Athletics: Woodie’s DIY National Marathon Championships Preview

The Woodie’s DIY National Marathon Championships will take place on bank holiday Monday the 28th of October as part of the 2013 Airtricity Dublin City Marathon.

A number of Ireland’s top marathon runners will be chasing national titles and with no elite overseas entries participating this year, Marathon Monday is likely to see a domestic athlete cross the line first.

The leading contenders in the men’s race are likely to be Joe Sweeney (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF), Sergiu Ciabanu, Gary O’ Hanlon both of Clonliffe Harriers and Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders AC). Of the women’s field watch out for the likes of Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Clare McCarthy (Leevale AC) and Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers AC)

Athletes seeking selection for the 2014 European Championship Marathon in Zurich will have an eye on the qualification times of 2:17.00 for the men and 2:38.00 for the women.

With defending champion Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders AC) not returning to defend his title after his exploits in the recent IAAF World Championship Marathon in Moscow,where he finished in a magnificent 16th place, this leaves the door open for a number of other contenders to claim the national title. Joe Sweeney under the guidance of his coachJerry Kiernan is making his marathon debut. Sean Hehir will be one to watch after a recent personal best over the half marathon distance in a time of 65.11 in the Cardiff Half Marathon where he finished eight. Hehir placed second in last year’s national championships in a time of 2:17.35. Other athletes to watch out for in the race for the title include Sergiu Ciabanu, Gary O’ Hanlon and Paddy Hamilton.

The women’s race looks set to be dominated by defending champion Maria McCambridge. McCambridge ran a personal best of 2:35.28 on route to victory at last year’s event and will have a point to prove on Monday. McCambridge unfortunately had to withdraw from the World Championship marathon due to heat exhaustion; however she bounced back in style with victory in the Dublin Half Marathon in September.  Challengers on the day could come from Clare McCarthy and Pauline Curley both of which are rounding into good form at just the right time.

The competition for the individual and team medals in the national championship will be keenly contested with a record number of over 2,000 athletes entered into the championship.



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