Double marathon winner Geoffrey is the toast of the town in Balbriggan

Published 06/11/2012 | 10:09

Geoffrey Ndungu, who was originally invited to compete in the Dublin City Marathon by Balbriggan Town Council, celebrating his second consecutive win last week.

KENYAN runner Geoffrey Ndungu, who has strong ties with Fingal, was back in Dublin last week to defend his title as winner of the Dublin Marathon.

Geoffrey did not disappoint his supporters and was celebrating winning the Dublin Marathon for the second year in a row, this time in 2 hours and 11 minutes. But the celebrations were not just in Geoffrey's camp – his win was also celebrated in the North County Dublin town of Balbriggan. In 2011, Geoffrey Ndungu was invited to participate in the Dublin Marathon by Balbriggan Town Council because of a strong partnership agreement between the north Fingal town and the City of St. Wendel in Germany. On a visit to Fingal, Thomas Wüst from the City of St Wendel Administration raised the idea of inviting athletes to come and run in the Dublin Marathon. Following the invitation, Geoffrey participated in the 2011 Dublin Marathon and went on to win the high profile competition in record time. The link with Balbriggan is due to St Wendel's involvement in an initiative to promote athletics through a partnership between Furstenfield in Austria and the Bushtrekkers Club in Kenya. The programme is called Run2gether and is primarily aimed at nurturing talented runners from Europe and Kenya. Through the combined efforts of St Wendel, Balbriggan Town Council and Fingal County Council, last year three Kenyan runners travelled to Dublin little realising that one of them was about to break the Dublin Marathon record. Then, this year, Geoffrey NDungu returned to Dublin to participate in the Dublin Marathon and won again. Fingal County Council's Stephen Peppard said: ' The partnership we have built up with St Wendel and the athletics element of that relationship supports what we want to achieve within the County. Fingal County Council hosted its first 10K Race in Swords last July and Geoffrey's achievements last year helped to raise awareness of that event and made it all the more worthwhile. We are hoping to continue our commitment to athletics during 2013 with more events throughout Fingal.'

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