Jack Power offers a run down on the recent Dublin City Marathon
The Dublin Marathon took place last week, sale spanning through the streets of Dublin. It was another huge success, salve in drawing runners from all across the world, drugstore and setting a record for the most ever Irish entries into the run.
The golden medals went to two Kenyan runners this year with Eliud Too claiming the men’s, and Esteher Macharia winning the women’s title. Although last years defending champion, Irish woman Maria McCambridge was only just piped to the finish line and had to consolidate second place. Maria however took gold in the Irish National Championship medals, with Sergiu Ciobanu winning the men’s.
The Marathon for many ordinary Irish runners and athletes is however not a race between others to the fastest finish, but a race with themselves. It is a huge battle of stamina, determination, running ability, fitness and sheer will power to simply finish the race. There was a great ambiance of emotion, encouragement and good will from all the supporters towards the runners, and the runners were buoyed on by cheering crowds from start to finish.
This Dublin City Marathon was also full of many inspirational stories and people. Patrick Monahan set a new wheelchair race record for Dublin, in an outstanding display of overcoming adversity. Several runners also demonstrated that running is not just a young mans game. Limerick man John Collin finished his 30th marathon, 83 years young, he was one of many distinguished older runners proving they’ve still got the legs for it.
Joseph Clifford ran the marathon while pushing his intellectually disabled brother Ciaran, who is bound to a wheelchair. Cork women Sinead Kane over came her personal challenges of being visually impaired to run and finish the marathon in an excellent time, with the aid of a running guide. Other light hearted runner-stories included a man proposing to his partner on the finish line after running the marathon, a runner dressed in a large Lego man costume, and only in Ireland – a man dressed as Jesus, complete with makeshift cross.
The enthusiasm, participation and interest in the marathon, from those who ran and those who watched is all relative to the uptake in running and jogging as one of the primary past-times of many Irish men and women over the last few decades. Running is now seen by many as there way to keep fit, but also to relax and take a break.
Dublin is blessed with many perfect running routes, from the Phoenix Park, to the coastal runs along Dublin bay which have enhanced the profile of the sport in ireland. Athletics as a competitive sport has always been popular in Ireland, from several great ‘underdog’ Irish Olympians throughout the years, like Sonia O’Sullivan. One rising athlete for the future is UCD’s own Mark English. Mark took home a bronze medal over the summer at the European Athletic Championship in Zuirch in the 800 meters. Mark is but one starlet to come from a healthy crop one young running talent in Ireland.
Photo credit: Thejournal.ie