Athenry Descends on Dublin

Published in Reports on 30th October 2013

Athenry must have been a quiet and lonely town on the October Bank Holiday Monday as 43 members of the club turned up at the start line & what seemed like multiples of that figure turned out to support them in the 34th edition of the Dublin City Marathon. 

After a very nervous week of weather watching the promised storm hooked off in an easterly direction & descended on the UK, resulting in a beautiful fresh Monday morning on the streets of Dublin, where 14,500 competitors lined up for the 26.2 mile journey around the capital city. 

The club had members of all ages & experience on display with varying expectations but all with one main goal; get to the finish line. And they did it in style. 

On my travels around the course during the day I came across Maeve Noone & her unofficial pacer, Jim Leahy, on multiple occasions. It’s safe to say she was ‘In the zone’ and seemed oblivious to what was going on around her (despite my loudest roars). Maeve has worked harder for this marathon than she has for any other & the work paid off with not just the sub 3.30 she craved, but a brilliant 3.27.17. 

We had a large number of runners competing in their very first marathon and Senan Coffey, Martin Casserly, Darina Keating, Sheila Dunleavy & Liz Broderick all came home close together around the 5.27’s with Jess McKillop pulling away from the group & finishing strongly in 5.17.52. Further up the road we had Annette Minou & Sinead Reilly completing their first marathon in 4.39 alongside Yvonne Dowling who took nearly ten minutes off her time from last year. Whilst making a return to Dublin this year was Frances Egan who dipped under the 5hr mark with a PB of 4.57.47. 

Of the more experienced competitors Ray Somers put aside his recent hip problems (plus his recent humiliating attempt at a Beer Mile) to run a fantastic 2.53.42, six minutes ahead of Frank Burke who saw the magical 2.59 for the first time. Kieran Guiry ran the race of his life for a big PB & even managed to win the head to head with Pat Forde over the last mile with a 03:13:34. Pat had no complaints though with a 2 min PB and a London qualifying time of 03:14:03. Kieran’s running twin Martin O’ Hara also gained a PB & dipped under the 3.30 mark for the first time. 

There were some very impressive performances from the quartet of John Langan, Sinead Foran, Brian Somers & Siobhan Guinan. All taking part in their first marathon, they all managed 03.30 & below with John managing a sub 3.10. And I can jealously say I have firsthand knowledge that they were all too comfortable during it as at the 23mile mark they were still full of chat, smiles & waves. I’ll have some of whatever ye had please! 

And what can we say about the ever present Martin Keane & Peadar Nugent who completed another Dublin City Marathon. Martin was 37th in his category whilst Peadar, 16th in his category & running alongside Maire Treasa Beatty for another year, finished his 34th consecutive (never missed one) Dublin City Marathon. Some achievement! It says something about both men that neither of them were overly happy with their times. That competitive edge never fades! 

When you drill down into the results you begin to realise how impressive some of the times are considering that this isn’t just the National Marathon Championships but a race with 14,500 national & international competitors. Jane-Ann Meehan, 7th in her category. Sinead Foran, 10th in her category. Maeve Noone, 23rd in her category. Siobhan Guinan, 55th in her category. Mairead Sullivan, 79th in her category. Some pretty strong running from the Athenry women & they didn’t even have the two Dee’s in their ranks this year. The future is bright. 

Not be outdone, the men put in some impressive placings. Ray Somers, 40th in his category. Aaron Turner, 56th in his category. Frank Burke, 66th in his category. Jim Leahy, 88th in his category (whilst on pacing duties!!). 

There are many others too who weren't mentioned above but had no less impressive displays on the day (one with a PB of 40mins over last year). With 43 runners it's impossible to give everyone a name check here, although all are listed in the attached results.

A good day all round with most people hitting their targets and enjoying the experience. Below are some comments from club runners on their thoughts post race. When your possibly unhappy with your own time I think it’s good to learn how others perceived their own race strategy & result. My favourite is Chris Deakin’s ‘delighted to be disappointed’. 

Chris Deakin

‘I finished in 3:36:36, which wasn't the plan (was aiming for and confident of going under 3:20) but it just didn't happen. I still really enjoyed the weekend though and there's always another marathon. I also reminded myself that not that long ago I would have been delighted with that time. So in a way I'm delighted to be disappointed with 3:36:36.

It was my 9th marathon but the first wearing an Athenry AC singlet and the support was unreal. The number of times I heard "well done/go on/come on/etc. Athenry" was incredible.’

Annette Minou

‘ mile 22.... my stomach was full of sugar and I merely used the bottles in both of my hands as mental crutches :-):-)

What great support and was so proud wearing the Athenry AC jersey. My time for this being my first marathon was Chip Time: 04:39, very happy with myself.’

Senan Coffey

‘This was my first Marathon and I just started running last March, joined the Club in April. My time was 5 hours 37 minutes. It was a huge challenge but the support along the streets of Dublin for the maroon and white of Athenry AC pulled me over the line. I was running on my own for most of the race but it never felt like that with the Athenry singlet on.’

George Livanos

‘Had realistic plan and a good day:

  • Target 3:50 -> Finished under 3:48
  • Negative Splits -> Ran a faster 2nd Half
  • No walking -> 1 Toilet Stop (no walking!!)

It was a tough 2013 and marathon training was crammed into October .... but I felt comfortable throughout the race and finished happy.’

Sinead Foran

‘03.16.08...pb.....first one. Felt great all the way pretty much but obsessed too much in the lead up so gels & water all taken on board every 4 miles and it worked for pain now though..’

Brian Somers

‘First Marathon, everything went great, finished in 3 hrs 18 min 7 seconds. Delighted with that, didn't know how it would pan out with it being the first one.

 The support from the Athenry AC members up there was amazing, it really did give you a lift and help you push on and keep going to the finish, really can't state enough how much the support helped.’

Sinead Reilly

‘....the support was amazing, thanks a mil. I remember seeing Dee, Mairead and Jane at mile 24, I can vaguely remember Jane saying ‘will I run a bit with you’ and I looking at her with a blank face on me, don't think I even answered her, just kept thinking, put one foot in front of the other!! The support from the club was truly amazing, as I said to Dee today, I still have a lump in my throat when I think of it :)’


Jane-Ann Meehan

‘3.09.44, 8th marathon. Wheels fell off wagon @ mile 11 & spent the next 15 trying to convince myself it's only a few more miles! The difference between possible & impossible is what's between your ears... Delighted to finish & forget about it. Thanks for your cheers today....Onwards we go :)'

...Photos to follow soon. I think I have everyone in the results now but if I have missed anyone please let me know.


Always one of THE days of the year. Reading this and talking with people gives me a real flavour of it. "Only" 43 runners this year, amazing. Donore Harriers one of the biggest Dublin clubs had 35.