Irish Olympian Martin Fagan has been confirmed as a participant in his year’s 40th running of the ING New York Marathon on November 1. Fagan will continue a long list of elite Irish runners who have competed in the race.

“We are thrilled to have Martin in this year’s race as he continues a rich tradition and heritage of great Irish runners running here in the New York City Marathon.

"Irish runners have always felt pretty much at home here, as there is always plenty of enthusiasm for the Irish in the Marathon and we expect the same this year,” said Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president and CEO and ING Marathon race director.

Fagan has never run the marathon in New York before, but has run cross country in Van Cortlandt park in The Bronx and came eighth in the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park in May.

Mark Carroll came sixth in the 2002 NYC Marathon in a time of 2:10:54, and the best placed Irish man in the event was John Treacy, who came in third in 1988 in a time of 2:13:18. Fagan’s own personal best in the marathon is a 2:14:06 he ran in Dubai in January, 2008.

The 26-year-old, who ran for Mullingar Harriers growing up, represented Ireland at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the marathon.  However, he was forced to pull up just short of 25 miles into the course with a hamstring injury.

Fagan, a native of Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, went to Providence College in Rhode Island and is now based in training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. He competes this weekend in the Great North Run in Newcastle, England, and plans to use the half-marathon to continue his preparations for the marathon in New York on the first Sunday in November.

The 26-year-old won the Austin Half Marathon in Texas in January and beat 1984 Olympic silver medalist Treacy’s half-marathon record at the Fortis City-Pier-City half-marathon in the Hague. Fagan clocked a 1:00:57, finishing fifth in the process.

However, injury forced him to pull out of the World Championships in Berlin in August, and this opportunity to run in the New York marathon is a chance to end the season on a high.

“When I raced in Beijing I felt like I was making up the numbers. This time I really want to mix it up with the best guys,” said Fagan on Tuesday, adding that the difficulty of the New York course made is hard to post a world record time. 

“New York is more of a competitive race; it’s more of a race. I really want to mix it up with these guys and get a couple of scalps.”