Saturday, May 07, 2022

It was a day to remember for Aughagower runner Ellen Moran who won the 12th annual Western People West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon on Sunday.

The 26-year-old student powered home in a time of 36 minutes and 57 seconds, which was 42 seconds faster than the 2019 winner.

She was also one minute and eight seconds faster than the runner-up Sinéad Whitelaw.

Ellen has had a great year for both the Galway City Harriers and NUIG, having produced a superb run to win the women’s 10k in Trinity Sports Ground in March. In February, the Mayo woman finished third in the women’s intermediate 5k at the National Intermediate, Master, Juvenile B and Relays Cross Country Championships in Cork.

Winner of the West of Ireland Women’s Mini-Marathon Ellen Moran with, from left: Charlie Lambert, Mayo Sports Partnership; Cllr Michael Loftus, Joanne O’Boyle and Aidan McNulty, Commercial Manager, Western People. Picture: John O’Grady

“It is my first time winning the Mini-Marathon, I have done it a few years, but I have never won it. I am training with the Galway City Harriers, but I am delighted to be able to race and win a competition in Mayo,” Moran said.

Head of Mayo Sports Partnership Charlie Lambert knows all about Moran’s talent as he was full of praise for her performance.

“Ellen Moran is a neighbour of mine in Aughagower, Westport and she is a fantastic young athlete, and her finishing time was absolutely brilliant. All the others achieved a lot of personal best times. Conditions today (Sunday) were perfect for running,” Mr Lambert said.

Ellen is certainly going to be a name that we are going to see and hear over the coming years.

Mullingar AC athlete – and Ballina native – Sinéad Whitelaw was runner-up, putting in a very strong time of 37:48.

Three-time winner Norah Pieterse finished in third place. The Ballina runner showed her class by putting up a 38:03 time which would have seen her take the title in 2019.

Sinead Whitelaw and Norah Pieterse after completing the mini-marathon. Picture: John O’Grady

Swinford AC’s Aoibhín Flatley followed up on her second-place finish in the recent Kilmovee 10k with a time of 38:23, which saw her finish fourth.

Mayo AC’s Sarah Byrne finished fifth with a strong performance that saw the Crossmolina native clock-in a 40:05 time.

Ballina AC’s Serena Tuffy came in sixth with a 40:32 time.

Ballycroy’s Maura Ginty came seventh with a 41:16 outing.

Caitlin Hughes (Swinford AC), Gracie O’Brien (Teens Target 30) and Colette Tuohy (Mayo AC) finished eighth, ninth and tenth with times of 41:18, 41:22 and 41:54, respectively.

Nearly 700 runners took part in the 10k main event in Castlebar that was another special day for women’s sport in the west.

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