You may have never heard of the name Linda Byrne. In fact most of those watching the Women’s Marathon during the London Olympics last week hadn’t a clue she was a competitor. But what many don’t know is that Linda Byrne is rich in popularity and notoriety with friends family and just about every county in all of Ireland.
During last week’s Women’s Marathon the 25-year-old ended up leading the pack of Irish runners over the finish line with a time of 2:37.13 for 66th place.
The Dublin gal was followed closely by Ava Hutchison in who chimed in at 68th place with at 2:37.17 and Catriona Jennings who finished last at 107th place with a time of 3:22.11.
The race was won by 24-year-old Ethiopian Tiki Gelana, competing in her first major championship, crossing the finish line on The Mall in an Olympic record of 2:23.07 minutes.
Byrne said afterwards the support of the throngs of Irish fans along the Marathon route was “fantastic”, and that she now has her sights roundly set on the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
An Irish Celebration of sorts was held after the Marathon in London and toasts were made, every now and again a congratulatory hug was awarded and everyone settled in for a cozy evening hearing Linda Byrne’s story of what it was like in her very first Olympic race and one that may in attendance expect her to repeat in 2016.