Personal bests and podium places for #DreamRunDublin17 athletes!

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.”


#DreamRunDublin17 athletes take on Run Lisburn 10k!

#DreamRunDublin17 athletes take on Run Lisburn 10k:
This week (Wednesday 21st June 2017), seven of the ten #DreamRunDublin17 athletes joined a record number of approximately 6,000 competitors at the Run Lisburn Half Marathon, 10k and 3k events.

The #DreamRun Dublin17 team is coached by Rio Olympian and Commonwealth Games marathon runner Paul Pollock and supported by

David Conliffe (PACE Running Club), Paul Curley (North Belfast Harriers), Stephen Smartt (Willowfield Harriers) Barry Reid (Unattached), Neil Curran (Dub Runners) and new additions to the tea, Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) and Paul Gorman (Albertville Harriers) all took to the start line of the 10k race.

This was the first major race the athletes have taken on as part of their training towards a sub 3 hour finish at the Dublin Marathon in October (2017). Following the initial introductory session at Victoria Park parkrun back in April, the athletes have followed training plans set by team coach Paul Pollock.

In scorching heat, the team performed well. David Conliffe led the way with a 36:15 clocking for the distance. North Belfast Harriers’ Paul Curley then crossed the line in 38:06, before a mere eighteen seconds split the next four – Paul Gorman finished in 38:56, Neil Curran ran 39:01, Barry Reid recorded 39:04 and Denise Logue secured 2nd place in the ladies race in 39:14 (check out Denise’s post-race interview below). Stephen Smartt completed the team in 40:42.

The #DreamRunDublin17 team will come together again in early July for a team training day in Belfast.

#DreamRunDublin17 athlete Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) speaks to after securing a podium place at the Run Lisburn 10k!

#DreamRunDublin17 official launch...

Check out the EXCLUSIVE #DreamRunDublin17 launch video HERE

(Please Note: The video was compiled at the #DreamRunDublin launch and since then Paul Gorman and Denise Logue have joined the team)

Dream Run Dublin 17 official launch…

Today (Saturday 29th April 2017), we had the honour of launching the #DreamRunDublin17 project at Victoria Park in Belfast.

Nearly 100 athletes applied for 10 available spaces. Olympian Paul Pollock, the lead coach for the project, chose the following athletes…

David Conliffe
Tara Malone
Jonathon Little
Darren Wallace
Denise Logue
Neil Curran
Barry Reid
Paul Gorman
Stephen Smartt
Paul Curley

The athletes completed Belfast Victoria parkrun and then met up with Paul for a chat about the project and what will happen over the next few months in the lead up to Dublin Marathon 2017.

After the first update following Lisburn 10k, we’ll post up the athlete profiles on this page.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who applied for the #DreamRunDublin17 and also our friends from Belfast Victoria parkrun for their generous hospitality today!

#DreamRunDublin17 launched - Would you like to be coached by an Olympic Marathoner?

Dream Run Dublin 17:

Rio Olympian Paul Pollock is offering an exciting opportunity to Northern Ireland based runners aiming to take on the Dublin Marathon in 2017.

Local running website (Northern Ireland Running) has teamed up with the highly-respected marathoner, who boasts a 26.2 mile personal best of 2:15:30.  Paul will take his first steps into coaching by inviting a group of 10 athletes aiming to achieve a sub three hour marathon time at the Dublin Marathon in October 2017.

Applications for the project will be welcomed from ambitious and enthusiastic athletes who are prepared to take on approximately 6 runs per week.  Paul, who just last week was named on the elite professional NN Running Team, will 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 parkrun 5k on Saturday 29th April 2017, 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, Paul explained that the overall aim is to improve marathon times by Northern Ireland runners. His hope is that in the near future, greater numbers of local athletes will be able to represent Northern Ireland and Ireland at the highest level.

Applicants should be aware that their progression and ultimate result in Dublin will be featured exclusively by – 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 be contacted via his website, to discuss the possibility of private coaching.


If you are interested in being part of this exciting project, please send your NAME, AGE, CURRENT PERSONAL BESTS and EMAIL ADDRESS to by 5pm on Thursday 20th April 2017.  Unfortunately 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 29th April 2017.

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