Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock AC yesterday led the field home to win his first Ballycotton 10-Mile title, finishing strongly in 49:20, 20 seconds, clear of Sergiu Ciobanu of Clonliffe Harriers, (49:46) and third-placed Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC) in 49:54.
It was success at the third attempt for Olympic marathoner Clohisey, who finished second in this event in 2010 and third in 2015. His winning time was by far his best posting in the event and he showed his class over the second half of the race after passing through halfway in 25:01.
A group of five runners- Clohisey, Sergiu Ciobanu, Maunsell, Alan O’Shea, (Bantry AC) and Michael Harty (East Cork AC), led the way through the first mile in 4:53 in what were testing, windy conditions.
By half way, Clohisey had stamped his authority on the race and a tailwind in the final mile helped him maintain his average sub-five-minute mile splits for the distance.
“Conditions were tough and the win feels good, “ said Clohisey. “I surged clear at around the three-mile mark and ran straight into a headwind. I was hoping to run a bit faster, but I’m satisfied to have won the race.”
Clohisey’s next competitive outing will be the Great Ireland Run 10k in the Phoenix Park on April 9 and he will follow that with the London Marathon later the same month.
There was a close contest for second and third positions in the men’s race, with only eight seconds separating Ciobanu and Maunsell. This was a special performance by Maunsell who battled hard all the way to hold down third. Former race winner O’Shea finished fourth in 51:46 and local favourite Harty was fifth in 51:50.
Siobhan O’Doherty (Borrisokane AC) was a clear winner of the women’s race, finishing in 58:09 ahead of Jill Hodgins, (unattached), 58:50 and Grace Lynch (Iveragh AC), 59:18.
It was pleasing for Lynch, who was competing in her first ever 10-mile race. She was in a close contest with the more-experienced Hodgins, who pulled away in the closing stages to claim the second spot.
Race winner O’Doherty was a little disappointed with her finishing time, but delighted to win on what was the 40th anniversary of the race.
“The strong wind, especially between three and six miles, was hard to contend with,” said O’Doherty.
“However, the tailwind in the final mile was a real blessing.”
The Borrisokane AC runner won the race in 2014 in 57:32 and she also finished second in 2010 and 2013.
“It’s a great event with a great atmosphere,” she said.
There was close to 2,900 finishers in yesterday’s Ballycotton 10.’
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