Just ten days remain until the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on Sunday October 30, which looks as if it will be incorporating the largest National Championships ever.
The Athletics Ireland entry list comes to 640 pages, which means an entry of well over 2,000. Clubs from all over the country, from Acorn AC in the north to Youghal AC in Co Cork, are listed. Among them is a healthy number of newcomers, such as Breakaway Running Club, Derg AC, Grange Ballycallan, nd Monkstown Spartans.
Many clubs have entered teams of over 40, among them Athenry, Balbriggan and District , Brothers Pearse, Clonliffe, Donore, Dunboyne, Lifford, Mayo AC, Mullingar Harriers, North East Runners, Trim, Waterford AC, Watergrasshill, and St Laurence O'Toole in Carlow.
A few clubs have have entered over 50 of their members, most notably Raheny Shamrock with 52, Finn Valley 56, Clonmel and Crusaders both 57, and Drogheda and District and Slaney Olympic both 64.
Two clubs have entered over a hundred - one is the Marathon Club Ireland with 131 runners, which is no big surprise. The other is West Waterford in Dungarvan with a stunning entry of 142.
That's an awful lot of distance running going on around the roads of Ireland and makes the marathon by some way the biggest club competition in Irish athletics.
If you haven't registered your club team, the entry form downloadable from Athletics Ireland website. Teams are of three.