Tierney excels at Tor – Irish Rally


Once again Lindie Naughton brings you Irish mountain and road success, this week starting in Italy after a great run from a former All-Ireland pitcher.

Finishing twelfth in the Tor des Géants 330 was mountain runner Paul Tierney.

Starting from Courmayer in the Aosta Valley in Italy on Sunday September 12, Tierney returned to Courmayeur after 88 hours 5 minutes of negotiating a 349-kilometer course (despite the name, including 330) with 32,000 m of vertical drop, around from the foothills of the highest mountains in the Alps, the Gran Paradiso Natural Park and the Mont Avic Regional Park.

Passing twice over 3000m above sea level and over 20 times above 2500m in the clouds, the race known locally as “Tor” brings together some of the best Italian and mountain masochists in the world to see who can run, walk and walk the longest on minimal sleep and food at Italian checkpoints.

The inov8-sponsored athlete, accustomed to sleep deprivation with records like the Wainwrights on his resume, started out with control and spent the entire 88 hours overtaking those who came before him. Even during the last checkpoints, when the athletes were far enough apart, a few more passes were made.

“My favorite part of the race this year was the section from Rifugio Barma (185 km) to Valtournenche at 240 km. I led most of this section with Joe Grant from the US and we worked well together, ”Tierney told us. “It was also far from Donnas, the lowest (300m), hottest and wettest part of the race, which caused me stomach problems which made me waste time.”

Sarah McCormack is probably trying to convince Tierney to stop whining and eating her pasta.

The winner of the race for the third time is Franco Collé in a record time of 66 hours 43 minutes.

On the roads of the house

Prolific road racer Sean Doran of Clonliffe Harriers was back in winning form at the Rás Gaelscoil Éanna 7km in Navan on Sunday, September 19.

Doran’s time for the unusual distance was 22:39, giving him a twelve second lead over Rathfarnham WSAF AC’s Kevin Donagher who finished second in 22: 521. Third was Ronan Wogan of fit Bohermeen AC in 23.47; Wogan was also the first M40.

The first woman in 25:39 was Laura McDonnell of Rathfarnham WSAF AC; she took a clear victory over Esther Requena Ferri who finished in 28:03. Ann O’Brien of Balbriggan and District AC was third and first in W40 in 29:21.

The winners of the 3.5k race were Jim McArdle in 1:03 pm and Carol Dempsey in 3:05 pm.

Gallagher and McCambridge forts for 5 km

Also on Sunday, Finn Valley AC’s Gerard Gallagher won the the Donegal 5km held in Letterkenny.

Gallagher won in 15 minutes and 26 seconds to win the Shane Bonner Memorial Cup. Letterkenny AC’s Eoin Hughes was second at 15:29, with John Paul Williamson third at 15:31. The best of the teams was Rosses AC led home by Declan Ferry fourth and Charlie O’Donnell, fifth and first U40, backed by Shane O’Donnell and Mark Ward. The first M50 was ageless Pauric McKinney from Inishowen AC who finished ninth in 16:31.

Maria McCambridge of Dundrum South Dublin AC was the first woman and the first W40 in 17:01 – her second victory in eight days. Jennifer Elvin of Finn Valley was second in 17:08 and Teresa Doherty of Finn Valley AC third in 17:18. The best of the women’s teams was Finn Valley AC with Natasha Kelly and Catriona Devine making up the scoring quartet.

TO the Louisbourg half marathon at Co Mayo on Saturday September 18, Shane Begley of Castlegar AC in 78 minutes 41 seconds and Catherine Thornton of Crusaders AC in 85.24 took the honors. Anthony Sharkey of Lambay Sports Academy and Edel Reilly of Mayo AC won the associated 10k. Their times were 35:06 and 39:26 respectively.

Even more cross

Sligo AC’s Aoife Kilgallon proved domain class in the women’s 4k at Castlegar Open Cross Country held at Galway Racecourse on Saturday (September 18th)

In perfect condition for the cross-country, Kilgallon finished in 14 minutes 30 seconds, giving her a 37-second lead over City of Derry Spartans marathoner Breege Connolly who finished in 15:07 and was the first W40 .

The riders had traveled from all over the country for the races and in third place (and second in W40) in 15:32 was Michelle Kenny of Leevale. Fourth in 15:48, Niamh O’Mahoney of An Riocht AC in Co Kerry was also first junior.

Best in Galway Novice Championships, organized in conjunction with the event, was Aine O’Farrell go Galway City Harriers. With Ellen Morley fifth and Kathryn Casserly sixth, the Galway City Harriers were the first team, beating their own second team and Craughwell AC in the minor standings.

The junior athletes of the Ennis Track Club took the top two places in the men’s 6km, with Dean Casey the winner with a time of 19:26 and Niall Murphy second in 19.40. In third and fourth place for Craughwell AC were William Fitzgerald in 19:43 and Oisin Davis, who finished in 20:51. The duo also finished first and second at the Galway Novice Championships.

In the tag team competition, the Galway City Harriers with 62 points beat host club Castlegar AC with 84 points and Raheny Shamrock AC with 86 points.

The trail is still there, but only a little bit

At the Antrim Forum on Saturday September 18th, Strive RC’s Gavin Corey won the title at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championships over 10,000m in a time of 32 minutes 17.50 seconds. Mathew McMeekin of Sligo AC was second in 32: 24.90 and Tadhg Ryan-Charleton of Leither Harriers AC.

Zak Hanna wearing his US Malonno vest on Slieve Donnard last month. Photo: Newcastle AC

Back to the mountains

Also in the Italian mountains, the Unione Sportiva Malonno has the title of Italian club champion 2021 for the mountain race on Sunday (September 19). Ireland’s top mountain rider Zak Hanna was part of the team. “Fortunately speaking Italian didn’t count towards the points and running did,” Hanna tweeted. Molto bene Zak.

Hanna is currently 13th in the World Cup standings, with six rounds to go.

Locally, Brian Furey of Rathfarnham WSAF AC clearly won the Luggala mountain run in Co Wicklow Saturday (September 18).

Furey’s time of 56 minutes 18 seconds for the 9 km course with 900 m of vertical drop gave him almost two minutes ahead of the chasers led by Conor Greenan of TT Races, who finished in 58:12. Mikey Fry was third in 59.09.

The first woman was Caroline Harney of Co Wicklow in 68 minutes 58 seconds. Orla McEvoy was second in 71:22 and Aideen Burke third in 75:17. IMRA President Laura Flynn was fourth and first in W55 in 80:11.

Winners of the Glen d’Aherlow 50km Also on Saturday were Nick Hogan in 4 hours 25 minutes 31 seconds and Máiréad O ‘Keeffe in 5: 20.55.

In the associated half marathon, the winners were Thomas Blackburn in 1: 40.08 and Sophie Daly in 1: 42.21; Daly was also second overall.

In the USA

Laura Nicholson of Bandon AC finished 32nd in the women’s 5km at brother Iona. Meet Paddy Doyle of the Cross Country Champions at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York on Friday, September 17. His time was 19: 51.8.


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