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EMMA RYAN: Margaret’s marathon joy

Finn Valley AC's Margaret Reid celebrates completing the Dublin Marathon. Photo: Kieran Carlin.

Finn Valley AC’s Margaret Reid celebrates completing the Dublin Marathon. Photo: Kieran Carlin.

While most of us were enjoying our Bank Holiday Monday off, over 15,000 athletes set off in Dublin for the 36th SSE Airticity Dublin Marathon. Participants from all over the world came to take part in the 26.2 mile run.

The marathon was won by Alemu Gemechu of Ethiopia with an impressive time of 2:14:02. The first woman across the line was Nataliya Lehonkova of Ukraine who crossed the line at a time of 2:31:09.

Donegal was well represented among the many runners lining out to take part in the event. One Donegal club, Finn Valley AC had almost 30 club members in Dublin for the run. Margaret Reid was among the athletes from Finn Valley AC who took part in the marathon.

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On a personal level, Margaret had a successful run at the event and crossed the line at a time of 3:38:14, gaining a personal best.

This was Margaret’s second time entering the Dublin marathon and the runner was delighted to beat her previous time of 3 hours and 49 minutes.

“We went out with a plan to beat 3 hours and 45 minutes. A fellow team mate Alan Catterson paced me around to come in at 3:38:14. Every mile went to plan or better.

“I enjoyed every mile and felt positive the whole way around. I felt very strong even in the last 6 mile and was able to maintain the pace to the end.”

Margaret and her teammates have spent the last 18 weeks consistently training and preparing for the run. Although the marathon itself is an individual event, Margaret found the support of club members and teammates invaluable throughout the run.

“To see your club members and family in the crowd gives you a huge boost and a drive to push harder.

“I have the pleasure of being in a fabulous training group and have made many friends from our journey together. We got up very early at the weekends and trained together, we laughed together, we got wet together, and we felt pain together and recovered together.

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“We all put our toe to the line together and achieved the dream of finishing the marathon and meeting our individual goals.” said Margaret.

The Dublin Marathon is one of the biggest events on the athletics calendar with people from all over the world travelling to take part. This year’s marathon was attended by the highest number of participants with 15,300 people entering.

The large amounts of runners were greeted by thousands of supporters throughout the course despite the bad weather.

“The organization of the event could not be faulted and the crowds were spectacular. The people came in out in force on a cold wet day and cheered for hours. What I loved most was that because we had on our club vests people from all counties were calling “come on Finn Valley”, which was a great boost.” said Finn Valley’s Margaret.

Although a year away, anyone planning to take part in next year’s marathon will have a day less to prepare. After 36 years, The Dublin Marathon will no longer take place on the Bank Holiday Monday, but will instead take place on the Sunday.

After a successful Dublin Marathon, Margaret Reid is looking towards next year and the possibility of completing more marathons after catching the “Marathon Bug.” The runner is confident that anyone who sets their mind to it could follow in her footsteps.

“The marathon is within every runners reach no matter what your ability, it is just matter of applying yourself and putting in the training and achieving your personal goal.”

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