When Kinlough’s Breege Connolly finished 76th in Sunday’s Olympic Games women’s marathon in a time of 2hours 44minutes 44seconds in Rio de Janeiro she did Leitrim and Ireland proud by her superb effort in the race for which she was ranked 158th before it started.
As well Breege Connolly’s Irish Women’s marathon team mates, namely, Wicklow’s Fionnuala McCormack, who finished 20th in 2.31.22 and Cork’s Lizzie Lee who finished 57th in 2.39.57, also ran excellent races in Rio.
“It’s been the best running week of my life,” said Connolly afterwards in Rio who was pleased her hard work building up to the event paid off. “It was tough and I went to Monte Gordo (in Portugal) warm weather training.
“Nothing can prepare you properly for racing in the heat but I’m delighted with my run. It’s a relief after all the hard work,” the Kinlough native, who lives in Belfast and runs for North Belfast Harriers, remarked.
Breege Connolly is Leitrim’s most recent Olympian. She is now a proud member of the exceptional group of sports women and men and fellow Olympians from the county that includes Eddie Leddy (Ballinamore) athletics, Munich (1972) and Montreal 1976; Frances Cryan (Carrick-on-Shannon) rowing, Moscow (1980), Thomas Clancy (Glenfarne) sailing, Moscow (1980); Colin Griffin (Ballinamore), athletics, Beijing 2008 and London 2012; and Laura Reynolds (Mohill) athletics, London (2012).