Parnell Eighth in Ladies Mini-Marathon


The annual Evening Echo Ladies Mini Marathon attracted a record 4,000 competitors today, and a fine performance from Ann Keenan Buckley from the North Laois club.  The defending champion was in devastating form, pulling away early on and winning in a time of 26:45.  Mary Donohue of Clonliffe Harriers was second in 27:33, Dutch visitor Jacqueline Rustidge Van Onmen third in 28:07, Theresa Duffy of Belfast fourth in 28:25, and Maureen Harrington of Riocht fifth in 28:44.  Carmell Parnell was Leevale’s first athlete home in 8th place (29:45).  Afterwards Keenan Buckley revealed that she had just completed her first track season in twelve years, setting ‘B’ standards for the 5,000m and 10,000m for the Olympics.  “If this year had been the preparation year for next year I would surely have made the qualifying mark” she said.  She said the first half of the race was a tough one, with the closing stages the easiest, but that suited her, as she considered herself more a cross country runner than anything else.  The European cross country championships are her next target in December, when she feels that the present strength of Irish womens middle distance running could yield a team medal.  She also stated that Sunday’s race provided a class field upfront, something that most people agreed with. (Results)