By Frank Greally
Athletics Clubs from all over Dublin City were well represented at Sunday’s Irish Life Dublin Marathon, won by Kemal Husen of Ethiopia in a course record time of 2:06:52 – an amazingly fast time, especially considering the wet weather conditions.
Sorome Negash made it an Ethiopian double when she finished in 2:26:22 – just short of the women’s course record.
This was the 42nd running of the Dublin Marathon, an event that also incorporated the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships.
Stephen Scullion from Clonliffe Harriers in Santry came home a winner in the men’s national championship, finishing in 2:11:51 – short of his Irish marathon record of 2:09, set in 2019.
The Clonliffe Harriers Olympian and Belfast native also finished third overall.
“If you’ve ever watched the Tyson Fury documentary, that’s me,” Scullion said.
“In the morning I’m entering the Dublin Marathon and going to win it. In the evening, I’m like, I can’t believe I’ve done that. Running is easy – it’s life that’s hard.”
Scullion’s national marathon winning time, and the qualifying points gained via winning the title, puts him in contention for next year’s Paris Olympic Games. He also had a good payday in Dublin – winning €6,000 for his overall third placing – an Irish time bonus of €5,000 for running sub 2:12, plus €3,500 for being the top Irish finisher.
“I’d love to go to the Olympics, but this is about one day at a time,” Scullion said. “It’s about believing in yourself, and if you have a bad day that’s OK; dust it off and try again tomorrow. Like, I doubted myself maybe 15 times on that Dublin Marathon course today. What am I going to tell people if I stop? How am I going to explain it? What’s my reason? And I just went – ah f..k it kid, it’s just one more mile- keep going.”
Scullion has spoken openly about his mental health challenges over the years and he has often struggled with the marathon distance; dropping out of the Tokyo Olympic Marathon around half-way. But he is resilient, and this victory in Dublin suggests that a second shot at competing in an Olympic Marathon is now within his reach.
It was a hugely satisfying day, too, for Ann Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny Athletic Club, who won the national women’s title when finishing fifth overall in 2:34:13.
The Tullamore native won her first national track title at age 14 – all of thirty years ago. Now she’s a 43-year-old mother of two and still has a well-preserved fighting spirit.
“Passing Clonskeagh and UCD, where I’d gone to university, I pumped my fist to the spirit of Noel Carroll,” McGlynn said.” Noel, who was one of the founders of the Dublin Marathon, died suddenly thirty years ago.
“He had been my coach at UCD for just a couple of months before he died. I had his name on my hand in the marathon and I was praying to him to get me through.”
Raheny Shamrock AC, Donore Harriers, Clonliffe Harriers, Sportsworld, Rathfarnam AC, Brother Pearse AC, Dublin Bay RC, Crusaders AC, Waterstown Warriors, Lucan AC and the newly formed Ballymun AC, were among the Dublin clubs well represented in the marathon.
Another new club called D15, based in Blanchardstown, was led home by Seanagh Carton, who was placed 24th in the women’s race in 3:06:04. Her mother Martina finished in 3:55:04.
Clonliffe Harriers had another strong performer in Gary O’Hanlon, a former national marathon champion, who posted 2:26:33 to place 19th overall and first in the Over 45 age category.
Sorcha Loughnane of Donore Harriers was the first Dublin club runner to finish, in 2:45:31. Kane Collins – also from Donore Harriers – finished 15th in 2:25:25.
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