Byrne delight in sealing Olympic spot

Brendan White

DCU graduate, Linda Byrne, has qualified for the Olympic games after completing the Dublin Marathon in 2:36.21, inside the Olympic A standard of 2:37. As well as achieving the Olympic standard, Byrne also won the women’s national marathon title, finishing sixth overall in the race.

This was the highlight performance of twenty-five-year-old Linda Byrne’s athletic career to date and the Dundrum South Dublin runner ran a well-planned race where good pace judgement played a central role in the first marathon she has completed.

Last year Byrne ran seventeen miles of the Dublin Marathon to get a feel for the event but, by year end, illness forced her to take a lengthy break from training.

Byrne had shown a lot of promise through Junior and Under-23 ranks, but her career took a dip after that. “I lost a bit of confidence for a while, but I have had great support from my family and friends and also my coach, Enda Fitzpatrick” she said. “I have also found Marathon Mission – the support plan set up by the Dublin Marathon and Athletics Ireland-to have been of great assistance” she said.

Byrne ran a sensibly paced race and only found the going really tough in the final six miles. “The crowd support along the marathon route was brilliant and it was only after 20 miles that I began to really feel the pressure,” she said.

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