John Byrne at the 2012 World 100km Championships in Seregno, Italy
The Irish men's team finished a magnificent 6th in the World 100km Championships in Seregno, Italy on 22nd April 2012.
In perhaps the most competitive championships to date, the UltraRunning Ireland athletes also set a new Irish team record in the process.
Team captain, Dan Doherty, was the leading finisher among the Irish when posting new personal best time of 7:07:26 hrs for a top 25 placing.
John Byrne and Keith Whyte were close behind, registering times of 7:16:27 and 7:25:56, respectively.
The cumulative times of the top three finishers establish team rankings and the new Irish team record of 21:49:48 hrs ensured 6th position overall. It was the highest global placing by any Irish athletics team in many years.
The winning team was Italy, with the USA finishing second and France third.
Michael Collins posted a very competitive 7:43:14 hrs to finish in the top 5 in the men's 45 category, but John O'Regan, Thomas Maguire and Jim McCormick encountered various problems and injuries during the race.
In the women's race, Ireland's sole competitor was Helen Lavin and she ran strongly to finish in a time of 8:54:38 hrs.
It was a remarkable weeked for the Irish delegation as UltraRuning Ireland chairman Richard Donovan was also elected to be Director of the International Association of Ultra Runners, the world governing body for the sport.
In the past few years, UltraRunning Ireland has achieved the highest standards on the international stage, including continental medals, top global placings and numerous new Irish records. An Order of Merit was also awarded to Richard and Paul Donovan for the staging of the IAU Trail World Championships in Connemara last year, which was broadcast globally to 200 million households.
However, Athletics Ireland's CEO John Foley will now take responsibility for all aspects of the sport of ultra running in Ireland, including the funding of teams for international compeitition.