Athletics: Laura Graham excels in Irish Marathon Championship

Pauline Curley clinched the Irish title.
Pauline Curley clinched the Irish title.

Laura Graham from Mourne Runners continued her rise through athletics ranks by taking an unexpected third in the Irish Marathon Championship, which was included in the Dublin City Marathon.

Graham ran just three days after taking second in the Uphill Race at the Mourne Skyrunning Festival and moved through strongly to clock 2:56:21.

The Irish title was taken by 46-year-old Pauline Curley from Tullamore in 2:49:29. The 2008 Beijing Olympian, just four weeks after knee surgery, became the oldest champion in the 123 year history of the Championships. Jane Ann Healy-Meehan came second.

The overall women’s winner was Nataliya Lehonkova from Ukraine in 2:31:08 ahead of Grace Momanyi of Kenya and Tesfanesh Denbi of Ethiopia.

Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham claimed the national men’s title with 2:19:47. Clonliffe pair Gary O’Hanlon and David Mansfield took the other medals.

Alemu Gemechu of Ethiopia was the overall winner in 2:14:01.

There was a record entry of more than 15,000 competitors in wet and windy conditions.