Over 20,000 people ran from Fitzwilliam Square through the Phoenix Park and back to Merrion Square to complete the Dublin marathon on Sunday, October 28th according to organizers.
Ethiopia’s Asefa Bekele won the race with a time of 2:13:23. He received the price money of €12,000. Mesera Dubiso, also from Ethiopia, came first in the women’s race 20 minutes later.
Mick Colohisky of Raheny Shamrocks Club was the fastest Irish man to cross the finish line and had the fastest time of any Irish person since 1991. He finished sixth overall in the race.
Cork athlete Lizzie Lee finished on the podium, coming in third in the women’s division. Her time of 2:35:03 was the fastest by an Irish woman since 2014. “I had a dream race,” she told the Irish Times. “I just couldn’t keep with the two Ethiopians when they picked it up in the last two miles.”
The other competitors congregated outside the finish line of Marrion Square where they met loved ones.“It’s one of the best run marathons” said Michael Harris, 50. “Couldn’t fault it at all.” The man from the Lisburn running club said that it was a “perfect day for running, great crowds.”
People from all over the world came to run the marathon, including Sarah John, 28, from Wales. When asked why she ran today, she said: “I plan to run a marathon every year. I ran the Amsterdam one last year.”Pictured: Sarah John and Ben Holland from Wales and England.
Some first-time runners felt encouraged to do it again.
“Maybe the first of many!” said Hannah, aged 25. “You kinda have to have a strange sense of fun to able to run 42 kilometers and enjoy it. The support from start to finish was like unbelievable.”
The motives the competitors had for running the race varied. “My mates decided to do it and pulled out,” explained Will Stafford, 38. Stafford said he felt “pretty stiff” after completing the marathon. “But it was a good day in fairness,” he said.
This was the 39th edition of the race, first organized in 1980. It is the fifth largest marathon in Europe. It took place from 9am on Sunday until 5pm that evening.
By Peter O’Neill
Image Credit: Peter O’Neill