Laura Reynolds produced an outstanding performance when winning the Woodies DIY AAI Senior Indoor 3000m Walk Championship in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, on Saturday last with the Mohill athlete retaining the title she won last year.
With Olympian Olive Loughnane again missing three athletes went to the start but soon the Tipperary based Craughwell walker Maeve Curley who performed well in the European Junior Championships last summer was out of contention. Maeve walked a good race on her own finishing third in 13:44.16 as Laura Reynolds and Kate Veale, who last year won a World Youths title battled it out ahead of her.
On this occasion the Leitrim walker was clearly in command from gun to finish and the younger Waterford girl was never able to get close enough to mount a major challenge. In the last four hundred metres Kate visibly weakened as Laura powered ahead to win in 12:46.23 with the Waterford walker timed at 12:52.79.
Colin Griffin did not have a good day in the Mens’ 5000m where he has won medals on many occasions. Robbie Heffernan was going for his fourteenth title in fifteen years- Colin having taken it in 2007 when Robbie was injured. Going for a record time which, in the end, he did not achieve the Togher athlete went away from the big field from the gun and was followed by Colin Griffin with fellow Olympian Jamie Costin in third position and current London 50K qualifier Brendan Boyce some distance back in fourth.
Colin Griffin maintained a ten metre lead over Costin for the first half of the race and at one stage the Waterford athlete appeared to be losing contact but the Leitrim walker weakened in the third quarter as a stomach problem set in. Costin passed him with around 1500m to go and three hundred metres later Colin had to drop out.
The English guest walker Tom Bosworth of Tonbridge now went into third position but it was Michael Doyle of Tara AC, fourth over the line, who took the bronze medal with Boyce just holding of Cian McManamon of UL in fifth place.
Heffernan’s winning time was 19:06,58 with Costin second in 19:35.06 and Bosworth 19:50.52.
Hopefully Colin will be fully recovered for the much more relevant National 30K in Claremorris next Sunday. Laura also hopes to race in the 20K event and is preparing for the next big 20K in Lugano early in March.