Frazer and OFlaherty Win in Titanic 10K with Sights on Rio
10 April 2016
Thomas Frazer and Kerry O'Flaherty who have their sights firmly on the Rio Olympics were impressive winners in today's big Titanic Quarter 10k where 1,400 competitors battled with the cold, blustery conditions.
Chicago based Thomas Frazer of St Malachys fought a close dual for the entire race with Clonliffe's Gary Murray which was only resolved in the final 200 metres when Thomas forged ahead to win by 5 seconds in a useful time of 30 mins 48 secs. This win is another boost to Thomas's confidence following his half marathon PB two weeks ago in Cardiff.
However the 34 year old will have to prove himself in the London Marathon in two weeks’ time, if he is to make the 3 man Irish squad for the Rio Olympics Marathon. He is currently over two minutes slower than the 3rd fastest Irishman.
After the race a contented Thomas said;
"I am really happy with that. I am in the form of my life and will be adopting an all or nothing stance in London to make the team for Rio. I have cut my weekly mileage and as a result have avoided injury".
Gary Murray finished ahead of Lisburn's Chris Madden whose time 31 minutes 31 seconds was some 8 secs ahead of last year's winner Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers. Annadale's Andrew Agnew was 5th in 31.58 just one sec ahead of Finn Valley's Barry Harron.
There was an equally close battle in the Women's race where Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty was determined to deny Letterkenny's Ann-Marie McGlynn a hat trick of victories. As anticipated the two were neck and neck until the final 500 metres when Kerry made her break. The Rio bound steeplechaser crossed the line in a superb time of 34 minutes 17 seconds which equals her personal best and avenges her defeat to Ann-Marie in the Seeley Cup 10k race.
Ann-Marie's time was 34 minutes 31 seconds which was still 23 seconds faster than her winning time a year ago. Next was Laura Graham of Mourne Runners in 35.21 followed by North Belfast's Gladys Ganiel (36.07), Jodie Smith of North Down (38.04) and Louise Smith of North (38.11).
"A satisfied Kerry commented;
"I knew this would be tight especially as 10k is over my distance. However I have really been working on my stamina to assist in the last kilometre of the steeplechase and it paid off today. I am now going to altitude training in France in preparation for track races in June in the build up to Rio."