The Woodie’s DIY Marathon Championships of Ireland will take place on Monday the 29th of October as part of the Dublin Marathon. A number of Irelands top marathon runners will be chasing national titles.
Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) will step up to the marathon distance and should be the top Irish contender in the men’s race. In September Pollock scored an impressive victory in the Woodie’s DIY Half Marathon Challenge in Athenry, Galway. Pollock continued his good form at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Bulgaria; where he finished in 34th place overall and fifth European athlete across the line. The full marathon distance represents a leap into the unknown for Pollock and he will be hoping to translate his excellent recent form into a top performance.
Another serious contender is marathon specialist Sergui Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC). Ciobanu placed second behind Pollock in Athenry and will be aiming to reverse that position on marathon Monday. Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF) has put in a number of top performances on the road recently and his debut over the mararathon distance is eagerly anticipated. While Joe McAllister, (St Malachy’s A.C), Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers AC) and Barry Minnock (Rathfarnham WSAF) are three other Irish athletes who can be expected to deliver top drawer performances.
With defending champion Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin) concentrating on the cross country season this year, the chase for the women’s title is wide open. Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny AC) has strung together a number of high profile victories on the road, including taking the National Half Marathon title in Athenry. McCambridge will also have one eye on improving her personal best time of 2:35.29 set in Paris three years ago.
Chief rival to McCambridge for the title is likely to come from Barbara Sanchez (Raheny Shamrock AC). Sanchez set a personal best of 75.57 for the half marathon in early September in Copenhagen, signifying a quick time is on the cards. Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers AC), Annette Kealy (Raheny Shamrock AC) and debutant Alish Malone (Clonliffe Harriers AC) are other likely contenders.
The Marathon Mission- a joint project by the Dublin Marathon and Athletics Ireland- aimed at reviving Ireland’s proud history in the classic event- has been a great success and the leading Irish contenders in Monday’s race have all benefited from this innovative programme.
In the Men’s team event last year’s winners, Clonliffe Harriers A.C will be looking to regain their title but they will face tough opposition from Rathfarnham WSAF and Galway City Harriers A.C. While in the women’s side reigning team champions Raheny Shamrock A.C. will be tough to beat.