On a rainy day in Dublin there was some strong running over the marathon, whilst elsewhere a lot of people ran around a backyard in the USA. Lindie Naughton reports. 

Stephen Scullion of Clonliffe Harriers and Ann Marie McGlynn from Letterkenny AC took the men and women’s titles at the National Marathon Championship titles held in conjunction with the Dublin Marathon on Sunday (October 29th).

Scullion, whose name is interestingly also down for next Sunday’s New York Marathon, proved the class of the national field.

He also ended up third overall in the Dublin Marathon itself, with his time of 2:11:51 the fastest yet by any Irish-born athlete in Dublin. Scullion, born in Belfast, ran a personal best 2:09.25 in the London marathon of 2020.

In only his second marathon, Ryan Creech of Leevale AC, who is coached by the legendary Donie Walsh, finished second in 2:14:08. Although that time was a minute slower than the 2:13.03 he ran in his marathon debut Seville last February, the undulating Dublin course is considered challenging rather than fast.

A close third place in 2:14.43 was US-based Ryan Forsyth of Newcastle & District AC in his marathon debut. In 2018, Forsyth finished fourth in the U23 race at the European Cross-Country Championships. He turned to the roads last year, running a time of 63:54 for the half marathon in Monterey, California, last November.

Third time’s a charm

For McGlynn, her victory in 2:34.13 was third time lucky. She had finished second behind Courtney McGuire of Clonmel AC last year in 2:33.47 and also runner-up in 2019, when she ran a time of 2:32.54 to finish second behind Aoife Cooke.

McGlynn had shown that she was in good form when running the Belfast Half Marathon comfortably in 74: 53 last month, and in Barcelona last February, she had run a time of 72:35, underlining her consistency. Her best marathon time of 2:29.34 was recorded in April 2021 at Purfoot in England.

Now aged 43, McGlynn, who won many track titles as a juvenile, was also first W40 and indeed all three of the top Irish women were comfortably into the masters age groups. Second and first W45 was the ever reliable Gladys Ganiel from North Belfast Harriers in 2:37.08, while third and second W45 in 2:45.31 was Sorcha Loughnane of Donore Harriers.

Photo: Lindie Naughton

Winner of the Dublin Marathon was Ethiopian Kemal Husen, whose time of 2:06:52 took over a minute off the course record of 2:08:06 set in 2009. In an Ethiopian double, Sorome Negash was first woman in 2:26.22.

Leading the entire field home for a seventh year in a time of 1 hrs 41 mins 4 secs was Paralympian Patrick Monaghan of St Coca’s AC, who is currently doing the round of the autumn marathons. He clocked 1:36.35 in Berlin last month and hopes to go faster in New York next Sunday.

Masters getting it done in the rain

In the masters’ age groups, Adam Bowden of Bridge End AC was first M40 for a second year in a time of 2:19.57. Downer, a former British International athlete and triathlete, finished second in the Belfast Marathon last May. First M45 was former national title holder Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers in 2:26.33. O’Hanlon moves into the M50 age group next year. First M50 was Declan Reed of City of Derry Spartans in 2:29.07.

Only a month after finishing first W60 in Berlin, Mary Slocum of Ward River was also first W60 in Dublin in a personal best 3:08.33. Earlier in the year, Slocum had won the W60 at the World Masters Indoors and Road Championships in Torún, Poland.

She followed that up with a third place at the London Marathon in 3:11.44 – a week after running 3:10.43 in Belfast. Not bad for someone who started running in 2015 through Parkrun!

* At the Frankfurt Marathon Fearghal Curtin of Youghal AC, attempting his marathon debut, dropped out after 15km after going through 10km in 30 mins 30 secs.

Keith Russell running for Ireland on the roads in a previous year.

Ultra running

At the Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra World Championships at Bell Buckle, Tennessee from Sat October 21, Irish ultra runner Keith Russell from Navan finished after 74 loops, notching up 308.33 miles in 54 hrs 8 mins 4 secs.

His average time for the 4.1667 loop was 53 mins 53 secs. He was one of only of 23 to run 300 miles in under 72 hours.

Dublin-based Jivee Tolentino, originally from the Phillippines, finished tenth overall, managing 81 laps or 367.50 in 72 hrs 33 mins 54 secs. His average time was 53.45.

In backyard ultras, participants run a 4.167-mile loop every hour. The distance of each loop is equal to 100 divided by 24, so that a competitor runs 100 miles for a full day of competition. Failing to complete a loop in under an hour means elimination.

Russell holds the Irish ‘backyard’ record after completing 89 laps, covering 597km, in 66 hrs 14 mins 22 seconds at an event in Germany last year.