- Kahumburuka Ivan Tuahuku, who lives in Direct Provision, completes his first marathon in 3:04:01
- Sanctuary Runner Sorcha Loughnane finishes third best Irish woman in marathon
- A team of over 40 Sanctuary Runners compete in this year’s marathon
As the rain tumbled down the graceful figure of Kahumburuka Tuahuku gliding down the home straight on Merrion Square North was a sight to behold on Sunday.
The young Botswanan (below left), competing in his first ever marathon, crossed the line in an incredible 3 hours 4 minutes and 1 second.
Not far behind him was the ever-smiling Togolese gem Koffi Kpoglo (below right) who, also running in his maiden marathon, clocked a wonderful 3 hrs 11 minutes and 34 seconds.
Both men live in Direct Provision and their achievements on Sunday, considering their living conditions and the many day-to-day challenges they face, are just incredible.
Elated after crossing the finish line Koffi and Kahumburuka, known as ‘Ivan’ to many of his friends in the Sanctuary Runners, vowed to come back in 2024 and shatter the 3-hour time.
Also running beautifully on Sunday were Lovemore Murewa from Zimbabwe, our Ghanaian superstar Noel Selorm Adabblah, Charity Mkwebu (in her second Dublin marathon), Gladis Gimena Vela Esquivel from Bolivia who ran a wonderful 4 hrs 2 minutes and 49 seconds, Zoran Vesel from Croatia who crossed the line holding the flag of Ireland, and also birthday girl Janet Jones, originally from Nigeria, who was serenaded on the start line by hundreds of her fellow runners!
And the majestic Sorcha Loughnane of Donore Harriers and Sanctuary Runners finished third in the National Marathon (and 9th overall) in an eye-watering 2 hrs 45 mins and 31 seconds. It was yet another brilliant run by the powerful Kerry woman.
The Sanctuary Runners team included runners from ten countries in this years marathon – Ireland, Croatia, Ghana, Togo, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria and Bolivia.
A special mention for Darren Hanlon, for his superb race time of 3 hrs 18 minutes and 59 seconds.
And our supporters at cheering stations on Mount Street bridge, Terenure and outside the RDS were incredible. Indeed along the route people wearing Sanctuary Runner tops and shouting their support made such a difference to all of our participants on a drizzly day in the Fair City.
Graham Clifford, Founder of Sanctuary Runners, who also ran on Sunday said the event was a highlight in the evolution of the Solidarity-through-sport organisation. He said: “To see these incredible athletes currently living in difficult circumstances in Direct Provision doing so well in the marathon is just inspiring. For many, basic things such as getting a sound sleep or being able to maintain a healthy diet is very challenging. Some have been moved from post to pillar since arriving in Ireland and know that they could yet be moved again in the Direct Provision system – but they focused on the marathon and just let rip. To reach the start line was an achievement in itself. And all of those who ran in solidarity, showing their commitment to decency and equality with all in every step, are amazing too. Plus our supporters, oh my God, our supporters at the cheering stations were just electric. Its an incredible team effort and was in the planning for months. We’re just overjoyed with how it all went today.”
Sanctuary Runners would like to sincerely thank the organisers of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon for helping some of our team to the start line on Sunday – it meant so much to so many #Solidarity #Friendship #Respect #RunAsOne