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Sunday 15 July 2018

Priest to bless runners before they hit 'wall' in marathon

Fr Philip Bradley
Fr Philip Bradley

Sam Griffin

Marathon experts are predicting that today could see the first Irish winner of the Dublin Marathon in nearly 20 years.

Some of the better-known international athletes weren't invited as there was no race sponsor earlier in the year when the event was being organised. Airtricity has since been secured as the event's title sponsor.

Competitors can also look forward to a blessing from one Dublin priest around the 18-mile mark, when the going is known to get very tough.

"There is a hill that is regarded as being particularly difficult because it comes around the stage in the race where a lot of runners hit 'the wall'," says Fr Philip Bradley, who is parish priest in Milltown. He will encourage participants as they pass his church along the route shortly after 11am Mass.

"We've taken a quote from St Paul which is, 'let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us' and we'll leave the church open and we'll have some quiet music playing and we'll be in attendance offering encouragement to the participants as they pass by."

It is expected that the worst of today's predicted storms will have passed by the start of the race at 9am.

Major traffic restrictions and rolling road closures will be in place from 8.55am to 4.45pm along the route, which begins on Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin city centre before moving out to the Phoenix Park, through Inchicore and Crumlin, and back to the city centre and finishing at Merrion Square.

Full details are available on: dublinmarathon.ie

All the finishers and times: special Marathon Supplement in tomorrow's Irish Independent

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