Sinead Kane: Blind runner helps Ireland to top-10 finish in France

Sinead Kane began her feat of seven marathons in seven continents in the space of a week in Antarctica in January 2017
Sinead Kane (left) ran seven marathons in seven continents in the space of a week in 2017

Blind runner Sinead Kane helped Ireland secure a top-10 finish at the World 24-Hour Championships in France.

Kane, 37, only secured a spot in the Ireland team on Wednesday evening after winning a legal challenge in Monaco against a rule preventing the use of guides in the event.

The Cork woman finished 67th of the 147 female competitors as she was the third and final Irish scorer in Albi.

Kane completed 185.848km in the 24 hours.

The Youghal athlete achieved the qualifying standard for the event by running 204.5km in England six months ago only to be told that the competition rules would prevent her from representing Ireland in France.

Helped by compatriot and former International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) executive director Richard Donovan, Kane waged a campaign against the ruling which culminated in the IAU having to reverse its decision last week.

Kane, a qualified solicitor, has forged a career as one of Ireland's best ultra runners despite having less than 5% vision and having only begun running in 2012.

Her feats on the world ultra running circuit in recent years include completing an astonishing seven marathons in seven continents in a week in 2017.

Kane's distance in Albi near Toulouse left her some 84 kilometres behind US winner Camile Herron who produced a remarkable 270.116km.

Jessica Baker was the top British finisher in 227.558km with Ireland's top two scorers Amy Masner [219.548] and Lorraine Mahon [215.668] in 24th and 29th places.

Herron finished nearly 16km ahead of German runner-up Nele Alder-Baerens and that margin also helped the USA win the team gold.

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