The 41st running of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon, featuring a record 25,000 competitors, was led home by Morocco's Taoufik Allem in 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds after a surge at 22 miles which was the precursor to an emphatic dominant triumph.

The long steady hill from the 20 mile mark up the Clonskeagh Road in South Dublin has often been the determining phase of the race in years past and never more so than today as Allem almost seemed to sprint away from his long time companions in the lead group, Ashenafi Boja and Birhanu Teshome.

In a fascinating contest during which all three went to the front of the pack in near perfect weather conditions, it was the tall figure of the Moroccan which loomed large over his Ethiopian rivals at a decisive point in the race as he took an easy victory in Merrion Square by a margin of around half a mile from Boja (2.13.59) with Teshome third (2.14.26).

Martin Hoare punches the air as he crosses the line

The national men's marathon title went to Martin Hoare of Celbridge AC from Conor Gallagher in second place and former overall Dublin Marathon race winner Sean Hehir in third.

Hoare, a 35-year-old accountant, clocked a personal best time of 2:20.22 to finish in seventh place in the overall international race field.

"It's amazing," he said after the race.

"To be honest I didn’t really think it was possible today. I said I’d just go with the pace and see where I ended up.

"About halfway through, I felt strong, and it started breaking up a bit. We got to nineteen miles, and I pushed on.

"I didn’t really think I was going to be national champion; this is a dream."

It was a debut marathon for Courtney McGuire

The women's national title was won by Courtney McGuire from Clonmel AC who clocked a time of 2:32.52. She was almost a minute clear of second placed Anne Marie McGuire (2.33.47) with Gladys Ganiel in third place (2.42.17).

Maguire, a 23-year-old psychology graduate out of UL, was running in her debut marathon and finished third in the overall international race in which Ethiopia's Nigist Mulaneh took victory in 2:28.32 after a long time duel with her fellow countrywoman Hawi Alemu Negeri (2.29.35).

"I only decided to do it about two months ago, my team kept me going," McGuire said afterwards.

"They really meant a lot to me over the past couple of months. I felt a lot better than I thought I would after a marathon, so we'll stay with this. I’m a little bit overwhelmed but I’m delighted that I did it."

Patrick Monahan was a clear winner in the wheelchair section

In the wheelchair race, Patrick Monahan took his sixth victory in the Dublin Marathon in a time of 1:37.31, well clear of Britain's Sam Kolek.

Monahan will travel to the USA this coming week ahead of competing in the New York Marathon next Sunday while his long-term focus is on the London Marathon next April where a top six finish would qualify him for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

Nigist Muluneh took the women's title
Members of the Inner City Running Club
The 41st edition of the race saw 25,000 competitors take part