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road races proving POPULAR AS ever

Leevale runner Lizzie Lee, second last year to Kerry Harty, capped a successful 12 months with an impressive victory in last Sunday's Cork Women's Mini-Marathon.

Lee was pressed all the way by Claire Gibbons-McCarthy of St Finbarr's, with Orla Drumm (UCC) finishing third.

Lee made her move around halfway and opened a slight gap on Gibbons-McCarthy, which she held all the way to finish in 21:58 -- seven seconds ahead of her nearest rival.

For Gibbons-McCarthy, it was her third time finishing runner-up in the race, to add to her three third-place finishes. Drumm held on for third with the consistent Carmel Crowley from Bandon taking fourth.

Big entries are expected for two popular road events this weekend -- the Galway Bay Half-Marathon and 10km on Saturday, and the Athlone three-quarter Marathon, which takes place on Sunday.

Information on the Galway event is at www.galwaybayhalfmarathon.com. The Athlone contact is www.athlone3quarter.com.

Torres storms to loughrea 10k success

Heavy rain made things difficult at last Sunday's Grey Lake 10k in Loughrea, where American Jorge Torres won in 30:58 from Michael Shannon (Kilnaboy), 32:09 and Gerry Ryan (Craughwell), 32:15.

Freya Murray, from Edinburgh, won the women's event in 35:47 from Laura Shaugnessy, and Marian Burke.

Irish Independent