Hehir claims inter-county cross-country glory
Seán Hehir took time out from marathon training to secure his first win at the GloHealth Inter-County Cross-Country Championships in Tuam yesterday, the Clareman easing to victory in the senior men's 10,000m race in 34:32.
Hehir is currently the seventh fastest Irishman qualified for the Olympic Games marathon, courtesy of his 2:17:48 run in Berlin last year, but the 31-year-old will need to run considerably faster in the coming months to book his spot for Rio.
"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "I have to decide now between the Paris and London marathons in April."
Finishing 18 seconds behind Hehir was fellow marathon man Gary Thornton, who led Galway to their first victory in the team event for 30 years. Cork's Brian McMahon was third in 36:18.
Kerry's Shona Heaslip dominated the senior women's 8,000m race, coming home a decisive winner in 32:53. Galway again took the gold medals in the team event.
Dublin's Eimear Fitzpatrick impressed in the junior women's 4,000m and had 30 seconds to spare at the finish over runner-up Lauren Dermody of Kilkenny.
Darren Ryan took gold in the junior men's 6,000m, his time of 22:29 leaving him 22 seconds clear of Mayo's William Hynes.
Elsewhere, John Travers carved three seconds off his 3,000m personal best when running 7:55.05 to finish second at the David Hemery Invitational in Boston, while Clonmel's Seán Tobin ran 7:58.75 to finish ninth in the Iowa State Classic.
Adam McMullen (7.83m in the long jump in Ghent) and Claire Gibbons-McCarthy (75:18 in Barcelona half-marathon) produced personal bests.