European gold for Coppinger and Greenan

Jul 1, 2008 [Juvenile_Captain] Mags Greenan and Aisling Coppinger are new European champions

Mags Greenan (W50) and Aisling Coppinger (W35) won individual victories in the European masters championships in Lenzerheide Switzerland over a tough uphill 6.5 km course with over 900 metres of climb in strong sunshine. The two Clonliffe runners had arrived at the start following very different paths. Greenan has a long history of top performances in mainstream athletics and only took to the hills this year. Coppinger is an experienced mountain runner, a 2:59 marathoner, and is better known for her long-distance exploits.

Greenan won in a time of 57:44 from Austrian Dohr by 54 seconds in a start to finish win. Given her relative inexperience in mountain running, this was a tough gutsy performance to beat the experienced Dohr.

Coppinger won by a more comfortable 3 minutes from the Italian Calorio in a time of 58:47. Coppinger also led her Irish teammates Anne Sandford (66:30) and Zoe Melling (67:18) to silver team medals in the combined W35/40 category. Tish McCann (68:23) ran well to finish 6th in the W45 class.

National veterans 10 km road champion Martin McDonald was 4th in the M50 category in a time of 52:29. He combined with Sean Foley (6th in M45 in 51:24) and Gerry Brady (7th M50) to give the M45/50 team bronze medals.

Following on from last weeks excellent performances in the World Youths in Italy, these are further encouraging achievements for Irish athletics. Coppinger and Greenan will be in action again in mid-July in the senior European championships in Germany.

W35 1. Aisling Coppinger 58:47 2. M Calorio (Ita) 61:51 3. M Carl (Ger) 62:17 5. Zoe Melling 67:18

W40 1. C Helfenberger (Sui) 52:59 9. Anne Sandford 66:30

W45 1. ML Hellig-Duventaster (Ger) 52:38 6. Tish McCann 68:23

W50 1. Mags Greenan 57:44 2. K Dohr (Aut) 58:38 3. U Bergler (Ger) 62:18

M45 1. F Torresani (Ita) 45:02 6. Sean Foley 51:24

M50 1. K Frantisek (Cze) 50:38 4. Martin McDonald 52:29 7. Gerry Brady 54:45