The sense of overwhelming accomplishment for Gearoid Rohan & his wife Mary and for Pat McDonagh as they crossed the finish line at the Dublin City Marathon yesterday was simply amazing. ‘Newbie’ to the marathon field, Mary Rohan ran her first ever marathon in 3:58:04 and crossed the line with her training companion Angela McManamon almost 2mins ahead of their target time of 4hours. The two ladies had started the race together; got separated at the half way stage but as fate would have it they re-united by chance before the end to cross the finish line together. Conditions were tough with blustery winds but yet desperately humid, temperatures soared to 18⁰C in parts, coupled with a new course which was a little more ‘hilly’ than that run in previous years. Seasoned veteran Gearoid Rohan (seasoned due to the fact that he run this event in 2012) slashed his PB by 5mins romping home in 3:04. Gearoid was in no mood to let himself down despite cramping at mile 22 and managed to maintain his momentum and speed to finish in a whopping time. Pat McDonagh also slashed his PB by 10mins crossing the finish line in 3:23 and was buzzing when re-united with his wife Carmel and family. Similar to Gearoid, he also had to alter his stride in a bid to run off cramps with 7/8 miles left to run. Unfortunately for him, he had to endure the long trip back to Newcastle on Monday evening and was back to reality early this morning with a 5am rise to resume his postman duties. He’s tough but momentous occasions and incredible achievements like this keeps one going for a long time. All 4 runners adhered to a 16 week training programme in preparation for the event, some early morning training runs, never missing a training session and never letting the weather stop them. Albeit, the excitement, anticipation and nervous energy oozed from these folks at the start line, it was a totally different feeling 26.2 miles later – delight, buzz, immense pride and accomplishment. There’s probably no better feeling in the world than successfully completing an endurance race. They say that after a marathon you swear you’ll never do one again but when the pain and soreness subsides it’s a different story. I’ve a feeling they’ll be more stories from these folks in the future! For now 8.30 Holy Hour on Sunday evenings will be back on track! Others to successfully complete the marathon were Kieran Guiry, Gurteen; Tracey Laheen, Castleblakney; Carmel Hannon, Castlefrench; Shirley Hynes Keating, Castleblakney and another husband and wife duo John & Mary McManus, Ballymacward.