Earlier this week Talk of the Town reported how local runner Gary O’Hanlon claimed an impressive sixth place finish in the Dublin Marathon.
The Kilkerley man, however, claims he was robbed of a “dream” top three finish by thieves, who took his phone and left him with a broken hand.
Gary, who runs for Clonliffe Harriers AC, had his hopes of winning Monday’s race shattered after thieves forced him into a dramatic undercover sting that left him “in bits” less than 24 hours before the start of the race.
The 39-year-old was working at the Dublin Marathon Expo in the RDS on Sunday when he realised his €500 Samsung phone had been stolen.
According to the Irish Mirror he text it from a friend’s mobile and got a reply demanding €200 if he ever wanted to see it again.
He told the thieves he would meet them before secretly alerting gardaí, who went in undercover to nab the gang.
One of the suspects was arrested near O’Connell Street but another three Gary’s phone into the Liffey, with the athlete ending up with a broken hand in the scuffle.
Gary still managed to run the race, smashing the 2 hours 20 minute barrier he was aiming for, finishing sixth and winning the over 35s section.
Gary told the Mirror: “Year I lost a €500 phone that was only a couple of months old but it cost me so much more than that; I lost loads of important numbers and pictures and I lost out on a top three finish.
“I was so shocked and p**sed off by what had happened and I just couldn’t think straight so I didn’t get a wink of sleep going into my biggest race of the year.
“I had been training flat out for the past three months and I feel I would have been third at worst but like most of the top guys I was hoping to win and I lost out on all that and it’s gutting.”
Gary said he forgot about the pain in his hand after five or six miles but was exhausted from a lack of sleep, with his head “all over the place.”
Source: Dublin Marathon: Phone thieves cost top athlete a top 3 finish and a broken hand (Irish Mirror)