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New PB for Maria as Ndungu defends Dublin title

GEOFFREY Ndungu of Kenya retained his Dublin Marathon crown in near-perfect conditions but the performance of Maria McCambridge raised the most eyebrows.

McCambridge, of Letterkenny AC, who was heartbreakingly left out of the Irish Olympic team after achieving the 'A' standard qualification mark, ran a personal best of 2:35.28 to finish in seventh and take the national crown.

"The great thing about being a marathon runner is that there's always another race," the 37-year-old said, referring to the fact that three other athletes had qualified for London and the axe fell on her.

"As soon as the Olympics weren't on I just put my head down in preparation for this."

She finished seven minutes ahead of her nearest Irish challenger, Barbara Sanchez.

In only her second marathon, Magdalene Mukanza of Kenya crossed the line in 2:30:47 followed closely by Faith Chemaoi also from Kenya to take the women's title.

In the men's race, Ndungu finished almost three minutes behind the course record he set in the event 12 months ago as he crossed the finish line in 2:11:09.

There was much to cheer for from an Irish perspective as national half marathon champion Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders ran the fastest marathon time by an Irish runner in Dublin in 13 years when placing ninth overall in 2:16.30.

And not far behind was Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF who posted 2:17.19 a place ahead of his clubmate Barry Minnock, who clocked 2:18.45.

Remarkably it was Pollock's first effort over the maximum distance.



STRUGGLE

"I found the last six miles a struggle but for my first marathon I have to be happy enough," the Belfast runner said.

Post the successful Paralympic games, the 2012 Wheelchair winner was Luke Jones who powered over the finish line in 2:03:29 a strong margin ahead of his second place rival Richie Powell who completed the marathon in 2:10:50.


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