PICS: Marathon effort as runners brave rain in Dublin




A jockey and a horse trainer went for a run of the two- legged variety yesterday — and it might just lead to Rio.

A record number of participants took part in the 36th Dublin City Marathon, with each and everyone of the 15,216 people who registered for the event bringing their own story with them.

One of the most eye-catching was that of Declan Ryan from Thurles in Co Tipperary, a visually impaired runner with 8% sight who set himself a target of breaking the three-hour mark.

Alongside Declan, a horse trainer, was his old friend and former jockey, Kevin Coleman, from Innishannon in Co Cork. Did they make their target? Of course they did.

“It was two hours, 58 minutes and 58 seconds,” said Declan, although his wristwatch actually recorded the time at 2.58.57. “Ah, I’m giving myself an extra second,” he quipped.

Paul O’Rourke ran for the Heart Foundation and Aileen’s Tie
Paul O’Rourke ran for the Heart Foundation and Aileen’s Tie

His hereditary visual impairment got worse in his teenage years but has not stopped him from competing on the streets and roads, as he admitted that he clocked 3.04 and some seconds in the Dublin City Marathon last year.

“I have been running for four or five years but I was in training for 18 weeks for this one,” Declan said. “And Kevin was training for two weeks.”

Claire Gallibois, Aathir Ahmed, and Deena Shah, all from RCSI, after the Dublin City Marathon
Claire Gallibois, Aathir Ahmed, and Deena Shah, all from RCSI, after the Dublin City Marathon

Kevin certainly looked well on it. “You should have seen me five minutes ago,” he said.

Kevin was expected to last 10 miles but got all the way around, while the pair, and another visually impaired runner, had been allowed to start five minutes ahead of the main field. Declan’s sub-three hour time may well qualify him for the Rio Paralympics next year, meaning the next few months could hold fresh promise.

Declan Ryan, left, and Kevin Coleman, who ran the course together in under three hours
Declan Ryan, left, and Kevin Coleman, who ran the course together in under three hours

Meanwhile 140 gardaí and PSNI officers wore black ribbons in memory of Garda Tony Golden as they took on the course.

Wearing black ribbons, 140 gardaí and PSNI officers ran in memory of Garda Tony Golden, who was shot dead earlier this month
Wearing black ribbons, 140 gardaí and PSNI officers ran in memory of Garda Tony Golden, who was shot dead earlier this month

Alemu Gemechu of Ethiopia won the men’s marathon in two hours and 14 minutes. Nataliya Lehonkova from Ukraine won the women’s race and Patrick Monahan from Naas, Co Kildare, won the wheelchair race.


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