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Irish bronze for Mourne ace Laura in Dublin Marathon

Mourne Runners’ Laura Graham had the race of her life in yesterday’s Dublin Marathon to take the bronze medal as third Irish finisher in a huge personal best time of two hours, 56 minutes and 21 seconds.

This took 22 minutes off her previous best in an event with some 11,000 competitors.

The Down woman had been showing signs of excellent form following her 15th place in last May’s Belfast Marathon in a time of 3.19.16. She then improved with a fourth place in the Belfast Half Marathon last month in a time of 1.21.27.

In the race for Irish honours yesterday, she finished behind Irish champion Pauline Curley of Tullamore, who was timed at 2.49.29. At 46, the former Olympian is the oldest ever winner. Jane Healy-Meehan of Athenry was second in 2.54.48

The overall winner was Ukraine’s Nataliya  Chelangat in 2.31.08.  Nataliya won the 2013 Belfast Marathon.

Rathfarnham’s Sean Hehir took the Irish Men’s title in 2.19.47. The Men’s overall champion was Ethiopia’s Alemu Gemechu, who ran 2.14.

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