Athletics

Donegal Woman Finishes Third In World's Oldest Ultramarathon

Donegal Woman Finishes Third In World's Oldest Ultramarathon

Catriona Jennings finished third in the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa on Sunday.

The Donegal woman earned a podium finish with a time of 6:24.12. The race was won by home favourite Gerda Steyn in 5:58.53 with Russian Alexandra Morozova second in 6:17.40.

The Comrades event, which was this year run over a distance of 86.83km, is the world's oldest and largest ultramarathon.

Catriona is the sister of Irish Olympic rower Sinead Lynch.

Jennings, who turns 39 later this month, competed for Ireland in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games.

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"I'm delighted," Jennings told South African broadcaster SABC Sport.

"I came here today hoping to be in the top ten. I set off pretty conservatively but felt really strong in the middle so I pushed on. Then, with 20k to go, my legs completely cramped.

"I've never experienced cramps like that. I was really worried that I would have to walk the rest of the way. The crowd support was phenomenal, really amazing, everyone was willing me on and I really wanted to get there. I was so concerned that fourth place was going to come creeping up on my shoulders. I just said, 'Let's get through this and I can be in pain tomorrow'.

"I'll have learned a lot from this year. I'll definitely have to adopt a better nutrition strategy throughout the race. I'd love to come back."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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