Ahern outruns Dublin's Lord Mayor in Phoenix Park run

 

While most politicians battled it out at return of the Dáil this week two of their colleagues went head to head at Dublin's first Great Ireland Run.

Lord Mayor Royston Brady proved no match for former Dublin mayor MauriceAhern - but vowed to take him on again next year.

"I'm half his age and he was twice as quick," Mr Brady said afterfinishing the 10km race around Dublin's Phoenix Park.

"There will definitely be a re-match. I will do it again next year.

"The only thing that worries me is he told he's not at full fitness at themoment."

Mr Brady, 31, said he had not run since he was at school and was only asked todo the run three weeks ago.

"It's a long time since I ran but I didn't actually find it too bad," hesaid.

"The plan was to train around St Stephen's Green but I couldn't because ofthe Luas works.

"So I had to make do with running around the Mansion House instead."

Veteran athlete Maurice Ahern was more than 10 minutes faster than thecurrent Lord Mayor, completing the course in just over 53 minutes.

He joked afterwards: "I was the real runner."The 63-year-old, who is president of Clonliffe Harriers Athletics Club, wasLord Mayor three years ago and is a lifelong athlete.

He added: "I consider I was a useful runner in the 60s but I've beeninjured for the past four months. It didn't hurt too much today though.

"It's lovely to see the park being used by so many people like this."I'm sure the run will grow even more over the next few years."

More than 2,500 runners took part in the first Great BUPA Ireland Run to beheld in Dublin.

Sonia O'Sullivan beat rival Catherina McKiernan to first placein the women's race, while Australian Craig Mottram came first in the men'scompetition.

Around 500 runners raised money for the two official charities, Our Lady'sHospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, and pop star Ronan Keating's cancer fund,the Marie Keating Foundation.

Organisers said they hoped the run would mirror the success of its sisterrace the Great North Run and attract thousands more competitors in the comingyears.