East Down's finest finish torrid Dublin Marathon

East Down's finest finish torrid Dublin Marathon

11 September 2011

EAST Down AC enjoyed a spectacular success at the recent Dublin Marathon when 30 members completed the gruelling race.

Some finished much faster than others and some in better shape than others, but every one of them crossed the finishing line and irrespective of their state of health as the race progressed, not one of them would have quit given the choice.

All had started out full of energy, hope, expectation and in some cases a full Irish breakfast. 

The first local man home was Mark Kendall from Newcastle who went on to finish in 2.51.15, which if records are correct, is one second faster than last year, while wife Debbie  was making an impressive debut coming home in 4.12 and her sister Vicki Canavan ducking under the four hour barrier in 3.58. 

First of the East Down contingent was Philip Vint, well on target for another sub three hours, but was bitten late on by the cramp bug yet still managed 3.02.

Declan Teague and Ryan Hagen were next with Raymond Milligan not far behind. James Magennis, travelling incognito in a white tee-shirt did not escape eagle eyed scrutiny, but faces an inquiry about where he left his club vest, with Gerard McAuley and Kris Fegan close behind.

Cheryl Denvir, another debutante, cruised by on her way to a very creditable 3.44. Declan Teague ran the  race of his life, finishing in a best ever 3.14 having looked likely to break three hours at one stage until a tough final 10K put paid to that dream.

Other Down men to go through included Murlough's Gerard Rowe, Richard McGreevy, the Curran brothers, Barry McMullan and Michael McKeown.

And then the rain came. It had threatened all day and had delivered intermittent showers, but this was the real deal.

But still they kept coming, Linda Cunningham, just a few weeks after completing in Berlin, and improving by four minutes, thanks to a toilet free run, Kim Surginor, with a minimum of training after breaking her foot a few months ago, Denis McKay, walking, but in no mood to quit, Gary Cull shivering under a foil blanket, but in similar state of determination, Sheena McKermitt bubbly as ever, Charlie Ataliotis shuffling steadily by, Norman Mawhinney having a bad one, but moving out of earshot, Simon McGrattan guiding Mags Straney through the last tortuous miles and Bernice McCann who ran the whole way and was joined at halfway by Frank just happy to get it done.

Some other outstanding performances too from the ladies, Tracey McDowell knocking 18 minutes off her previous best and coming home in under four hours, Betty McCartan 13 minutes better than before, Helen Vint 10 minutes better, Emer Moore four minutes improvement on New York.

But every single one, whether the time was better, similar or worse said it didn't matter, getting it done was the objective, mission accomplished.

This was the first Dublin marathon to be televised live and the word is that it was less than impressive.  Not only that, but there seems to be a problem with the results, with many incorrect or simply missing, which is a considerable disappointment to the individuals concerned.

So if Dublin wants to keep it's reputation as the Friendly Marathon it had better buck up on its ideas and justify its exorbitant entry fee by producing accurate and comprehensive results by the next day. I apologise if any of the times listed are incorrect but several of the names did not appear in the official results so far produced so I had no way of cross checking.

• Congratulations to Jackie Gilbride on completing her first marathon in New York in 4.38.