Flynn flying the Irish flag

by James Hendicott
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CLONLIFFE Harriers’ Dave Flynn has been called up to the Irish team to compete in the Armagh International 5km road race in February, despite his current focus being very much on moving up to substantially longer distances.
Flynn will join John Travers (Donore Harriers AC), Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) and Matt Bergin (DSD AC) in the Irish four set to compete at what is an iconic regular race on the Ulster sporting calendar.
The Armagh International will be running for the 28th time, and featured an astonishing 80 runners going under the international class 15 minute cut off at last year’s event. It is run around the Armagh Mall, in 1,000 metres loops that are fast, flat and spectator friendly.
Flynn, while more comfortable traditionally over the shorter distance, is ramping up to that full marathon over the coming months via some extended middle-distance races, making the 5k something of a step away from his more recent training.
“This race fits in nicely into my marathon training as it helps keep some leg speed in my legs,” he told Dublin Gazette. “When you’re doing long runs and long workouts week in week out, that leg speed you’ve had previously can start to fade.”
There have been a host of stars competing over the years, with triathlete Jonathan Brownlee hitting 14 minutes flat in 2015, and said to be a fan of the event. The winning time last year came from Englishman Ben Connor, at a swift 13 minutes 58, beating out American visitor Brandon Doughty (same time) at the tape. The general depth in quality of the field is renowned.
“I’ll be hoping to run under 14.20 in the race,” Flynn said. “It is a very fast and competitive race and I’ll be trying to pick off people in the second part of the race as I am very strong at the moment.”
“I just got back from a 12 day training camp in Fuerteventura, Spain with Athletics Ireland, which went very well. It was great to be training with some of the best athletes in the country and of course the nice weather made it a lot easier.”
While it’s not his core aim for 2018, Flynn – who also regularly trains in America and Morocco amongst a group of world-class middle and long distance runners – is always proud to be in green.
“Representing Ireland is always an honour and it’s a great boost of moral for me personally as It shows the hard work is paying off and being recognised by Athletics Ireland,” he explains. “We also have a very strong team for the Armagh international 5k and we will be well able to compete with any other countries entered.”
The races – which also include a series of youth and 3km contests – take place on the evening of February 15, and are reputedly the fasted races of their kind in the UK or Ireland.

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