Belfast Telegraph

Graham stays ahead of pack to retain Irish marathon title

By Brian Hill

Top Irish Marathon runner Laura Graham confirmed her pre race favourite status by successfully defending her Irish title in the SSE Air Tricity Dublin Marathon in her second fastest ever time of 2 hrs 39 mins 6 secs.

Laura (31) from Mourne Runners was always determined to finish as top Irish woman in the 13,000 field. She raced ahead of her Irish opposition from an early stage and was never threatened. Her finishing time was impressive coming little over a month after her record breaking run of 2 hrs 37 mins in Berlin.

The mother of four was well ahead of Irish runner up Catriona Jennings (2.42.36 ) and Pauline Curley (2.50.55).

This all added up to an impressive pay day for Graham.

Her 4th overall place plus her Irish win earned her €7,000 (£6,190). Laura's key objective is next summer's European Marathon in Berlin.

The women's race was won by 2013 Belfast Marathon winner Nataliya Lehonkova of Ukraine in an impressive PB of 2.28.58.

The Belfast Marathon also featured in the Men's result where this year's winner also took the win in Dublin in 2 hrs 15 mins 53 secs.

2014 Belfast Champion Freddy Sittuk was a close fourth when he took the Irish title 2.16.05.

Belfast's Stephen Scullion finished as 4th Irish finisher in 2.19.45 which was his second fastest ever.

Other useful Northern performances included Mark Long of Foyle Valley ( 2.35.29) and Kyle Doherty of Derry Spartans (2.35 .40).

In the Frankfurt Marathon Armagh's Fionnuala Ross beat her previous best time by over a minute to record new figures of 2.48.44.

Belfast Telegraph

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