Well done – or well Dane, even – to two Dublin-based runners who put in fantastic performances in today’s Copenhagen Marathon, giving Ireland the sort of results-sheet dominance normally the preserve of Kenya.
Barry Minnock of Rathfarnham AC finished second in the men’s race with a time of 2:26:51. Coming only a couple of weeks after he ran 2 hours 17 minutes in the Hanover Marathon, this is impressive.
But the real headliner is Barbara Sanchez winning the women’s race. The Raheny clubwoman, winner of the 2010 Dublin Marathon, was victorious in 2:41:18 in Copenhagen today.
Alas, Sanchez’s time was over four minutes outside her target of the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 2 hours 37 minutes, and so she is not in contention for one of Ireland’s three Olympic women’s marathon places due to be announced tomorrow. (As there are already four athletes to choose from, Ireland’s Olympic selectors must be grateful that their already-difficult task hasn’t been made even harder.)
Without taking away from Sanchez’s fine win, perhaps her Olympic aspirations in Copenhagen today suffered from not having stiffer competition to drive her under the ‘A’ standard.
Sanchez is a native of France who has declared for Ireland after seven years of residency in Dublin. (On the other hand, your Irish blogger has been in Paris for seven years but has certainly not declared for France.) If you want to learn more about this adopted Rahenywoman, Irish journalist Lindie Naughton has a profile of Sanchez on her excellent blog.
Both Minnock and Sanchez came close to Olympic qualification these past weeks, so perhaps they are feeling a little disappointed today. But hopefully they’ll take heart from these great performances and build on them for greater achievements to come.