Athlone record boost for Byrne's full debut
Linda Byrne of Dundrum South Dublin AC is set for an exciting marathon debut in Dublin on October 31 which could gain her Olympic selection.
On Sunday, Byrne set a course record of 1:59:42 at the Athlone Three-quarter Marathon -- an event of over 600 competitors.
The DSD runner was using the race as preparation for the National Lottery Dublin Marathon. The ease in which she navigated the course has given her extra confidence.
"It was a great preparation race for me," Byrne said. "I felt comfortable throughout and this has given me an extra boost going into Dublin. I'm looking forward to see what I can achieve."
She is coached by Enda Fitzpatrick and will be looking to achieve the qualifying standard for the London Olympics next summer. The 'A' qualification standard is 2:37:00, which looks within her grasp.
Other Irish athletes who look on course to achieve the 'A' standard for London include Ava Hutchinson (DSD) and Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny AC).
The Athlone Three-quarter Marathon was the second running of the event and saw excellent performances on a challenging course.
Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) smashed the course record to win in 1:45:59. Noel Kelly was second in 1:52:21 and Martin Fulton third in 1:56:24.
In the women's race, Lorraine Manning was second in 2:04:30 (10th overall) with Olivia Sheerin third in 2:26:47.
The date for next year's race is Sunday, September 30.