Monday, September 27, 2010

Fagan wins Rathfarnham 5k road race


Martin Fagan of Mullingar Harriers delivered a record-breaking performance in Sunday's annual Rathfarnham five kilometre road race in Dublin, as he powered to victory in 13 minutes 54 seconds - knocking two seconds off the course record held by Robert Connolly of DSD.

Fagan, who finished seventh in last weekend's Great North Run half-marathon in Newcastle, raced into an early lead in Saturday's event which was run over a traditionally very fast course.

The Mullingar runner, who is home on a brief holiday from his training base in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, was joined at the front by Joe Sweeney of Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club and young John Travers of Donore Harriers, as the trio sped through the opening mile in a blistering four minutes and three seconds.

Fagan raced clear of Joe Sweeney in the closing stages to secure a course record and €750 in prize money that included a bonus for achieving a new course record. Joe Sweeney showed an impressive return to form when placing second in 14:15 and John Travers broke the junior course record finishing third in 14:18.

'I felt good today - much better than I was feeling in last weekend's race in Newcastle,' Martin Fagan said.

'I was not feeling very well going into the Great North Run, but it all came together for me today and I am very pleased to have run a course record.'

An Olympic marathon qualifying standard for 2012 is now high on Fagan's list of priorities for 2011 and the Mullingar native hopes to achieve this target in the Houston Marathon in Texas next January.

'I want to run in the marathon in next year's World Track and Field Championships and follow that with an Olympic performance over the distance in 2012,' he said.

'It would be great to get the marathon qualifying standard sorted early next year as I would then be able to concentrate all my training efforts towards the World Championships and the London Olympics.'

Fagan returns to his Arizona training base tomorrow and has not yet decided if he will put himself forward for possible selection for the Ireland team who will compete in the European Cross Country Championships in Villamoura, Portugal, in December.

'I know that the course in Portugal would suit me as it is expected to be firm and fast, but I will take a little while longer to decide if the event will be part of my racing plans for that time of year,' he said.

Mary Cullen of North Sligo AC was in sparkling form when winning the women's race in 15:41- well clear of Teresa McGloin of Finn Valley AC in 16:22 and Patricia Wlodarczyk of Raheny Shamrock AC in 16:58.

Now backing living and training in Dublin, Mary Cullen will now be gearing her training towards the European Cross Country Championships.

The Sligo woman is also due to change coach in the coming weeks after having been coached for a number of years by Ray Treacy at Providence College in Rhode Island, USA.

'It feels good to be back home again and I am looking forward now to the cross country season ahead,' Cullen said.

Over 800 runners took part in yesterday's Rathfarnam Road Race organised by the local club Rathfarnam AC and sponsored by Sub 4 Running Store, AIB and McCarthy Auctioneers and Estate Agents.