Ciobanu cruises to Ballycotton hat-trick

Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) coasted to victory in the 36th running of the Ballycotton 10 mile road race.

Ciobanu led from an early stage, with Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers tracking him closely for the first four miles. Ciobanu and Maher were together as they led the field of over 2,500 runners through the first mile in 4 minutes 42 seconds. Also in close contention at this point were Mick Clohisey, (Raheny Shamrock), James McCarthy, (East Cork), Tim O’Donoghue (East Cork), Sean McGrath, (East Cork) and Alan O’Shea (Bantry).

However, when Ciobanu went into cruise control after four miles, he quickly went clear to finish strongly in a personal best time of 49 minutes 17 seconds — his third straight victory in this event.

Maher followed Ciobanu home in in 50:09 and Clohisey held on to take third in 50:33, ahead of local favourite McCarthy who was fourth in 51:38. O’Donoghue, finished fifth in 51:59 and O’Shea placed sixth in 52:31.

Ciobanu, a native of Moldova, was happy with his personal best time which earned him the top prize of €500.

“It was nice to make it three in-a-row here in Ballycotton,” Ciobanu said.

“This is a great event with a terrific atmosphere and I love coming here.”

Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny A.C), who won the women’s race in 55:01, declared: “I found the conditions really tough and I was hoping for a faster time.

McCambridge, in training for the Rotterdam Marathon, will run in the Redding Half Marathon in a fortnight’s time.

Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane AC was second in 56:57 and Claire Gibbons McCarthy, St Finbarr’s AC, was third in 58:08. Angela McCann, Clonmel AC, was fourth in 60:15 and Adrienne Jordan of MSB finished fifth in 61:19.


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