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Travers wins Festival 5km

Donore's John Travers led home more than 1,500 finishers in the St Patrick's Festival 5km, held over a slightly changed route from St Stephen's Green in Dublin.

Travers was a comfortable winner in 14 mins 7 secs, with Clonliffe's Colm Rooney 16 seconds adrift for second place. In the women's race, Fionnuala Britton of Slí Cualann finished 12th overall in 15 mins 33 secs.

Less than half a minute behind her was Catherina McKiernan, Irish running legend and – among many other things – the Irish women's marathon record holder with a time of 2 hrs 22.23 mins.

Among those she beat was former junior international Ann Marie McGlynn of Lifford, who was part of the Irish team at the European Cross-Country last September.

Officially, McKiernan, now aged 44, "retired" more than nine years ago, but her eye-catching time of 15:58 shows that she can still mix it with the best on the Irish scene.

Last week, she won the Fit Magazine 10km in the Phoenix Park with a time of 34 mins 28 secs, and although there are some questions marks over the course, McKiernan still had a powerful run.

To put what she is doing in context, the world over 40 track best for 5000m is 15 mins 20.59 secs.

McKiernan's career best was 14 mins 49 secs and her recent times for both 5000m and 10,000m smash the existing Irish W40 records.

That's still well off the standard set by Kenya's Edith Masai, who holds the world W40 10,000m track record of 31 mins 31.18 secs.

Another exceptional veteran putting in a rare appearance on the Dublin roads was Leevale's Carmel Parnell, who finished second master and first W55 behind McKiernan.

The many times world masters champion most recently finished 15th at the Irish Masters Cross-Country, beating athletes 20 years younger than her.

Underlining the rude good health of masters athletics in Ireland, a team of 46 will compete at next week's World Masters Indoor Championships in Budapest.

Among them is West Waterford's Joe Gough, who set a world over 60 record for 800m in Athlone earlier this year.


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