On Sunday 23rd July 2017, nine of the #DreamRunDublin17 team, coached by Olympic and Commonwealth Games marathoner Paul Pollock, continued their build up to a sub 3-hour marathon attempt in Dublin (Dublin Marathon – October 2017) with the first race of the official Dublin Marathon Series, the Fingal 10k in Dublin.
The athletes performed well, with six clocking new 10k personal bests. David Conliffe led the group home in a new personal best of 35:18, chopping forty three seconds off his previous best. Paul Curley followed in 37:17, another personal best, before Neil Curran and Paul Gorman both replicated this when finishing a mere twenty seven seconds apart – Neil ran 37:31, with Paul following closely in 37:58.
Denise Logue achieved her second consecutive podium place since joining the group when she recorded a personal best of 38:01 for 3rd place in the ladies race, which was won by fellow NI lady Galdys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) in 35:33.
Barry Reid crossed the line in 38:08, while Stephen Smartt claimed a new personal best of 38:25. Jonathan Little and Tara Malone finished just outside the forty minute mark, in 40:34 and 40:38 respectively.
Coach Paul Pollock was happy with the progress of the athletes – speaking exclusively to www.nirunning.cok, Paul explained:
“The Fingal 10k race was a key date in the progress of the #DreamRunDublin17 project. It was the first opportunity for each of the ten athletes to assess their progress. It gave them a chance to see how their fitness has improved, at the end of this initial phase of training.
With only thirteen weeks until the Dublin marathon, I am absolutely delighted with the collective result of the group. With six of the nine competing athletes running personal bests, I believe that they are starting to trust in the training. They are starting to trust in the project, but more importantly, they are beginning to trust in themselves. At the start of this project, I told each of the individual athletes that I believed that they were capable of breaking, at the very least, three hours in the Dublin marathon. Last Sunday, was hopefully the first evidence that they needed to believe it themselves.
So what of the four who did not run personal bests? Unfortunately, Darren Wallace was a precautionary late withdrawal from the race, due to a slight knee niggle, but I fully expected him to also run a personal best. Barry’s personal best was from a number of years ago and was not a realistic aim going into this race. Tara, was the unlucky athlete who, for whatever reason, was unable to perform on the day. However, her training is suggestive that on another given day, she would go much faster. Lastly, Jonathan has been returning to fitness following a four week lay off through injury. If he were to race again in two weeks time, again I would expect him to run a personal best.
As a coach, I could not be happier with how the group has improved and it is clear that friendships are forming. I still strongly believe that all ten athletes can break the magical sub three hour barrier in Dublin. Next up, on the fixture list for a number of the athletes is the Frank Duffy 10 mile race, before moving on to the Belfast and Dublin half marathons. So while there is still work to do, everyone is progressing nicely. The final word, however, should go to Denise and a massive congratulations on making the podium. Congratulations.”