Sean Hehir and Pauline Curley were crowned national champions at the SSE Airtricity Dublin marathon as Alemu Gemechu and Nataliya Lehonkova took overall glory ahead of a record entry of over 15,000 participants in wet and windy conditions.
Sean Hehir, who had a quick turnaround from the Berlin marathon on September 27th, led the field around the first turn but from there on it was an African procession at the head of proceedings. Ethiopia’s Alemu Gemechu eventually prevailed in 2:14:01 while Ukraine’s Nataliya Lehonkova trumped the Africans in the women’s race in 2:31:08.
The battle of the Irish saw Sean Hehir keen to erase the pain of Berlin where he was the fifth Irish man and outside the Olympic qualifying standard (2:17:00) running 2:17:48.
“It was a balancing act between absorbing the effort from Berlin, recovering and trying to win the national title. I’m very happy with the sub 2:20. That’s special and to be national marathon champion that’s very special too.”
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) put in a brave effort for national silver running 2:25:21 with the 42-year-old showing no signs of slowing down yet. David Mansfield (Clonliffe Harriers) bagged the bronze in 2:30:45.
Ballymore-Cobh AC take silver in W35 team, on 9:54:38, just 1:38 behind winners Westport, on 9:53:01
St Finbarrs AC take Gold in M35 Category, on 8:12:23, just 7 seconds ahead of Donore Harriers
Eagle AC took Gold in the M50 category, on 8:49:56, with a massive
20 minute margin over Mullingar Harriers, 9:19:23, with St Finbarr's AC
taking Bronze, in 9:29:05