AS thousands of runners descend on Dublin for the annual marathon, one Strabane man will be travelling to Germany to represent Ireland in the Frankfurt marathon.
2016 has been a breakthrough season for triathlete Brendan Murphy and he is looking forward to capping it with his 26 mile German challenge.
After opening with a 10km personal best in March, Brendan went on to win the Spanish Duathlon Championships.
He later took a silver medal at the European Championships as an Age Grouper before lining up as an elite at the World Duathlon Championships – the first Irishman to do so in over a decade.
Running for Sparta and coached by Newry based Paddy Hamilton, Brendan said, “2016 has been a great season for me already so being able to do Frankfurt is a nice bonus.
“I owe a lot of my success to Paddy. Our set up is simple – he tells me what to do and I do it. He’s experienced, knows a lot about the sport and is 100 per-cent honest. It has been a great two years so far and I am already looking good for 2017.”
Having been based in Spain for the last two years, Brendan was afforded the opportunity to train amongst other elite athletes in ideal weather and was able to pick up valuable lessons and tips along the way.
“The Spanish approach to training is slightly different to our style of training,” he said.
“It’s much more science based and they believe in drills before and after every run, even if it is a recovery jog. I was invited to train with the Spanish squad in the Pyrenees and enjoyed learning about drills and stretches that we don’t really do over here.”
With Frankfurt just days away, Brendan is positive about his prospects.
“Training has gone well in recent weeks and I’ve had some great races too. This is my debut in the marathon so I’m going out to enjoy it. As for a target time, I’ll be happy with anything under 2hrs 45mins. But most of all, I want to just enjoy the whole experience.”