The morning of the eagerly anticipated Frank Duffy 10 mile dawned, and no more waiting. Well, when I say “eagerly anticipated”, I mean that I was awake before the 6:30am alarm. On a Sunday. After an early night. On a Saturday.

I actually was kinda looking forward to it, as I was hoping that a good race would rejuvenate my enthusiasm for all those marathon preparation long runs, where I had started to feel I was getting only slower and slower. If I could do around 5:15 /km average, then that wouldn’t be too bad, thought I. I wanted to try out steady pacing, as I know that’s going to be really important for me on Marathon Day. And life is all about Marathon Day, don’t you know.

So, back to the morning – weather looked ideal, and the forecast agreed. Off Padraic and I went to Swords, with the first challenge to find the Pavilion car park without any signs. Luckily, we had loads of time, so after lots of roundabout circling but no stress, we were sorted!

It was lovely to bump into lots of Sportsworld folk en route to the start line, and warming up. Starting in the middle of town is nice too. And we were off! While it was very busy, I never felt in anyone’s way, even at the start, so no stress there. My first km up to the motorway was at 5:03, which was only a little too fast, so no panic, but the 2nd km clocking in at 4:54 meant ah-here-would-you-get-over-yourself-it’s-10-miles-that’s-TEN-MILES! So, after that, I settled into a nice steady pace at around where I wanted to be.

The first few kms on the motorway are not as bad as you might expect, as they’re broken up with a couple of roundabouts, and before long, it’s a left turn into the countryside. It turned out to be quite warm, so tree-lined country roads became very welcome. Having experienced the Rock n Roll half marathon a few weeks ago, I actually didn’t notice any hills – and Strava confirms with only a 55 m elevation clocked up. There’s one part of the course where you can see a really long line of runners up ahead, which was a bit daunting at first, but turned out to be very pleasant as there was some gentle downhill along there. Having made the mistake of not taking enough water at the first water station (cups rather than bottles), I was very careful to drink at the next ones, as it did feel very warm. We were still in pleasant countryside past the half-way mark, so then it became about counting down the kms, which I find a lot easier than counting up! For the last couple of kms, my head went to Bushy Park and the 1km x 5 sessions, and trying to keep up with everyone!

It’s a good few years since I did my one and only other 10 mile race at around 1:36, so it probably doesn’t really count. Overall, I was delighted with a 5:11 /km average pace, and even think I had some energy left at the end, so looking forward to the half marathon. And then onwards to the marathon! (Did I mention that I’m signed up for the marathon??)

I really liked the course, and would recommend it. The organisation was great – plenty of parking close enough to the start line, with a very pleasant finish area also in town. Most of the course feels like it’s in the countryside, and it’s not particularly hilly. And of course, very nice breakfasts to be had close by with great company!

Massive congrats to Ciara for a fantastic 2nd place overall.

Phil Kilgannon 00:57:40 3rd in age cat, Gold Dublin O35 team medal

Andrew Brett 00:59:27 2nd in age cat, Gold Dublin O35 team medal

Kevin Curran 01:00:573 Gold Dublin O35 team medal

Paul O Connell 01:04:49

Mark Hollowed 01:04:49

Ciara Brady 01:05:25 Individual Dublin Gold

Diarmuid O’Suilleabhain (as Neil Purdy) 01:06:00

John Flaherty’s brother (as John Flaherty) 01:06:20

Sean Donegan 01:09:03

Richard Cyganiak 01:09:31

Anthony Gillen 01:10:55 Bronze Dublin O50 team medal

Liam Lenehan 01:12:19

Declan Brady 01:12:23 Bronze Dublin O50 team medal

Johnny Dwyer 01:12:29

Padraic Moran 01:13:39 Bronze Dublin O50 team medal

Karl Shevlin 01:14:15

Martina Nolan-Jones 01:17:39

Philip Kerr 01:19:32

David Culhane 01:19:56

Grainne Lynch 01:20:26

Stephanie Bergin 01:20:31

Siobhan Clarke 01:23:46

Sandra Kelly 01:24:07

Conor Kenny 01:24:29

Bronwyn Murphy White (as Carmel Dolan) 01:25:59

Valerie Lacy Power 01:29:45

Richard Ohle 01:29:59

Caoimhe Donegan 01:35:13

Cliona O Riordan 01:44:45