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Celebrating Female Runners At Dublin City Marathon 


The 39th running of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon takes place this Sunday, 28th October with 20,000 runners set to hit the streets of Dublin.  This year sees a very special recognition and celebration of female runners with Constance Markievicz on the finishers medal. Since 1980 the number of female participants has increased from 70 to 7,000.

A stacked field of international elite athletes are set to compete against some of Ireland’s top athletes including;  Olympians Lizzie Lee, Caitriona Jennings and Mick Clohisey who will all look to take a share of the €120k prize pot on offer.  The race will also play host to the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships where current National Champion Gary O’Hanlon is hoping to defend his title.

This year’s race also incorporates the European Police Championships. In the Wheelchair race, four-time champion Patrick Monahan will have to contend with a strong international field. For many others taking part, this will be their first marathon and the achievement will be crossing the line.

Speaking about this year’s event Race Director Jim Aughney said: ‘We are delighted to again have a sold-out entry of 20,000. The marathon has grown 10-fold from just over 2,000 runners in 1980 to 20,000 today. I am also proud that we are celebrating female runners today, with a special mention to Mary (Hickey) who has competed in every marathon since we started back in 1980.’

Celebrating Female Runners

This year is a celebration of female runners, linking with the nationwide commemoration of Vótáil 100. Constance Markievicz, a key campaigner for Irish women’s voting rights, will appear on the finishers medal. The Dublin Marathon has over the years, attracted women of all ages and fitness levels from around Ireland and across the globe.  66-year-old Mary Hickey, the only women to have competed in 38 Dublin Marathons and was one of the women who took part in the first event in 1980, said:I really feel I’m blessed. It’s not everyone that can run a race 39 years in-a-row. Life hits you in so many ways so to get to the start-line every year, I’m amazed and surprised by that really and regard myself as very lucky”.


Preview – Women’s Elite Field

In the elite women’s field Remalda Kergyte of Lithuania, with a personal best of 2.35.13, will be one of the key contenders.  Others include winner of this year’s Belfast Marathon (2.41.17) and Edinburgh Marathon, Caroline Jepchirchir of Kenya. Motu Gedefa of Ethiopia who finished third in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in 2016 (2.36.25) will be joined by fellow country womanMesera Dubiso.  Ireland’s Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) will be looking to make her mark in her second everDublin Marathon, she last competed in 2006. The Olympic marathoner has a personal best of 2:32.51 from Berlin in 2015. The Cork woman has shown good form this year, setting a new personal best in the Half Marathon of 1:13:19 at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in March and winning the Women’s Mini Marathon in June.

The national title will be a battle between Lee and fellow Olympian Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC). The Donegal woman placed second in the 2017 National Championships. Other contenders include Jane Ann Meehan (Galway City Harriers) and Zola Flynn (Calry AC). Reigning national champion Laura Graham will not line up due to injury.


Preview – Men’s Elite Field

In the Men’s field, last year’s winner (2:15:53) Benard Rotich of Kenya is set to toe the line. Fellow countrymen Vincent Tonui, Eric Koech and Joel Kiptoo are all likely to be top 10 finishers. Asefa Bekele of Ethiopia who finished third in 2017 and 2015 will also be a key contender.

There are several athletes vying for the national honours who have the potential to run sub 2:20. Last year’s national champion Gary O’Hanlon (running a personal best of 2.18.53) will be joined by Clonliffe clubmates Sergiu Ciobanu and David Flynn. In September, O’Hanlon won the master’s category in Berlin Marathon and won the Cork City Marathon in June. Flynn won the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon in 1.06.21. Dublin will be his debut marathon. Stephen Scullion will not line up as he is recovering from injury.

Raheny AC’s Mick Clohisey will also be in the mix after he ran a personal best of 2.14.55 in the 2018 Seville Marathon and finished 18th at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin in August. Other contenders include Tomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC), Thomas Frazer (St Malachy’s AC), Eoin Callaghan (Sar of the Sea AC) and Louis McCarthy (Rathfarnham AC).

Wheelchair Race

Four-time Dublin Marathon Wheelchair winner and Rio 2016 Paralympian, Patrick Monahan (Ireland) will have a competitive international field to contend with this year. Britain’s Johnboy Smith will be a tough competitor, he secured a Commonwealth Games Silver Medal in the Marathon (T54) this year and is also a previous Seville and Manchester Marathon winner. Sam Kolek of Poland who is currently ranked eighth in Europe will also be in contention. Richie Powell (Wales) who represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games and Sean Frame (Scotland) will also be at the start line.

Photo Credit: Dublin City Marathon