Mayo AC were in Dublin on Sunday (October 30) to compete in the Dublin City Marathon.
The race incorporated Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships.
They were there in strength with an excellent squad of 33, all of whom had prepared well to embrace the race and enjoy the experience and unique atmosphere.
All participants were more than delighted to have the opportunity to run the Dublin City Marathon once again -the first in-person edition of the event since 2019.
For many of Mayo AC runners it was an emotional morning, and a poignant day – a mixture of excited anticipation and sadness.
Mayo AC runners were wearing black ribbons on their singlets in memory of their friend and clubmate Michael McNeela, RIP.
Just before the start the race announcer read this message :
“Over 30 Mayo AC competitors are here today wearing black ribbons on their distinctive red and green singlets in memory of their friend and clubmate, Michael McNeela, who passed away suddenly just 11 days ago on 19th October.
He had trained hard for the marathon and was running strong to be here today.
Michael had completed 3 Dublin City Marathons previously, running a 3:14 PB in 2015.
He is fondly remembered by his running family today.”
At the start Race organisers also acknowledged the memory of Pat Hooper, Irish Olympian, who passed away suddenly in October 2020. This morning, for the first time in 20 years, the Dublin Marathon took place without Pat as official race referee.
Race day was good for running 14°C, bright with a breeze in places.
Many in the Mayo AC squad were looking to better previous Dublin finish times, some were running their first Dublin, and a couple their first marathon.
Their first finisher was Eamonn Joyce who ran the race of his life finishing in a brilliant 2:41 and within seconds of a negative split. He finished with an excellent new PB too – he ran 2:54 in the Clogher marathon two years ago.
There were also brilliant PBs among seven sub3 finishers – both Tadgh Hanrahan and John Gordon ran 2:50, and Gerry Kirrane clocked 2:58. Great running too by Mark Basquille, Darren Flanagan and Colin McDermott –all dipped under 3 hrs .
Colette Tuohy was Mayo first woman finisher, as she was in her debut marathon in 2019 in 3:07.
She ran hundreds of kilometres in training with Michael McNeela along the Greenway and the roads and lanes near Castlebar. She stuck in couragously over the tough final kilometres to cross the Merrion Square finish line in 3:20.
Not far behind were Anne Marie Staunton and Paula Donnellan both finished in 3:33, running consistently well to match their 2019 times.
Tony Hegarty knocked an impressive 23 minutes off his previous best with a well paced 3:35 run. Padraic McVann had a great race too coming home in 3:29.
Newcomer and M70 runner Patrick Sweeney clocked 3:41 – a super time – and is he is probably guaranteed a national silver medal in his category, following his gold in the Half-marathon last month in Fairyhouse.
All finishers have stories of their marathon day.
Post race analysis will includes relief, exhilaration, disappointment and all the other emotions that this adrenaline filled day engenders.
For now it’s time to celebrate their achievements – rest and recovery to follow!
Congratulations to them all!
Huge thanks to all who supported them in the run up to the event at the start, around the course -( 'Up Mayo' was a common refrain from spectators) and at the finish area.
Dublin City Marathon
Sunday October 30, 2022
MAYO AC Finishers: All times unofficial
1 Eamonn Joyce MS 2:41.42
2 Tadgh Hanrahan M40 2:50.10
3 John Gordon M45 2:50.53
Mark Basquille M40 2:57.28
Gerry Kirrane M40 2:58.32
Darren Flanagan M35 2:59.28
Colin McDermott M35 2.59:46
Michael Rocke M35 3:08.57
Sean Hynes MS 3:10.51
John Nolan M45 3:11.02
1 Colette Tuohy W50 3:20.32
John Higgins M35 3:25.47
Shane Heneghan MS 3:28.50
Padraic McVann M50 3:29.15
2 Anne Marie Staunton W40 3:33.25
3 Paula Donnellan W40 3:33.37
Tony Hegarty M55 3:35.48
Patrick Sweeney M70 3:41.37
Damien Glackin M45 3:46.59
Kevin Donnellan M40 3:47.26
Brian Derrig M40 3:49.06
Tom Jennings M55 3:51.47
Damien Finnegan M40 3:54.39
Noelle Kilduff W35 3:55.59
John Nyland M50 3:58.45
Angela McVann W50 4:07.15
Donna Gallagher W45 4:07.55
Julie Higgins W40 4:11.12
Monica Joyce W60 4:20.14
Marcella McDonnell W55 4:23.26
Frank Cloherty M45 4:32.10
Colette McTigue W50 5:07.38
Patricia Nyland W50 5:28.53