Dublin Mountain Plod – 18th July 2010
Yes it was only a matter of time before Sportsworld unleashed their most secret and effective project to date on the unsuspecting mountain running community, that day was the 18th of July on the tough but very enjoyable Dublin Mountain Plod (more of that later).
The race itself was run like clockwork, minimum of fuss and excellent clear race instructions, liked the marquee as the race HQ. Plenty of familiar faces in the crowd Helen, Sibeal and Ronan from Sportsworld, but a good relaxed atmosphere, everyone ready to enjoy the run.
We were started by ex-Olympian Jerry Kiernan, resplendent in his Sunday suit, and slightly bizarrely hoisted onto a barrel, almost Lenin or Connolly like exhorting the masses to rise up and storm the mountain.  Off we went, Ronan assuming the lead (a psychological ploy he uses to confuse the field, by apparently leading it in a random and zigzag direction occasionally breaking the concentration of other runners who have to shout “you are going the wrong way”) – fair play to the chasers though, never letting others go off the wrong direction. After a while I got dropped by Ronan (obviously his tricks worked) so could happily focus on my own run.
The route itself was well marked (large Wacky Races type arrows pinned to stakes and plenty of red tape), scenic and completely on trail/road, occasionally involving stiles (necessary) and puddles (optional), the climbs were even and fair and was happy to follow instruction and plod up them. The downhills were fast on clear tracks, so also could be described as fair, I need to practice more on that particular aspect, I don’t think the race title also intended to refer my descent technique.
Well done to the marshals and water station helpers, plenty of encouragement and water at strategic points. About mile 10 just approaching the top of the final climb was startled to hear “Go on Ed, he is only 100 metres ahead of you, don’t let him get away from you” – no prizes for guessing it was Miles, who had apparently was out hill walking, you never know where he will turn up next. Downhill all the way to the finish, back on road, yeah and feeling like I was pulling back ground, and turning back into Marley to a last 200 meters down a gentle grass slope.
At the end found Ronan, took a little questioning but finally got it out of him he had won his first ever mountain race, congratulations Ronan.  Ronan works with Gerry Brady, so is he in fact part of Gerry’s plan for Irish domination of World Mountain running? All the other Sportsworld contingent finished well and strong.
Well done to all the organisers and volunteers from the Dublin Mountain partnership, great race, well run and great fun, they even managed to organise a cool down shower after the race. Enjoyed the reasonably priced gourmet coffee and chocolate kiosk placed beside the finish, the cool down would just have to wait.
Looking forward to next year and maybe a marathon option…
Report by: Ed McEntee