Belfast Telegraph

Connolly and McGlynn shine in Rotterdam but still fail to qualify

 

Breege Connolly
Breege Connolly

By Brian Hill

City of Derry's Breege Connolly and Letterkenny's Anne Marie McGlynn were an impressive 13th and 15th respectively in yesterday's 17,000-strong Rotterdam Marathon.

However, Connolly will be disappointed after falling 50 seconds short of the World Championship qualification mark for Doha of 2.37.00.

The qualifying target time, which is eight minutes faster than the last World Championship qualifying time for London, has proved to be as controversial as it is challenging.

Connolly (41), however, ran valiantly in Rotterdam, recording a time of 2.37.50 which is her third fastest ever, and 21 seconds outside her PB.

Compatriot McGlynn will be satisfied with her inaugural marathon time of 2.39.22 which makes her third fastest woman in Ireland, behind leader Lizzie Lee who has qualified for Doha with a time of 2.35.05.

South Belfast's Stephen Scullion also met the Men's criteria with a time of 2.14.34.

Elsewhere, Laura Graham won the weekend's Omagh Half Marathon in a time of 76.31.

The Mourne runner's time for 13th overall place out of some 2,000 participants was slower than her recent Larne Half victory over a more difficult course.

Sperrin's Karen Alexander was pleased with her runner-up spot in 81.26 which took over three minutes off her previous best time.

She was followed by City of Derry's Catherine Whoriskey (83.22) and Ballycastle's Gemma McDonald (84.43) with Rosses Helen McCreedy completing the top five in a time of 85.29.

Clonliffe's Gary O'Hanlon is another athlete aiming for Doha. His Dublin marathon time of 2.17 last October is a minute slower than the qualification mark. In Omagh he forced the pace from the gun with only North Belfast's Mark McKinstry for company. Then half way O'Hanlon pulled away for a comfortable victory in 67.40 which is his third fastest time.

UK Cross Country Masters champion McKinstry showed his versatility again with a runner-up time of 68.40 which was a PB by 1.40.

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