At the National Half Marathon held last Saturday in Tullamore in conjunction with the Bord na Móna Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon, David Mahon of Slaney Olympic ran 68.38 to finish second in a huge field of 1200 athletes, with Ryan Creech (Leevale AC) running a course record time of 65.47 to take the title. In his wake, there was a massive sprint finish for the minor placings, just four seconds separating 2nd, 3rd and 4th. David Mahon had to dig deep on the run for home around the stadium track to stay ahead of the bronze medallist, Peter Brandon Somba of Dunboyne AC. This is probably the last time that David will run with Slaney Olympic as, since he is now living in Galway, he is in the process of transferring to Galway City Harriers.
The United Striders M50 team of Brendan Lyng, John Byrne and David Kehoe were 2nd behind behind Inishowen AC, against whom they have had a fierce but friendly rivalry since the All-Ireland Masters Cross Country last year.
It was their fifth silver team medal in the current national road race series. Brendan won individual M50 gold, running a personal best time of 75.38. John Byrne was 14th M50 (83.09) and David Kehoe had a fine 5th place in M55 category (80.46). He was also 3rd in the provincial competition as the race doubled up as the Leinster Championships. Striders added Leinster team gold to their All-Ireland silver.
SBR’s indefatigable Eugene Moynihan was 3rd in the national M65 category and 2nd in Leinster.
A delighted Brendan Lyng said afterwards that apart from a torrential downpour shortly before race start, conditions during the race itself were fine. “We were taken on a scenic route through the countryside south of Tullamore on a course which, apart from some gently rolling hills, was generally flat and fast.”