From Mayo to Melbourne, and now making it big on the streets of the Big Apple, yesterday’s New York City Marathon proved an arrival of sorts for Sinead Diver.
The 42-year-old from Belmullet finished a superb fifth in the marathon major against a world-class field, clocking 2:26:23 to come home less than four minutes behind race winner Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya (2:22:38).
It was not the fastest run of her life — on the tough, rolling course in New York quick times are rarely on the cards — but it was still likely the best run of Diver’s career.
“That was unbelievable; the crowds were so loud,” she said. “I heard lots of ‘go Sinead.’ It was a really great experience.”
Born and raised in Belmullet, Diver moved to Melbourne in 2002 after finishing college in UL. She only took up running in 2010 at the age of 33 following the birth of her second child and, when she clocked 2:34:15 for the marathon in 2014, she looked set to represent Ireland at the World Championships.
But Athletics Ireland soon moved the goalposts, changing the time required to 2:33:30.
As a dual citizen, Diver knew the only way to compete would be in an Australian vest, a decision that proved virtually irreversible given the IAAF now mandates a three-year wait before transferring allegiance.
She has represented Australia ever since and as she looks to the 2020 Olympics, Diver will certainly be a top-10 contender in the marathon.
“Hopefully I can keep chipping away, to move up and move up it’d be cool to podium at a major,” she said.
“With experience you just get better and better.”