Indoor Track & Field

Doherty stuns Lawler in Athlone as Cullen storms Raheny

There was a feast of athletics action over the weekend  with top road races and indoor action in Ireland and around the globe.

Rose-Anne Galligan kicked things off by pacing Mary Cain of the Oregon Project on Friday night in Boston to near world junior record – pretty much as close as you can get with Cain finishing one hundredth of a second outside equalling the record finishing in 4:24.11. Galligan did an excellent job going all the way to 1200m.

The BU track in Boston is proving to be a magical one and late on Saturday night Galen Rupp had athletics aficionados hooked to twitter (#chasingrecords) and even those who splurged and got the flopro section on Flotrack to watch the action live.

It was the turn of the Masters on Saturday in Athlone and we’ll hopefully have an interview with Paul Fleming of Rathfarnham soon who sped to M40 gold in the 3,000m.

It was Super Sunday in Ireland then with the Woodie’s DIY National Junior and U23 Championships, the Axa Raheny 5 and the John Treacy Dungarvan 10.

Keith Doherty of Tallaght was the show stopper in Athlone when he gave the mountain men plenty to shout about with a National Junior Record of 6.88 seconds and defeating none other than Marcus Lawler in the process.

We have all this to talk about and more on the Tuesday podcast. For now you can read the Irish Examiner article and relive the action in Athlone online on where we did live stream commentary and managed to stay on the right side of the powers that be. Until next time.

Fógra: Mary Cullen had one of the best performances by a woman on Irish soil with her 25:37 course record in Raheny in less than ideal conditions. Let’s hope the Sligo diamond can stay injury free and sparkle some more.

Mary Cullen stormed to a course record of 25 minutes and 37 seconds in windy conditions at the Axa Raheny 5 mile race yesterday while there were thrills and spills in the Woodie’s DIY National Junior and U23 Championships in Athlone.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Cullen who broke the course record she set last year of 25:55 and moved her to number two on the Irish all-time list behind Sonia O”Sullivan (24:43).

“It was very windy but it’s January in Ireland and you don’t expect ideal conditions,” said the North Sligo athlete whose obvious talent has been beset by injuries the last number of years.

“It’s the same story,” admitted Cullen. “I just have to keep a lid on it and stay healthy. I’m not really 100 per cent what I’m going to do now. I may go indoors and run the national 3,000m (February 15/16).”

The evergreen Catherina McKiernan came second in 27:56 with Michelle McGee third in 28:01. In the men’s race Mullingar’s Mark Christie dipped under 24 minutes in 23:59 with Michael Mulhare holding off local athlete Mick Clohisey by a second – 24:09 to 24:10.

There was plenty of excitement indoors in Athlone and there was a stir in the junior men’s 60m with Tallaght AC’s Keith Doherty (6.88) and Joseph Owejumi (6.95) getting the better of sprint sensation Marcus Lawler (SLOT) who hadn’t been beaten domestically for three years.

It took a national junior record to get the better of Lawler and even the winner was in shock. “I wasn’t expecting that,” said Doherty. “I just wanted to make the final and go from there.”

Lawler was magnanimous in defeat stating “it can be good to lose sometimes.” The Carlow man responded to the disappointment and took the junior 200m in 21.74.

Phil Healy (Bandon) confirmed her fast start to the season by claiming the U23 women’s 60m ahead of UCD’s Sarah Lavin and her sister Joan. Unfortunately there was no times for the race due to a brief technical hitch.

The Athletics Ireland live stream worked seamlessly though and gave the aficionados the chance to watch Sarah Lavin powering over the 60m hurdles in a new personal best of 8.33 and Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) flowing to his own indoor best of 47.18 over 400m.  Full results are on

Meanwhile in Dungarvan, Tallaght’s Tomás Fitzpatrick won the John Treacy 10-mile race in 49:48. Dublin marathon champion Seán Hehir was second in 49:59 with James McCarthy third in 50:23.

Borrisokane’s Siobhan O’Doherty won the women’s race in 56:53 with Gladys Ganiel second in 57:27 and Jill Hodgins third in 58:36.



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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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