcastle, New South Wales, a key event in the Australian summer season.

Paul Robinson of St Coca's goes in the 3000m after winning the 1500m last year in a fine time of 3:42.54. For the past couple of years, Robinson has spent the Irish winter training and racing in Australia with Melbourne Track Club, where Nic Bideau is coach. Joining Robinson on the 3000m start line is Leevale's Mark Hanrahan.

Hanrahan's partner, Laura Crowe of An Ríocht, goes in the women's 1500m. Keeping an eye on the trio will be Irish running legend Sonia O'Sullivan.



An astonishing 1,485 turned out for the four Dublin area Parkruns last Saturday – a massive jump on previous best figures. Add in Westport and Macroom, and a total 1,622 ran a Parkrun in the Republic.

Since Parkrun came to the Republic, about 15,000 have run at least one of the runs. Parkruns, which are free to all, are organised entirely by volunteers. The network, now supported by the HSE, is growing with new runs in Clonakilty, Ardgillen Swords and Naas Racecourse coming up soon. See www.parkrun.ie.



Kilkenny's Michael Bowler and Elizabeth Morland of Cushintown starred at the Woodie's DIY National Indoor Combined Events Championships in Athlone.

Bowler successfully defended his men's senior title, recorded impressive performances in the high jump, 60m hurdles and long jump to notch up 3,528 points.

Competing in the women's youth event, Morland improved her indoor best to 3,845 points – the highest score of the day.



Thanks to loyal sponsors Creane and Creane, the Enniscorthy 10km on Sunday, February 9 (12 noon) has a much increased prize fund this year. Highlights are €250 for the winners, an additional course record bonus of €250, €200 to the winning teams and a generous array of spot prizes. Online entry for €20 at www.runireland.com or call in to My Sport in Enniscorthy for an entry form. Info Jane Porter 087-6799490 and Facebook.



Ultra runner extraordinaire Eoin Keith knocked 10 minutes off the record on his way to victory in the Art O'Neill 53km Ultra, held in wet, miserable conditions last Friday night. The run followed the escape route of Art O'Neill from Dublin Castle to the Glenmalure Valley in 1592. Keith didn't have it all his own way, with Paul Tierney and Paul Giblin also running strongly. But Keith eventually won in 5 hrs 20 mins 54 secs. Second was Don Hannon, with Giblin third and Caroline McLoughlin the first woman in 6:44.09.

A total of 450 had signed up for the challenge, organised by Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue.