Indoor Track & Field

Irish Women take 3rd in Boston; Ó Lionáird drops out; Murray hits Euro time

The Irish quartet of Claire Tarplee, Christine McMahon, Katie Kirk and Ciara Mageean finished third in the distance medley relay at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston tonight, running 11:03.07. The race was won by US Team New Balance in 10:42.57.

“It was good,” said Claire Tarplee afterwards, who led the team off with a 3:21.06 1200m leg to hand over in third place. “The first 200 was about 32, the first 400 64, and I knew after that I was going to be running on my own, but I just held it together as best I could. I’m pleased with how I ran.”

Tarplee handed over to Christine McMahon, who consolidated the team’s position in third place with a 56.01-second 400m leg. “To be in around the 55, 56 seconds was always going to be the target, with this being my first race. It’s hard running by yourself; the last thing you want to do is die. I went out hard, which was the plan, then kept the pace relaxed, but I was a little apprehensive with pushing on in the final lap. It’s the first race out of the legs, and it went according to plan.”

Tarplee handed over to Katie Kirk, who ran 2:09.46 on the 800m leg after blazing through the first 400. “I went out far too hard,” said Kirk. “I went through in 27 and 58. I was on my own for the whole race. I’m not going to get too hung up on the time; today was a bit of fun. A lot of girls have run fast indoors already, and I was hoping to, too, but I had a really good time out there so I’m not going to get down about it. The atmosphere was really enjoyable. It would have been nice to be on top form here, but that’s just not going to happen for me right now.” Kirk handed over to Mageean on the final leg.

“It was good. I’m happy enough,” said Mageean, who split 4:36.55 on the anchor leg. “I was hoping I’d have someone to chase. It felt like a time trial, so it was hard to judge but it was my first indoor race. It was fantastic. The girls went out hard. I’ll run Millrose next weekend, and hopefully try to get my indoor standard for 3,000m for European Indoors. I’ll hopefully get both 1500m and 3,000m standards, then sit down with my coach and decide what to go for.” You can watch the women’s dmr here

Ciaran O' Lionaird celebrating his 1500m win at th 2014 National Championships

Ciaran O’ Lionaird celebrating his 1500m win at the 2014 National Championships

Ó Lionáird steps off the track

Also in action in Boston on Saturday was Ciarán Ó Lionáírd, who stepped off the track with 650m remaining in the men’s mile, in a race won by New Zealand’s Nick Willis in a classy 3:51.61. Ó Lionáírd offered no excuses for his sub-par run, simply stating: “I felt awful.” Some minor consolation for Ó Lionáird is that his training partner Ben Blankenship was second in 3:53.13. You can watch the mile race here

Murray books ticket to Prague

Declan Murray was also in action in Boston on Saturday, though at a different location, and he turned in a superb 1:48.32, leading all the way, to win the 800m at the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational and secure qualification for the European Indoor Championships. “I went through 600 in 1:20 and brought it home,” he said. “It feels good to get the standard out of the way at my first attempt. I’m running a 1,000m at Millrose Games next week, and I hope to break the Irish record, then it’s off to Ireland for the Nationals the week after that.”

Gerard O'Donnell winning in Athlone last week. Image by Liam Behan
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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

1 Comment

  1. February 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm — Reply


    We are currently put the story information of the Irish Medley Relay Team at the New Balance Games at the weekend and I was wondering if you would be able to use the photograph of the team on If so, would you be able to send me a copy to please?

    Kindest Regards

    Stef Foster
    Communications & Events Officer
    Athletics Northern Ireland

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