The 2003 Dublin City Marathon was held in perfect conditions and it was a beautiful day for running. We had two runners wearing the club colours in the race, Dave Brennan who clocked 2:48:22 and Paddy Tuite (2:56), with Tommy Grifin (2:58), Pat Devitt (3:18), Frank Devitt (3:30) and fairly new newcomer Bronagh O’Brien (3:37) also running – official times to follow as they become available. Ronan Mulveney, Joe and Gladys Cooper, Aidan Creaner and a group of about 35 of our Junior runners did the work on the athletes baggage.
This meant an early start, up to the stadium for 6:45 a.m. and into Merrion Square to take in the kit bags of the athletes and sort them into number order. Although we were working, we were able to have a bit of a laugh. The athletes were all pretty ‘pumped up’ and there was a lot of excitement in the air. One French guy – who had not entered and had no running gear – asked us if he could run the race – 20 minutes before the start! I never found out if they let him run. Our job worked out OK and we got to see the first of the finishers coming in as we were able to hand over minding the gear to the ‘second shift’ from another club.
As the saying goes, ‘never stand around if you don’t want to be given a job’ and Ronan and myself found ourselves getting an extra job as we were stood in Nassau St. waiting to see the first few finishers arrive (on our way home). So we ended up looking after a barrier crossing for a while, allowing people through and making sure they didn’t get in the way of the athletes. This gave us a great view of the runners and we saw our own Dave Brennan coming through Nassau St., before heading off.
It was interesting to see that the Mens course record still stands since 1982 with Clonliffe’s Jerry Kiernan‘s time of 2:13:45. This year was Kenya’s year and the winner was Onesmus Kilonzo (Kenya) who ran 2:17:04, second was Lezan Kimutai (Kenya) in 2:17:29 and third was David Kosgei (Kenya) in 2:18:34. The fourth place man was the official pacemaker Charles Kiplagat also from Kenya. First Irishman home was again Gary Crossan (Ireland) in 6th place with 2:20:27. The race served as the National Championship and so Crossan became the National Champion – for the second year running. Second Irishman was 10th place Pauric McKinney in 2:24:18 with 11th place John Griffen third Irishman in 2:24:20.
The ladies record was previously 2:32:10 (Lidia Vassilevskaia of Russia – 2002) and was smashed by the first 3 ladies with Ruth Kutol (Kenya) first in 2:27:22, Yelena Burykina (Russia) was second in 2:28.10 and third was Zeville Ballciunaite (Lithuania) in 2:30:45. First Irish woman (and National Champion) was Annette Kealy seventh in 2:43:00, Lucy Brennan was second and Vivienne Connelly third Irish woman.
In the Wheelchair race, Scotland’s Kenny Herriot won his third consecutive Dublin Marathon, knocking almost 10 minutes off his 2002 winning time in the process – he was the first person to cross the finish line in a time of 1:42:54 with Dublin’s David Griffin second in 2:17:12.
I will have more times information as it comes available. I have some photos from the day including some from Alan Cowser (DSD).