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Ballycotton 08


Ballycotton win buoys Mulvey (Brendan Mooney, Irish Examiner) VINNY MULVEY (Raheny Shamrock AC) raced to a solo and very satisfying victory in yesterday’s Ballycotton ‘10’ and then confirmed what more than 3,000 entrants proclaimed that this is the best 10-miler in these islands.
The diminutive Dubliner who has national inter-club and inter-counties cross-country titles on his CV and finished third in the nationals in Belfast the previous week, had almost half a minute to spare over Sergiu Turea, the Moldovan who runs for Clonliffe Harriers, with his clubmate Cillian O’Leary, another 15 seconds back in third place.

Alan O’Shea (Bantry) who last year became the first Corkman in 19 years to win the title, finished fifth.

This was Mulvey’s day and if there was one little disappointment it was the time of 50:37 which was well outside the 49:03 he ran when he won the race on his first attempt two years ago.

“It was very windy our there, particularly over the first five and a half miles,” he said. “It was just breaking my heart. It was slowing me down.

“Two years ago I was hitting 4:50 miles but when I got to five miles averaging 5:03 today I knew it was going to be a long day and, added to that, I was very tired from last week’s race in Belfast. The conditions were bad up there. It was the toughest course I have ever run and I don’t think I have fully recovered from that yet.”

Despite that fact he applied all the pressure that took himself, Alan O’Shea and John Eves (DSD) away from the field with a 4:50 first mile and then he swept into an early lead at the two mile mark.

When he hit half way at Ballymaloe (25:15) with a lead of more than 200m he was not going to be caught on the run back into Ballycotton.

“The support and the atmosphere along the way is a such a big help. It is a great event,” he said. “I had heard about the tradition and all that but when I came down here two years ago and saw the setting, the view and the people from all over the world it was even more than I expected. They are chasing personal bests and running for charities — it is a amazing race.”

He said he may run the Streets of Dublin 5 on St Patrick’s Day and after that it will be the world cross-country championships in Edinburgh at the end of the month.

Rosemary Ryan (Bilboa) broke clear of the field early on to win the women’s title on her second attempt — she was runner-up to her then training partner, Valerie Vaughan, first time around.

This time she won in 56:48 from two-time winner and champion, Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers), 58:51, with Louise Cavanagh (UCC AC) third, 60:56.

The former national cross-country champion who finished 24th overall in yesterday’s race, is currently preparing for an early summer marathon.

“I am very quite fit at the moment and today I would have liked to have run a very fast time but I thought it better to just race rather than chase a fast time,” she said. “Whenever I have gone for a fast time on the track — looking at the clock — I have always just missed it by a hair’s breadth.

“I am going to do another marathon — probably in June — and there is a race in San Diego about that time but I have not booked anything yet.

“I am not thinking about the qualifying time for the Olympic Marathon but if it comes I will be very happy with it. But if I went out aiming for 2:37 I would probably run 3:37.01. So I will go out to run my best race, improve on my best time and anything else will be a huge bonus for me.”

Pauline Curley has her sights on another Dublin Marathon victory but yesterday she was just happy to get around the course.

“It has been a bad year for me so far — I have been sick quite a bit — but I hope this is the turning point,” she said.

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