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Despite the rain, more than 10,000 elite athletes, amateur runners, walkers and spectators came together in the Phoenix Park today for the 17th staging of one of Ireland’s leading athletic events, the Garmin Great Ireland Run 2018. Featuring a 10k and a 5k, along with Junior and Mini runs, the high-energy event was both a celebration of running and an enjoyable family-focused day out in one of Ireland’s most-loved parks.
The prestigious Men’s 10k event, which annually boasts participation from both international and Irish elite athletes, was won by England's Oliver Lockley who crossed the finish line in the impressive time of 00:30:18. It was a fierce contest with Ireland's Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harrier's Athletics Club on Lockley's tail for the last 100m. Maher crossed the finish line just seconds after Lockley in a time of 00:30:20.
All eyes were on Irish Olympian, Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrocks Athletics Club who delighted cheering spectators with his 10k performance. Despite battling until the end, Clohisey placed third crossing the finish line in 00:30:22.
Moments after the race, Lockley said: "Maher made me work for that win, we were neck and neck but I'm delighted I managed to get across first. Garmin Great Ireland Run is a challenging course and an event I have wanted to win for some time."
The women’s 10k, which was a highly-competitive event and featured elite sporting talent from both local and overseas athletic clubs, was won by Ireland's Shona Heaslip of An Riocht Athletics Club, Co. Kerry who crossed the finish line in 00:34:52. In second place was Ireland's Kerry O'Flaherty crossing in 00:35:00 followed by England's Gemma Steel who crossed in 00:35:08.
Commenting on her win, Heaslip said: “Today was a brilliant experience, crossing the finish line to the cheers and support of a home crowd was electric. I'm delighted that the Irish team represented our country and Irish running in the best way possible and I'm really pleased with my finish time, the icing on the cake.”
Over 10,000 runners, both novice and elite, shared the Phoenix Park route during the 10k event. One such running enthusiast was TV personality and Garmin Great Ireland Run Ambassador, Deric Ó hArtagáin.
He said: “I participated in the Great Ireland Run 10k event last year so wanted to come back and see if I could finish in an even better time this year. I’m delighted with my performance and really enjoyed the experience, despite the weather. The combination of running in the beautiful Phoenix Park and sharing the road with Irish and international elites, whilst being cheered on by the most enthusiastic Irish spectators was really special.
“Today’s events showcased that Ireland’s love for running is alive and well. As a fitness enthusiast, it was particularly enjoyable to see so many first-time runners crossing the 5k finish line. After weeks sometimes months of training, getting across the finish line is a fantastic achievement.”
The start of the 5k event was signalled by a warm-up from Garmin Great Run Ambassador and personal trainer to the stars, Performance Coach Sean Harding. The event saw thousands of first-time runners hit the road following months of dedicated training.
The event was won by Killian McNamee representing the USA who proudly crossed the finish line in 00:17:03. The first female finisher was Maisy O'Sullivan from St. Abban's Athletic Club, Co. Laois. The 5k finish line was awash with tears and laughter as emotional spectators congratulated beaming finishers as they realised their fitness goals.
Every finisher in the 5k and 10k events received an official event shirt, medal, chip-timed result and goody bag, with other keepsakes on offer for Junior and Mini runners.
For more information on today’s event and to see a full-list of finishing times visit greatrun.org/ireland
To discover more about the event follow @Great_Run on Twitter and Instagram, or search #GreatIrelandRun