Apart Christmas and my summer holidays, the Dublin marathon weekend is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the tapper, the registration, the atmosphere and dinner and few pints after the race. So needless to say I was very disappointed when it was cancelled, but I’m well aware that there is a bigger picture here and the right decision was made for the safety of all involved.

I had no intention in doing a virtual marathon, but four weeks ago some old triathlon club friends got in touch and told me they were doing it on the Sunday in Tymon park, so I said why not. I did some excellent training with Sportsworld over the last few months, but I have not done much long distance running lately. However, I felt in decent enough shape.

The route consisted of eight laps, starting and finishing at the basketball arena. Not a bad day, but was windy enough. We started out at 7.30am and the park was nice a quiet. It did get busier as the morning went on, and taking an educated guess, I would say there were other clubs doing their virtual marathon there too. The support was great, pockets of encouragement along the way.

I felt good until about mile 20, until I started to get some stomach cramps. These lifted at mile 22 and I felt great and put in some of best miles at this stage. Then bang, mile 25 I was a dead man walking, but knew the work was done at that stage and I just had to see it home. It was great to have my wife and two kids cheering me on at the end too. I finished with 3hrs 11mins, which was 11 minutes quicker than 2019 and two minutes quicker than my personal best, so I was a happy man. I put the improvement down to the training with Sportsworld and I’m hoping Emily can push me to crack that three hour barrier in 2021.