Would you like the opportunity to be coached by Olympic Marathon runner Paul Pollock? Here’s your chance!

Would you like the opportunity to be coached by Olympic Marathon runner Paul Pollock?

Paul Pollock and Northern Ireland Running (www.nirunning.co.uk) launch #DreamRunDublin18:

After the success of last year’s Dream Run Dublin 2017, Rio Olympian Paul Pollock is again offering an exciting opportunity to Northern Ireland based runners aiming to take on the Dublin Marathon in 2018.

Local running website www.nirunning.co.uk (Northern Ireland Running) has teamed up once more with the highly-respected marathoner, who boasts a 26.2 mile personal best of 2:15:30.

As before, Paul is inviting a group of 10 athletes to be coached by himself, with the aim of achieving a sub three hour marathon time at the Dublin Marathon in October 2018.

Last year, the ten selected athletes achieved a total of seventeen personal bests across the 10k, half marathon and marathon distances. With three of the ten also, dipping under the magical sub-3 hour mark, the challenge has well and truly been laid down for this year’s group.

Applications for the project will be welcomed from ambitious and enthusiastic athletes who are prepared to take on approximately 5 runs per week. Paul, a member of the elite professional NN Running Team and currently in Australia with the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team preparing for the Commonwealth marathon in mid-April, will be in close contact with each chosen applicant and set athlete specific training plans himself.

The project will include athlete meet ups and training days in the Belfast area, approximately every 4-6 weeks. Races will build from an initial (Victoria Park) parkrun 5k on Saturday 5th May 2018, to 10k and half marathon, right through to the culmination of the programme in October at the Dublin Marathon, which incorporates the AAI National Marathon Championships.

Speaking about the project from the Northern Ireland team holding camp on the Gold Coast, Australia, Paul explained:

“I set up this project, in combination with Northern Ireland Running, with the overall aim to improve marathon times by Northern Ireland runners. My hope is that in the near future, a greater number of local athletes will be able to represent Northern Ireland and Ireland at the highest level. We have recently seen a resurgence in distance running in Northern Ireland (with half of the Irish team at the recent IAAF World Half Marathon Championships having come from Northern Ireland) and I hope that this trend will continue over the coming years.

In my eyes, last year was a fantastic success and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the project. While only three of the ten, dipped under the magical sub three hour barrier, I believe that they have all learnt something from the experience and will take that forward in their future training. For anyone considering applying this year, but unsure of what it entails, I would invite them to get in contact with any of last year’s group for feedback. I could not be prouder of the effort and commitment that each of the ten athletes last year put in and they have definitely set a high bar for this year’s group to try and beat.

Last year, successful applicants had a range of marathon personal bests from 3:02 to 3:27. That is not to say, athletes with slower personal bests should not apply. Essentially, if you believe in yourself that you can run a sub three hour marathon, then I invite you to get in touch. Sadly, I can’t say yes to all applicants but to those who don’t get chosen know that I wish you well in your training and achieving your goal in Dublin this year. Good luck.”

Applicants should be aware that their progression and ultimate result in Dublin will be featured exclusively by www.nirunning.co.uk – this will include photo sessions and video interviews where applicable.

For any applicants who are unfortunately not chosen, or believe that the sub three hour mark is still too far beyond them, Paul can also be contacted to discuss the possibility of private coaching, at the same applicant email address below.


If you are interested in being part of this exciting project, please send your NAME, AGE, CURRENT PERSONAL BESTS (INCLUDING YEAR), MOST RECENT MARATHON TIME (IF APPLICABLE) and EMAIL ADDRESS to dreamrunproject@gmail.com by 7pm on Friday 20th April 2018.

Applications after the closing date will not be considered under any circumstances and you MUST be able to attend the initial parkrun 5k at Victoria Park, Belfast on Saturday 5th May 2018.

Important Note: In respect of local coaches, it is preferred that applicants are NOT currently being coached.