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Ethiopian dominance at the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon

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It was an Ethiopian double in the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon on a record-breaking day in Dublin which saw Kemal Husen smash the course record in an incredible display of front running dominance, breaking the tape in Merrion Square in a time of two hours six minutes and 52 seconds. Compatriot Sorome Negash claimed the spoils in the women’s race, imposing herself in the closing stages of a tactical affair, crossing the line in a personal best time of 2:26:22.

Scullion and McGlynn claim national honours

Clonliffe Harriers’ Stephen Scullion was a popular winner of his second national championship title on the streets of Dublin, sealing a third place overall in 2:11:51, while an ecstatic Ann-Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny A.C claimed her first national title in a time of 2:34:13.

Stephen Scullion celebrates after claiming his second national title.

Damp marathon morning in the capital

Uncharacteristic of recent marathon days in the capital, over 20,000 brave souls were met with heavy downpours from the early hours of Sunday morning before getting underway from Fitzwilliam Street Upper at 8.45am. At the business end of proceedings, the Irish made their presence felt early, with Scullion, pacemaker John Travers, Ryan Creech of Leevale and Newcastle and District’s Ryan Forsyth making their way to the front of the field as they passed St Stephen’s Green in the opening mile. 

Defending champion pulls up

The rain relented for a short period as the leaders entered the Phoenix Park for the first time. A group of around ten men broke clear of the Irish quartet who had intelligently decided to back off the furious pace that had been set at the front of the pack which included defending champion Taoufik Allam of Morocco. Allam would then pull up hard shortly after the five-mile mark, grabbing his right hamstring along Chesterfield Avenue. In the women’s race, an elite group of five had formed behind on-duty pacemaker David McCarthy of West Waterford, a group which would go almost all the way to the line.

Sorome Negash of Ethiopia celebrates after winning the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon.
Ethiopian Sorome Negash after winning the 2023 Irish Life Dublin Marathon

Early decisive move

It was exiting Castleknock and beginning the quiet run along Tower Road that Husen made what would be the decisive move, easing away from the pack with only the Kenyan pacemaker for company, the two passing halfway in 1:02:56. The duo continued to the 30k, before a quick handshake was exchanged, and the pacemaker clocked off. Husen was then left to face the run for home alone. This did not appear to phase the 20-year-old in only his second ever marathon, looking over his shoulder for the first time with less than 3 miles to run as he crossed the UCD flyover to see only open road, the question at this point was how much time he could take off the existing course record of 2:08:06 set in 2019.

New course record set

Never relenting, Husen broke the tape on Merrion Square in 2:06:52, improving his personal best from earlier in the year by over a minute, made all the more impressive by the testing conditions on the day. It would be over 4 minutes before Ugandan Geofrey Kusuro would cross the line for second in 2:10:45, while a minute further back, Scullion was running a massive close to his race to take third spot, collapsing across the line having left nothing in the tank to secure a second national title. Leevale’s Ryan Creech came home for second in a time of 2:14:08 while the American based Ryan Forsyth was third Irishman across the line in 2:14:43.

Negash cementing Ethiopian dominance

Negash, meanwhile, timed her race to perfection, pulling away in the closing miles from Kenyan Joan Kipyatich and fellow countrywoman Genet Abdurkadir to take her first Dublin Marathon title, just shy of the course record of 2:26:13 which stands since 2010.  An overjoyed Ann-Marie McGlynn crossed the line amidst the heavy downpour punching the air and embracing race organiser Jim Aughney after clinching her first national title. North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel wrote her name into the Irish record books, her silver medal performance also sealing a new O45 record in 2:37:08. Sorcha Loughnane of Donore Harriers claimed national bronze in 2:45:31.

An emotional Ann-Marie McGlynn after claiming her first national marathon title.

Monahan claims seventh Dublin Marathon title

In the wheelchair race, Kildare’s Patrick Monahan sealed his 7th Dublin Marathon title as he gears up for next week’s New York Marathon

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