Thursday 14 November 2019

'Writing book was like a marathon'

It's sure to be a top seller amongst runners and in particular for those who have ever run the Dublin City marathon but author Sean McGoldrick, despite being a sports journalist and runner himself didn't think of writing the book himself.

Instead, the idea of a book to mark the 40 years of this great race came from Michael O'Brien, MD of publishers O'Brien Press.

"It was just before Christmas last year when I was approached about it," says Sean, a former journalist with The Sligo Champion, spending seven years with the newspaper from !978 to 1985 before moving to The Sunday World where he still writes. He has run 12 marathons himself, his pb being 3.13 in Chicago in 2005.

He says he has been reduced to being "a social runner now" having "done a job on my knee about eighteen months ago."

"It's wear and tear really but I still manage to get out for a jog every couple of days," says the Newtownmanor, County Leitrim native. His research for the book began in earnest last January, a trip to the library in Pearse Street in Dublin his first port of call and for many visits afterwards.

"My first interview was with Race Director Jim Aughney who has held the position since 1997.

"The idea of course was to have the book out in time for the 40th anniversary next week and we struck to the deadline.

"The running market is a niche one and the book will appeal to those interested in the marathon.I suppose writing a book is like training for a marathon in many ways, you're full of running when you start and you keep yurself going when it gets tough by saying one day it will be finished. The winner's medal at the finish of a marathon is like getting the completed book in the post," says Sean.

Apart from the late Noel Carroll many of the orginal committee are still involved with the DCM and he had great access to them with the result, a fascinating and often behind the scenes look at the marathon from its first in 1980 when it was sponsored by then RTE Radio 2.

"RTE producer, Louis Hogan was in New York on holidays in the 1970s and saw the successful marathon there and he thought about having one in Dublin for the station to use as a marketing tool. He brought the idea to Noel Carroll and it all began from there," says Sean.

Sligo Champion