LOCAL clubs had a number of reasons to celebrate on Monday when current Rathfarnham WSAF member Sean Hehir and Dundrum South Dublin AC’s Maria McCambridge became the first double Irish winners since 1993 of the Airtricity Dublin Marathon.
Hehir, who was the second Irishman home last year, ran a superb race to take the title. He was pushed all the way by marathon debutant Joe Sweeney, also of Dundrum South Dublin, with little between the two until Mile 14, when Sweeney pulled into a narrow lead.
Hehir kept in touch however, and overtook Sweeney at Mile 19. From then on he maintained a comfortable gap going on to win in 2.18:19.
Commenting afterward Hehir said: “To win today, I’ve been in Dublin over 10 years, since I moved here from college, this is my home from home. I am so proud to win it.”
The women’s race was also a close contest between defending champion McCambridge and Leevale AC’s Claire McCarthy. Like Sweeney, McCarthy pulled ahead at around Mile 18 but McCambridge pulled it back to win with 36 seconds to spare, with her husband Gary Crossan crossing the line less than a minute later.
McCambridge is the first person (male or female) to win every race in the Airtricity Dublin Race Series, winning the 5 mile, 10k, 10 mile, half-marathon and now the Dublin Marathon this year.
McCambridge said afterwards: “I am so happy to win my home town marathon. I had to take a pit stop around 18 miles. My legs just started to go on me. I just had to run through it, it was a big battle, but I am very proud to win Dublin.”
To celebrate the first Irish double win in 20 years, Airtricity presented both winners with two years’ free energy and they also received a new Renault Fluence ZE electric car, courtesy of associate sponsors Renault.
Maeve Barry had an added bonus when she crossed the line in 4.49:36 as the announcer informed her that she had also won a brand new Renault Fluence ZE electric car as part of a random draw between all entrants in Race Series and marathon for a third car provided by Renault.
Paul Hannan took his fourth Dublin Marathon Wheelchair title with a comfortable win over Jim Corbett, his last win was in 2011.
Over 14,600 entered this year’s Dublin Marathon, the 34th running of the event.