Belfast Telegraph

Doherty smashes personal best in Dublin

 

By Brian Hill

Kyle Doherty of City of Derry Spartans exceeded all expectations when he set a huge personal best time to finish 26th in yesterday's Dublin City Marathon .

Kyle beat his previous best by eight minutes to set new figures of two hours 27 minutes 36 seconds. US based Thomas Frazer of St Malachy's, who last year set a PB of 2.17 in Japan, was somewhat below form when he could only manage 33rd in 2.29.04.

Other Northern Ireland finishers included Lawrence O'Hara of North Belfast, who took over three minutes off his PB to finish 46th in 2.31.35. Acorn's Vincent McKenna was one place behind in 2.31.40.

The race was won by Asefe Bekele of Ethiopia in 2.13.23 with Raheny's Mick Clohisey the first Irish finisher in sixth with 2.15.58.

Victory in the women's race went to Ethiopia's Mesera Dubiso in 2.33.48. Leevale's Lizzie Lee was an impressive third overall in 2 35.04 with Catriona Jennings of Letterkenny sixth in 2.41.17.

Northern finishers included Natalie Hall of Acorns (23rd in 2.57.50), Beechmount's Gerri Short (32nd in 3.01.48) and Denise Ward (39th in 3.02.35).

Meanwhile, in the well supported Bobby Rea cross country meeting at Greenmount, Sinead Sweeney of Queen's University and City of Derry/Spartans' Conor Bradley took full advantage of the firm conditions to make light work of the opposition and record convincing victories.

In the Women's 5k event, which had 140 finishers, Queen's medical graduate Sweeney always looked a threat from the gun as she kept an eye on Comber Cup winner Shaleen McMurray and runner-up Sarah Grant of North Down. Grant's team-mate Jessica Craig was also to the fore but eventually dropped out.

With a lap to go, Sweeney and former NI Senior champion McMurray were 50 metres clear of Grant. Thereafter Sweeney sprinted away to show that her recent second best time in the NI Road Relays was no fluke .

Last year's NI 5k champion Sinead crossed the line in 21 minutes six seconds, some 10 seconds ahead of McMurray. Grant was an isolated third in 21.21 followed by team mate Rachel Gibson (21.31). Current NI champion Rebekah Nixon of Dromore had to settle for fifth in 21.47 with Inishowen U20 athlete Sarah Kelly completing the first six in 22.14.

Sweeney said: "I am very happy with that, especially as this course defeated me the last time I raced here. I felt good on the last lap and gave it everything.

"I will be working here for at least another two years as a senior doctor. While I will race again over the country this season, I also enjoy road races."

Conor Bradley had a similar experience in the men's 8K race where he was always to the fore in a large leading bunch which included NI champion Declan Reed of City of Derry and Irish Junior champion Craig McMeechan plus North Belfast's John Black.

On the third lap, Bradley made full use of his superior track speed to break well clear with McMeechan some 50 metres back. At the finish the gap had stretched to 130 metres with Bradley taking victory in 25 minutes one second, some 19 seconds ahead of McMeechan.

Reed was a lonely third in 25.40 followed by Black (25.59) and Foyle Valley pair Chris McGuinness (26.06) and Gary Slevin (26.10) .

Bradley recently finished 28th in the Cardiff Commonwealth Games Half Marathon. He is also the current NI 5000 metres champion with a PB of 14 minutes 16 seconds.

He commented: "I am pleased with my performance. I settled in early on and just increased the pace on the third lap. This is my first cross country in three years as I have previously been injured. While my main focus is track I will be racing in the trials for the European cross country."

Belfast Telegraph

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