Report and Photos by Michael Cunningham

Race photos on the Race Facebook page: Click here

Illegal Parking by Paul O’Connell

Saturday the 23rd of September was the Dublin Half Marathon in a new location and course in Donabate. I think most people have heard there were severe problems with traffic to the venue and the starting area with some people being forced to turn around and go home. From my own experience running the Marathon race series over the years they are normally the best organised and planned out races but something definitely went wrong this time but it goes to show how difficult organising 9000 runners, traffic, water, 13miles of course and a few hundred stewards actually is.

Luckily I got a lift to the race with Paul O Connell and after a 6.30am start to eat breakfast (which Paul O Connell didn’t provide) we hit the road at 7.30am. I think I am the type of person who would que in line when there is traffic on the motorway but thankfully not Paul O Connell.

After first driving past the 4km of queuing cars for the Donabate exit with the hope of putting the indicators on 100 meters from exit and forcing his way into the que of cars, reality kicked in that no one is that nice and Plan B was activated to drive to the next exit and drive through the half marathon course and ditch the car in a non-approved parking area.

So by not queuing, driving on closed roads and ignoring designated parking areas we arrived in plenty of time for the race which had to be delayed until 10am.

So what do you do when your race is delayed? If you’re Aine Kelly you finish off a bag of race jelly babies without offering them to anyone else, if you’re Martin Doyle you try and avoid every drop of mud getting on your brand new marathon runners which have a 6 months waiting list, if you’re Grannie Lynch you try and find any remaining paint from your Rainbow paint run. If you’re me you try finding a sucker to write the race report that Eoin will be crying about (dam it).

So the race started at 10am and we ran out on an unfamiliar course to most people. The support was pretty good out on the course and the conditions were nearly perfect except for the wind on the second half of the course. A gradient map was provided for the course which some people had huge problems understanding? Miles 4 to 7 were going to be challenging and they were followed by a steep downhill which was good to get your speed back up but your still a long way from home and have to try and not get carried away.


The finish line venue looked nice but no nicer than Phoenix Park and I didn’t hang around to see what it was like when the larger numbers came through.  Kevin was finished and gone before any one got back putting in another strong performance and Ruth Kelly was the first girl home in her build up to the Dublin Marathon.

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I don’t think anyone was ecstatic with their times on what was a tough race build up and course. It’s hard to believe the marathon is twice that distance but I checked the maths a few times and it’s definitely twice the distance.

Sportsworld Results:

25th       Kevin     Curran  01:18:39
48th       Michael  Cunningham 01:20:10
87th       Mark Hogan   01:22:50
111        Paul O’Connell 01:24:15
116        Martin  Doyle    01:23:58
263        Derek Saville   01:20:41
291        Damien Geraghty 01:29:47
317        Jose Chapa   01:30:43
373        Ruth Kelly 01:29:26
944        Neil Purdy 01:41:42
975        Thomas Kinsella 01:42:43
1123       Noel  Lynam   01:42:35
1208       David Trimble 01:38:47
1248       Lucy D’Arcy   01:43:57
1328       Patricia Fitzmaurice  01:45:17
1424       Shane   Trimble 01:42:05
1598       Johnny Dwyer 01:37:04
1602       Grainne Lynch 01:48:44
1942       Naoise  Waldron  01:41:03
2069       John Flaherty  01:41:33
2213       Liam O’Brien 01:55:42
2348       Derrick  Long 01:49:21
2965       Rosie Mulhern 01:58:04
3124       Anne-Maria Scanlon 01:59:54
3173       Anne Belton   02:00:28
3322       Grainne  Wall 02:02:05
3537       Sean O Byrne 02:11:39
4145       Audraí   O’Driscoll  02:10:35
5440       Sean Duffy     02:21:36
5681       Caoimhe Donegan 02:21:07