Graham sets her sights on the Double at London and Belfast Marathons
20 April 2017
Ireland's marathon champion Laura Graham confirmed at the weekend that she is again seriously considering repeating her spectacular double from a year ago when she competed in both the London and Belfast Marathons within an 8 day period.
The 31 year old Mourne Runners sensation is certainly in the sort of form where such a repeat performance in the next few days could be a distinct possibility.
Last April in London Laura ran a huge personal best where in spite of a misjudged pace she finished in 16th place in a time of 2 hrs 48 mins 3 secs. Just over a week later she astonished the athletics fraternity by taking a close 2nd in the DeepRiver Rock Belfast Marathon in a time which was only 52 secs slower than her London race.
Such an achievement points to the exciting potential of this former mountain runner who only took up marathons two years ago. In Belfast on 1st May she could be the first NI winner since Barbara Brewer's victory back in 1999. Laura should certainly have little difficulty in coping with the current opposition which includes last year's 3rd placer Radka Churanova of the Czech Republic who was timed in 2 .51.38.
Other athletes of note include Kenya's Salome Jepkoech who has a PB of 2.38 .27 from a number of years ago plus sub 3 hours runner Agnes Kiss of Hungary. However none of these athletes has the ability to come close to the talented Graham who ran another massive PB of 2 hrs 41 mins 54 secs to take the Irish title last October over the difficult Dublin course.
At the weekend Laura, who ran just 3 secs short of her 10k best time in the Titanic Race, confirmed she was targeting London with a view to further improving her marathon time. This could well ensure she gets close to next year's Brisbane Commonwealth Games qualification mark. Graham commented that she would be a lot more careful in London with her pacing judgement which went a little awry last year.
Belfast Marathon organisers are pleased with current entries for next month which currently stand at 2,600 for the full marathon and 1,800 in the five person relay teams. Many of these teams will be raising funds for the official charity Mencap.
So what are you waiting for –join over 16,000 others at the starting line of the 36th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May 2017.
For more information or to enter one of our event, please log on to www.belfastcitymarathon.com or ring the Marathon Office on 028 9060 5933.