"They have speed and I have no speed, so the only thing I can do is go as hard as I could."
Lizzie Lee (Leevale A.C.) showed her class as she won the national 5k title in the Phoenix Park today (May 20th).
Over one thousand participants took part in the Irish Runner 5k, marking the first race in the Athletics Ireland Race Series.
Lee, who represented Ireland in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, made her experience count as she won the women’s title.
With a kilometre to go Lee dug deep to see off the challenge of Ellen Moran (Galway City Harriers A.C.) and Clíona Murphy (Dublin City Harriers A.C.) who battled hard for their silver and bronze medals.
Lee’s winning time was 16:47, while Moran and Murphy also broke seventeen minutes, with 16:53 and 16:58 respectively.
“It was really, really hard,” Lee admitted afterwards.
"We had a brilliant race, there was three of us together with a kilometre to go, Ellen Moran and Cliona Murphy, and we were literally side by side, and I just said to myself, 'Look, they're young ones and they have speed and I have no speed, so the only thing I can do is go as hard as I could.'"
"But I had pushed them on the hill, so I knew they were a bit hurt from that. I'm good at hills, I'm not good at sprinting, so you play to your strengths when you're racing."
“So I'm thrilled with that! I'm forty-three tomorrow, I’m enjoying my running, there’s no pressure. I’m thrilled with that.”
“You play to your strengths when you’re racing…I took it on with a kilometre to go and just went as hard as I could.” 🎤🤩@LizzieLeevale is your women’s National 5k champion! @LeevaleAC pic.twitter.com/sOg5mhoC2H
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) May 20, 2023
Dublin City Harriers took senior women’s team victory with Raheny Shamrocks and Dunboyne completing the podium.