Saturday 17 February 2018

Athletics: Kearns first past post in the Park

Ronan Kearns of Rathfarnham/WSAF AC showed good form in the Phoenix Park last Saturday when he led home a big field in the annual Simon Community road race over five kilometres rather than the traditional five miles.

The route for this year's race had to be changed, but this did not affect the entry level as close to 2,000 signed up to support a very worthy cause.

Kearns was forced to miss a big block of training earlier this summer, after sustaining cracked ribs in a fall during a track training session. He had started the year well -- winning the BHAA Dublin County Council Cross-Country race and followed that with a road victory in another BHAA event at the K Club.

"It was very frustrating to have to miss about six weeks training when I injured my ribs," Kearns said. "It felt really good to get back into a winning mode and although I am now 33, this has probably been my best racing year to date."

Kearns finished in 16:33 ahead of Eoin Brady (Raheny Shamrock AC), 16:54, and James Trimble, 17:00. Annette Kealy (Raheny Shamrock AC) was a clear winner of the women's race in 18:08 from Louise Reilly, 19:13 and Catherine Brogan, 20:22.

Another Rathfarnham AC athlete, Sean Hehir, was in command in the inaugural Tallaght AC five-mile road race, winning in 24:53 from Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), 25:32, and Paul Fleming (Rathfarnham/WSAF), 25:51.

Aoife Culhane (DSD) was a clear winner of the women's race in 28:33 from Lucy D'Arcy (Sportsworld AC), 32:03, and Anne Marie Woods (Raheny Shamrock AC), 32:05 -- a close finish for the minor placings.

A feature of this Tallaght run was that runners saw their finishing times on a screen as they crossed the line courtesy of Clare-based Precision Timing.

Meanwhile, Meath runner Andrew Ledwith was in sparkling form when winning the Armagh 10-mile road race in a course record of 50:42.

It was an encouraging performance for Ledwith who will be making his marathon debut in Dublin. Breege Connolly won the women's race in 58:58.

The Business Houses Athletic Association's cross-country season opened on Saturday at Castleknock College where Martin Quinn of Tesco won the men's race in the Teachers' Group event. Darragh Green was second and Phil Kilgannon was third. Lorraine Manning (Gardai) won the women's race from Donna Mahon and Kate O'Neill.

Irish Independent

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