Connolly sets a personal best in London

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Breege Connolly set a superb personal best at the Virgin Money London Marathon and in the process ran the qualification for the Rio Olympics.

The North Belfast Harrier clocked 2:37:29 to knock almost two minutes off her previous fastest also set in London in 2013.

She has been in superb form in her preparation setting a new record for the Larne Half Marathon of 76:20 and was set to improve her best over the classic distance.

This run gave her second place behind Paula Radcliffe in the Non-Elite category. Paula in her final marathon clocked 2:36:55.

Breege was well inside the Irish Olympic standard of two hours forty two and sits proudly on top of the National rankings. She will now have her eyes on the Northern Ireland record of 2:35:27 set by Teresa Duffy in London in 2001.

There were other good performances by local runners. Greg Roberts from City of Derry ran his second fastest with 2:24:05 while there were impressive debuts by Dennis Scott of North Down 2:36:08 and Barrie Atkinson East Down 2:36:15 while Simon Stewart of Springwell clocked 2:38:36.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the Mens race in 2:04:42 just ahead of defending champion Wilson Kipsang. Tigist Tuga of Ethiopia caused a surprise by taking the Ladies with 2:23:21.

Meanwhile, Donal Gallagher and Karen Alexander claimed the top places in the Peatlands Park 5.5 Miles Multi-Terrain Race near Dungannon.

Gallagher the many times Greencastle winner was in a class of his own as he took victory from Gavin Campbell and Jonny Gregg.

Karen Alexander had over four minutes in hand as she won the Ladies from Natasha Henderson and Sinead Kinsella. The nominated charity was Guide Dogs NI.