ANN-MARIE McGlynn was ‘delighted’ with her performance in Cardiff at the weekend at the Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships where, despite struggling with a calf issue, she recorded a significant personal best and finished inside the top 10.
The Strabane woman had been training intensely for this event for quite some time, but with two weeks to go she developed a niggle in her left calf, which meant she had to taper back her regime.
With uncertaintly surrounding her fitness ahead of the race, she began tentatively and with just six kilometres remaining her right calf went into spasm.
Undaunted, she gritted her teeth, kept running and produced a dynamic sprint finish over the last 100 metres to pip two English runners to the line to seal ninth place in a new personal best of 73 minutes and 47 seconds, which was 41 seconds faster than her winning time at the Omagh Half Marathon at the start of April.
“I’m really happy, delighted!,” she beamed.
“It was a good course and the thing I really liked about it was there were spectators the whole way along the entire 13.1 miles – I’ve never experienced that before and it was great because it kept you switched on.
“The top 10 really wasn’t in my mind going into the race. We had a time and splits in mind, but two weeks before I had a niggle so I had to taper things back and at the start of the race I didn’t want to over do it.
“My left calf was giving me bother before the race, but with 6K to go I got a spasm in my right calf and at that point I had to ease off in order to get home.
“Before hand I had hoped for 73:20 but that was out the window when that happened but I had to be careful and listen to my body.
“I wanted to go at 12 miles, but I knew if I went hard up the hill I wouldn’t get down it!
“So I waited until 100 metres to go and gave it one last push – if the calf went, it went – but luckily it held out and I got the two English girls in a sprint finish,” she concluded.
Ann-Marie was representing Northern Ireland at the event alongside Paul Pollock, Andrew Annett, Eoghan Totten and Conor Bradley, who also performed well.