Athletics

Irish-Born 41-Year-Old Wins Melbourne Marathon And $40,000

Irish-Born 41-Year-Old Wins Melbourne Marathon And $40,000

Sinead Diver won the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday.

The Mayo-born 41-year-old earned $40,000 for doing so - half for the victory and half for breaking the record for the Melbourne race.

Diver finished the race in 2:25.19. Her time broke the five-year-old mark of Laura Weightman.

From Belmullet, Diver only took up running eight years ago following the birth of her first child. Having moved to Australia in 2002, she began competing for her adopted in 2015 when she finished 21st in the Marathon at the World Championships in Beijing. Two years later - having missed out on the Rio Olympics due to injury - she finished 20th at the World Championships in London.

Her Melbourne Marathon time makes her the second fastest Irish woman ever over the distance. Only Catherina McKiernan's national record of 2:22.23, set nearly 20 years ago in Amsterdam, is quicker.

"It’s been by far my best year and I really wanted to cap it off with a huge marathon," Diver told Melbourne paper The Herald Sun.

"To have all of the support here has been amazing.

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"Because I started so late I don’t have a lot of kilometres in my legs and I think that makes a big difference."

For much of the race, Diver had a three-man group pacing her. After 32km, two of that group dropped off. It was then she asked Jack Rayner to continue with her.

"He was an absolute legend, I wouldn’t have done it with him. When we were heading up St Kilda Road the wind was picking up and he just said no worries, I’ll go a bit further.

"By the time we reached 37km, he said ‘you are fine, you’re killing it, you don’t need me to help you.'"

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

See Also: 'This Is Elite Level Sport. Being A Paralympic Athlete Isn't Just A Hobby'

PJ Browne
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