THE 34th Dublin City Marathon was held over the bank holiday with 15,000 competitors braving the cold weather. North East Runners were well represented with both seasoned marathon runners and athletes completing the distance for the first time.
First local home was Gary O'Hanlon from Kilkerley who ran his fastest ever marathon in this, his 8th marathon of the year. Gary completed the event in 2 hours 23.54mins. Gary also had the satisfaction of being on the winning Clonliffe Harriers team as the event was also the national Marathon Championships. And as Gary now also coaches on Wednesdays in Kilkerley Community Centre, his students should take note of Gary's excellent even pacing as he was 72mins at halfway for an almost even second half split time.
Gerry O'Connell led the NER athletes home in a time of 2hours 48.57mins for 100th position. This placed Gerry 3rd in the over 50 section where he is a past three times winner. Simon Allen produced a real gutsy run especially over the second half to improve his best time to 2:52.06 for 145th place with Niall McCabe (153rd) again producing a fine run in a time of 2:52.53 with George Shields (161st) getting just reward for his hard work under the coaching of Gerry O'Connell finishing in a time of 2:53.11.
Bryan McCrystal won the Park Street Traders section finishing in 3:02 just ahead of Brendan Reid, who was another clubman running a best time as he gets closer to the three hour mark with 3:03.51.
Derek McKeown was 3:13 with Richard Murphy running his first marathon in 3:20. Kevin Hamill was 3:52 with Lorraine Dunne and Cathriona Faulkner enjoying their day out away from the kids in 3:49 and 4:07 respectively.
Ruardhi Stewart managed 4:08 just by training on a rowing machine as injury meant he couldn't run in training, so us NERds really are committed. Melanie and Colm Hearty made a last minute decision to compete and finished together in 4:12.
Andy Gray completed his first marathon in 3:47. Sahara Desert 5 day Marathon runner Ronan Carey ran 3:30 with Noel Litchfield completing his second marathon of the year in 4:30. Colette O'Hagan was of course among the finishers as he returned home form holidays from New Zealand just in time for the event. This was Colette's 260th marathon, probably more than all the other club members put together.