Mick Clohisey runs Raheny proud in his first Dublin Marathon

Distance runner was sixth-best overall as Ethiopian Asefa Bekele nails first place

Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock AC, Co Dublin, finishes sixth overall in the Dublin Marathon on Sunday to be crowned Athletics Ireland national champion. Photograph: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

There is no such thing as the perfect marathon, but Mick Clohisey gives the impression he has come comfortably close: sixth-best man overall in the Dublin Marathon, first Irish man in his own home town, with a special nod to his coach and former three-time Dublin winner Dick Hooper.

Clohisey’s first marathon run in Dublin too, one of the most loyal servants to Irish distance running missing out in recent years as he donned the green vest at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2017 London World Championships and, just two months ago, the Berlin World Championships.

Suitably inspired, Clohisey delivered one of his finest marathons, short of his best of 2:14:55 run in Seville earlier this year, but his 2:15:58 the fastest time by an Irish man in Dublin in 19 years, since Gerry Healy ran 2:15:37 in 1999, finishing second overall.

For the Raheny runner there was no shortage of satisfaction, not least in having Hooper out on the course, the man who won the inaugural Dublin Marathon in 1980.


‘Home crowd’

“Delighted with that, my first time to run Dublin,” he said, “my home town, so a different feeling coming into it, the home crowd and support all the way. For Dick Hooper as well, famous for this event, I know it will take a while to sink in. I’d put off Dublin the last few years with the major championships falling in August. This year I said I’d see how I’d recover after Berlin, and give it a crack. Great for my family out on the streets as well, and my wife Crona, and I’ve a few relatives on the southside as well.

Asefa Bekele of Ethiopia crosses the line to win the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

“I got stuck in early on, before it picked up coming out of the Phoenix Park, and ended up on my own for a while. I had to take a pit stop at Terenure College around 17 minutes, which thankfully didn’t take too much out of me, but I got going again, and managed to reel in six or seven lads over the last six miles or so.

“The last few marathons I’ve done I might have gone out too fast. I think I got it okay this time, but you never get it exactly-run. I was confident I’d have the strength in the end. I wasn’t worried about the splits – the maths go a bit astray after a while in the marathon.”

‘Closing mile’

Ethiopian Asefa Bekele, 26, timed his run perfectly, nailing first spot in the closing mile as he dropped David Manja from South Africa (second in 2:13:33) and Kenya’s Joel Kiptoo (2:13:42). Second-best Irish man behind Clohisey was last year’s national champion Gary O’Hanlon, 10th overall in 2:17:11, with Sergiu Ciobanu third-best, and 11th overall, in 2:17:28.

“Winning the national title means a lot to me,” added Clohisey, “having won the track and cross country, and with such a history in Raheny too, it should be good going back over the northside later.”

JohnBoy Smith from England won the wheelchair race with a gun-to-tape victory, his 1:36:12 denying Kildare’s Patrick Monahan a fifth successive Dublin title, as he came home second in 1:38:39, with Denmark’s Ebbe Blichfeldt third in 1:50:58.

The 2018 race marks the end of the SSE Airtricity sponsorship, with new sponsors already lined up for 2019, and to be announced on Tuesday.

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Results 2018 

1. Asefa Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:13:24
2. David Manja (South Africa) 2:13:33
3. Joel Kiptoo (Kenya) 2:13:42

1. Mesera Dubiso (Ethiopia) 2:33:49
2. Motu Gedefa (Ethiopia) 2:34:22
3. Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) 2:35:05

Dublin Marathon Wheelchair Championship Results:

1. JohnBoy Smith (England) 1:36:12
2. Patrick Monahan (Ireland) 1:38:29
3. Ebbe Blichfeldt (Denmark) 1:50:58

Irish National Championships Results

1. Mick Clohisey (Raheeny Shamrocks AC) 2:15:58
2. Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers AC) 2:17:11
3. Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC) 2:17:28

1. Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) 2:35:03
2. Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC) 2:41:17
3. Jill Hodgins (Leevale AC) 2:47:53

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics