The countdown has begun! This year’s group for the Dream Run Dublin 19 project has been chosen and the coaching has already commenced.

With last Sunday (5th May) marking 25 weeks until thousands of runners toe the Dublin marathon startline, a special group of ten athletes will hopefully be among the crowds. 

For those not yet familiar with the Dream Run Dublin project, this is the third year since its conception. Every year, the group is comprised of ten Northern Irish runners, all with the same uniting goal of aiming to break the sub 3 hour barrier in Dublin in October. Irish Olympian and marathon runner, Paul Pollock, will individually coach and guide each of the athletes towards this goal.

They will undertake specific training plans and attend training days where guest speakers will provide guidance on a range of topics such as nutrition, strength and conditioning and sport’s psychology. With nine personal bests out of nine marathon starters in last year’s group, and five sub 3 hour performances, the bar for this year’s group has already been set high.

Kicking it all off with a parkrun

The group first met each other, along with their coach Paul Pollock, at Belfast Victoria Park Parkrun on the 4th May. Following completion of the Parkrun, Paul gave a presentation to the group about the project and what will happen over the next few months in the lead up to the Dublin Marathon 2019. 

The ten athletes chosen for this year’s project are:

Adrian Bennett aged 51, Mourne Runners: 3.29

Cailam Quinn aged 31: first timer

Dale Murray aged 29, Ward Park Runners: 3.09

Elaine McGuckin aged 36: 3.09

James Wilson aged 39, City of Lisburn: 3.16

Marina Murphy aged 39, Derry Track Club: 3.08

Martin McKenna aged 40: 3.19

Michael Maybin aged 38: 3.59

Niamh Kellett aged 37, East Down AC: 3.17

Ryan Galway aged 29, Springwell Running: 4.20

The road ahead

Over the course of the next five months, FastRunning will be tracking the group’s progress, as well as more in depth athlete interviews closer to Dublin marathon raceday. Good luck with the training to all of the athletes selected.

FastRunning, Paul and co-founder of the project Ryan Maxwell would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who applied for #DreamRunDublin19 and also our friends from Belfast Victoria Parkrun for their generous hospitality last weekend!

It is fantastic to see distance running in Northern Ireland improving and growing stronger, and hopefully it will continue to do so. Good luck to all who are beginning their preparations for the Dublin Marathon this year.