The Woodies DIY Half Marathon Challenge incorporating the National Championship of Ireland will take place this Sunday, 2nd of September. The event will take place in Presentation College, Athenry starting at 1pm sharp. The race features some of Ireland’s top club athletes who will battle it out in the hopes of claiming a coveted national title.
The men’s race looks likely to be a head to head battle between club mates Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers AC) and Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC). Both athletes have been in fine form recently with O’Hanlon impressing by winning the Longford Marathon. At the same event, Moldovan native Ciobanu cruised to victory in the half marathon. Others likely to feature on the day include the defending champion Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF AC). Hehir is coming off a solid third place finish in the Tinryland 4 mile road race and is likely to challenge again for a podium position.
Hehir is backed up by team mate Barry Minnock (Rathfarnham WSAF) in the race as Rathfarnham WSAF will aim to re-capture the title they won 12 months ago. They will need to be close to their best to hold off the challenge from Clonliffe Harriers. Other clubs likely to challenge include host club Athenry AC and local club Galway City Harriers AC, as both have entered multiple teams for Sundays event.
The favorite to take the women’s title will be the inform Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny AC). McCambridge has been in tremendous form as of late by winning the Frank Duffy 10 Mile race in a fast 55.13. Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers AC) is a likely challenger to McCambridge. Connolly is in the middle of her build up for the Dublin city marathon and will use Sunday’s race as key preparation for that.
Coinciding with the championship, the highly successful Marathon Mission Squad will be on site meeting with endurance coaches and athletes from the Connaught area. Please see link for further details: Marathon Mission
Aside from the championship element of the competition, there will be a number of recreational runners taking to the start line on Sunday. There is close to 400 entries already entered and participants are urged to enter for €20 up until Friday 31st of August. Late entries will be taken up until 12pm on race day, at €25.