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Ann-Marie edges towards Tokyo after NI record success

AFTER an emotionally draining Dublin City Marathon on Sunday, Strabane’s Ann-Marie McGlynn was thrilled to not only finish second in the Irish National Championship event but also break Theresa Duffy’s 18-year-old Northern Ireland record.

She finished the demanding circuit in a stunning time of 2:32:54 hours, which not only saw her finish ninth in the international event, but it also put her within touching distance of a place at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

McGlynn went into the event having only completed the 26.2 miles distance once before but confident of success at what was the 40th Dublin City Marathon that attracted tens of thousands of runners.

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“I’m delighted! I was really happy with my time. I knew I was in the shape to run 2.33, but it depended on Dublin because the course is hard in parts,” she explained.

“It was going to be a big effort to run that and part of me was surprised that I did because of the course but part of me wasn’t because I knew it was in me.”

McGlynn led eventual winner Aoife Cooke for some time on Sunday, but that was due to her over-eagerness to impress her large group of spectators rather than by design. And in hindsight, she admits she would have run differently had she been in control of her emotions on the day.

“We were right together up to about 15K and what was hard about it for me was I had a lot of support,” she explained.

“I just couldn’t contain myself in parts. I was pushing on when I really shouldn’t have been.

“It was the most emotional race of my entire life – there were times, about nine, 10 times I was welling up! I had no idea what was coming over me.

“The crowds, the support, it was just unreal. I didn’t expect it to be like that and I think that’s what got me. My mum and dad, my sister and my wee Godchild were at the 13th mile and then Trevor [husband], my training partner and my coach were at other points. It was just emotional, it definitely was.”

Despite the race taking a toll on her physically and emotionally, it certainly hasn’t hurt her medals collection!

Because she’s based in Tyrone, races for a Donegal club [Letterkenny AC] and is from Offaly, McGlynn enjoyed a hugely successful weekend in Dublin.

“To break the Ulster record, the Donegal record the Northern Ireland record and win the Leinster Championship as well shows it pays to be from one place and live in another!,” she joked.

Ann-Marie will take a short break from training before assessing her next step with her coach. She will then decide whether or not to take on another marathon or half marathon to further boost her Olympics qualifying hopes. In the meantime, she wished to thank Peak Performance Gym in Strabane for sponsorship and support.

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