Weekend preview: Clohisey leads Irish entry at London Marathon (updated)

Raheny’s Mick Clohisey leads the Irish entry at Sunday’s London Marathon with a sub 2 hour 15 minute time his target.

Cardiff-based Kevin Seaward of St Malachy’s, who like Clohisey ran the marathon at the Rio Olympics, will also run and is in good shape after a a time of 65 mins 38 secs at the Reading Half Marathon in England last month.

Ulster man Stephen Scullion, running for Aldershot Farnham and District, clocked a time of 68.17 in Reading and will also run in London, as will Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham AC. All are aiming to get under the World Championships qualifying mark of 2 hours 17 minutes.

Ireland’s representatives in the women’s race are supposed to be Leevale’s Clare McCarthy and Barbara Sanchez of Clonliffe who are chasing the World Championships qualifying time of 2 hrs 38 mins with next Monday the cut-off time.  McCarthy already has a qualification time from Berlin last September and is not listed in the elite entry for London.

Patrick Monahan goes in a stacked wheelchair race that reads like a who’s who of all the greats  – Hans Frei  of Switzerland still pushing away at 59;  Enst van Dyk of South Africa, the winner of six back-to-back Bostons;, Britain’s Dave Weir aiming to win a seventh and final London before retiring, and race favourite Marcel Hug of Switzerland, the defending World Cup champion,  although Japan’s up and coming Sho Watanabe  beat him in Tokyo.

Clonliffe’s Sergiu Ciobanu has opted to run in Hamburg, while another group is running in Vienna.

With the National Road Relays the big event of the weekend, Raheny will be forced to defend the title they won last year without Clohisey, their star runner. Rathfarnham, previous winners of the title, will sorely miss Hehir.

Raheny however can still count on Mark Kirwan, Kieran Kelly and Daire Bermingham from last year’s team.  DSD, double winners in 2015, don’t have a women’s team this year but their men’s team includes John Eves, Rob Corbally and Mark Conway; sidelined after achilles surgery is Brandon Hargreaves.  Raheny are favourites to take the masters’ title with a team led by new recruit John Dunne who led Donore to victory last year. A determined Donore is out to retain the title, while Rathfarnham, led by Ronan Kearns, is also in a determined frame of mind.

Leevale won the senior women’s title last year, and although Lizzie Lee is out of action, look vulnerable, with Claire McCarthy (assuming she doesn’t run London) and the Finn sisters to call on, they can’t be discounted. Also entered is a team from Letterkenny which could prove strong, depending on who lines out.  Both Anne Marie McGlynn and Caitriona Jennings are in excellent shape. In the masters W35 race, Sli Cualann are the defending champions. Wide open is the W50 race.

CLARE GIBBONS MCCARTHY of Leevale and East Cork’s James McCarthy were the winners of the Ballintotis 4-Mile in Co Cork. Both races came down to the wire, with McCarthy and second placed Sean McGrath both given a time of 19 mins 55 secs, while in the women’s race,  Gibbons-McCarthy had only seven seconds to spare on Aoife Cooke of Fermoy. Both women ran personal best times.

Result (from www.myrunresults.com)- Men: 1  James McCarthy (East Cork) 19:55, 2 Sean McGrath  (East Cork) 19:55, 3  Eric Currran (Leevale) 20:45. Women: 1 Claire Gibbons- McCarthy (Leevale, W40) 21:31, 2 Aoife Cooke (Youghal AC) 21:38, 3 Niamh Roe (Leevale) 23.31.

MEET AND TRAIN:  The second round of the Women’s Meet and Train Summer League Rd 2 (5km) will take place at  Waterstown Park, Palmerstown on Sunday, 11am. Entry €7; spot prizes. For directions, see  www.parkrun.ie/waterstown/course. Info slynch@easonscom or suecondron50@icloud.com.


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