Creech leads the way for Charleville Half, as Ratoath gears up for crowds - Weekend Preview!

September 08, 2023

Ryan Creech of Leevale AC leads the entry for the Charleville International Half Marathon in Co Cork on Sunday - the big race of the weekend.

Creech is using the race as part of his build-up to the Berlin Marathon later this month In February the Cork athlete clocked a time of 2:13.03 in Seville which was his debut outing over the distance. It put him top of the Irish marathon rankings for 2023. Just a fortnight ago, Creech won the Irish Half Marathon Championships title in Tullamore with a time of 65:49. He clocked a time of 67:55 when running in Charleville in 2020.

The Charleville course is considered one of the fastest in the country with David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers setting a course record of 63:48 in 2019. Also entered is Philip Kiptoo Rutto from Kenya who has a best time of around 64 minutes, William Maunsell of Clonmel AC who ran a personal best of 66.04 in the 2022 Antrim Coast Half Marathon, David McGlynn of Waterford AC with a time of 67:24 from this year’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon a fortnight ago, and Michael Harty of East Cork AC, who hasn’t raced many of the big races this year.

Maria McCambridge’s time of 72:25 set in 2014 remains the women’s course record. Last year’s winner Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC ran a time of 74:39; Heaslip ran 70:35 in the recent Antrim Coast Half Marathon.

One to watch - if she runs - may be the current Irish 5000m champion Íde Nic Dhomhnaill of West Limerick AC who finished second in the race with a time of 78:36 in 2020, which remains her personal best. Entries will close on Friday.

An innovation this year is the prize for the top team of six - three men and three women. All finishers will received environmentally-friendly wooden medals.

On Saturday, Fairyhouse racecourse in Co Meath is the venue for the Ratoath Half Marathon.

Meanwhile in Co Cork, St Finbarr’s Open Cross-Country at the Cork Showgrounds on Sunday is - we think! - the first cross-country of the new season.

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