Marty Lynch and Helen McCready claim 2022 Donegal Half Marathon titles
Milford AC’s Marty Lynch was the winner of today’s Donegal Half Marathon in Letterkenny in a time of 73 minutes and 34 seconds. Second was Finn Valley’s John McElhill in 74:13, with his Finn Valley club mate, Dermot McElchar, third in 74:19.
Helen McCready of Rosses AC took victory in the senior women’s race in a time of 83:38, from the Tir Conaill AC pair of Ciara Cunningham who clocked 92:31, and Julie McNamee who finished in 94:27.
In calm and humid conditions, over 300 took part in the annual event which was again sponsored by the Kernan Retail Group.
Marty Lynch made a break from the leading pack on the race’s only climb at Rashedog around the eight-mile mark and consolidated his lead to win by 40 seconds.
Speaking after his victory, Marty said he was delighted to be back on the winner’s podium.
“Training has been going well over the last number of weeks and I decided to come and give it a go here today. I’ve been having good days and bad days in terms of races over the last while and I didn’t really know how what was going to happen today. I made a move up Rashedog and managed to hold the pace of 3:25 to 3:27 per k throughout,” he commented.
“My next aim is the Dublin Marathon at the end of October. I’ll run a few races between now and then,” the Milford AC man added.
Sunday saw Helen McCready running her first half marathon for three years.
“It was tough out there today and the conditions were very humid. I liked the new course – I didn’t have a good relationship with the previous course. I haven’t run a half marathon since 2019 and I felt I was a bit on my own at times, just like it is in training,” she said.
“Ultimately, today is a stepping stone to the Berlin Marathon at the end of September. There have been a lot of miles lately, so I have to keep going for the next four weeks.”
There was a great community feel to today’s race, with people of all ages and abilities competing, and people from various local groups and organisations helping out.
Almost 100 children took part in the 1k fun races that were held in conjunction with Donegal Sports Partnership, just after the start of the main event.