Belfast Telegraph

McGinley has Commonwealth Games in sights

By Brian Hill

Annadale's Eddie McGinley and Paddy Hamilton will be setting their sights on possible Commonwealth Games qualification times in their inaugural marathon on Monday in Dublin in the Woodie's DIY National Championship.

McGinley has enjoyed a vintage track season this year with personal best times over 5,000 and 10,000 metres which lead the NI rankings.

However, the 30-year-old Belfast journalist is only too aware that the marathon territory is new terrain for him with all the accompanying uncertainties surrounding an event which is notoriously unpredictable.

To complicate things further, the province has currently the unprecedented luxury of four athletes who have attained the necessary qualification standard for Glasgow next summer.

Breege Connolly and Paul Pollock achieved the times in this year's London Marathon, while Gladys Ganiel and Tom Frazer did likewise in Berlin in September.

McGinley accepts that he will need the performance of his life to make the required time of 2 hrs 18 mins.

He has prepared meticulously with an 11-week build-up of 115 miles each week. Recently his confidence achieved a major boost with a convincing win in the Armagh 10 miles event.

"The Armagh race gave me a lot of confidence and a good timing boost," he said.

"I am both nervous and excited about Monday's race. I have to respect the marathon distance, especially over the last six miles. I will probably run with Paddy in the early stages and see how things go."

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