Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Guest Post: MARATHON WIN FOR CORK ATHLETE John Walshe

Monday, December 16, 2019



Following Aoife Cooke’s brilliant run at the Dublin Marathon in October which gained her the Irish title, there was another impressive marathon victory by a Cork woman at the weekend when Joy Miller of East Cork won the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama, in a personal best time of 2:46:35.

Miller, formerly known as Joyce Curtin, is from Inch near Killeagh. There, she commenced her athletics career with the local Glenbower AC before accepting an athletics scholarship to the US. Now settled in Lexington, South Carolina, Joy, like Aoife Cooke, is also part of coach John Starrett ‘Stazza’s Stable’.

Her time in Tennessee was almost four minutes faster than her previous best of 2:50:28. This was achieved in Houston three years ago. The 32-year-old is also now the sixth fastest Cork woman over the distance.

Joy’s parents, Jim and Mary, were a regular part of the Cork running scene back in the 1980s and 90s with Mary in particular achieving many successes with the East Cork club. Jim is still a familiar figure at the many local races, always willing to help out in any capacity.

In a somewhat unorthodox build-up to her marathon, Joy ran three half-marathons in the previous five weeks, winning two of them. On November 9, she was first in Summerville in a time of 77:02, the following week she won Lexington in 79:26 and then just seven days before Rocket City ran 76:59 when finishing second in Orlando.

Like men’s winner Spencer Fields who clocked 2:22:09, Joy Miller took home a first prize of $1,000 from what was the 43rd annual Rocket City Marathon. It takes place in Huntsville, Alabama, nicknamed ‘The Rocket City’ for its close association with the United States space missions.

The first event was held in December 1977 and saw an exciting finish as British marathon legend Ron Hill (then aged 39) was over two minutes ahead with a couple of miles to go. But in a dramatic finish, local man Steve Bolt – a sub-four-minute-miler – caught Hill in the closing stages to win by five seconds in a time of 2:17:35.

Cork Women Marathon Rankings:
2:29:01 Sonia O’Sullivan (Ballymore-Cobh), London, 2005
2:32:34 Aoife Cooke (Eagle), Dublin, 2019      
2:32:51 Lizzie Lee (Leevale), Berlin, 2015
2:38:00 Claire McCarthy (Leevale), Berlin 2016
2:43:00 Brid Murphy (Leevale), Dublin, 1992
2:46:35 Joy Miller (East Cork), Huntsville, 2019

Photo – Joy Miller after finishing second in the Bryce Canyon Half-Marathon (Utah) in July

You can find a complete list of John Walshe's guest articles HERE

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