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Hehir and McCambridge complete All-Ireland glory

Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF crosses the line to win the men's race in a time of 2.18.19.
Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF crosses the line to win the men's race in a time of 2.18.19.
Women's race winner Maria McCambridge, Dundrum South Dublin AC, punches the air as she approaches the line in a time of 2:38:51
Clare hurling hero, and Sean Hehir’sformer classmate Pat Donnellan
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

WHATEVER is in the water in Clare they should start bottling it!

A month after Banner hurling captain Pat Donnellan lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup, his primary school classmate became the first Irishman in 20 years to win the Airtricity Dublin Marathon.

"We were in the same class, it's just a small coincidence," said Sean Hehir (28) from Kilkishen, near Tulla, after making some more sporting history for the blue and saffron yesterday.

The Inchicore-based primary school teacher has plenty of roots in Clare hurling himself as his father Sean played half-back for the county alongside Ger Loughnane and Sean Stack and won National League honours.

Hehir's younger brother Diarmuid was a recent Clare U-21 hurler, his sister Cushla Og plays camogie and runs for the county, and there to greet him on the finish line yesterday was his mum Cushla, who is a former junior international runner.

"Patrick Donnellan is from the same village," Hehir explained.

"I met him at the East Clare 10km this year and I was in Croke Park for both All-Ireland finals.

"Yes, it has been a good year for Clare," he agreed.

Hehir's historic victory added to the Banner's sporting roar as he breasted the tape in 2:18.19 to become the first Irishman to win the Dublin Marathon since John Treacy in 1993.

He was 13th overall last year and was helped by the fact that the race included no foreign elite runners this year, but still had to survive a ding-dong battle with Dundrum South Dublin's Joe Sweeney, and also had a very narrow escape with a cyclist in the final few miles.

Hehir's coach Dick Hooper, a three-time Dublin winner himself, scored a big double as he also coaches Maria McCambridge of DSD, who was the first Irish winner of the women's race since Sonia O'Sullivan in 2000.

Fears of a hurricane had forced the organisers to pull out all contingencies, including having tree surgeons on standby in case any trees came down in the Phoenix Park, but conditions turned out to be far better than expected.

And despite the absence of international invitees, huge crowds turned out to cheer on the 14,500 participants, and many felt the atmosphere at the 34th Dublin Marathon was the best in years.

Looking for a result from the Dublin Marathon? Click here to search the list of the brave souls who completed the 26-mile race.

Irish Independent

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