Graham defends title on delightful day in Dublin
Graham on the double
Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) and Freddy Kerron Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock) came out on top for the national titles at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon today (October 29).
Graham defended her title in 2:39:06 ahead of Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny) in second in 2:42:36 and the evergreen Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) in third in 2:50:53
The performance guaranteed selection for Graham for the European Athletics Championships Marathon Cup team in Berlin next August by winning the national title along with the qualifying standard from the Berlin marathon in September when she ran 2:37:05.
It was a brilliant run for the serial racer and marathon runner whose trophy cabinet continues to grow apace. She had to hold off a strong run from 2012 Olympian Caitriona Jennings who was ahead of her twice in the race.
““It was tough,” said Graham after who was delighted to defend her national title. “I love it. I just enjoy it.”
Pauline Curley was equally ecstatic and in slight shock to have won the bronze medal – her 11th time on the podium.
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) won the men's title in 2:18:52 with Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) second in 2:19:05 with fellow club mate Stephen Scullion third in 2:19:44.
It was an incredible run from O’Hanlon aged 43 who ran a personal best having run a pb in Berlin in September. The Louth native came through strongly in the last mile.
Clonliffe dominated the men’s team race with Sergiu Ciobanu gutting it out for third having struggled early on from mile 6.
Weather conditions were ideal temperature wise but did have a bit of a gusting headwind – particularly into the finish at Fitzwilliam Square.
Thousands of runners donned their club vests to add great colour and energy alongside the other 20,000 competitors.