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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Doha not an option for dad-to-be Clohisey as Dublin takes centre stage

Last year’s national marathon winner will be back on the streets of the capital to defend his title this October.

IT WAS DUE to be a season-shaping decision, but in the end, circumstances meant that Mick Clohisey’s mind was made up for him before he even had the chance to tease out the options.

With his wife due to give birth to their first child in the coming weeks, Clohisey decided that travelling to the World Championships in Doha simply wasn’t feasible, and he will instead defend his national title at the Dublin Marathon.

Mick Clohisey Clohisey will be back to defend his national marathon title in October. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The 33-year-old may very well have opted to skip the World Championships to race the streets of the capital again in any case, but the impending arrival has allowed him to definitively concentrate on Dublin again in 2019.

“It was going to be a toss up as I didn’t want to miss the World Championships but obviously I got such a taste of Dublin last year,” he tells The42. “But with Crona expecting now in the next two or three weeks, it made a hard decision a lot easier. 

“There’s no way I could be just taking off to Doha, as I’d probably have to be there for three weeks beforehand and that would rule me out at home for most of September. It kind of made that decision a lot easier.”

After delivering his finest marathon performance in Dublin last October to join an illustrious list of past national champions, all of Clohisey’s focus — from a running perspective anyway — is now on Sunday 29 October and the 40th staging of the Dublin Marathon.

Clohisey’s time of 2:15.58 was a fraction off his own personal best, but the fastest by an Irish man in the Dublin Marathon in 19 years, since Gerry Healy clocked 2:15.37 in 1999. 

“I’m really looking forward to it after last year went so well,” he says. “I’d love to try and improve on my performance. I’d love to try and get up to that podium overall, because I wasn’t that far off it last year. 

“I don’t know who is coming over [to race] but I feel I’m getting stronger so hopefully I can improve. I feel a lot more confident in myself, especially in the marathon. My approach will be to get on that podium.”

Clohisey took in the London Marathon back in April but his performance there was compromised by ‘a couple of injury issues’ in the days leading up to the race.

After a short break, the Raheny Shamrock athlete has used the summer months to travel the country and race in a number of shorter-distance events, including the South Dublin 10k and recent Rock n’Roll Half Marathon. 

“I love racing, it keeps me fresh and is the best way to keep fit,” he explains.

SPAR Cross Country Xperience Launch Clohisey was speaking at the launch of the Spar Cross Country Xperience. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

This Saturday, Clohisey is due to race in Frank Duffy 10 Mile — the second event of the Dublin Marathon race series — in the Phoenix Park as he ramps up his preparation for the Autumn marathon. 

“The whole buzz of Dublin and this year is going to be massive, the 40th year,” the Rio Olympian continues. “We’re starting to hear so much about it already. Once we get into September now, you’ll start to feel the buzz building. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it really so hopefully now it all goes well and I’ll be on the start line.”

As for becoming a father, Clohisey hopes having a little person around the house will benefit his running, rather than be a hindrance to his training and performance. 

“It will be a massive change obviously,” he smiles. “I’ve seen my parents and they’re quite relaxed and Crona’s parents, they don’t make a big fuss. You have other people telling you you should be doing this and that, but we’re just taking it as it comes.

“I’m doing a good bit of coaching, but I’m lucky I’m not in a 9-5 job. I’ve got a lot of flexibility. Everyone has done it before, my coach Dick Hooper had two children when he was training for marathons. It shouldn’t be anything major, just go with the flow of it.

“Hopefully it will actually work to my benefit by making me tougher and it will give me perspective as well. It’s not all about running. The running is great, but it gives you great perspective.

“The baby is being born in Holles Street, where the marathon finishes so that could be a nice omen, and maybe I’ll have Crona and the baby there at the finish line.”

Irish international athlete Mick Clohisey was on hand to launch the SPAR Cross Country Xperience which will take place at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus on Sunday, 20 October 2019. More details here.

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Ryan Bailey

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