The Olympics beckon for marathon star and Bristol University graduate Claire
Press release issued: 23 April 2012
A former student at the University of Bristol has won selection for the Olympic Games thanks to an impressive performance in Sunday’s Virgin London Marathon. Claire Hallissey powered home in a personal best time of 2hr 27min 44sec, making her the first British woman to cross the finish line and secure her place on Team GB.
There was only one more marathon place available and Claire now completes the line-up alongside Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi.
Claire came 11th overall in the Virgin London Marathon, which was won by Kenyan Mary Keitany in 2hrs 18mins 37secs – the third fastest in history.
It was the second time that Claire, who completed a PhD in Immunology at Bristol University between 2006 and 2010, has run within the Olympic qualifying time of two hours and 31 minutes. Last year she completed the Chicago Marathon in 2hr 29min 27sec.
Claire, 29 and now living in Washington with her husband, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I think it’s still sinking in. I’m very, very happy. It’s a dream come true.
“I was very happy with my performance at the London Marathon. It went exactly as I was aiming for and hoping for. It was one of those races where everything clicked into place and all went according to plan. I’ve done three marathons so far and I’ve got quicker over each one so it seems like I’ve found my distance.”
Claire’s fast finishing time has now elevated her into the UK all-time top 10 marathon rankings. She was in the High Performance Squad of elite athletes during her time at Bristol University and also a member of the Athletics Club and Cross Country Club.