Home News Road to Rio begins in earnest in Berlin

Road to Rio begins in earnest in Berlin


A host of Irish athletes will have their eyes on Olympic qualification at the Berlin marathon on Sunday morning. 40,000 runners will line up at the world’s fastest marathon in Berlin’s Tiergarten for the 41st edition of the event with Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) and Lizzie Lee (Leevale) leading the Irish charge.

The Olympic standard for the men is 2:17:00 while the women’s is set at 2:42:00. You can view the selection policy here

 Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders)

Paul Pollock has been the leading Irish road runner the last number of years and finished 21st in the marathon at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 in 2:16:46. His best marathon time of 2:16:30 comes from the Dublin marathon in 2012 where he finished 9th overall and first Irish man. He also boasts an impressive half marathon best of 62:10 from the world half marathon championships where he finished 30th in Copenhagen in 2014.

Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock)

Mick Clohisey made an impressive marathon in Rotterdam in April running 2:17:43. Clohisey has won national titles on the road, cross country and track over the last 18 months. He finished second in the national half in August in 65:20. Two weeks ago he ran 65:08 in Derry at the Waterside half to comfortably win and indicate his good form ahead of his second marathon this weekend.

Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF)

Hehir famously won the Dublin marathon in 2:17:35 in 2012 in what remains his best time. He finished 20th at the European championships in Zurich in 2:17:59 and has been training extensively in Font Romeu. He has a half marathon best of 65:24.

Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers)

Sergiu Ciobanu is now fully eligible to compete for Ireland having gotten Irish citizenship and has a best of 2:15:27 from Rotterdam in 2012. His next best time is 2:17:11 set in Hamburg in 2014. He has been in good form of late and had a comfortable solo run to win the Athlone half marathon in 66:19. He was 47th at the world championships in Moscow for his native Moldova in 2:34:17.

Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s)

Seaward was 28th in the European marathon in Zurich in 2014 in 2:20:30. He has a best of 2:18:46 at the Manchester Marathon in 2014. He set a personal best in the half marathon of 65:08 in Reading in March.

Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe Harriers)

Kenneally is listed on the startlist for Berlin and is bidding to become a two-time Olympian. He has a best marathon of 2:13:55 set in Amsterdam in 2011 and went on to finish 57th at the Olympic Games in London 2012 in 2:21:13.

Gary Thornton (Galway City Harriers)

The Galway primary school teacher has a best of 2:17:29 from Rotterdam in 2012. His next best marathon time is 2:18:22 and he will be looking to eclipse the 2:17 mark and get to Rio.

Tomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght)

Makes his marathon debut in Berlin and has a best half time 66:21 set in Lisbon in 2014. He best time this year was at the RockNRoll half in August with 66:32

Mark Hanrahan (Leevale)

Hanrahan will make his marathon debut 66:02 to finish 4th in the RockNRoll half which also incorporated the national half. Has also won the national road 10k title. Ran in the European Cross Country Championships in 2015.

Lizzie Lee (Leevale)

The Cork woman has been in excellent form in 2015 and won the national half marathon title with a new personal best of 73:27 in August. Lee set her marathon personal best of 2:38:09 in Berlin in 2013. This year she also finished second in the Barcelona half in 74:06 behind Florence Kiplagat’s world record of 65:09. The Leevale heroine helped Ireland to team gold in the European cross country championships in 2012 with a 23rd place finish and also contributed to a fine 5th place finish at the world cross country. Now she will be bidding for her first major championship.

Tracking app

You can track all the Irish athletes on https://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/service/bmw-berlinmarathon-app.html

McCormack and McCambridge in pursuit of Rio

Fionnuala McCormack and Maria McCambridge have opted against competing in Berlin to secure Olympic qualification. McCormack, the two-time European Cross Country champion, will run her second marathon in Chicago while McCambridge has decided to run in Frankfurt.

News source : Athetics Ireland