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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
O'Sullivan continues NY build-up
Sonia O'Sullivan pictured winning the London 5K in Hyde Park last month
O'Sullivan showed great form on the roads last month
Olympic 5000 metres silver medallist Sonia O'Sullivan continues on the path to becoming a marathon runner in Sunday's Great Ireland Run - by practising collecting water.

A week after setting the fastest half marathon time in the world this year in the BUPA Great North Run, O'Sullivan intends coming to terms with a technical aspect of marathon racing.

Although the competition in the Galway market town of Loughrea is only over five miles, the Irishwoman intends attempting to master collecting and drinking water from specially set-up stations.

Taking on water will be essential when O'Sullivan contests the New York City Marathon on 3 November.


I need to master not only picking up the water bottle but drinking it
Sonia O'Sullivan

After feeling dehydrated in the last mile of her GNR success, she knows it is a part of race tactics - and picking up the bottle of fluid isn't as easy as it looks.

Sunday's race - which has attracted a record entry of over 1,000 mainly fun runners - will be a formality for O'Sullivan.

The 32-year-old sees it more as a training session than the flat-out effort which brought her a win on Tyneside.

The London-based star said: "I think when I am not ill or injured it is necessary I support what, for Ireland, is a big race.

New York build-up

"We need more events like the Great Ireland Run and I hope in the future to help promote it".

O'Sullivan is well aware that her English rival Paula Radcliffe dropped a bottle at a watering point in her London Marathon victory in April.

"On Sunday, I'll not be chasing records of any kind - although I'll still be running hard.

"I'll primarily be treating the race as part of my preparations for New York.

"I need to master the technique of not only picking up the water bottle but drinking it. I need to get it right".

See also:

02 Oct 02 | Athletics
23 Sep 02 | Athletics
08 Sep 02 | Athletics
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