Fionnuala McCormack's incredible marathon run won serious respect for Team Ireland 5 years ago

Fionnuala McCormack's incredible marathon run won serious respect for Team Ireland

A top-20 finish, a personal best, a mountain of praise.

It was a decent day's work for Ireland's Fionnuala McCormack in Rio who strode home in the women's marathon in a time of 2:31:22.

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Despite the difficult conditions, it was a PB for the Wicklow native who ended up finishing in 20th place, seven minutes off race winner Jemima Sumgong of Kenya (2:24:04).

Lizzie Lee and Breege Connolly came in behind her in 57th and 76th respectively and, although there were no medals for their efforts, each of the Irish competitors did their country proud.

And McCormack's showing won the respect and admiration that it deserved.

A lifetime best for the 31-year-old.

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All their performances even surpassed what everyone thought.

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And one legend recognised the feat.

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What a way to fly the flag.

Everyone was proud.

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