The 41st Dublin Marathon took place earlier today, the first in three years, with 15,000 competitors taking part.
Morocco’s Taoufik Allem won the men’s race in a time of 2 hours 11 minutes and 30 seconds, while Ethiopia’s Nigist Mulaneh was victorious in the women’s race with a time of 2:28.32. Martin Hoare and Courtney Gallagher took home the national titles, with Patrick Monahan from Kildare winning the wheelchair race for the sixth time.
Packing nicely was a huge gang of Sportsworld runners. Some were running their 10th marathon whilst others were running their first. Regardless of fitness level and marathon day experience, every one of them was smiling out on the course. The supporters, especially the stewards out on the course, deserve some thanks for creating the atmosphere and encouraging the runners.
As is a tradition we have asked everyone who ran to send in a few words. A big thank you to everyone who took the time. Sit back and get the good biscuits out, this is a long but extremely worthwhile read.
Results and photos can be found at the bottom so you had better make it to the end. If you do read the whole thing please let us know and we will send you a small reward. If you still want more, why not take a trip down memory lane with 2017, 2018 and 2019?
In no particular order here we go.
It was great to have the Dublin Marathon back this past weekend after a two-year break, it remains for me the highlight of the racing calendar. Amazing crowds of spectators turned out again and the weather was near ideal on the day but just a bit too humid.
The nervousness/excitement at the start line led to a muted rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann just before the foghorn sounds (It’s no Croke Park-like)
I find your senses are heightened on race day, especially your sense of smell noticing deep heat at the start line, students cooking bbq’s along the route for the benefit of passing runners, a bit too much Old Spice and Lynx Africa around Terenure though…lads you’ll have to up your game!
1-10 miles: Once the race starts it’s a case of holding the pace back as it’s a steady climb to Stoneybatter thru the park until you get to mile 7 just after Castleknock village. A tester of a start.
(You’ll always see Myles roaring on encouragement for the Sportsworlders at the 3.5mile mark entering Phoenix Park just before you get to Dublin Zoo)
10-16 miles: After about 11 miles I knew it was going to be a tough one with expected time out the window so I just settled in for the rollercoaster ahead. This year was all about getting to the finish line for that elusive 10 Dublin marathons in a row.
These are the miles that pass me in a blur. A few hills, a nice run down to Kilmainham jail, the drag of Crumlin road up to Walkingstown. One foot in front of the other. Grind.
16-18 miles: Running through Kimmage and Terenure you know it’s home territory so time to Billie Barry it up and pretend you’re having a blast….smile and wave to familiar faces on repeat for 2.5 miles.
19 miles: Alright, back to the struggle but Milltown is ahead. The Dropping Well up to the Eurospar has Tour De France levels of crowds on top of you! It’s brilliant.
21 miles: Clonskeagh just after is a killer and for me the toughest part of the race leading up to heartbreak hill. You notice far more dropouts and medical attention needed on the side of the road from now on.
26.2 miles: Delighted to make it to Holles Street again as it’s always a tough race but attention turns towards La Santa in three weeks.
What was that Purple Mile about though?
A fun night was had in Brady’s later on that night followed by Café En Seine for a bit of dancing for 4 individuals (absolutely no need).
Thanks to all the stewards and supporters on the day and well done to every Sportsworld marathoner, I’m sure ye all have the next one lined up already.
It was to be my first marathon at 50 years of age. That wasn’t the plan – I had trained for Dublin in 2019 but ended up in a medical boot 2 weeks before the event due to foot tendonitis. I was gutted and wanted to try again, but Covid interfered with my 2020 entry. Perhaps it was based on this experience that I was quite anxious, sceptical even, that I would make the start line this year. So many things could go wrong – injury, Covid, getting knocked off my bicycle – that I was feeling quite mentally drained in the weeks leading up to it imagining all the possible scenarios that would prevent me from starting. As the big day approached, I then started worrying more about actually finishing! I had never run more than 32k and that was only on one occasion, and much slower than I planned to run in the marathon. What if my calf went into severe cramp and I couldn’t walk, or I tore my hamstring? The route map for the course was constantly open on my PC, as I worked out where to take gels, where to position friends, and where it was likely to get hard. I was thinking about what to bring, how to get to the start, and what food I needed the day before. I was exhausted before I even started!
This mental torment increased in the week or so leading up to the marathon and took me by surprise. I’ve never really felt anxious about running events. My philosophy has always been that it is my choice to participate, my career/ income/ status is not dependent on my position in the race and I feel grateful that I am healthy and able to participate when many people can’t. I had done quite a few half-marathons over the years, but this just felt VERY different. Perhaps it was the great unknown or the physical and mental investment that went into the preparation. I had told many friends and family that I was doing it and they were all willing to me on. And planning on coming out to watch, yikes!
Despite worrying about the symptoms of a cold 2 days before and dosing myself with Nurofen Cold & Flu and not sleeping great for a whole week, I went out on Sunday morning determined to enjoy it as much as I could. Ideally, I wanted to be smiling crossing the finish line. I started to relax once I had parked the car in town – I had made it. Walking slowly towards the start areas, I enjoyed taking in the numbers and diversity of participants, the smell of Deep Heat in the queues for baggage, the feeling of sunshine on my face, and the buzz, anticipation and camaraderie. There were a few last-minute Good Luck messages from the SW marathon ladies’ WhatsApp group, but I didn’t see, nor plan to meet anyone from the group at the start. I knew my place towards the back of Wave 3.
What was my strategy? Well, when I decided earlier this year to commit to the marathon, I was determined to only run 3 times/ week if possible. I can hear the sound of you seasoned and serious runners hitting the floor as you fall over in shock at the idea of running so little. But I wanted to reduce my risk of injury, not let running take over my life and MOST importantly not interfere with my twice-weekly golf over the summer! So I searched for a training programme that would allow me to run 3 times per week and complete a marathon. My ambitions were modest, I wanted to feel comfortable and do a reasonably respectable time. Of course, the latter is very subjective, particularly when you are in a running club surrounded by people obsessed with time. My idea of respectable was somewhere around 6mins/km. The programme I decided upon was very targeted, with a speed workout, a tempo run, and the inevitable long run. Paces for each were calculated based on my current 10k pace and planned marathon pace (PMP). The long run was typically 30 secs/km slower than the PMP. This all sounded good to me and I assiduously calculated my times and developed a spreadsheet for my training over 18 weeks. For anyone else with modest ambitions, you can check it out here – Background to the 3 Running Days a Week Marathon Training Program – MarathonPal (marathon-training-program.com)
Looking back at my XL and recorded sessions, I never ran more than 51km in any week (that included the 32k weekend run) and I averaged just 40km/week. This of course is a lot less than many published training plans and as time went on, I wondered if it would be enough. So I was heartened to see a presentation which was part of a symposium by the SFI centre, Insight in September, “Reviewing the Evidence for Marathon Training Strategies”. This indicated that there is limited published evidence linking training plans with performance, that most research is on males (surprise, surprise!), the majority of research is based on self-reported data (Garmins etc are pretty new and people are unreliable!) and that the average marathon runner looking to finish in 4 hours should average 44km/week and not go over 63km in one week. Great! Interestingly the longest training run should be just 27km. Even better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yAWyI2xdAE&list=PLe8_kcsEyT809pEJ_f5E2m3JVQUjmLI2F&index=2
Anyway, I digress. Back to the day itself. I had eventually (after much deliberation) decided to run with the 4.20 pacers and see how I felt after about 15 miles, the Walkinstown roundabout – it’s all downhill from there, right?! I took my place alongside the green balloons and our wave took off shortly after 9.25 am. I realised quickly that the spectator support en route would be like nothing I had experienced before. Already I was looking forward to seeing family and friends – I had them positioned in various places, particularly from Milltown, where I knew it would get tough. The city centre was buzzing and it seemed like no time before we were running into Phoenix Park. The first expected friend was there on Chesterfield Avenue and already I was enjoying this. Don’t get carried away Mary, there’s a long way to go! But another friend turned up unexpectedly further up the park and spotted me, woo hoo, more smiling and cheering. The noise and support through Castleknock were almost overwhelming, it was the first time during the run that I had to swallow the tears and keep my emotions in check. Funnily, these big cheering groups of random strangers got me, more than my family and friends! After the event, I was wondering if was I going soft in my old age, but a friend said to me that she was emotional watching my faceless blackhead on the app move along the course and head towards the finish!! The marathon must do that to people.
I had a few laughs en route. Of course, there were the signs that people had – “This is the worst parade ever”, and “This is a sign” – but also their refreshment offerings. The people of Cromwellsfort Road seemed to be particularly partial to vitamin C. There were a few spectators offering cut-up orange quarters. Fair enough, but about 30 metres further down, one guy was offering a bowl of unpeeled satsumas! I can’t imagine even if you were walking the marathon, that you would feel like peeling anything. So I was smiling away as I passed another friend further down Cromwellsfort. As I turned into Fortfield Road, I looked out for Maria Waterhouse, who was to be there for me with some fruit pastilles and sure enough, she delivered. I had already picked up a jelly earlier from Anne Belton in Crumlin and had 2 gels on board. As Maria and I were chatting, I heard another “Well done Mary”. Sean O’Brien was stewarding on the other side of the road and made a big effort to be seen and make himself heard. That felt so encouraging! A lady running alongside me said, “My name is Mary too”, to which I replied, “Yeah, but he’s cheering for me!”. We laughed. Or at least I did as I cruised past her towards Terenure!
Did I mention that I had left my green 4.20 pacers behind when we turned onto Cromwellsfort? I was feeling good and decided to see if I could go ever so slightly faster. Sean’s shout-out was the start of great support from SWers through Terenure. Audra had said she would have jellies and I shouted to her as I was approaching if she had any. Only to realise that she was looking after a runner who was unwell. I learned afterwards that it was a tough incident to manage. Sorry about my interruption Audrai, and well done to you and all the other SW stewards for doing a great job. It’s not always easy.
After Terenure, my focus was on getting to Alex (school) in Milltown where I knew my brother and niece would be waiting. I was delighted to see them, even though they weren’t clapping because they were concentrating so much on holding my open gel and water! This was about mile 20 and I had mentally prepared myself for it to be the “start” of the marathon. At least that’s what the books had said and what everyone had been telling me! The next target was my sister-in-law and another niece at the beginning of Clonskeagh Road. Slightly disappointed that Niece no. 2 wasn’t there, turned out she was in bed sick. But I had a cousin waiting at the top of Clonskeagh Road, which helped me get up the hill. I had noticed by now how many participants were walking at various points, particularly up those hills. So I felt pleased I was still feeling pretty good running along at what I thought was a steady enough pace. However, I also noticed that my left calf was feeling tight and cramping slightly. Do I stop, do I keep going? I didn’t know but stopped very briefly to stretch, and started again when I felt it was almost going into spasm! Although I felt good generally, I didn’t want to push the pace too much. Thankfully it held up for the duration.
I had 2 friends (unknown to each other!) to look out for in Roebuck Road. I high-fived Jennifer, but completely missed Catherine, who also didn’t spot me, despite having the app. The same thing happened with 2 other friends in Walkinstown and Stillorgan. It just as well that I had plenty of backups! Cheers and smiles from a couple more friends as I ran down Fosters Avenue and as I turned left onto Stillorgan Road, there was another cousin and her family, a surprise. Another unexpected friend outside UCD and then I knew I had just one more friend to reach in Ballsbridge before the end. But wait, there was Anne Belton again in town, hurray! Having these “targets” really helped me, and I felt so happy to see people I knew – I took the time to smile and high-five them!
What also helped as I passed Vincent’s Hospital was my appreciation of having the health to do this, compared to many people who would give anything to be well. Sadly I knew somebody in there with a recent diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer. And yet he very kindly sent me a good luck text that morning. He was my inspiration during the run. His wife was my best supporter – she turned up in Milltown, again at Clonskeagh Road and finally near Vincent’s.
What a great finishing stretch down Northumberland Road and Mount Street with the crowds of spectators 4 and 5 people deep cheering loudly. I had never experienced anything like this, and again that feeling of emotion. It felt like we were Olympians! I felt thrilled to be feeling so strong and crossing the finish line with a big smile on my face. Even the official photos throughout the race prove that I was enjoying it!
I was delighted that my pacing strategy worked out and that I went out more conservatively than I might have planned 4 weeks previously. Could I have gone faster? Given how I finished, perhaps. But I’m not at all sorry about how I ran. I felt comfortable and enjoyed it all. I didn’t struggle at any point over the course, probably because I wasn’t chasing time. Yet I did the 2nd half faster than the first, and my fastest split was at the 38th kilometre. I feel very appreciative that I had such a good experience because I know it’s not that way for everybody, whether it’s their first or fifteenth marathon. Things can go wrong and I passed many people who were in trouble. I felt lucky. Overall I was thrilled with my 4 hours 15 minutes.
It was nice to bump into Eileen, Siobhán, Padraic and Tara at the goody bag collection area. To share a hug and congratulations. And then catch up with Sinead in McGrattan’s. The day ended with a tasty meal out with Siobhán, Padraic and Eileen followed by a few drinks at Brady’s and time to catch up with Amanda, Deirdre, Lucy and others. Everyone is in great form. I managed to walk home (ok, it’s only to the KCR), and although I was tired, I still couldn’t sleep because I was so ecstatic. I should have stayed out longer in the pub!
I’m surprised by how buzzed I felt about it even days later and when I think about the marathon, it still makes me smile. I have been boring all my friends talking about it ever since. The great thing is that most of them are non-runners and if I said I did it in 3 hours or 5 hours, it wouldn’t make any difference. They think that simply running a marathon is amazing. I loved Lucy’s words to me, “You just need to finish in daylight!”. Maybe I exceeded her expectations! I also loved this quote from one of the books I read, (Marathon Running for Mortals), “Some of you are 3-hour marathoners. Some are 5.5-hour marathoners. The differences between you aren’t related to your paces. The differences between you are related to genetics, the decisions you’ve made and the priorities you have. Your accomplishments, however, are identical”.
Thanks to the fantastic support, shared experiences and camaraderie from the SW marathon ladies’ WhatsApp group particularly Eileen for inviting me to join, Lucy for her tips and positive energy and Siobhán for the training runs. I only joined in with some long runs for the last 5 weeks or so, because I was continuing to play golf on Sundays (“priorities”!). But I was delighted to have that support in the lead-up. Thank you, ladies.
Running Dublin Marathon 2022 was such a positive, life-affirming experience. I loved it. It was one of the best days of my life.
As a first-time marathoner, I was unsure what I was getting myself into. I got my entry in the final ticket release in June 2022, leaving myself with just enough time to start getting those miles in. I’m one of those people that tells everyone about something when I sign up to keep myself accountable (unfortunate for anyone who doesn’t care to hear about it – they heard about it anyway!)
I started chatting with other Sportsworlders, trying to figure out who else had signed up. I could sense the hesitation. While I was like a Duracell bunny, literally hopping with excitement, others were considering whether they still wanted to go ahead with the marathon having gotten their entry in pre-pandemic times. As the summer days ticked on, more and more club members joined the marathon pack and we were all in it together.
I didn’t know where to start when it came to marathon training. How much running is enough? How soon could I start carb-loading? Not should…could. I turned to the club for guidance.
We noticed a few of us getting up a little earlier each Sunday. It was a huge help to have so many experienced runners also giving 2022 a go. I continued to pick the brains of each person, trying to soak up their experience to give myself some insight into what was to come. I also have to give credit to Myles for keeping me accountable week after week, checking in to see how far my legs had carried me each Sunday.
In the final weeks before the marathon, I’ll admit I was more than a bit nervous. I don’t think I was fooling anyone about my lack of stress based on the little game I played at each training session: 101 ways to move up to wave 2. Thank you to those who contacted their secret sources and sent pictures of previous marathons proving it was possible.
The days before the marathon, my whole outlook changed for the better and I credit this to the Sportsworld newsletter. A huge thank you to the member of the newsletter committee who shared their experience about how to tackle the marathon on the day and running your race – you didn’t sign your name so apologies for the half-attempted thank you! I was weirdly calm the day before the race. It was like I had forgotten it was happening but in reality, I knew the training was done and, on the day, what will be, will be etc.
There was a great atmosphere in the morning. I walked towards Merrion Square with Deirdre McGing (who was running her second marathon in a matter of weeks!!) with a big grin on my face, almost waving my clear bag around in case anyone didn’t realise I was running a marathon. Of course, everyone up at 7.30 am on the Bank Holiday Sunday was also running or stewarding so I wasn’t the only Cheshire cat hanging around.
Bag drop, quick photo shoot, toilet run, and off to the start line. There was no going back. The atmosphere and the crowds were like nothing I had experienced before. Of any race I have taken part in, this was the one that made me smile the most throughout. Seeing so many familiar, friendly faces, both spectators and other runners made it thoroughly enjoyable. I aimed to run at a steady pace so that I would a) finish the race in a somewhat comfortable fashion, and b) enjoy it to maybe sign up again. In terms of comfort, I took the advice of those with more than a few marathon notches on their belts and ran a slower first half, picking it up a little in the second half. I looked forward to the different stages of the course where I knew friends and family were waiting, smiling and being very enthusiastic with my ‘thank you in response to encouragement (so Grainne says anyway!).
My legs thankfully kept moving and I’m both glad and surprised to say that there was no particular wall for me, for which I know I am very lucky! I crossed the finish line with a final chip time of 3:47:25. I was in disbelief when I switched off my watch, feeling a little paranoid that I wasn’t meant to stop yet. However, when I looked around and saw the reaction of others, reality sunk in, and I knew I had made it. I turned to see several other Sportsworlders who had finished just ahead and behind me and we headed on together to collect our medals.
Completing a marathon was always a bucket list item for me, a matter of when not if. I’m so glad I entered this year and had the support of so many fellow club members. By the time this is released we will all have decided whether we’re signing up for 2023. While the bucket list item has been ticked for me, it seems I’m going for round 2… see you all there!
Having been swept up in the buzz of the 40th marathon, I threw my hat in the ring for the next edition back in 2019, hoping to run my first marathon on the streets of Dublin. Fast forward three years (and two cancelled events) and we finally arrived at the start-line for the 41 st Dublin Marathon. As a result of the delays, Dublin was not to be my first but rather my third marathon after running Belfast in October 2021 & Berlin just five weeks before at the end of September. Berlin was always my focus this year, and I was delighted to come away with over 8 minutes off my PB, finishing in 3:47:02. The plan for Dublin was to enjoy it and hopefully sneak in around the 4-hour mark. That said, the return to running after Berlin has been harder than expected and I was quite nervous about the body holding up for this one.
I knew about 6 miles in that it was going to be a long day. My legs were tiring already but I kept going until the halfway mark and that’s where the wheels fell off. Some of the areas that we ran through were alive with bands, loud support & funny signs to keep us distracted from the pain. The first few miles take in the city centre, Phoenix Park, Castleknock and Kilmainham with a good few hills thrown in to keep us honest. As we moved through areas like Crumlin, there were long stretches of road with fewer turns and it was a bit of a drag in parts. I was glad when we finally made the turn onto Fortfield Road – home territory, sort of. It was great to see so many familiar faces around Terenure and it gave me something to focus on. The 4-hour pacers passed me out here and I could only watch as the balloons moved further and further away. I was struggling but all of the words of encouragement forced me to keep going – heaven forbid someone from the club saw me walking! Thanks to Olive for being on standby with my gel & jellies. It turns out you don’t need to bring jellies to the Dublin Marathon as every child in the county was out with buckets of them.
My sister was waiting for me at Rathgar with more supplies and soon after that we were over the 30km mark, and I could start counting down towards the finish line. It’s a long stretch from Nutley Lane to the finish but the crowd support was great. There were times on the course when I felt like I was running through a funnel, Tour de France style, with crowds on both sides almost on top of us. I’ve never felt anything like it in a race before. I was delighted to see my family just beyond Mount Street Bridge and as I waved to them, I put my foot down and picked up the pace through the final few hundred metres. There’s no feeling like crossing the finish line of a marathon and a home event is even more special. It was a tough day for me but I’m happy that I pushed through. Two marathons in five weeks were too much and I plan to take a few weeks off now to recover. The finish time of 4:08 was disappointing but I try to remind myself that I only seriously took up running in 2019 and I can’t believe at times how far I’ve come since joining the club. Before joining Sportsworld, I never thought I would run a marathon and now I’ve completed three in a year! I’d like to give a special shout-out to all the club members who offered support and words of wisdom in the lead-up to the marathon, especially the Sunday crew who helped make those long runs a lot easier.
Dublin Marathon 2022. A brilliant experience. My fourth marathon and 3rd in 12 months. After running Dublin in 2017 and loving every minute of it, I couldn’t wait to be back on the start line again.
The training was interrupted earlier in the summer by a couple of injuries but had gone to plan for the last 6 weeks and my target was a sub-2.50.
After an unsettled sleep including a rare middle of the night waking from my 3-year-old (he must have sensed I was awake anyway), I was up at 6 am ready to go. After eating as much breakfast as the nerves could handle (very little) I set off for Fitzwilliam Square arriving at 7.45 am. Plenty of time for a short warm-up and a few strides.
At 8.45 am we were off. My marathon experience is relatively limited but the one piece of advice that has stuck with me is that the race begins at 20 miles. My husband Cillian is an experienced marathoner and encouraged me to try to get halfway comfortably. I tried to deliberately hold myself back in the early few miles. The watch clicked at 6.19 for each of miles 1 and 2, not too bad. Even in the early morning, the crowds that lined the route towards Wexford Street were huge and so loud. Heading out of town and towards Phoenix Park, I fell in with a group and settled down. Passing my sister and nephew on the north circular road was great, familiar faces to see early on.
Into Phoenix Park, we went where I passed Myles and on to the long steady incline up Chesterfield Avenue. Cillian and my father-in-law said they would be at mile 5 so I was keeping a keen eye on the left-hand side of the avenue in case I missed them (and my drink!). A successful handover. Out of the park through Castleknock and back in again with familiar faces along the way. Ruth passed on a bike with words of encouragement. At the 8-mile mark, a “go on, you’re nearly there” from the sideline got a great chuckle from the group. She was a glass-half-full kind of lady. Onwards for the remaining 18 miles.
A few tough hills followed and probably the quietest part of the course. We approached Dolphin’s barn where I knew Maura would be waiting with a drink. Seeing her was a huge boost. I passed through the halfway mark in 84.55 and while I knew I was still on target pace; I was beginning to struggle. Rationalising to myself that the second half of the course was easier, I encouraged myself to relax. The stretch from halfway to the outskirts of Terenure seemed to go on forever but I kept telling myself that I’d feel better when we reached Bushy Park where there would be familiar faces and voices. Seeing and hearing so many club members who had generously given up their time to volunteer and support was fantastic.
I had stopped looking at my watch at this point. Mile 20 was approaching, and I wasn’t feeling much like starting to race (see above). Noreen appeared under the bridge after Milltown with the kind offer of a gel and water. Another boost. It had started to rain which was both a relief and a distraction. My mind started thinking about Dublin’s own ‘heartbreak hill’ but in the haze of tiredness, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was. There were 3 potential candidates along that stretch, I’m still not 100% sure which one it was. I’ll find out next time. The crowds were amazing.
Down Fosters Avenue and after the left turn towards UCD I thought of the late Jerry Kiernan who was notably absent at the flyover. I caught sight of someone in a singlet running for a great cause. Everyone has their reasons for running 26.2 miles and so much is achieved on marathon day.
Running down Nutley Lane, I started thinking of the finish. Almost there! My father-in-law’s clubmate from St Finbarr’s in Cork City came up alongside me – we exchanged a few words and I decided to try to stick with him. I looked at the watch as I passed the 24-mile mark. After taking an inordinate amount of time to do the simple maths, I knew the sub 2.50 was gone but Lucy’s club record might still be achievable. If only my tired haze could remember the x in her 2.51.x. No option but to just go flat out and hope for the best.
We turned for Ballsbridge. My lunchtime run from the office takes in the last 2 miles of the course, so I was familiar territory. Out of nowhere appeared Maura. She seemed to be everywhere today supporting everyone. A true legend of the Club.
At last, the glorious 26-mile marker was in sight and the purple mat that leads you over that finish line. I could see the clock and I was counting slowly to 20 in my head, willing it closer. I glanced to the right trying to catch a glimpse of my two sons, but the crowds were so loud and dense that it was impossible. Crossing the finish line was an amazing feeling. I had never struggled for so long in a race before and so the relief to be finished was amazing. I was delighted with a shiny new PB of 2.51.17. My twin sister emerged from the tent at the finish line. A sight for sore eyes if ever there was one. While embracing her, I uttered the infamous phrase ‘never again’ but I instantly knew that I was lying. Am already signed up for 2023.
The organisation was fantastic and I quickly made my way back to Holles Street to see my family and watch the finishers stream over the line.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, and I hope everyone feels the sense of achievement that rightly comes with finishing a marathon. A special congratulations to my fellow female teammates for a fine team performance. Also, a big thank you to Lucy for so graciously letting go of her record (which has stood since 2009!). Lucy has always been an inspiration to me, we have shared numerous team highs and lows over the years both on the roads and cross country and I’m honoured to take it from her. Thanks to Emily, Myles, and Paul for all the words of encouragement. To see so many red and white singlets out there is a testament to their hard work and dedication.
Dublin Marathon 2022 – a fantastic day and experience!
Wow. Covid is finally over and we are back to normal because Europe’s friendliest marathon was on again. Excellent.
I hadn’t been down in Sportsworld much this year as I’m spending half my time in Gdansk with family. Gdansk is great but boy I miss Sportsworld!
I got back on October 1 and though I had trail-run regularly in Poland through the local forests, I hadn’t covered anything like the mileage training for a marathon, so October was always going to be one seriously compressed training block.
The only time I do long 2-hour+ runs is for 4 times immediately before the marathon and I had almost forgotten their cleansing cathartic effect. Torture and then elation; a lesser version of the marathon itself.
I bumped into Daragh from the club on the start line and found we had something in common; It was our 10th Dublin Marathon and we were both going for 10 in a row till Covid kyboshed that. Then I bumped into a few old buddies I had not seen since the starting line in 2019. It was good to be back. I was trying out the vapour fly this marathon but I had done most of the long runs in them so knew what to expect. I estimated that > 50% of the runners in Wave1 had some form of ‘vaporfly or similar’ deal going on. Wisdom of crowds?
Weather conditions would be good. I figured I would hang in between 3.10 -3.20 pacers and see how long I could stay in there. That lasted until Ashtown around the 34KM mark and some wheels were threatening to fall off. So nothing new there then.
Sportsworld support began with Myles at Phoenix Park gate, and I remember Paul, Tim along the way, Gareth in Terenure and many many others all before focus lights (ie pain) started to close in…The incredible crowd support from Ballsbridge to the finish can always
be relied upon to get you home no matter the pain. I had nearly forgotten just how good it was! Mega-buzz. Immediately after the finish line, I bumped into Anthony, Martin and a few of the girls who had got with some fantastic times. They looked like they had been chilling there for at least 20 minutes. And it turns out, they were!
I remember passing Bradys Terenure during the race thinking ‘I’ll be in there scooping pints in 8 hours… Sadly that proved to be a bit ambitious considering I was unable to get out of ‘world-of-hurt’ foetal mode on the sofa, until Monday. 3hrs28” was exactly
what my long run average pace said I could get if I was lucky. Happy out.
After spectating the marathon in 2019 and being inspired by all of the participants I thought that’s it I’m going to enter. Naively, I registered and successfully secured a spot in the Dublin Marathon 2020. Along came covid so all great plans were put on the back burner as I knew a virtual marathon would not be an option for me. After 2 years of refusing to refund my ticket and using the virtual marathon as an excuse, I knew I’d have to pick up the training if I wanted to make it to the finish line alive! I joined Sportsworld earlier in the Summer (easily the best decision I made for my marathon prep). As training picked up the Sunday runs became quintessential not just to get the miles in your legs but to get first-hand tips from the marathon veterans who had done this many times before!
Along came race day and I was ready, I’d prepped well and was ready to race. The crowds were amazing, with DJs and clappers erupting with each new suburb of Dublin you entered. It was great to see so many familiar faces, especially from the Walkinstown roundabout through to beyond Terenure.
Then as we approached 34kms and the faces became less familiar, my stomach decided it had enough- a quick pit stop saw the 3 gels I’d taken earlier in the race reappear (I’ll save you the details). While regrouping myself the 4:10 pacers passed me out I knew I wouldn’t be setting any records but the show must go on. I knew the last 7kms to the finish would be the toughest I’d run, but the words of Lucy ringing in my ear, ‘there are no medals for time, only medals for finishing’ pushed me on.
All of the pain of the previous 5kms were forgotten as I passed the American embassy and the signs for 25 Miles/ ‘The Purple Mile’ appeared ahead. At this point, supporters weren’t lying when they said ‘You’re almost there. Crossing the finish line was amazing and a feeling I’ll be chasing again!
A special thanks to all those who I complete training runs with, you made what seemed an impossibility earlier this year a reality with all of the support and knowledge shared! Joining the club was one of the best decisions I made, and I look forward to many more challenges ahead!
I entered the 2022 Dublin Marathon on 6 th January – it was a lottery entry and I wondered how I would feel if I were successful! I felt daunted when I received the acceptance confirmation, wrote the Marathon date into my diary and then buried the idea deep down! Then in June the option to return your number giving someone else a chance to run came and went and there I was, committed to running Dublin Marathon 2022!
I have run 2 previous marathons, one in 1989 and one in 2013. Not my favourite distance! But something was different this year – I had an entry in 2018 but due to stomach troubles I had to pull out of training. I lost my confidence in road running and then in 2019 I stewarded and thought that familiar thought ‘ if they can, then so can I! Then Covid came and the Marathon disappeared from our streets for two years. So now I was in my 60s and thought it’s now or never to try marathon running one more time!
I started training in July with a wonderful bunch of women. At that point, the lingo was “I have an entry” when anyone asked how come we were adding miles to the already long Sunday run. It was a process of confidence building and hard training before that became “yes, I am running Dublin”. That process of incremental building up mileage was fundamental to the experience. If the marathon is a big day out, it doesn’t happen in isolation. Our group was for me a vital component of the experience. I had never run a marathon as a club member. I loved the training, every single session was full of support encouragement and camaraderie. I loved and benefited hugely from the combination of wisdom and trust that supported us all. Running 20 miles (32k) on two consecutive Sundays was amazing, I realised that I was approaching Marathon weekend better prepared than on previous marathon races. I cannot recall my preparation for my first marathon in 1989 – but I was young then and in 2013 at my second marathon, I covered 20 miles once. This year I had more security – sure just add 6 miles (10k) and you have run a marathon!
The day of the marathon dawned – after a bad night’s sleep of wondering which clock was the real-time and not believing that the phone would truly recognise wintertime (!) I had a friend phone me at the new 7 am to make sure I was up! I cycled to Merrion Street and locked my bike and waited to meet Siobhan and the surprise of the marathon surprised Padraic! (see his Magic Hat race report!) We checked in our bags and wandered around deciding which queue for the portaloos was the most efficient. When we finally turned into Fitzwilliam Street as part of the 9.05 am wave, it was now 9.08 am and our wave was almost at the top of the street! We took it easy (theme of the day) and ran to catch up with the stragglers before we would get swallowed up by the next departing wave. What a start – perfect! No crowds, no hype or countdowns, and no fear of being tripped! We owned that street! We had decided on a pace of 6 to 6.15 per k – slower than my normal k pace but my dream was to run the marathon without blowing up at 21 miles as had happened in 2013…my memory of that year is of agony up Roebuck and to the finish. I had spent many conversations trying to convince Siobhan to “let me run with her” …she was afraid that I would push the pace and upset her stride. No chance of that – this was a Marathon and not a 10k! She now believes me…phew! Maybe that’s why 9 years had passed – I was still processing the pain of 2013! This year was to be special – I had mastered somewhat the art of consistency over our Sunday training runs and wanted to put all my learning into practice. So started what I was calling my long longer than usual Sunday run through the streets of Dublin with an audience. Before I knew it we were off through Leeson Street onto Patrick Street and onwards to Phoenix park…at this stage we were chatting away and reminding ourselves that oops that k was 5.50…let’s pull back, or that one was a perfect 6-minute K. ! I had broken the marathon into 8 modules of 5k and was blissfully ignoring the fact that the marathon is 42.2k!!
I love Phoenix Park and enjoyed the run right to the top of Chesterfield Road and out through Castleknock. I had run that section in training with Siobhan and we knew that it has a gradual incline …but an incline with cheering crowds lining the road is wholly different to that of a quiet Sunday morning! Give me the cheering crowds any day. We rose to the occasion and before we could complain about hills we were heading down Tower Road and onwards till we turned left into the Phoenix Park at Knockmaroon Gate. I never tire of Phoenix Park and in lovely autumn light and to the sounds of running and cheering we ran on and then out the gate facing Donore Harrier’s clubhouse. Over the bridge in Chapelized, we heard a great shout from Ann Higgins out supporting the red and white – it is such a lift to see a smiling face. Then up the awful hill that takes us to Sarsfield Road. On towards Islandbridge, South Circular Road into Dolphin’s Barn where the crowds were five deep and then up the infamous Crumlin Road…the halfway point. I had trained just once in marathon training by running up Crumlin Road through to Walkinstown roundabout. That evening was the first k of my run now today it was mile 13…quite a different feel! The route like all the courses was so well supported and the encouragement somehow distracted me from the tedium and challenge that is that particular stretch of road. Walkinstown roundabout is always manic – people 5 deep and fantastic shouts of encouragement. I had a friend there with jellies for me – she was also out supporting me in 1989. A lot of living in the intervening years! On down into KCR and then that moment when you turn into Fortfield Road and whoa…emotional goosebumps take over. It is simply one of the most amazing feelings to run through Fortfield Road and into the beautiful familiar setting of our beloved Bushy Park. It is hard to put into words the emotion of running that section of the course. Magical might be one. The cheering, calling of your name, seeing all the smiling encouraging faces of your club mates is an emotion I will never forget. The sun shone and I think it is fair to say we rocked down Terenure Road, just couldn’t stop smiling! I cannot emphasise enough how that support lifts you high – I felt utterly privileged to be healthy and fit enough to take on a marathon. Some parts of health are random – I was running for MS – and the club support and that particular section of the course served to remind me how incredibly lucky I have been to have enjoyed running since the early 1980s.
The section after 32k feels and is different to the rest of the marathon. It is simply the real marathon I believe! The minute my watch registered 33k I had to remind myself to stay calm – this particular watch had never seen that figure before and my legs hadn’t eexperiencedthat distance either in almost a decade. Yes, our pace slowed somewhat – matter of fractions of a minute per k – we took on gels and I realised that having started with 8 modules of 5k to conquer I was not down to just 2 modules to negotiate – not letting the fact that these 2 modules would probably feel more like 4! (Delusion can be a gift at times!). We came through Milltown and I had promised myself a walk up the hill there but hey I ran it! Roebuck Road is not called Heartbreak Hill for no good reason – all the pain of 2013 came back! When we got to the end of Foster Avenue and turned onto the N 11 I knew I had 2 friends at the 23-mile point so I concentrated on staying strong because my credibility would be shot if I were to be seen walking now… so mind over the pain I ran on to 23k acknowledged the welcome cheer and encouragement and then over the flyover and down to Nutley Avenue where I met my non-running but a kind brother who had a packet of pastilles and a packet of wine gums for me so I stopped for some seconds while he opened the pastilles and give me 1! On down Nutley Avenue and a left turn onto Merrion Road and sure then apparently it’s a straight run to the finish. That it is but it’s also a particularly long stretch of road where you need to tick off the 25-mile mark and then the 26 miles and then yes it is just a straight road to the finish! As I ran along Northumberland Road I heard loud shouting of Come on Eileen and saw my nephew and his friends leaning over the barricade singing….it certainly was the vital final lift to get me the last 300 metres to the finish gantry. I crossed the line at precisely 4.30 feeling tired, emotional, a bit weak and dizzy but when the first St John’s Ambulance person asked me if was I ok my answer was Yes I think so once I can sit down but first where is my medal! It is my third Marathon in 38 years of running! I had secretly hoped that all things going according to the master plan of the measured running at about 6 minutes a k that I wouldn’t be muttering never again to myself or anyone who would listen. There were no mutterings. Yes, the 15 – 20 minutes after finishing are a bit hairy, blood sugars are low, and everything hurts but an hour later changed and drinking coffee I found myself thinking never say never and why on earth would you wait years before the next go – it was a wonderful day. Thank you to all the wonderful women and men who trained and encouraged us.
I cycled 3 miles home post refreshments and chats. Who would have believed it? To quote the late Noel Carroll – it is not the race that kills, it’s the pace. I finally get it!
Over the years, longer distances have become a feature of my running life. I tend to enjoy them more than the short sharp stuff and with advancing years comes a natural tendency to start running a bit longer. So it’s no surprise I find myself sitting down to write a race report on what was my 6th attempt at the Dublin marathon. I signed up for this marathon in November 2019 and thanks to you know what it took until now to get the event staged. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 2019 then and so it was with a little bit of trepidation I looked to put a training plan in place for this year’s race.
The year itself started badly, with more or less 6 months out due to illness. As Summer approached I was just starting to get back into it when I missed another month. It was looking like a frustrating stop-start year. However a lady I know was interested in running the marathon too and she pulled a training plan and some motivation from the hat I thought to myself maybe I can do some of this training too and see where it leads me.
I find marathon training enjoyable. I like the way you can feel the body adapting to the increased demands you put on it as you slowly build up the distances. Not training alone certainly helps too. Having missed so much time earlier in the year, I was coming from a lower base and overall my training load was well done in 2019. Having said that, I put in a reasonably good 12-week block and got the all-important long runs done. We had a bit of variation in the long runs too with Dublin, Kerry, Mayo and mountainous Clare all featuring. I took a lot of encouragement from the Phoenix Park half in September where I unexpectedly ran a PB of 1.28 (get those fancy Nike shoes, they are amazing).
And so it was onto October and the final long run, followed by a quick dash to Portugal for some warm weather training before returning to Dublin to begin the countdown and start looking at the long-range weather forecast. The forecast was pretty abysmal and it pretty much rained non-stop in October and there was plenty of wind too. So I couldn’t believe my good fortune when the alarm went off at 6 am on marathon morning and the trees outside my house were perfectly still and not a drop of rain to be seen anywhere. I used my office in Leeson St as a base for the race and it was ideal. We could stay warm and dry and use the facilities until 8 am when it was time to move and get lined up for the 8.45 am start. The marathon start area is very well organised with clear signage and a simple one-way system to follow. It does however lack a little bit of atmosphere. I feel like a little bit of music (aside from the national anthem) would resolve that.
The marathon plan for myself and Nicola was to run 4.40 per km and that would bring us home in 3.17 or so. We were on track for the first 10km which was slightly uphill. By halfway we were about 2 mins ahead of schedule. By 30km, we were still running together and still slightly ahead. We had discussed the last quarter of the marathon in advance and the consensus was that if either of us felt like pushing on, then go for it. Nicola showed the ruthlessness of a trained assassin in this regard. She put the hammer down and took off for the final 12km. It was like one of those David Attenborough documentaries where the young bird fledges the nest for the first time. Gone. I was pleased to see her go because I knew she was fit, motivated, on course for a PB, not tiring and was well placed to give it everything for the last quarter. Later I would learn she burst past the 3.10 pacers near the UCD flyover and finished in 3.06 for a huge 15-minute PB. This included a negative split of 1.36/1.30. I kept going too. I passed quite a few people who either stopped or stretched out on the road as the last few miles of the marathon took their toll. It was also a mild Autumn day and this may have been a factor. I got to the finish just as cramp was becoming a serious feature. Thankfully I made it home in 3.13 with splits of 1.36/1.37.
Dublin is the only marathon I’ve ever run. It is a great event. The main feature for me is the support. I have never played sport at a high level but I felt like Cristiano Ronaldo in the champions league final because the colour, noise and sheer volume of the support are incredible. Terenure is great for obvious reasons but huge numbers of people are also out in Castleknock, Crumlin, Milltown and elsewhere. It helps a lot so thanks to everyone who came out, particularly the stewards who put in a long shift so that the event could take place safely.
Special thanks to Emmet Wardell for pointing out that I came last in my household!! I think they call that Karma!!!
The Hat of Power
Dublin City Marathon 2022 Race report
Long story short: I stopped training for the marathon in early October, as the more I trained, the slower and more fatigued I was getting. I wouldn’t mind being off-pace, but I didn’t want to be miserable to boot. To make sure I didn’t falter, I made sure everybody knew I was out. Planning for the long weekend turned towards logistics and support for Siobhan’s race, and I went back to getting up at normal people’s time on Sunday mornings.
So, last Saturday morning, I left Siobhan sleeping in (she resting for the marathon run the following day) while I got out for my usual park run. No reason for me to rest, so I trotted around with Shane, the Corkagh Park event director who was taking it handy (by his standards) as he was running the marathon. I got home in time to change and head for the marathon expo with Siobhan, who needed to pick up her race number. Of course, there was a number waiting for me too, but I wasn’t picking it up as I wasn’t running. Thoughts of the marathon hat popped into my mind, but I hadn’t intended to collect that either as I couldn’t in all fairness wear it if I hadn’t run the race. But it occurred to me that I could drop it into a donations box – after all, that sheep had already been shorn.
So feeling like a slight fraud, I rooted out the DCM confirmation email that I had completely ignored until now, downloaded my race ticket and picked up my goody bag. And there it was, the hat, buried under quite a large pile of chocolate, peanuts and various other supposedly healthy running nutrients (note: for which I did not need as, well, you know…).
We met some friends while walking around the expo and I explained that I wasn’t running and why. Somehow my excuse didn’t sound very convincing. Like Bilbo with the ring, I could feel the burning glare of Jim Aughney’s eye. “What do you mean you’re not running?”. We left the RDS, and rounding the bend at Roly’s, I said to Siobhan, “Maybe I could run?”. I assumed that she’d say either “Are you mad?” or “Yes why not?” but unfortunately she was no help whatsoever. “Whatever you think.” I did a quick mental recap of the training that I had managed to do; luckily including one full 30km, a couple of 26-28kms, and a good few mid-week 16kms(). (Editor: This sentence was added so that the reader would know that the author did do some training and isn’t completely nuts). I could treat it as a very long Sunday Long Run, and run with Siobhan and Eileen. They had agreed on a peace pact that I was happy I could stick to for most of the distance at least, and there was potentially a back-out plan of dropping out at Milltown and jogging home.
The rest of Saturday was spent in some silence and slight trepidation as race plans needed to be prepared quickly. Which shorts? T-shirt under singlet or not? Study the start times and the race route. Get the porridge ready. The race strategy was straightforward – stick with the ladies; with no time target in mind. Objectives for the day were to finish and to enjoy it.
As a completely different marathon day experience for me, it was exceptional, and I’m delighted that I did it. We were so relaxed from the word go that we jogged off a minute or two after the gun and had the streets (relatively) to ourselves. No tripping or elbowing at the front; no stressing that the pace was too hot, or too slow; between the three of us experienced racers we held a steady pace until the usual Clonskeagh carnage where tiredness (and maybe possibly a slight deficit in training) started to show itself, but even at that my usual leg cramps and body fatigue did no more than threaten. Eileen had enough left in the tank to save a few minutes in the last few kilometres while Siobhan and I crossed the line together, both of us have done what we could. The crowd support this year seemed better than usual and I enjoyed a few double-takes from friends especially Grainne shouting “I thought you weren’t running?” on Terenure Road.
Yes Grainne, I thought so too.
DCM 2022 Lessons Learned:
1. Never pick up your race number if you’re not going to run, and whatever you do…
2. Never, ever put on the marathon hat.
3. “Because I don’t want to” doesn’t cut it as an excuse. Fake an injury to be on the safe side.
4. There’s nothing wrong with a four-week taper.
5. Chasing a time is much harder on the body, but…
6. The last 10km are tough no matter what pace you run. And finally,
7. A steady run with good company is every bit as satisfying as a new PB.
So, it’s 4 years since my 2018 marathon when I achieved my not-quite-lifelong dream marathon. On to 2022, and with all my friends’ refrains of “I thought you said never again!!” ringing in my ear, there I was doing pre-race prep and getting the Luas into town for 8:00 am on a lovely October 30th morning. I unexpectedly had a husband keeping me race company (thank you, Marathon Hat!) so preparation was a lot easier for the 15 hours before the race after this became true! ‘Twas lovely to meet Eoin on the Luas, and his relaxed good humour had a very calming effect.
On to meeting our bright and cheerful running companion Eileen, with hugs and photos. Bumping into Deirdre was an unexpected treat – more photos!
And then the long queue for the loos, which meant that by the time we started in Wave 2, we had PLENTY of room! Where was everyone?? Very relaxing! And what more inspiration could we have needed than to bump into Amazing Adrian so soon after his Chicago marathon, and run a little with him before he was off!
I enjoyed the company the whole way around, which was doubled from the original plan – thanks again Hat! We kept each other at a very steady pace, which worked out very well for us. I had worried a little about keeping pace, but with the three of us running together, there was always someone with a sense of how we were doing from that point of view. And we were remarkably consistent too. The weather was spectacular – we didn’t even mind that little shower in the middle. And I think there was way more support the whole way around than the last time I did it in 2018. The band in Castleknock was fantastic and the first of our friends were there to cheer us on. Fantastic support through Chapelizod too. Seeing my 2018 running companion Anne Belton in Crumlin was a bit emotional. Oh, the memories! Of course, Terenure is just amazing – my goodness are we the best club ever! It’s such a lift going through there seeing all the cheering friends and all the shouts of encouragement.
Things started to get hard after that though. The pace consistency dropped a bit but could have been a lot worse if we hadn’t been pacing from the start. Jellies probably are not such a great alternative to proper gels after all. I think it’s probably better to put up with the sticky fingers than the drop in sugar levels. And there was Anne again at Milltown Cross! Wonder Woman!
I was amazed there were so many people walking going up Clonskeagh. Like everyone seemed to be walking. Seriously. I think the hill on that road takes people by surprise. I had a friend to watch out for on Foster’s Avenue, which was a much-needed distraction getting there. And the cheek of those cars on Stillorgan Road! Seriously, it did feel a bit odd along there after having had all the streets of Dublin to ourselves up to that point.
It was all about getting to the end after that, but I had promised to allow myself tiny walking breaks now and then from Merrion Road, as last time I was so focussed on not walking I didn’t enjoy that piece. I noticed the support this time, and it was amazing. Suddenly, we could see the finish line, and I was determined to enjoy crossing it this time, as I reckon this was the only opportunity I’ll ever have to cross it with Padraic! On to photos with our Corkagh Parkrun friends who were handing out the medals – more friendly faces. And finally the joy of catching up with the smiling faces of Eileen, Mary and Tara, who all had fantastic runs.
A great day out with wonderful friends.
Dublin 2022 was my third marathon and first in 10 years. I love spectating and the whole marathon buzz. It seemed quite fitting to run on the 10th anniversary of my last Dublin marathon…which included a marriage proposal at the finish line…but that’s a story for another day.
After a summer of trail running, I tentatively committed to marathon training in August. My husband completed the marathon as well so there were plenty of logistics involved to fit in both our runs around kids and work. Luckily I was able to tap into the whispered utterances at training back in July, that…yes, I’m training for Dublin too…and to link in with a fab group for the Sunday long runs. And those utterances grew more confident as the weeks progressed, that, yes I’m doing the marathon this year. It was great to have the chats on a Sunday morning and see the weekly mileage build-up. My midweek training was rather ad hoc but I was consistent with the long runs. I had a vague goal of 3hrs50, to go under my 2012 time of 3hrs53 and get a PB. A big shout to Lucy for helping me get a bit more focus and for all the other marathon training wisdom!
I had some niggles for the last few weeks and a lot of taper self-doubt but as race day rolled around I decided to stick with my original plan and aim for 3hrs50. I and hubby headed off on race morning with excitement rather than nerves. We ran the first two km together. As we were going for different times, we parted ways at that point and I settled in just ahead of the 3hr50 pacers. Entering phoenix park I found myself caught up in the pacer mob. As we headed out to Castleknock I spotted a Sportsworld singlet and met Jean and we moved ahead of the pack again. After I lost Jean it was great to see Amanda’s ponytail bobbing ahead of me and I managed a few km with her out of the park and through Chapelizod.
The blast of the crowd at Dophins barn was a great bolster to get up the Crumlin Rd. But 13.1km was the one of most challenging for me, I was feeling lots of little aches and pains and wondered if I was going to seize up before the finish. I bumped into Jean again and although we hadn’t had the opportunity to run together in training we naturally fell into a pace together. That and the knowledge of the support that was coming in Terenure kept me going through the next section. The atmosphere through Terenure and Rathgar truly lived up to the expectation. It’s unbelievably powerful to be on home territory and hear those cheers of support and encouragement from club mates, friends and family, and a spare gel, thanks, Olive!
Roebuck Rd seemed to double in size. What followed was my slowest km, even downhill was painful. I could tell Jean had more speed in her than me at this point so I let her drift ahead of me. Having run the last section of the course one Wednesday evening with Tara and Amanda paid off as I knew what lay ahead. So from UCD, it was a case of keeping focus, picking up the pace again and staying ahead of the 3h50 pacers. The last few km were a bit of a blur but again the crowd support was brilliant. Somehow I had enough in reserve to sprint the last 200 meters to get across the finish line in 3hrs49mins. Writing this today with my aching limbs I’m delighted with how the race went. This marathon was for me as much about the journey to get there as the race itself. Will I do it again…maybe in another 10 years!
What an amazing day, of highs and lows and highs and lows again, and then highs again, repeat!
You currently have me in a weird bluesy mood, Wednesday after the race, with much relief and the bones feeling better, but just a bit, bla, on the inside.
Sunday’s incredibly bright and sunny day feels like forever ago! My second DCM, the first in 2019 was the same kind of day. The Gods always seem to come up with trumps much to the delight of runners and spectators.
I’m not going to relive it here, I can’t do that to myself, let’s leave it as “a great first half!”. I enjoyed 2019 more for whatever reason, except to say that honestly, the supporters around Dublin were simply the best this year. Running through Fortfiend, Bushy, Terenure and Rathgar to huge cheers from familiar faces, it is a remarkable feeling, one you don’t get often. It’s hilly and it’s hard, but Dublin has our hearts!
First of all, I’d like to thank the Academy. Then a shout-out to the visiting fanbase Maura Ginty and Bro P Conn for their bike-based support around the route; and finally thanks to my Adam (!). Well done to everyone who started DCM this year, and no thanks, I don’t want to do it next year.
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