North East Runners shine in the Dublin Marathon despite rain

The streets of Dublin were awash with enthusiasm as a group of 26 dedicated runners from Dundalk took on the iconic Dublin Marathon. With runners of all levels participating, the day was filled with triumphs, personal bests, and an unwavering sense of community spirit.
The North East Runners Dundalk Squad, affectionately referred to as the “NERDS,” showcased their incredible determination and athletic prowess on Sunday, October 29th, 2023. Each runner tackled the 42.2km course with determination, but there were some notable standout performances that left spectators and fellow runners in awe.
Mark O’Connor was the star of the day, achieving a remarkable personal best (PB) with a lightning-fast time of 2 hours, 48 minutes, and 38 seconds. His exceptional performance not only earned him a well-deserved celebration but also the title of the 12th best Male Over 50 yr athlete in the competition. The NERDS proudly cheered Mark as he crossed the finish line, showcasing the results of his hard work and dedication to his training.
Ronan Halpenny also delivered an outstanding performance, finishing the Dublin Marathon in 2:59:40, breaking the elusive 3 hour barrier. Meanwhile, George Shields achieved a commendable time of 3:03:45 seconds, and Ray Kelly closely followed with a time of 3:07:20 seconds. The NERDS continued to shine throughout the marathon, with a total of 26 participants from the town, demonstrating the depth of talent within our running community.
Despite the extraordinary athletic achievements, the weather had a role to play as well. As the runners pressed on, the heavens opened, with rain pouring down on them. This added an extra layer of challenge to the already demanding marathon course, making their accomplishments even more remarkable.
The camaraderie and support among the NERDS runners were evident as they braved the elements and conquered personal goals. PBs were a recurring theme throughout the day, with Louth’s recently crowned Intermediate XC champion Vanessa Schmid clocking an impressive time of 3:26:21 and Karen Mc Crystal pacing our lead coach Jim Gonnolly around in 3:36:07 seconds.
This day of achievement was not just about setting personal bests or conquering the elements; it was a celebration of the running community in Dundalk. As each runner completed the marathon, they were met with the cheers and support of thousands of spectators.
Other fantastic performances of the day include:
Brendan Reid 3:13:15; Gearoid Wills 3:17:33; Brian Mc Guinness 3:20:43; Jim Gonnelly 3:36:59; Gerry Kenny 3:46:41; Barbara Muckian 3:51:08; Sara Farrington 3:53:38; Thomas Crosby 3:55:28; Stephen Magee 3:56:34; Tom Mc Elarney 3:58:56.
Ruth Kilkenny 4:10:24; Ciaran Ryan 4:20:11; Brendan Hilliard 4:20:15; Siobhan White 4:34:57; Ciara O H-íci Holmes 4:35:49; Collette O Hagan 5:37:15; Katie Morgan 5:49:43; Patricia Flynn 5:39:13; Mary Boyle 5:49:51; Janet Mooney 6:14:38.
If you also want to improve your running, feel free to reach out to us for a plan or give some of our training sessions a try. Find North East Runners A.C. on Facebook or Instagram. All are welcome to join.

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