'It was two months of hard work and no Guinness' - proud athletes celebrate the completion of the 2018 Dublin Marathon
Athletes from across the world shed blood, sweat and tears as they completed the 39th Dublin City Marathon.
Over 20,000 runners from 50 countries took place in Sunday’s marathon, spanning across 26 miles of the capital's roads.
While many of the participants woke up to freezing temperatures across the nation this morning, the sun was shining as the first of the runners crossed the finish line before midday.
The men’s title was won by Ethiopia’s Asefa Bekele in 2:13:23 while Mesera Dubiso, also from Ethopia, won the women’s race at 2:33:48.
Lizzie Lee was the first Irish woman over the line at a time of 2:35:04 and Mick Clohisey took home the Irish Athletics National Marathon title, finishing in a time of 2:15:57.
The marathon was a first for many participants, including Michael Fox from Co Armagh, who described the event as “brilliant”.
"I’ve prepared quite hard over the last six months, I ran the Dublin half-marathon for preparation and had a good run,” Michael told Independent.ie.
“It was brilliant, a good course. I’d come away from running after a lot of years of running and to get me back into a bit of shape I picked a marathon to try get weight down and get back into it.
His plans for finishing were to “find the wife, hit the beer- that's it”, Michael said.
The Dublin Marathon was the third Irish marathon for Toronto native John Ramsey, who decided to go on a tour of the Irish marathon scene.
“It was good, very hilly. It was perfect weather, you couldn't ask for better. There was lots of support out on the course which was really nice but it’s tough,” John said.
“There was lots of preparation, I was doing nearly 100km a week to get ready. I’m studying in Cork and I ran the Cork and Limerick one, so I figured I’ve got to continue my tour of the Irish marathon circuits.”
Natalie Hall said it was the supportive crowd along the barriers that helped her get through the race.
“It was my first time doing Dublin marathon, I’ve actually been registered for it twice before and through injury haven’t been able to do it,” she said.
“Third time lucky I suppose. There was a lot of support along the way to give you that push.”
While Sean Connon said his preparation for the race included “no Guinness”, and wanted to get in a marathon in before his family grows in the new year.
"It was two months of hard work and no Guinness. I’ve got a baby due in January, so I was leaving it all out there. I think the sleepless nights might affect the next one.”
- Read more: Emotional fans lay flowers at King Power Stadium in tribute to Leicester owner after helicopter tragedy