Road Running

Fionnuala all set for first marathon major on the road to Rio

Fionnuala McCormack (née Britton) is looking forward to a new challenge at the Chicago Marathon this Sunday, October 11th, as she targets qualification for the Olympic Games next summer.The two-time European Cross Country champion is still undecided about the European Cross Country in December as she turns her focus the the roads in a bid to make her third Olympic Games. McCormack ran in the 3,000m steeplechase in Beijing in 2008 and did a 5,000m/10,000m distance double in London in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said McCormack who made her marathon debut at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in 2014 finishing 10th in 2:31:46. “It’s a different challenge for this time of the year for me and it’s nice to be doing something different.

“I’ve been focusing on road racing in the last few months as Rio is in my sights,” she said. “I can’t wait to experience Chicago and try my hand at an American marathon. It was a natural progression for me and I’ve been told since I was about 14 I was going to be a marathoner at some stage.” McCormack will take on the likes of Kenyan Florence Kiplagat who is the world record holder for the half marathon. She will be looking to crack the 2:30 barrier with the Olympic standard of 2:42 easily within her compass.

McCormack may yet run in the European Cross Country Championships in December but is not thinking about it yet. “I will think about that when I’m in a position too,” she said with regards competing.

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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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