136 Irish runners take part in 2014 Boston Marathon

136 Irish runners take part in 2014 Boston Marathon

Ireland is well represented in the field for the 2014 Boston Marathon. The powerfully emotional event, a year on from the terrible, tragic scenes from 2013, had 136 registered Irish runners.

 We can confirm that number as accurate, despite other major Irish newspapers suggesting over 200 Irish would be racing. Our figure comes straight from the race organisers statistics.

The 136 athletes that Ireland are sending places it 9th in the list of countries taking part, with Australia just ahead on 147.

That 136 might seem like a small figure when you consider Ireland's close ties to Boston, and of course Ireland's fabulously disproportionate number of long-distance running success stories.

However when you look at the eight countries ahead of Ireland it puts it in perspective. All the other countries are absolutely massive compared to Ireland (in terms of population), the Irish number participating is proportionately much higher than it seems.

Irish runner Bob Hilliard from Clonakilty, West Cork ran last year and was around when the first bomb went off.

He travelled back to run this year, and said that while security in the city is high, the atmosphere is positive

Hughie Carolan, from Shankill, Co Dublin, who at 70 is the oldest Irish-born man to participate this year, made it to mile 18 of last year's race before it was stopped.

He is aiming to complete his 92nd marathon today. 

“It is unfinished business this year to get back,” he said. “It means a lot – it’s to show respect by going back to Boston.”

There are 134 other Irish stories from the 2014 Boston Marathon, enriching the already wonderfully diverse, colorful field further still.