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Tough McCormack climbs to 18th


Sarah McCormack

Sarah McCormack

Sarah McCormack

Sarah McCormack of Clonliffe Harriers finished in the top 20 at the World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra-Canillo.

On the tough uphill 11.9km course with a savage climb of over 1,500m, McCormack finished 18th in 71 mins 21 secs, which was the best Irish performance of the day. Winner was Kenya's Lucy Wambui Mirigi.

In the men's race over the same course, Zak Hanna of Newcastle and District finished 47th in 64:28, with Rathfarnham pair Mark Ryan and Eoin Flynn close behind in 50th and 51st place.

Best of the junior men in 43rd place was Anthony McCambridge, with Ruairi Long one place behind.

Sarah McCormack, who lives in England's Lake District, has represented Ireland at the World Championships since 2012 and never been out of the top 20.

Her best position was a sixth place in 2013 when the race was held in Poland. Last month, McCormack finished 12th woman at the 31 kilometre Sierra Zinal mountain race in Switzerland, which takes in four peaks of over 4,000m.

Hanna is a 23-year-old former cyclist who switched to mountain running in late 2015. By the following summer, he was representing Ireland at the World Championships in Bulgaria where he finished 72nd. He improved that to 53rd in Italy last year. He lives in the foothills of Slieve Croob and his aim to follow in the footsteps of the great John Lenihan by winning the world title.

Ugandan athletes won the junior women and the senior men and women's races in Andorra, finishing top team in all three.