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Welsh runner Natasha Cockram breaks national marathon record despite being kicked by a horse four days earlier

Heard the one about the woman who got kicked by a horse and four days later broke the Welsh marathon record?

Natasha Cockram set a new national women's record of 2hr 30min 50sec, finishing fifth in the Dublin Marathon.

Remarkably, she completed the feat just two years after her first race, four days after being kicked in the leg by a horse and despite working full time.

"I didn't have the best week before the race," Cockram told BBC Sport Wales. "I was in panic mode after the kick!"

'I didn't think I would even make my flight'

Cockram's rise in Welsh athletics has been extremely fast, having fallen off the radar because of injuries after a promising junior career.

She had not even run the marathon distance until 2017, but she ran so well in Dublin (running 2:49:37) that she decided to try and take athletics more seriously.

On Sunday at the same venue the Cwmbran runner beat the previous Welsh best of 2:31:33 set by Susan Tooby at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and did it despite having a big bruise on her knee.

Cockram rescued a horse and when she went to visit it last Wednesday, got an unpleasant surprise.

"I didn't have the best week. On Wednesday I went to check on my horse and I got kicked by another horse in the field," she said.

"So I had a bit of panic mode and didn't think I'd even make my flight to Dublin, let alone the race.

"It did cross my mind when it happened I might not be able to race. I was straight on to the phone to the Welsh athletics physio, but he assured me it was just a bruise.

"It didn't hurt during the race, my leg went numb in mile 18... but I pushed through.

"It didn't really register right away that I had broken the record, I knew I had the time, but I think I was more disappointed I didn't get the Olympic standard, as I was on course to hit it."

Full time work and told she would never run again

Cockram is now targeting a place at the Tokyo Olympics after finishing 80 seconds short of the Team GB marathon qualifying time.

She says she will run the Houston Marathon in January and the London Marathon as she looks to hit the Olympic mark of 2:29:30, having just failed to do so in breaking the Welsh record.

Her success is all the more amazing considering she is not a full time athlete and has suffered with severe injury issues.

"I always liked the idea of doing a marathon. Dublin in 2017 was my first one so it's a good place for me. I have always liked the distance and I have always looked up to people like Paula Radcliffe, I would watch her race as a child," she explained.

"I did Dublin in 2017 more for fun but I ran two hours 49 seconds and thought that was a pretty amazing time and I should do it more seriously again."

At that point Cockram, who went to university in the USA, had all but given up on running professionally.

"I headed out to university as quite a high achieving junior, but university didn't go my way, I think I was over-training and then I got quite a serious injury and was told I would never run again," she added.

"Just to be running again is a blessing. I tore the tendon in my knee and had my patella bone scraped, it is just a serious surgery. Quite a few doctors here said it would be a career ending injury, so I headed back out to the USA to talk to doctors until one said he would give it a go.

"I went into surgery and came out and it took me about two years to get back running."

All eyes now on Tokyo 2020

Cockram works full time for the Welsh Government and admits it is only after breaking the Welsh record that is has dawned on her that Olympic qualification is a realistic aim, having previously mixed training with a 'normal' career.

"Most days I am out of bed at 4, 4.30am to train then and I do a full day's work before training in the evening until about 9.30pm," she said.

"A normal Monday would be a ten mile run in the morning, followed by working all day and then heading straight over to Sport Wales to do strength and conditioning training and then head out for another run and then home and to bed. Repeat it again for the rest of the week!

"I have not run any major championships yet, which is weird to say when I am talking about Tokyo, but I don't see why I can't give it a go.

"I think knocking off 80 seconds is something I can do, especially as things didn't really go my way in Dublin, even leading into the week before.

"Before the race the Olympics didn't seem realistic at all, I was thinking more about 2024, but as the race went on, I was close and now I've definitely got to go for Tokyo 2020.

"My consistency of training, working with my coach and Welsh athletics, it has all contributed to my times getting better and better."

Cockram knows she may have to make sacrifices at work to turn her Olympic dream into a reality.

"I do value my work and life outside of running, but I think to improve and go to the Olympics I will need to be thinking about sponsorship and at least dropping some of my hours in work," she said.

"I don't really sleep enough for an athlete or have the right recovery time, so I would like to give it a go as a full time athlete.

"The motivation is the fact I love it. Even when it hurts I enjoy it and now the Olympics being on the cards is the goal to keep me going."

(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Morocco's Othmane El Goumri wins the 40th Dublin Marathon

The 40th Dublin Marathon has been won by EI Goumri of Morocco.

He took the title in a new course record of 2:08:04 on Sunday. This compares to last year's win - set by Asefa Bekele from Ethiopia - of 2:13:23.

El Goumri ran a personal best of 2:08:20 at the 2019 Rabat Marathon, where he finished second.

Ireland's Stephen Scullion took second place, with a time of 2:12:01.

Patrick Monahan claimed the wheelchair title in 1:39:50. And Moth Gedefa took home the women's title in a time of 2:27:48.

A record 22,500 runners took part in the cross-city event. International elite runners competed against Ireland's top endurance athletes. Irish athletes also battled it out for national titles.

Meanwhile, 13 runners who have taken part in all 39 Dublin Marathons since the race began in 1979 completed their 40th this year.

This group included Mary Nolan Hickey from Wicklow - the only woman to have finished all of the marathons.

There were also rolling road closures around the city as a result, as well as some public transport diversions. Transport for Ireland (TFI) said its real-time information would not be in operation during the race.

Aidan Power is director of customer, brand and marketing at KBC. He said: "This year, the KBC Dublin Marathon is celebrating 40 years and we are honoured to be part of history in the making.

"Yes, a marathon is about running 26.2 miles, however, the Dublin Marathon represents so much more than that.

"It is about community spirit, bringing together runners, supporters, family members, volunteers and of course, fans, every October.

"In 1980, 2,100 took part in the first ever Dublin Marathon, this year, a record 22,500 runners will be at the startling line.

"As sponsor, we are immensely proud to be associated with such a special event and we would like to wish all of those running, the very best of luck."

(10/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jack Quann
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Gerry Fay will be taking on his 522nd Marathon at Dublin Marathon

Gerard Fay hopes to complete his 522nd marathon this Bank Holiday weekend to complete an astonishing 109 marathons in 365 days. 

Gerard is an accomplished marathoner. To date in this calendar year, the 48-year-old has done 86 Marathons. All these marathons were done in Ireland and all will be a minimum of 26.2 Miles each.

Aside from the marathons he also does numerous shorter distance races from 800m to half marathons as his training  during the week and on weekends when there are no marathons on.

Dublin City Marathon was Gerard's first Marathon back in 1998. This weekend will be his 22nd Dublin event. 

"A lot of miles have been done in the past 21 years and each an everyone has been done with thousands of people in my head pushing me along. 

"These people are of course those with Cystic Fibrosis both living and deceased. People constantly ask where do I get my motivation and it is simple Just look at a person with CF. 

"Learn what they have to go through day in day out with physic, medication and just basic breathing. Things we as healthy people take for granted. I have know some of these CF's over 30 years now and to see their achievements in their lives pushes me on to do what I do. 

"There are plenty others out there doing what I do and more but we all have the one goal to try and help the real warriors the Persons with CF. They are the ones who push me to achieve my dreams and if by doing so I can help them achieve their then I am happy. 

"The running is my pastime but this is their lives and with the support of their families they are doing their very best to achieve their potential. Please support those with CF if you can. Donation page is always open."

Gerard's chosen charity is Cystic Fibrosis Ireland who provide excellent and much needed support services to people with Cystic Fibrosis. The funds raised will be used for the purchase of vital equipment in the CF units around the country but also to assist Cystic Fibrosis Ireland with their Exercise Grant Scheme whereby they give a grant to persons with CF for part funding gym memberships or the purchase of home exercise equipment. The target for the fundraising is to raise a minimum of €50,000.

"I have been fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis over the past 30 years and in that time have raised in excess of €150,000 of which €100,000 was used for the purchase and refurbishment of the dedicated CF Outpatients unit in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. All funds will go to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and all expenses are borne by myself."

Cystic Fibrosis is a Genetic Disease which effects over 1,250 people in the Republic of Ireland which is the highest per head of population in the World. The Association is over 50 years in existence and over those years has contributed nearly 20 million to research and over 15 Million for the building of the dedicated centers around the country. These centers are invaluable to those with CF.

(10/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Gavan Becton
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Super grandma, 70, Collette O’Hagan is gearing up for her 695th marathon in dublin this weekend

The 70-year-old has no plans to stop there, as she’s aiming to bring her grand total to a cool 700 before the end of the year.

Colette has ran marathons all over the world including places such as Boston and New York.

Collette has run marathons all over the world, but Dublin holds a special place in her heart as it’s where she ran her first marathon 30 years ago.

She explained: “My running journey started in Dublin. I never looked back. I do love Dublin.”

While most runners spend months preparing for a big race, superfit Collette can easily clock up two or three marathons every weekend.

She has also completed all of the major marathons around the world including Boston 11 times and New York six times.

Her impressive list also includes Berlin, London, Chicago and Tokyo, making up the Big Six in marathon circles.

The Dundalk woman recalled how a small crowd joined her on her first Dublin marathon, but over the years the event has grown dramatically, “and now I am doing it with 22,500.”

She said: “I owe a lot to Dublin for getting me going and for my running journey.”

Collette began running with her husband Larry and as time passed her interest in it, and in running longer distances, outgrew his.

She gets a lot out of running and her advice is to “stay focused, keep yourself motivated and enjoy it.”

She said: “I particularly look forward to Dublin; the spectators are amazing, they bring you through it, they are just fantastic.

“Some of the women are out and ask do you want a cup of tea, they are so friendly, it is like a day out nearly going around Dublin, it is just fabulous, I’d say it will be a massive big party day on Sunday.

“It has special meaning and definitely is one of my favorites.”

While she doesn’t keep a close eye on the clock, Collette is happy now to complete a marathon within approximately five hours.

She explained: “I don’t push myself that I’m stressed, if you are stressing your body all the time, stress will bring on an injury.”

2019 is also a special year because it marked her golden wedding anniversary and she celebrated her 70th birthday.

She and Larry have five children and 10 grandchildren and that does not include over 80 children they have fostered over the years.

She said: “This is a special year, a lot of milestones this year and my ambition is to continue running and see how far the journey takes me.”

(10/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Elaine Keogh
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


KBC Dublin Marathon is offering runners the chance to personalise their commemorative 40th anniversary medal with an iTAB medal insert

KBC Dublin Marathon Can Personalize Their 40th Anniversary Medal with iTAB. The small plate is laser-engraved with the runner’s name and unique finish time and is the perfect way to celebrate this memorable marathon or a hard-earned PB.

Taking place on Sunday 27th October, the iconic event is the fifth largest city marathon in Europe and has seen the number of participants grow from 2,100 in 1980 to 22,500 for their 40th event.

Race Director, Jim Aughney comments: “KBC Dublin Marathon has partnered with iTAB for the past 5 years and we are delighted with the runner's feedback.

The facility for runners to book an iTAB for their well-deserved medal adds greatly to the runner's experience in Dublin, which is celebrating its 40th year in 2019.”

iTAB Senior Account Manager, Kirsty Moulsley, will be flying to Dublin for the big day to run the marathon and says: “I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to run this great race in its 40th year! I’ve been told that the support and the Irish hospitality is second to none and I can’t wait to experience it for myself!”

(10/23/2019) ⚡AMP
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


KBC Dublin Marathon bosses have confirmed that October's race is now officially sold out with a record breaking 22,500 entries

An additional 2,500 tickets went on sale for the marathon this morning and over 8,000 runners were vying for a place.

Earlier today, Dublin Marathon bosses apologized to members of the public who were experiencing difficulties while trying to book a place in the popular race due to a technical malfunction with their website.

The team said that an issue with the EventMaster database was causing problems for those trying to login to the site during peak demand.

Organizers confirmed the additional entries back in February, bringing the event to a field of 22,500 for the first time.

Dublin Marathon tweeted this morning: "The #KBCDublinMarathon is now sold out with a record 22,500 entries.

"We know that many of you are disappointed not to have secured an entry.

"We had over 8,000 vying for 2,500 entries which led to some technical difficulties with Eventmaster often encountered during peak demand."

The KBC Dublin Marathon will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The popular race completely sold out of the first 20,000 entries back in December - a whopping ten months before the big event.

The 42km race will take place on Sunday, October 27 at 8.45am across Dublin city center.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Julieanne Corr
KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....


Asefa Bekele from Ethiopia won the 2018 men's Dublin Marathon

Ethiopia's Asefa Bekele won the 2018 men's Dublin Marathon while his fellow compatriot Mesera Dubiso won the women's race. Over 20,000 participants turned out for the annual race with Bekele coming home in a time 2:13:23 with Dubiso crossed over the finishing line in a time of 2:33:48 to take the women's title. Meanwhile, there was a strong Irish representation in the field with Mick Clohisey of the Raheny Shamrocks club claiming the Irish Athletics National Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:15:57. It was the fastest time to win the National title since 1991. The Dublin man placed sixth overall. Cork native Lizzie Lee took third place in the women's race and finished in an impressive time of 2:35:04 after winning the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon earlier this year. She also claimed the Irish Athletics National Marathon title in the process. Lee said: "An Irish woman on the overall podium, I am thrilled with that. I am thrilled with the time, I am thrilled with the place and I know my little girl is out there somewhere I can’t wait to give her a hug. I needed redemption after Berlin. "I felt like the last few miles got away from me. I am absolutely over the moon. I am a Mum of two small girls and I work full time. "Running is my hobby and I am on a podium with two Ethiopian girls.  I am thrilled,"  said Lizzie Lee with a smile. (10/29/2018) ⚡AMP

Doctors told Anais Maniere she’d never walk again is running the Dublin marathon

A woman who was warned by doctors that her incurable disease would confine her to a wheelchair for the rest of her days is aiming to prove her medical team wrong by running this weekend's Dublin Marathon. Anais Maniere, a Dublin-based nurse, was diagnosed last year with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a little-known rheumatological condition that leaves sufferers with constant pain and stiffness from the neck down to the lower back. In the case of Maniere, the symptoms were at one stage so severe that everyday actions like walking, dressing, driving, and sleeping became extremely challenging. And doctors warned the 28-year-old to expect things to go from bad to worse, telling her she would be in a wheelchair in her thirties. However, determined Anais, whose courage has earned her a prestigious Lord Mayor's medal nomination, has vowed to push herself through the pain barrier this weekend and not only complete the Dublin Marathon, but run the entire, grueling course. She said, "I've suffered from pains since when I was a child, but it wasn't until January of last year when I was diagnosed, and at the beginning of this year things got really bad, and it was hard for me to walk, stand up or even be static. "I was also told by a doctor at the time that I'd be in a wheelchair in my thirties, and that was horrible to hear. It upset me, but I'm determined to prove that doctor wrong. "In February I started a new treatment and things have improved. Although this condition can't be cured, it's about controlling the pain and learning to live as normal a life as possible." (10/27/2018) ⚡AMP

Lizzie Lee will lead the Irish charge at the Dublin Marathon on Sunday

Lizzie Lee, Mick Clohisey and Gary O’Hanlon are expected to lead the Irish charge at the Dublin Marathon on Sunday, October 28.  Lee finished 29th in the marathon at the European Championships in August, will face Remalda Kergyte of Lithuania, Caroline Jepchirchir of Kenya, and Ethiopian duo Motu Gedefa and Mesera Dubiso. Kergyte, has a personal best of 2.35.13, while Jepchirchir won this year’s Belfast Marathon. Lee has a personal best of 2:32.51 from Berlin in 2015 and last competed in the Dublin Marathon in 2006. The Olympic marathoner has shown good form this season, setting a new personal best of 1:13:19 at the World Half Marathon Championships in March.  The Irish national title will be a battle between Lee and fellow Olympian Caitriona Jennings who placed second in the 2017 National Championships. (10/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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