Congratulations to all those who participated in the marathon last Monday!

We asked some runners to write a piece on their experience of the big day, here is what they had to say, enjoy!

Reports in order of submission time! Sportsworld results listed at the end.

Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin


Thanks very much to everyone from Sportsworld who braved the wind and the rain to come out in support on the day. Your cheers of encouragement were a terrific lift throughout the race, and especially the section around Bushy and Terenure were just so enjoyable because of it. I was looking forward from the start and it was the big highlight of the day for me. Fair play to Kevin Curren who I spotted at the Phoenix Park, in Walkinstown, and again on the Merrion road. He probably did more miles than the runners!

I was looking forward to the race for such a long time it was hard to believe it had finally rolled around. I really enjoyed all the months of preparations, and especially the big long runs, that I was nearly disappointed that the race marked an end to that type of training. For now at least.

I had taken part in all the races in the race series which are a great lead up to the marathon. The results had all gone well and improved race on race for me marking how much I had come on since joining Sportsworld 6 months ago. So well that I wasn’t sure of how to pace myself for the race. I had gotten an 86 in the Dublin Half which suggested a 3:02 marathon time. Having hit the wall badly in Dublin last year, I was anxious about the same thing happening again and was thinking of aiming for a 3:10 or 3:15. Luckily, I listened to the advice of Emily, Justin, and Ronan Masterson who told me to go out with a 3 hour pace and see what happens.

The conditions on the day were wind and drizzle. I was worried the wind would be a problem in the more open parts and I knew it would be a good idea to run in a group or draft if you could. The rain wasn’t so bad and maybe it served to cool people down.

My plan ‘A’ for the race was to go out a little slow with the aim of getting to the halfway point in Crumlin for 1:30, then hold that pace and slog my way through Clonskeagh and try and get myself onto the top of the hill at Roebuck for about 2:33, and then use the 4 miles of downhill from there to the finish line to try and get in under the 3. I made it to Crumlin and Roebuck in time but I just couldn’t get my speed back into my legs after the hills. The home straight and crossing the line were exhilarating and excruciating in equal measure. The highlight for here for me were running alongside my childhood hero Sonia O’Sullivan in Ballsbridge and the banks of people out cheering like you’ld see on the Tour De France.

I met Justin in the baggage area after the race and he sensibly told me to get a post race leg massage which really helped. From there I gingerly made my way homeward along the Merrion Road to enjoy watching the race and to offer support any Sportsworld runners. As I came to the door of my place, I remembered talking to Paddy after my first night with the club in Bushy, I told him I was hoping all the speed training would help get me a 3:30 time in this year’s Dublin City Marathon. At the time I had only run two marathons in the 3:50s, so I thought I was being ambitious. Paddy smiled and said, “if you run with everyone here, a small, light person like you will run it in 3 hours”. I thought he was mad at the time, but I came in with 3:01. Delighted.

Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin

Joe Byrne


Dublin Marathon weekend starts at the EXPO in RDS where we collect numbers and receive final instructions to make it to the start on time Monday Morning.

The expo reminds me of my time in school just before exams with nervous students buzzing around looking for those last minute notes or tips on what awaits them. Here we are bombarded by the manufacturers products and their claims “your wearing the wrong shoes, wear these and watch your times tumble” or “shave 11 minutes off your time without any extra training by taking these super gels”.

A customary look at the latter informed me that a person of my weight should take 2 of their gels 15 mins before the off and a further 9 throughout the race. Thats 11 in total!! A minute for each gel. I would suggest the michelin man would have a rival if I done that.

However my favourite Porky of the weekend as I watched a quick video guide to the course that awaited, with one of the organisers, “Now folks, Dublin is a Flat course”. Enough said!!!!!

Roll forward monday morning and true to form, many had taken on board Super gels manufacturers advice. Belts were strapped up to many a runner possessing enough goodies that would suggest they were heading off on an autumn picnic rather than embarking on 26.2m.

The race itself, well lets just say I,ve had a lot better days. Support as always from fellow runners was fantastic. Sportsworld club always excel themselves in this regard with familiar faces appearing (many times) from mile 1-26 in order for me to share the pain! Did I resolve at 18, 20 or 22 to never ever run another marathon? of course I did, at all of them.

Special word of mention to Justin for breaking 2.50. A fantastic run on a tough course on a tough day! Am full of admiration for a guy who joined back in early summer and has gone from strength to strength. And of course all the volunteers who give up their whole day and in some cases longer to get and keep the show on the road.

Ok, enough said, Eoin tells me Berlin 2016 entry is open for a limited time. Gotta go. 


Ronan Murray


For me the day started with the alarm sounding at 5am to end a sleepless night. I got up and put on my race attire and checked that I had everything that I would need packed in my kit bag.

After a big breakfast, I checked my kit again. Then after plenty of hydration and checking my kit bag again, it was off to pick up my training partner Stephen Willoughby and then into the race.

We arrived in good time and had a leisurely walk to the bag drop and then on to wave 1. We were about 30 minutes early in the wave and the crowds were starting to build and before we knew it the gun sounded and we were off. My plan for the day was to run 3.45 which meant running an 8.30 ave per mile. The first few miles are a bit of a blur of excitement but by the time I got to the park I had settled into a steady pace of around 8.25 and could see the 3.40 pace balloons in the distance ( they were my target if I was feeling good later on ).

The next few miles were fairly easy until we started to climb up the Crumlin road. I had a plan for this, I brought music to distract me on the tough bits but as Murphy’s law goes , it would not play. No music then – I would just have to dig in. At mile 15 my family were there to support me and supply me with much needed fuel , this put a spring in my step and kept me moving along nicely until the KCR , by now I was moving at 8.20pace. From mile 16 to 20 was an amazing experience with the support from the Sportsworld gang at every corner. At one stage a guy running beside me turned and said “ How the hell does everybody know your name as its not even written on your shirt”

Then we got to the hard bit, mile 20 onward. I was feeling strong and moving at an average of 8.18 but assumed that I would lose time on the hills but before I knew it I was at mile 22 and Conor Kenny was there with a gel and a few words of encouragement – I had conquered the hill (my nemesis) and kept pace. The last 4 miles were a dream, I felt so strong and was able to up the pace to finish in 3.38 with a negative split and my fastest mile was mile 26. All in all a good days work with nice food in Kylemore afterwards ( Thanks Anna for the grub , I owe you one) and later some well-deserved pints.

For anyone who had never run Dublin and is thinking about it just know that when you get near the club and people are screaming your name ( I think Val will be hoarse today) it is a feeling like no other and something you wont forget. Thanks for all the fantastic supporter.

Until next year.

Joe Haugh


Dublin, 26th October, a hot 15c, very little wind, and no rain perfect conditions for your first Dublin marathon. Ok hold on, need to proof read that as nothing could be further from the truth! Home races are always great, and always good to have different people at different points on the course giving you encouragement, 42km ( or 26.2 miles for the alternative camp), is not an easy distance to run, whether on the flat or on a hilly course like Dublin. This was my second Marathon ever, previously I ran Boston in 1996, a famous but even hiller course to run, this time I was more fitter and focused than then even though I am twenty years older!

So onto the build up. I spit the build up into a number of areas, pre race training, understanding my potential target, diet and training.

Pre race training: This involved quite an amount of the club sessions and long runs which helped me to get mileage in my legs. I found the speed sessions quite helpful, and it is something I will build upon over the next year. Also this year I completed quite a number of half marathons to help me get the mileage and race speed into my legs. This year a trip abroad was taken, and the Berlin half was race of choice. Every race you learn what works and what does not , and Berlin gave me a lesson on my diet and how I need to manage it. Unfortunately I suffer from food intolerances, and some of the side effects of that impacted me during the race, and was ill for a period of time thereafter. I find managing your diet if you want to improve your times helps a lot and since that race I have not had any major issues, a lesson learnt if you want to run the longer distances.

Understanding my potential target: This year I had trained quite hard to get my times down per km , so know I feel comfortable in the 4.30 to 5 min per km range. During the Dublin marathon I was running that speed upto 30km, but that final stretch where I hit the wall got to me and leg cramps kicked in.. The lesson I learnt was probably if I had run the conservative 5min per km time, might have hit the 3.30 finish time. This race was a tester for me, and if I was doing it again would approach differently, you have to make mistakes to learn, certainly will be wiser next time around. In saying that on a flatter course my running might have got me around, Dublin is tough so you need to be careful about how you run it.

Race Day: So what can I say the course is a nice one, and the start at Merrion square is excellent. As you run up through Christchurch, towards the park, past my Old school in Castleknock and back into the park the course was great. You leave the phoenix park and on up towards Kilmanahim towards Crumlin. Leaving Crumlin towards the KCR and Terenure was great as all the club members and stewards cheering you on. I have to admit as I went through Terenure was starting to feel it a bit, but the worst stage was after Milltown and heading up towards the back of UCD , the weather, the hills, the cramps resulted in me having to stretch out a bit and pull myself together! Once you leave Nutley lane and run towards the finish line it is a great feeling and the support was excellent. Over the finish line I was glad to see the medal you receive, 3.50.23 was official finish time, and I always put things in perspective, got around, stopped and started towards end, and ran most at a pace I was happy with, so keep the training going and there will be other days. I don’t believe in beating myself up, just gotta move onto the next race and look to improve, I have come out of it with the usual sore legs, I can try again!

Thanks to the club, stewards ,Ronan and the other club members who checked in on me during the race, I enjoy running as you always have another chance at getting it right, so I have already taken steps for a marathon next year, I will return to Dublin but want to get my marathon technique right.


Justin McKeever


This was my 9th time lining up for the Dublin Marathon – it might not be the world’s fastest course, but I really love running this race!! My training had gone well over the last 4 months and for the first time I’d been hitting around 40miles per week consistently. I raced lots and dipped my toe into some cross country and track. My goals for the race were – plan A: sub 2:50, plan B: beat my pb :2:53, plan C : sub-3 and plan D: just get round and crawl home if necessary.

After a wonderfully dry spell in September and October, the forecast was predicting wet and windy for monday – I hoped it was wrong as the weather on Sunday was lovely. Well the weather might make times a bit slower, but everyone is in the same boat, so time to concentrate on our own races. After handing over my bag full of warm clothes for afterwards, I did a small warm up jog and squeezed in right behind the elites at the front.

The gun went off and we eased off up the lovely wide georgian dublin street, before the right onto leeson street. All the pre-start tension evaporated and it felt like slow motion, watching the elites cruising gently away, the complete polar opposite to the frenzied start at the cross country last week! The first mile in about 6mins was a bit quick, so I was conscious to stay calm and keep the effort levels down and settle into a rhythm. We were soon crossing the liffey and heading up through stoneybatter to the north circular and on to the phoenix park, a definite improvement from last year’s course which went all the way up the quays and up chesterfield ave.

The wind has been behind us up to now becomes more noticeable as we leave the park about 7miles, then back into the park and a nice fast downhill all the way down the exit through the chapelizod gate. Back across the liffey though chapelizod and there a couple of inclines to deal with before hitting inchicore. Fantastic crowds as we turn right at kilmainham onto the south circular. I try and get some shelter form the wind on this stretch all the way through to rialto and more fab crowds at dolphins barn and passing halfway just over 1:23….so far, so good! The stretch from here up the crumlin road is normally into a headwind and horrible, but with the wind behind us this year, it didn’t seem long before the passing the crowds at the walkinstown roundabout heading on to the KCR.

Still trying to maintain a steady rhythm, I was looking forward to the familiar stretch from fortfield rd, past Bushy Park to terenure, but I wasn’t prepared for the wall of noise at bushy park and the boost I got from theamazing support from all the sportsworld members and marshalls. If I could bottle that feeling I got passing through terenure, I could make millions!!

Heading into Rathgar, I paused for a quick hello to my girls and to pick up a gel and bottle of flat coke to get me through the last 8miles. Thankful that I was still moving well through 20miles at Milltown, I was acutely aware of my suffering in last year’s from this point where I was reduced to damage limitation and a walk-run strategy. On up through Clonskeagh, I know I just have to keep the pressure on to the top of Fosters Avenue and I convince myself it will be the home run with a tailwind from there. Turning left onto the stillorgan road, with just over 3miles to go, the legs are reaching their limits as I go over the UCD flyover and I struggle to do the mental arithmetic of 3x7mins. After Nutley lane, it’s left onto Merrion road and under 2miles to go.

I know the sub-2:50 is still just about on the cards, but my legs are in trouble now and I can feel the time slipping away. It’s all I can do to literally grit my teeth, get the arms working more and pray the body doesn’t cave. I get the crucial boost I need as huge roars from first Phil, then Kevin and Michael propel me along this stretch until finally I can see the finishing line in the distance. I am overjoyed as I realise I will make 2:49 and my grimace gives way to smiles and waves crossing the line very happy indeed, relieved, elated and overflowing with endorphines!!

Finally, a massive thanks to all the support from the club members who were there from the start to the very end of the course and made this the most enjoyable marathon I have ever done. I was planning to focus on the shorter distances from now on, but how am I going resist signing up again for next year?!

Enda McMorrow


Dublin Marathon 1985 to 2015.

Thirty years after my first marathon, I once again hit the streets of Dublin last Monday for my 23rd assault on this race distance that demands respect, patience and most of all preparation.

As I lined up at the front of wave 2 (having decided when entering this would be the best way of stopping myself making my usual mistake of going out too fast), my head was full of numbers that simpily didn’t add up. My only long runs had been three 16 mile runs and one 20. However I had run in 25 races already this year so at least I wasn’t short of race practice.

IMG_0044 (1)

Enda finishing in 1985! (With the headband behind the guy in blue)

The other series of numbers in my head were three 8s as this was the number of miles I intended to run at three different average pace per miles. Thus I intended to start with the 9 min per mile pacers then go to 8 30 pace before reverting to plus 9 min pace as I invariably would suffer later in the race due to my lack of miles I reckoned. My target finish time was 3 59 (which appeared a reasonable target to me given my lack of specific mardthon training this year) – There was of course one fatal numeric flaw with my calculations that would come back to bite me later on in the race (of which more anon)

Thus we started off and my first 8 miles went more or less to plan ;


Then I went to phase 2 for my next 8 :;


So all good so far ( and I had gone thru the halfway mark in 1 56 ) – at this stage I began to suffer but the brilliant support I got from the side of the road from my fellow sportsworld club members pulled me thru – i am so grateful to you all – I actually think it may have been harder to spectate than to run in that weather.

Onwards I went smiling to myself and grinning manically to my running colleagues I recognised who called out my name ( though I am pretty sure some of them cheated and got my name from the race number which had it printed on it) – oh how smug I felt as I cheerily went through the wall ( what wall ? ) and then up Roebuck road and down Fosters avenue – easy peasy and then smoothly torwards the RDS with my miles from 17 to 24 reading like this (a couple of slow miles but nothing too worrying) ;


Then – suddenly I was engulfed by this overwhelming sense of complete exhaustion and fatigue and I had to stop running and start walking a bit then running a bit in turn till the end – finally I got there and I was never as glad to see a finishing line in my life ( well maybe not as much as I was glad to see it last year at the Berlin marathon – Note to self – is there a pattern developing here ?!) . The final two miles took me – gulp – 23 minutes !

The flaw in my maths ? 8 x 3 = 24

Will I do it next year ? Try and stop me !

Mark Heffernan


Mark on the right, carb loading at the summer barbecue

The Friendly Marathon!!!

So after months of training and fretting the big day looms! Picking up the race number on Sunday brings on the usual mix of nervousness and excitement! After an early night and much stretching the morning dawns and reality also! No backing out now! Final breakfast and more stretching and down to the start!

Just like last year, great organization at the start line and I have to say all throughout the race. Although I do feel sorry for the office workers on Tuesday morning in the back lanes around Fitzwilliam Square. Pity the Square isn’t open as lots of free fertilizer going a begging!

The weather was mixed. Some rain but it was really the wind around the Phoenix Park and Rialto that slowed a lot of people down. Approaching Sportsworld Boulevard I still felt pretty ok. Thanks to everyone there for their support! Best section on the route! Down to Miltown and there seemed to be another Sportsworld Avenue as I spotted a few members in the crowd. Heading down to Ashtons starting to feel a little cramp in my legs which got a lot worse just before Roebuck! After a very ungainly stretch holding on to a lamppost for dear life I managed to struggle home! Great support at the bottom of Foster’s Avenue and a big thank you to the drumming crew there!! They will never know the lift they gave me! No matter what people say, when you hit 21, 22 miles you realise how tough it really is to finish!!

Fantastic support at Merrion Square at the finish and all throughout the race! Although it is most definitely not friendly on the body, Dublin is a really great uplifting day and all the little things people do and say to support you en route stay with you. Let’s hope the change to a Sunday has a real positive effect and we can hit the 20,000 figure!

I was very happy with my time of 3:42:33. Joining Sportsworld in February played a big part in me attaining that time so a big thank you to Myles, Emily and everyone in Sportsworld for all the advice and support throughout the year!!

Now to get that time down next year………………………………………..

Jakub Splawski


What do you like about the Dublin marathon? 

I’ve done Dublin Marathon every year since I moved to Dublin from Poland 9 years ago. It is a specific tradition for me to celebrate October bank holiday this way so even if I didn’t have time to train in recent years I always gave it a try and enjoyed it as much as possible.

There are many things I like about Dublin marathon. I like the crowd of runners from all over the world that come in all shapes and sizes. It is very international and grows bigger every year.

I like is the route which is not too hilly for a road race but also not boring for a long distance race. It also goes through many familiar places that I’m somehow connected with (for example I work in City Center, trained in Phoenix Park, Terenure and Milltown, lived in Rathgar and now I commute along N11 – that is most of the marathon course covered!) .

…and the best of them all are spectators. They are always amazing and there are always crowds. It seems to be more and more people watching the race every year. It was a great to watch some emotional reactions when runners and met their fans.

I’d like to thank all Sportsworld runners that cheered me on. It was much easier to cover the distance with your help.
Special thanks to Michael Cunningham who shared his chocolate bar when I got hungry in Ballsbridge.

In general I’m delighted I finished another marathon and didn’t get injured. I hope next year I will find time to do a proper training with Sportsworld and prepare for a good result.

It was my 46th marathon, time 4:18.










Sportsworld Results

Justin McKeever 02:49:18
Diarmuid O’Suilleabhain 03:01:26
Cormac Garvey 03:14:01
Francis Mahon 03:17:08
Barry O’Sullivan 03:23:53
Joe Byrne 03:25:53
Aidan Curran 03:36:07
Ronan Murray 03:38:24
Mark Heffernan 03:42:33
David Trimble 03:50:17
Joe Haugh 03:50:23
Enda Mc Morrow 04:03:09
Jakub Splawski 04:18:20
Tara Murphy 04:24:13
Ed Collins 04:42:23
Jim Manning 04:43:13