It was fitting that Kenyan Geoffrey Ndungu was given the number 1 to wear on his vest as he defended his title at the 33rd Dublin marathon earlier today (Monday 29 October). A record 14,350 competitors were greeted by near perfect conditions as they took part in the race which was being run without a sponsor for only the second time in its history.
Ndungu was unable to beat his course record of 2:08:33 set at the event last year, as he crossed the finish line in 2:11:09. The 28-year-old saw off challenges from pre-race favourite and fellow Kenyan, Robert Kipchumba, and Ethopian Abdisa Beddada. Another Kenyan, Magdalene Mukunzi, won the female race in 2:30:46, finishing outside the course record of 2:26.13.
Runners took off from Fitzwilliam Square Upper before heading over O'Connell Bridge, through O'Connell Street, Parnell Square and the North Circular Road. They then ran through the Phoenix Park before crossing back on to the southside at Chapelizod. The route then went by Inchichore, the South Circular Road, Kimmage, Terenure, Stillorgan, and Ballsbridge before finishing at Merrion Square North.
There were strong performances by local runners with Paul Pollock finishing as fastest Irishman in 2:16:30. The Belfast man was making his debut over the distance and surprisingly took the lead at the top of the Phoenix Park just as the athletes met the eight-mile stage. Pollock tired after his eight-mile burst though to cross the mid-way point in 1:07:03, leaving the fast-moving African contingent to take control of the race. The fastest Irish woman was Maria McCambridge with a personal best of 2:35.28.
Another native taking part was Pat O'Loughlin from County Tyrone who has participated in the event every year since it started in 1980. The 76-year-old said before the race: "I've been lucky enough so far that I've been free of injuries for Dublin marathon and I've managed to complete them all, sometimes through thick wit and just determination to keep going."
Some of that thick Irish wit was on display through the signs people in the crowd were holding. Highlights included 'Mortuary ahead - look alive', 'Run like ya stole something', and 'Run, zombies are chasing you!' The crowd's effort seemed to be appreciated as Shaun Cadogan summed it up by saying: "Great marathon...crowd were beyond amazing! Don't think you could get through it without them."
For a full list of results, visit our race listings page.