Ann Marie has Olympic qualification in her sights

ANN MARIE McGlynn will be hoping that months of preparation and years of dedication will come to the fore on tomorrow as she attempts to seal a place in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Strabane woman will run in the elite-only Valencia Marathon in a few days time when she knows that if she completes the 26.2 miles in under two hours, 29 minutes and 30 seconds her dreams will become reality.
To achieve that is easier said than done, however, because it will require the Tullamore native to break her own personal best over the distance by nearly three and a half minutes.
That’s not unlikely, though. She broke the long-standing Northern Ireland women’s record over the distance at last year’s Dublin city marathon, slashing seven minutes off her own PB in the process in a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds.
And she has a habit of delivering both on the big stage, as well as when it matters.
Alongside that record-breaking effort in Dublin in 2019, she broke the women’s event record at the 38th Waterside Half Marathon in 76 minutes and 54 seconds and she holds the Northern Ireland women’s 10K record of 32.43 minutes, which she achieved at Down Royal Racecourse earlier this year.
Her scintillating form during a Covid-19 affected 2020 has been nothing short of sensational. In February she broke the Northern Ireland and Ulster women’s half marathon record for the distance with a time of one hour 11 minutes and 59 seconds at the eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona.
And she slashed that mark further still in Poland when she finished the World Half Marathon Championship women’s race in 71 minutes and 40 seconds to finish in 42nd spot in October.
If her times this year are anything to go by, then it certainly looks like she’s in the right shape and frame of mind to achieve her ultimate goal of sealing a place in Tokyo but she knows better than most how hard that will be.
However, having only run her first ever marathon in Rotterdam back in April last year when she clocked two hours, 39 minutes and 19 seconds, it shows just how good an athlete she is that she is even being mentioned as a potential Olympian over the distance already.


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