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Readers' Blog: Claire McCarthy is a sporting inspiration

Claire McCarthy is an inspiration to the sporting fraternity with her achievements this year.

Aged 41 with four children ranging in ages from 13 to two, Claire had an exceptional year highlighted by representing her country in the World Championships Marathon in London in August and despite picking up an injury during the race by stepping in a pothole, the athlete from Ballinhassig finished a very creditable 33rd from 92 starters in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes and 26 seconds.

On June 4 Claire won the Cork City Half Marathon and three weeks later the Leevale athlete ran 74 mins 34.5 seconds in winning the Swansea half marathon. What is remarkable is that Claire was a clear winner of both half marathons with only six male athletes finishing ahead of her in Cork and 12 male athletes finishing ahead of her in Swansea.

Claire had her sights set in running the Dublin City Marathon in October but lost more than a month’s training due to the injury she sustained in London. Claire decided not to run another marathon this year.

Instead Claire competed in the 15 miles annual Cork to Cobh run on Sunday, October 1, and finished more than two miles ahead of the second placed lady athlete. Of the 745 who finished the event only eight male athletes finished ahead of Claire who averaged six minutes per mile despite strong winds and high humidity.

Claire’s sights are set in running the World Championships Half Marathon in Valentia next March and the Marathon at the European Championships in Berlin in August. Claire’s athletics career is supported by her husband, Martin, a former international athlete and by her coach, Donie Walsh, a former Olympian.

Claire McCarthy, who achieved a US athletic scholarship to Kentucky in her teenage years, is now achieving her best results in running and was aptly described as Super Mum by Irish Runner magazine in its summer edition. Next year could well see Claire McCarthy’s finest hour.

Michael O’Connell

Passage West

Co Cork


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