Gemechu and Lehonkova win SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2015

Alemue Gemechu from Ethiopa won the 2015 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon yesterday in 02:14:02. Gemechu shook off fellow Ethiopian Asfa Bekele and Kenyans Francis Ngare, Freddy Sittuk and last year’s winner, Eliud Too. The five international runners formed the leading pack until the 25th mile, when Gemechu broke away to claim the win.

In the women’s race, Ukrainian Natalyia Lehonkova took the top spot, with a time of 02:31:09. She was followed by Grace Momanyi of Kenya and Tesfanesh Denbi of Ethopia.

Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham won the Irish National Championship in 2:19:47. Hehir is the last Irish man to claim the overall title. Speaking after the race, he said:

“Those conditions out there were tough today, it wasn’t easy. I’m very happy to win the National Championship – it’s a huge honour. The support out there was fantastic, as always. I saw colleagues from work, kids that I teach and those sort of things really do help you kick on and push yourself hard. I’m off now to recover from this and then I’ll start looking towards 2016.”

Gary O’Hanlon finished in second (2:25:21) followed closely by David Mansfield (2:30:45). Both are members of Clonliffe Harriers AC.

Pauline Curley, winner of the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon in Derry~Londonderry earlier this year, took the women’s National Title in 2:49:29, making her the oldest Irish champion in 143 years of the National Championships. The former Olympian spoke after the race of her joy at claiming the title;

“I’m speechless after that, I’m totally overwhelmed. It was emotional crossing the finish line. I had surgery done on my knee a few months ago, and I’m only back running 4 weeks, so being able to claim the Irish National Championship today is really just fantastic. A huge thank you to my surgeon and my physio who both worked wonders to get me back to take part in the race. Nothing can beat the Olympics in 2008, but that equalled it today!”

Curley was followed by Jean-Anne Healy-Meehan from Athenry A.C (2:54:48) and Laura Graham of Mourne A.C (2:56:21).

Both Sean and Pauline will receive free electricity for a year from race sponsors SSE Airtricity.

Race Director Jim Aughney was very pleased with how today’s race went. He commented:

“I’m really happy with today’s race. The weather wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but it didn’t dampen our spirits and the support around the course today was really something special. Something that our finishers always mention is the support that they receive out there and how it really helps them dig deep and push themselves on. I’m also delighted for our two Irish National Champions, for Sean who was our overall winner in 2013, and Pauline who shows that age is no barrier to running this race. I’d like to congratulate them both, along with all the other participants out there.”

Kieran McCarthy of 'Team Aoibheann' was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Medal at the start of this year’s SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Kieran received this award in recognition of the fundraising efforts for TLC4CF and Clare Crusaders Clinic as they have supported his family over the last few years since his seven year old daughter Aoibheann was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. As part of the 'Team Aoibheann Challenge', Kieran cycled 200km from Dublin to Shannon on Sunday, swam 10km that morning and cycled back to Dublin that evening before taking part in the Marathon today. He finished the 26.2 miles in a time of 3:51:35.

In addition to this, Joseph Clifford of 'He Ain’t Heavy', who was pushing his brother Ciaran around the 26.2 mile course in a specially designed wheelchair, finished in 4:33:57 and Sinead Kane, a visually impaired athlete with 5% vision completed the 26.2 miles with the aid of her guide in 3:43:10. Sonia O’Sullivan also competed in the event today, finishing 20th in the women’s race in a time of 3:03:31.

The KiDSMARATHON, introduced earlier this year in partnership with the Fingal County Council was also officially finished today when the 600 6th class students ran their last mile at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. This initiative combined running sessions and health promotions to encourage young students to improve their health and was introduced at Fingal primary schools as part of a trial run. It is hoped that this pilot scheme will be rolled out across schools nationwide in 2016.

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Results:

Top 3 Men:

  1. Alemu Gemechu – Ethiopia - 02:14:01
  2. Francis Ngare – Kenya - 02:14:07
  3. Asefa Bekele – Ethiopia - 02:14:20

Irish AAI National Championships – Men:

  1. Sean Hehir - Rathfarnham WSAF - 02:19:47
  2. Gary O’Hanlon - Clonliffe Harriers - 02:25:21
  3. David Mansfield - Clonliffe Harriers - 02:30:45

Top 3 Women:

  1. Nataliya Lehonkova – Ukraine - 02:31:08
  2. Grace Momanyi – Kenya - 02:32:16
  3. Tesfanesh Denbi – Ethiopia - 02:34:44

Irish AAI National Championships – Women:

  1. Pauline Curley - Tullamore Harriers - 02:49:29
  2. Jane-Ann Healy-Meehan - Athenry A.C - 2:54:48
  3. Laura Graham - Mourne Runners - 2:56:21

Top 3 Wheelchair:

  1. Patrick Monahan – Ireland - 01:43:05 (New Dublin Record)
  2. Barry Rice – Ireland – 02:10:05
  3. Richie Powell – Ireland – 02:10:30

Marathon 2015 Winner.jpg