Athletics – Mark Christie and Kerry O’Flaherty are national champions at Great Ireland Run

Mark Christie of Mullingar Harriers and Kerry O’Flaherty from Newcastle won the men’s and women’s national 10k titles respectively at the Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park on Sunday.


The first 5km was quick with a lot of downhills before they got to the hillier section and the Furry Glen in the second half of the course. It was by the 8km point that Mark Christie opened up on the chasing duo of England’s Graham Rush and Raheny Shamrock’s Mick Clohisey, with Christie winning the national title in a time of 29:30.


Rush held on for second overall in 29:41 with Clohisey third in 29:44 which won him the silver medal for the national championships. Clonliffe Harriers’ Sergiu Ciobanu finished on the national podium, winning the bronze in 30:20.


Newcastle athlete Kerry O’Flaherty took up the reigns for the Irish women’s team in the absence of Kilcoole’s Fionnuala McCormack who was a late withdrawal due to a lingering injury.


England’s Gemma Steel took overall victory in the women’s race in 34:15,with a gritty performance from O’Flaherty seeing her finish third overall, and in the process win her second national 10km road title, following her previous victory in 2009.


Claire McCarthy from Leevale was second in the national championship race in 34:47 with Laura Shaughnessy (DSD) winning the national bronze in 35:04.


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