Thomas Frazer among Dublin Marathon hopefuls with 20,000 expected to run

Belfast man Thomas Frazer will aim for the Irish national title in Dublin
Thomas Frazer represented Ireland at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich

Belfast man Thomas Frazer will hope to be in the mix for the Irish National title at Sunday's Dublin Marathon, which will see over 20,000 runners in action in the Irish capital.

Frazer, 37, set his personal best of 2:17.34 in Japan last year and a similar time will probably put him in contention for the Irish title.

Laura Graham will not defend her Irish women's title because of injury.

Graham has clinched the last two Irish titles in Dublin.

In terms of the elite men's race, Kenyan Bernard Rotich is expected to race again after winning in 2:15.53 last year.

His compatriots Vincent Tonui, Eric Koech and Joel Kiptoo are also expected to challenge along with Ethiopian Asefa Bekele who finished third in 2015 and last year.

Rio Olympian Mick Clohisey looks the Irishman with the best chance of challenging the African stars having set his personal best of 2:14.55 earlier this year in Seville.

Gary O'Hanlon won the Irish men's title in 2:18.53 last year - three days after the race concluded - when Athletics Ireland belatedly ruled that Raheny's Kenyan-born athlete Freddy Sittuk was not eligible to compete for the national honour.

Clonliffe's Ireland international Sergiu Ciobanu could be in the mix in both the elite and national races while Sittuk is again trying his luck in Dublin.

Cork woman Lizzie Lee will have high hopes of contending in the women's elite race.

Lee's personal best of 2:32.51 set in Berlin three years ago would almost certainly be good enough to win the women's race but it remains to be see whether she is in that kind of shape.

Lithuanian Remalda Kergyte has a recent 2:35.13 clocking to her name while Letterkenny woman Caitriona Jennings will hope to go one better in the women's national championship after filling the runner-up position over the last two years.

In terms of other contenders, Kenya's Caroline Jepchirchir will aim for another city win after triumphing in Belfast and Edinburgh earlier this year.

Ethiopia's Motu Gedefa, third in Dublin in 2:36.25 two years ago, could also be in the mix.

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