Happy Harriers in Dublin

Happy Harriers in Dublin

7 November 2018

LAST Sunday’s annual Dublin Marathon saw over 16,200 entrants take to the streets of Ireland’s Fair City.

Competitors came from all over the world to take part, amongst these runners were 27 from Crossgar Harriers, who had sweated blood and tears over the past several months in preparation for their big day. 

Of these 27, eight were participating in their first ever marathon, so a huge congratulations to those.

As participants gathered at the initial meeting point in Fitzwilliam Street from before 9am, the start line seemed like one heaving mass of apprehension as participants contemplated the physical exertions of a 26.2 mile jaunt through the heart of the capital that lay ahead. 

The crowds more than played their part, and hordes of spectators — including a boisterous Crossgar contingent) —thronged the route, bearing messages of support and encouragement. The route itself took runners through the city centre before making its way through the leafy suburbs and into Phoenix Park. From there the masses made their way to Chapelizod, Crumlin and Clonskeagh before making the final few miles back to the city centre via University College Dublin and the RDS.

For the Harriers, it was a weekend that won’t be forgotten, with great camaraderie and excitement shared by all. As special word of praise to all the debutants as this can be daunting doing your first marathon, but all stuck to their plans, ran strongly and took in the experience. From these debutants, Gary Cunningham posted a fantastic 3.45 and was closely followed by our first female home, Bronagh Gill, who ran even splits to cross the finish line in 3.49. Next debutant, who had swapped the bike for the trainers at just eight weeks notice, was Stephen Irvine (3.57), with Orla Tumelty (3.59) leaving nothing on the course to break the sub four hour mark and produce the biggest smile of the day. 

The trio of Clair Kennedy, Karen Smyth and Joanna Miskelly enjoyed their first 26.2 miles and clocked an impressive 4.17, with Elaine McAuley, who has worked tirelessly, ably accompanied by husband Gerard, crossed the line in 4.22 – with such impressive debuts surely this will not be last time we will be seeing all these runners over the marathon distance.

As well as above, in perfect running conditions there were many outstanding performances, with as many as seven PB’s, none more so than first Harrier home, Paddy McCormick (3.40 PB), who was completing his sixth marathon of the year. 

The next three Harriers home encouraged each other round for majority of the race and were all within minutes of each other with Shane McKay (3.44 PB), Ian Smyth (3.46) and Paul Casement (3.48 PB).  

There was another huge effort and deserved PB in a time of 3.50 for Matthew Donaghy and he was closely followed home by Davy Ferris, Adam McKee and Philip Irvine, the latter two suffering from sickness and ankle injuries respectively, so, again, an amazing effort. 

More PB’s where to come from Ryan Miskelly (3.54) and Fintan Murray (3.56), with Ryan knocking an impressive 30 minutes of his previous best. The boys were accompanied by Gavin Murray, who within the last month completed the Berlin Marathon also.

More heroics and great determination was to come from Sinead Kinsella with an impressive time of just over the four hour mark, followed in by Gary Curran, who was completing his 50th marathon, made all the more special with the fantastic numbers (and supporters) sent down by the Crossgar club. 

Our final four runners home highlighted what the Harriers are all about with great team work and club spirit to the forefront. Cathrina Kielty (4.42) smashed her PB by over 30 minutes and was accompanied the majority of the way by top local referee Barry Mullan, who comfortably broke the five hour mark. 

Another two men who crossed the finish line almost as one were Michael Kinsella and Marty Caldwell (4.43), ensuring that all Harriers safely made it home.

The Harriers would also like to thank all those who made their way to Dublin to support the runners along the route, this makes a real difference to see a known face or faces, and can often give runners the lift they need. 

A word of thanks also to all other local running clubs whose support was appreciated en route. 

Finally a huge thank you as ever to Kilmore Coach Hire for getting us to Dublin and back safely – great service as always. 

Hopefully, we will be welcoming many readers/local runners at our annual Santa Run on Sunday, December 2, a great way to finish off 2018.