by Ann-Marie Clyne

As many will know I was away for almost 6 months on a work assignment in Moscow returning late September.   Before I left Emily asked me to keep up the running and to look out for a club that I could join whilst I was away.   This was a difficult task – firstly when you don’t have the language it is difficult to find your way around but also it became evident very quickly that no one runs on the streets in Moscow.   This is mainly because the city is a concrete jungle and it really would be a start / stop type of run.  Myles might refer to it as ‘junk mileage’! J The only way I was keeping up the runs was doing a parkrun in Gorky Park as many Saturdays as I could.  

Shortly after I got home, I was off to Krakow to support the club members running the half marathon.  I was really inspired by my close knit group of ‘beginners’ as we call ourselves from time to time and when we can get away with it!.  I was delighted to support Alison, Michelle & Helen completing their first half marathon and I could only think of what I missed when I was away.  

Completely motivated, I decided to sign up for the Clontarf 5 mile.  It coincided with my birthday week so I thought what a better way to mark the occasion.   Up to now, 5k’s is about as far as I have gone for any fun run/race.   Mary Colclough also signed up, it’s great to have club colleagues for the support and motivation leading up to the event.   Mary is also another Krakow half marathoner so this was well within her reach.  

Mary and I car pooled across to Clontarf in what turned out to be super morning weather wise – 11 degrees in mid-November with the sun shining.   I always get nervous before any run, even park runs and this was no different.  Mary was fantastic with the encouragement, she suggested we do a few strides and before I knew it we were off the start line and running along the coast of Clontarf. 

The conditions for running were perfect – slight breeze with the sun shining.    I found the start a little challenging as the course is very narrow so finding your pace was hard amongst the many runners.  Eventually we started to spread out and I could start to take in the views, the wind started to pick up but it is really motivating to run on new route and I didn’t notice the wind or the kilometres ticking by too much.  Coming towards the turn point on the Wooden Bridge I spotted Conor Keating, great to see him up amongst the leaders (and with his runners still on his feet #clarinbridgeflashback).  

I got to the 5 km mark, I was surprising delighted to reach this point and still feel I had something to give.   The course is super flat which is a bit different to many runs we do, there is nothing like a bit of downhill to get the breath back.   Heading back towards the finish line on the last mile I did start to struggle but tried not to let distance get between me and some other runners I had marked earlier.    I was delighted that I was able to pass them out on a sprint finish to the line.  

For me this was about achieving a goal of completing a 5 mile race, I’m considering a 10k before the year is out but I’m not sure yet.  I would highly recommend this run which is very well organized.   There is also a half marathon option for those that prefer the longer distances but for me a half marathon is a long way off yet.    I met Mary at the finish line – she had a great run, after a few photo opportunities with our medals* we headed off for post-race breakfast.   (Pickle in Sundrive highly recommended!).

*Surprising fact:  we discovered later that the medals also serve as a handy bottle opener!

For anyone interested race times are posted on