Eoin Callaghan goes into Monday’s record entry Dublin marathon on the cusp of realising a dream.
Callaghan is one of the leading contenders for the national marathon championships which is incorporated as part of the SSE Airtricity Dublin marathon and, if he medals, would complete a circuitous route to national prominence. “As a kid it was something I would have dreamed about but disappeared into the background. So to be challenging for a medal feels great.” The Balrothery school teacher started back running in 2010 hitting a few bumps along the way before running Dublin in 2012 in 2:33.
“I made many attempted comebacks before things final started to click,” he explained. “At first I was determined to follow an all-or-nothing approach — no more alcohol, no more fast food, no more nights out. It didn’t work. This is where I had to remember the mantra: ‘something is better than nothing.’ Rather than getting hung up on the fact I’d eaten a takeaway or skulled a few pints the weekend, I focused on the positives.”
He progressed to 2:29 in Dublin in 2013, then 2:24 in Rotterdam in 2014 before making a breakthrough finishing second in Manchester in 2:18:45 earlier this year.
A diet of 120-mile weeks has provided him with the platform of potentially winning a national title. Rathfarnham’s Sean Hehir will be favourite for gold having won the race overall in 2013 in 2:18:19. The Clare man also ran the Berlin marathon in 2:17:48 on September 27. Other contenders include Barry Minnock (Rathfarnham) who has a best of 2:17:40 and Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers).
In the women’s battle, 2008 Olympian, Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers), takes on DSD’s Sarah Mulligan and Michelle McGee. Mulligan represented Ireland at the European Marathon Championship in Zurich last year and finished in 2:42:43 while McGee won the Longford Half Marathon in 78:29. Last year’s overall winners Eliud Too and Esther Macharia of Kenya return to the streets of Dublin to defend their crowns. Macharia edged Maria McCambridge (DSD) last year. McCambridge runs in Frankfurt tomorrow in pursuit of the Olympic qualifying time.
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