Rio 2016 Olympian Mick Clohisey has said that the Irish Life Dublin Marathon in October is his “main target” for the year.
The Raheny Shamrocks athlete has had injury struggles earlier in the year but is returning to form and recently won the National 10k Championships at the Phoenix Park in fine style. His marathon PB of 2.13.19 was set in Dublin in 2019 and he most recently was crowned national marathon champion in 2018.
Due to his injury Clohisey is only returning to fitness and therefore has all but ruled out securing the qualifying times for the World and European Championships this summer, with a wild card spot to the Europeans in Munich in August looking like his only route to a major championships this year, the prospect of which he describes as “unlikely.” Having allowed that reality to settle in he is now focused firmly on Dublin.
“Dublin's going to be the main focus. It always was going to be on the agenda either way if there was a chance for Europeans prior to that but I think it'll be just keep building and put the head down for Dublin because the two times I've done the race it's been probably my favourite marathon I've ran.”
Throughout the years Clohisey has ran in major marathons around the world but his love for the Dublin Marathon goes back to his childhood and remains intact to this day. He fondly remembers his father Vinnie running the race.
“My father ran Dublin many times and I grew up watching him running, the odd time I ran the last mile with him, I think it finished in Smithfield and I jumped in and ran back in with him. I don't think that would be allowed anymore. I was about 13 or 14. I vaguely remember the Marathon being over on the north side in Killester and watching my dad, I think I was on the back of my mam's bike, I was about three or four.”
The standard of Irish marathon running in recent years has improved after what Clohisey describes as a “lull.” He is delighted with the level of competition in recent times as athletes push to break John Treacy’s time of 2.09.15 set over thirty years ago now in Boston.
“I need to try and get myself back on track after the bit of injury so I'm having the challenge of trying to stay up with the other guys which is great because otherwise you get settled if you're kind of just out there on. I'm a bit off some of the lads in recent years too, so I need to hopefully step up my game again for the next few years and see if I can get a bit more out of myself.”
Is another trip to the Olympic Games in Paris in two years’ time still a possibility for Clohisey?
“It's going to be very tough for me to make the Olympics as the standard has gone up and you have to run a lot faster than I had to run to make it to Rio. There's a bunch of guys there trying to get them three spots. My main aim would be to get back on track with the marathon this year, have a good performance in Dublin and then push on and see, but I wouldn't rule anything out, it'd be a challenge, but I'll give it a shot.
Two-time national marathon champion, Mick Clohisey was speaking at the launch of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon and Race Series, Runners’ Support Squad. This initiative will provide expert advice to runners to help them to harness the power of support to achieve their goals including coaching guidance from Mick. Entry is open for the Irish Life Dublin Race Series; 5 Mile, Fingal 10km, Frank Duffy 10-Mile and Half Marathon at IrishLifeDublinMarathon.ie. The Irish Life Dublin Marathon on Sunday 30th October is sold out.