Races & Places

Courtney McGuire “confident” that she can make Paris Olympics

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It has been a whirlwind few months for Courtney McGuire.

Last October on the streets of the capital the 23-year-old produced an extraordinary performance to win the national marathon title as she finished third in the Irish Life Dublin Marathon.

Her time of 2:32:52 moved her to seventh on the Irish All-Time list instantly ahead of athletes of high calibre such as Olympian Lizzie Lee. Given her age and the fact that she was relatively unknown it was a stunning achievement.

Then consider the fact that she had never actually raced over the distance before, and the feat becomes all the more remarkable.

Added to that McGuire has been on her own difficult journey in life. She recently opened up about her mother’s battle with heroin addiction. The pair see each other “every so often” nowadays with the Clonmel A.C. runner living with her grandparents.

McGuire received widespread praise for sharing her story.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be such headline-making news,” she tells Irish Runner.

“I have received a lot of positivity from it. It seems that a lot of people have taken something nice from it.”

McGuire graduated from the University of Limerick last year with a first-class honours degree in Psychology becoming the first person in her family to come through third level education.

She has now put her studies on hold, training full-time in an effort to make the Paris 2024 Olympic Games but hopes to return to UL to do a Masters in Exercise and Performance Psychology in the future.

While some find training full-time to be quite challenging, it is something that McGuire has relished.

“I love it,” she admits. “You just have to make sure you don’t overdo it as you have so much time on your hands.”

“I have a good group around me, and they keep me in check. It’s a lot of running, reading and art.”

McGuire’s achievement in Dublin last October is something that she will never forget. She revealed on the day how her grandparents didn’t make it up to the race but that were instead following at home.

Unsurprisingly they were immensely proud of her.

“I don’t think they actually knew what was happening until I came home that night,” she says.

“I wasn’t expecting to do well so I didn’t say much before the race before I went up. I just told them it was another race.

“My granddad was going around the town signing autographs for about two months after it,” she laughs.

This summer herself and her training group led by coach Sean Tobin will travel to Albuquerque for altitude training before taking on some track races.

The main aim this year however remains defending her national title at the Irish Life Dublin Marathon and the opportunity to etch closer to a spot on the plane to the Olympics, an ambition she feels she is capable of achieving.

“This should be an even better lead in than last time so hopefully everything works out.

“If I look after myself, I should be okay.

“I would be confident I’d hit the standard.”

Courtney McGuire was speaking at the launch of the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon. While the Irish Life Dublin Marathon is sold out, there are still places available in the Irish Life Dublin Race Series which includes a 5 mile, 10km, 10 mile and half marathon distance. Entries are open on IrishLifeDublinMarathon.ie.

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