In the Herald, Lindie Naughton looks ahead to 2012 and who might be able to qualify for the Marathon in the London Olympics. So far, only Mark Kenneally has qualified by running faster than the qualifying standard of 2:15. In 2011, four others ran faster than 2:20. Compare this to the period of 2007 to 2010 when only two men broke 2:20.
For 2012, the article suggests the following men will be trying to qualify...
Sean Connolly will be running in the Rotterdam Marathon in April after running 2:17:23 there in 2011.
Thomas Frazer will run either Rotterdam or Boston.
Alistair Cragg, who ran a time of 1:00.49 in New York last March, but dropped out of the Boston and Fukuoka marathons. Next??
Sean Hehir who has run 1:05:24 for a Half-Marathon may make his marathon debut in the spring.
Alan O'Shea, Gary Thornton and Martin Fagan are undecided on their next moves.
For the women, only Linda Byrne has qualified so far by running 2:36:21 in Dublin last October. There are however only three places on offer and there are plenty of others hoping to qualify for one of those places. In 2011, seven women broke 2:45 which is a big change to the previous four years when no more than three in any given year had gone under that time.
Those trying to reach the qualifying standard of 2:37 are...
Gladys Ganiel and Ava Hutchinson in the Houston Marathon on January 14
Maria McCambridge in Seville on February 19 or Barcelona on March 17
Among those likely to run the Rotterdam Marathon on April 15 are Caitriona Jennings, Lorraine Manning, Annette Kealy, Lizzie Lee, Breege Connolly, Rosemary Ryan and Barbara Sanchez.
The full article can be seen HERE and is worth a look.
...and finally, the Irish Examiner has an interview with Ciarán Ó Lionáird from Cork. They talk to him about his training in Oregon and his plans for the future. Article HERE