Dereje Debele Tulu of Ethiopia and Nambibian runner, Helalia Johannes claimed the honours in today’s 37th SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. 19,500 runners lined up for the first time on a Sunday in Fitzwilliam square to complete what has now become the fourth largest marathon in Europe.
Taking the lead from the three mile mark, Tulu built his advantage to solo to the finish line in a time of 2:12:18 comfortably ahead of fellow Ethiopians, Dereje Urgecha Beyecha (2:14:38) and Asafa Legese Bekele (2:15:01).
In the women’s race, a small pack worked together until a breakaway near to the finish line. It was a close contest between Ehite Bizuayehu of Ethiopia and Johannes who took the victory by two seconds in a time of 2:32:32. Viola Jelagat of Kenya took third in 2:35:03.
Kildare’s Patrick Monahan defended his Dublin Marathon Wheelchair title for the third consecutive year with a comfortable lead over Richie Powell (2:06:54) and John McCarthy (2:48:29) in his fastest course time ever of 1:39:18.
Challenging fot the Athletics Ireland National Championships, Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) and Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF A.C.) pushed side by side until the 20 kilometre mark where Ciobanu opened up a lead. Hehir responded but was Ciobanu held his pace and claimed his fourth National title with a personal best time of 2:17:40 beating Hehir’s 2:18:46. Mark Kirwan of Raheny Shamrocks A.C. took his first ever podium finish in 2:22:17.
Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) was crowned the Irish National Women’s champion taking the line in a time of 2:41:54, nearly three minutes ahead of Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC) (2:44:59) and Tullamore Harrier’s Pauline Curley (2:48:38).
Delighted with his performance, Ciobanu commented;
“It’s an unbelievable win for me, I really wanted to win the National Championship again. This is my best Dublin Marathon – previously my time was 2:19:00, today I improved by two minutes. I had such a huge support from my family and the crowds.”
Tenacious performances came not only from the elite field, but from the range of motivated participants and supporters who took part in the event in honour of a cause or to achieve a personal goal. Among them, was Team Kerr, who prior to the race, was presented with the Lord Mayors Medal.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr presented David and Sandra Kerr who form part of Team Kerr, alongside their son, Aaron who battles with medical issues including Cerebral Palsy. As a family they have pioneered assisted chair running and ‘inclusion’ by pushing Aaron in races around the country to share their message of ‘Running and Rolling Together’. Today marked their 25th marathon.
To celebrate the 1916 centennial, all participants received a commemorative finishers medal.