herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

dublin route takes a turn

Luas works force changes for marathon

With 11 days to go, the kilometre and mile markings for the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on Monday October 27 are already decorating the roads of the city.

On Roebuck Road, scene of a blow-up 'wall' last year, you'll find the freshly painted 35km mark - just before the short, sharp climb that's become known as Dublin's Heartbreak Hill.

After that, it's seven kilometres (four-and-a-half miles) all downhill or flat to the finish at Merrion Square North - around Belfield campus at Foster's Avenue and the Stillorgan Road, down Nutley Lane and on to the Merrion Road.

Luas roadworks in the city centre have forced major adjustments, which means Roebuck comes later in the race than usual, while the spectator-friendly loop around Trinity College to the finish is gone.

From the start at Fitzwilliam Street Upper, runners will head for the Liberties, passing Christ Church, and then make their way to the Phoenix Park along the north quays.

A straight two-mile drag up Chesterfield Avenue into Castleknock village awaits.

After halfway at Dolphin's Barn, the race is back on familiar territory in Dublin's south city, passing through Crumlin, Kimmage, Templeogue, Terenure and a testing stretch after Ashton's pub at Clonskeagh where 'The Wall' is situated this year.

A record-breaking entry of 15,000 will run this year. Oldest is 84-year-old John Collins from Limerick.

Attempting to break the world record for the biggest family to complete a marathon are the Hughes family.

In 1984, eight Hughes brothers broke a Guinness world record for 'most siblings to complete a marathon'.

For the 30th anniversary of that feat, 31 members of a clan that's scattered all over the world have signed up for this year's race, including three of the brothers from 1984.

Elite

Twenty-three athletes have finished all the Dublin Marathons and they will return for the 35th year of the race. Mary Nolan-Hickey from Arklow is the only woman.

Another change to the race sees overseas elite runners making a return after an absence of a year.

Among those running are Aleksey Sokolov, from Russia, winner in 2006 and 2007, when he set the course record of 2:09.07.

Among the African entries are Peter Brandon Somba, winner of the Connemara Half Marathon earlier this year, and Raheny's Freddy Keron Sittuk.

Leading the women's entry are Russian Marina Kovaleva, Kenyan Esther Wanjiru Macharia, and 19-year-old Ethiopian Meseret Agama Godana.

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