Athletics News

Limerick gets Together to set Marathon Relay Record

Dennis Kimetto: eat your heart out. Yesterday, a team of 105 athletes got together in Limerick to establish a new world record for the marathon, albeit the relay version of the 26.2-mile distance. They duly achieved it in convincing style, taking almost 14 minutes off the previous marathon relay record of 2:10:52 and running a full six minutes faster than Kimetto himself. Their final time: 1:56:54.

Need for speed: Joe Chawke hands over to 400m specialist Jenna Bromell, who ran the fastest women's leg of the day with 57 seconds. Image: Ian Horgan.

Need for speed: Joe Chawke hands over to 400m specialist Jenna Bromell, who ran the fastest women’s leg of the day with 57 seconds. Image: Ian Horgan.

The challenge was the brainchild of Derek Casey of Limerick Brakes, who also sponsored the event. The rules stipulated that each runner had to run 400m and could only run a maximum of one leg each. The team was led off by Gary O’Hanlon, with a plethora of local athletes, and several Limerick GAA stars, all doing their part. With the team averaging 66-second pace throughout, the record was never in doubt.

Liam Reale, Limerick’s national 1500m champion and aEuropean finallist in 2006, was given the responsibility and honour of running the anchor leg, which he did in convincing style, breezing through a 56-second leg to complete the marathon relay in 1:56:54.

The fastest leg of the afternoon was run by Emerald AC’S Lorcan O’Connor, with a 54-second run, and his clubmate Jenna Bromell was the fastest female, with a 57-second leg.

The event was organised to raise funds for Cliona’s Foundation, a local charity which provides financial assistance to parents of critically ill children. It was set up by the parents of Cliona Ring, who died from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006. Since its founding, the charity has since raised over €500,000 and helped over 200 families in Ireland.

You can support the charity here, or log on to https://clionasfoundation.ie

Team effort: a group of the organisers and competitors from yesterday's record run in Limerick. Image: courtesy of Ian Horgan.

Team effort: a group of the organisers and competitors from yesterday’s record run in Limerick. Image: courtesy of Ian Horgan.

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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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