'It was a great race': Winner of Echo Women's Mini Marathon sets new course record

Chatting to The Echo after the race, Sinéad said she hadn’t expected to break the record.
'It was a great race': Winner of Echo Women's Mini Marathon sets new course record

Leaders on the road, Sinead O'Connor, Hannah Steeds and Lizzie Lee, in Ballintemple. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Leevale athlete Sinéad O'Connor won The Echo Women's Mini Marathon this afternoon setting a new course record of 20.33.

This is the second time Sinead has won The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon, taking home the title in 2019 also.

Chatting to The Echo after the race, Sinéad said she hadn’t expected to break the record.

“I went off quite comfortably, for the first two miles, so I’m surprised it was a course record, so we obviously picked it up a lot in the last mile. I had Lizzie all the way to push me, so it was a great race.” 

The runner was closely followed by her teammate Lizzie Lee who said she was very comfortable going round the course.

 Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record, with (left) third-placed Hannah Steeds, from Bantry; secon placed Lizzie Lee of Leevale and (right) Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde at the finish line medal presentation for The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins
Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record, with (left) third-placed Hannah Steeds, from Bantry; secon placed Lizzie Lee of Leevale and (right) Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde at the finish line medal presentation for The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins

“It was just a great day, I’ve won this three times, I’ve now come second twice and we broke the course record, Michelle Finn’s record. Sinead gave me an excellent race and I knew she was going to, I just didn’t have the speed for her at the end.” 

Their new training buddy Hannah Steeds who is currently transferring from Clonmel to Leevale after a move back to her home county took third place.

Speaking to The Echo, Hannah said her tactic was to hold onto Sinead and Lizzie for as long as possible.

“I just stuck in behind them and tried to stay there.” 

 Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record in The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins
Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record in The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins

Lord Mayor Deirdre Forde said she was honoured to hand the medals to winning female athletes.

“It’s such an honour to support the women of Cork and far beyond, running to raise money for so many charities, I think it’s wonderful and I want to thank The Echo, this is a wonderful competition that was started 41 years ago and raises so much money for charity. Everybody pulls together and it’s great to shine the light on the women for a change.” 

Lisa Hegarty, another Leevale athlete, was in fifth place. “I ran in 2019 and one of the virtual ones and I’m actually delighted to be able to come back and run it again this year.” Mary Sweeney, 62, is a stalwart participant of The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon and still competitive, finishing in the top 20.

 (middle) Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record, with (left) third-placed Hannah Steeds, from Bantry; and (right) second placed Lizzie Lee of Leevale at the finish line medal presentation for The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins
(middle) Race winner Sinead O'Connor of Leevale AC who set a new course record, with (left) third-placed Hannah Steeds, from Bantry; and (right) second placed Lizzie Lee of Leevale at the finish line medal presentation for The Echo Women's Mini-Marathon on Sundy 18th September 2022. Pic: Larry Cummins

“I’ve run it every year, except one year, I had a chest infection. I was second three times, and I was winning one year, but I ended up second.

“It’s a great day, a pleasure to be here, I meet all my friends, meet people older people, young people.” Mary said she hopes to be back again next year.

“I’m no spring chicken, but I’m doing well and I’m delighted to be running and I’m grateful. I do put in the work and the parkrun in Ballincollig is fantastic.”

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