Belfast Marathon 2021 (3rd Oct)
Excellent run by Joan Flynn at Belfast Marathon
After a two year absence, the Belfast City Marathon returned on Sunday 3rd October with a big entry of nearly 6,000 taking part. The AAI National Marathon Championship is normally run in conjunction with the Dublin City Marathon, but as Dublin was cancelled this year, the Nationals were incorporated into the Belfast Marathon. Nearly 800 were entered in the National event, among them Joan Flynn, the sole representative from Mullingar Harriers. Because entry was limited in the National event, it was a Senior Championship only, with no master categories, but that didn’t deter Joan and she focussed on simply running as well as possible, medals or not.
Starting at Stormont Estate and finishing in Ormeau Park, the route took in North, South, East and West Belfast and the weather stayed clear for the duration, which is always a welcome bonus when undertaking the 26.2 miles classic distance. Joan put in a great effort and stuck to her pre-race plan to finish 188th place overall in 2:58:53, yet another terrific sub-3 hour result. Considering that the women’s National senior title was won in 2:43, Joan has to be very satisfied with her performance.
Also competing in Belfast was Stephen Bell, who reported that it was a difficult twisting and turning route, and he even had to stop for a few minutes along the way because one runner had collapsed with a heart attack, though thankfully he was resuscitated by paramedics before being air lifted out and reported as recovered in hospital. Despite this unfortunate excitement, Stephen was still satisfied enough to finish in 3:51:10, under his pre-race target of four hours.