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Hehir and Curley set for battle to defend national crowns in Dublin


Dublin Marathon preview - Hehir and Curley set to battle to retain national crowns

Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham) and Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) will be bidding to retain their national titles as the East Africans will surely dominate the head of the record field at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon this Sunday (October 30).

Hehir won the Dublin Marathon in 2013 in a time of 2:18:19 and won the national title last year. In April this year, he ran a personal best time of 2:17:20 in London and just missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics.

Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers), another to have narrowly missed out on Rio selecation, ran a personal best time of 2:15:14 in Berlin last year and will be bidding for national glory.

Other contenders include Mark Kirwan (Raheny Shamrock) who also set a personal best time of 2:19:30 in Berlin last year; Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) is Ireland’s most prolific elite marathon runner and continues to win marathons here in Ireland on a regular basis.  He set a personal best time of 2:21:42 in London last April.

An interesting entry is David McCarthy (West Waterford) who has excelled on the track with a 3:55 mile and bronze medal over 5,000m metres at the European U23 Championships in 2009. His fellow club mate Philip Harty should also feature in a battle for podium positions along with Eoin Flynn of Rathfarnham.

The evergreen Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) is as prolific on the roads as Gary O’Hanlon and she will be looking to add gold to her surprise victory last year. The Offaly woman, who ran in the Beijing Olympics, had only recently recovered from knee surgery last year.

She will face stiff competition from Fionnuala Ross (Armagh) who set personal bests in 2016 for the marathon and half marathon – 2:49:57 in London and 74:15 for the half marathon.

 Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) only started running in 2014 but has since progressed to 2:48:03 in London this year. She ran 2:56:46 last year to bag bronze in Dublin and a time of 78:51 saw her win the national half marathon title in August as part of the Rock ‘N’ Roll event.  

Norah Newcombe Pieterse (Mayo) should also feature while Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny), who was third in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon in 80:33, will be another strong conteder. She ran 2:44:33 in Rotterdam last April. Her best time is 2:36:17 which she also recorded in that event in 2012 to qualify her for the Olympics.

Le Cheile's Patrick Monahan will be looking to win the wheelchair title.

You can follow all the athletes on the day with the Dublin Marathon tracking app HERE

19,500 runners will toe the line in the capital which also incorporates the national marathon championship that has also seen a huge upsurge in numbers. Last year 3,200 Athletics Ireland club members ran and this year will see close to 6,000 take part in the national championship.

West Waterford had the novel idea of marking this historic occasion in Irish history by having 100 members sign up and they have surpassed that with 150 – the largest club entry for 2016. Other clubs with large entries are Clonmel, Slaney Olympic, Drogheda & District, Crusaders A.C, Finn Valley and Raheny Shamrock.

See the elite list below courtesy of SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.


Asefe Legese Bekele


Asefa finished in 3rd place in Dublin last year in a time of 2.14.21

Dereje Yadete Woldegiyorgis


2010 2nd place Eurasia 2.11.53

Fikru Lulseged Teshager


Fikru ran the Dublin Marathon last year and returned recently to finish in 2nd place in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon.

Dereje Debele Tulu


2009 2nd place Vienna 2.09.08

2009 4th place Berlin 2.09.41

2010 5th place Dubai 2.09.43

2010 8th place Prague 2.11.13

2011 8th place Mumbai 2.12.44

2012 3rd place Chongqing 2.10.41

2012 2nd place Stockholm 2.19.45

2013 4th place Marrakesh 2.10.08

2013 1st place Dusseldorf 2.07.48

2014 3rd place Xiamen 2.09.35

2015 2nd place Mumbai 2.10.31

2015 11th place Warsaw 2.11.47

2016 9th place Mumbai 2.15.30

2016 8th place Dongying 2.13.51

Dereje Urgecha Beyecha


Has run 2.12.26 at high altitude in Ethiopia.  Dereje has the potential to run 2.08

Lezan Kipkogei Kimutai


Lezan is a regular visitor to Dublin and a winner of the event in 2004 in a time of 2.13.08.

He won the over 40 category in 2014 in a time of 2.22.34

Peter Kipchumba Letting


This is Peter’s first trip to Dublin and he is a training partner of Lezan Kimutai.

Hillary Chirchir


Hillary won the Vitality North London Half Marathon in 2015 in a time of 1.05.35

Gideon Kipsang Kimosop


2015 1st place Ordos Marathon 2.16.44

2015 1st place Belfast Half Marathon 1.04.24

In April this year, Gideon won the SSE Airtricity 10 mile race in Derry in a time of 50.04

Samuel Kimutai Kiptum


Samuel has personal best times as follows: 10K 29.31, Half Marathon 63.07 and Triest Marathon 2016 2.13.44

Peter Chege Wangari


Peter finished in 7th place in the Vienna City Marathon last April in a time of 2.13.48

Yurii Ruskyuk


Has the following personal best times: 10K 28.49.

Half Marathon 64.12 and marathon time of 2.17.28 from 2013.

Freddy Keron Sittuk


2013 1st place Guernsey Waterfront Marathon 2.18.11

2014 1st place Belfast City Marathon 2.18.30

2015 1st place SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon 2.22.34

2015 5th place SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2.15.19

Leswene Africa Mailola

South Africa

2014 9th place Cape Town Marathon 2.17.58.

Leswene is coached by former Dublin Marathon winner, Zacharia Mpolokeng.

Sean Hehir


Sean won the Dublin Marathon in 2013 in a time of 2.18.19.  In April this year, he ran a personal best time of 2.17.20 in London and just missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics.  He has a half marathon best time of 1.05.12 from Cardiff 2013.

Sergiu Ciobanu


Sergiu ran a personal best time of 2.15.14 in Berlin last year and narrowly missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics.  He has a half marathon best time of 1.04.48 from Omagh 2012.

Mark Kirwan


Mark set a personal best time of 2.19.30 in Berlin last year.

Gary O’Hanlon


Gary is Ireland’s most prolific elite marathon runner and continues to win marathons here in Ireland on a regular basis.  He set a personal best time of 2.21.42 in London last April.

Philip Harty


Philip has a personal best marathon time of 2.21.53 from Berlin 2013.  Earlier this year, he won the Limerick Half Marathon in a time of 1.09.46.

David McCarthy


This will be a big step up for David who has some very fast middle distance times.  He won the bronze medal at the 5000 metres in the European U.23 Championship in 2009.

He has personal best times as follows:

1500M  3.39.59

Mile (i) 3.55.75

5000M 13.42.11

Eoin Flynn


Eoin has a best time of 2.25.01 from 2014.


Meseret Legese Biratu


2014 3rd place Danzhou 2.39.45

2015 3rd place Madrid 2.34.32

2015 3rd place Stockholm 2.35.24

Tsehay Alemu Maru


Alem Fikre Kifle


Ehite Bizuayehu Gebireyes


2013 1st place Seville 2.29.52

2013 6th place Hengshui 2.35.35

2014 2nd place Mumbai 2.33.48

2014 1st place Warsaw 2.30.30

2014 1st place Firenze 2.31.28

2015 1st place Venice 2.35.19

2016 3rd place Hong Kong 2.37.28

2016 3rd place Dongying 2.32.02

Motu Mergesa Gedefa


Motu trains with Olympic bronze medallist, Mare Dibaba.  This will be her debut marathon.

Priscah Jemutai Bartenge


2014 6th place Zurich 2.42.00

Purity Jerono Talam


Viola Jelegat


Viola has the following personal bests:  5K 15.40 and Half Marathon 69.27 (Piacenza, Italy 2015)

Helalia Johannes


2011 winner of the Dublin Marathon in a time of 2.30.37.

2012 3rd place Vienna 2.27.20

2012 12th place London Olympics 2.26.09

2012 6th place Dublin 2.35.01

2013 6th place Tokyo 2.29.20

2014 3rd place Seoul 2.28.27

Alina Armas


Alina has a personal best time of 2.33.09 from the Mungyeong Marathon in 2015 where she finished in 4th place.  She won the Namibian National Championship in 2013 in a time of 2.35.33.

Olena Burkovska


2010 2nd place Nagano 2.31.53

2010 5th place Berlin 2.28.31

2011 21st place World Championship Daegu 2.34.21

2011 9th place Tokyo 2.33.30

2012 9th place Seoul 2.32.16

2012 48th Place London Olympics 2.33.26

2013 1st place Hannover 2.27.07

2014 3rd Istanbul 2.31.30

2015 8th place Nagoya 2.29.45

Gemma Rankin


Fionnuala Ross

Northern Ireland

Laura Graham

Northern Ireland

Pauline Curley


Caitriona Jennings


Norah Newcombe Pieterse


Sophie Carter



Patrick Monahan


Richie Powell


Paul Hannan

Northern Ireland

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