Only because I had paid for an entry did I decide that I’d hurtle from working in the West of Ireland to Dublin central on Tuesday evening for the catchy named “KBC Dublin Night Run 5K & 10K Sandymount”, organised by the even catchier “RunDublin & Clontarf Half Marathon & 5 Mile” people.

I had paid my money thinking it would be a sunny bright Sandymount evening in early March (yes that’s me!), and I was sick of missing races because of work. I’d come to know of these organisers as they also run the scenic “Park West Dublin Night Run 5k or 10k”, where I work, and ran, and WON in September. My first ever win! The small field in that race, coupled with the obscure location, AND just generally being around the back of Ballyfermot of a dark evening, it’s easy knowing you run fast.

Like any great athlete I had a Kitkat at 4pm ish and drove from Clare to Dublin, changing into my gear in the fine Merrion Tesco toilets. I figured Clanna Geal’s loos wouldn’t be a patch on these and turns out I was right.

Checking to remember whether I’d signed up for the 5k or 10K, I asked some guy about the route, stole some safety pins and was all set for my warm-up by 7.15pm, for the 7.20pm race.

I looked around for any Sportworlders. I was told Kate Nugent might be running and Michael was already volunteering her for the race report so I was off the hook. My biggest concern attending any race now is the glance from Michael about having to write that dam thing!

I took my spot amongst the elite, if just to see what attire most were wearing as it was fairly cold and I wondered about one layer or two. Barr a few signets and short shorts, most everyone had a few layers on, some were forty coats (!). With only about four other girls up near me, I wondered about the pack. Remembering my Parkwest win, my incumbent title, could I have a chance in this field? The Kitkat wasn’t so confident.

No sign of Kate and the race reporting anxiety arrived. And having run a 10K two days ago because I totally forgot about this one, the legs were a little tired.

Deirdre O Connell with a unique runner colour choice

But I got off well and settled in. The route was interesting, as in funny interesting, varying from grass and grassy verges, to footpaths with puddles to a bit of soggy grass, before joining the strand via very soft sand (horror flashback to La Santa’s beach run!). It was dark obviously, and badly light, so I felt a need to be cautious at times. But the sand firmed up, we joined the Sandymount Strand path, and then ran back up the beach. All very lovely, the cold evening was perfect, looking out over the glistening Dublin Bay at night.

I was fairly sure I was near the front of the lady’s pack passing the 5k mark / start of loop two, as most of the women ahead finished at that point. Round two was easier as the route was familiar and you’re over the hump, and barr feeling fairly dodgy a number of times, I enjoyed it! Around 8K, I heard the sound of a female coughing behind me and then she cruised by with such speed she was out of sight in no time at all (easy in a night run!). I had her pegged as first and me second and that was going to be just fine with me. I got in in 45mins, slower than my Parkwest win, but without the need to continue running to the car to get my ass out of there!

Like any great loser, I congratulated the lovely lady who passed by. She got second, so I was third. Turns out she’s not in a club yet. I told her to watch her back for Emily Dowling!

While I doubt I’d be as happy with my time with a stronger field, I took my place with confidence and figured, why don’t I just do the dam race report as it’s likely to be the best result I’m likely to get! So I would need a photo. Like any great loner with no phone, I approached a group and asked them to take a photo of me with my medal and could you please email me that?” HA!

To comment on race bag quantity, maybe the Parkwest bags had been robbed that time as there were none, and so I was pleasantly surprised with this loot. Well done KBC The Bank of You / Me.

No Kit Kat’s

I left quickly as it got cold. Like any top athlete, I picked up a curry from the Indian on the way home, wearing my medal. I asked did they sell beer? Excuse me? Beer! Oh we sell Ginger Beer. Oh. No, thanks.

Deirdre checks Strava for people to do race reports

Having written the race report that evening, I found out afterwards that Kate Nugent WAS at the race, and Kate ran a brilliant 5k to finish in third place. I’ve come to know Kate from the cross country running and we’ve very similar pace I think. Well done Kate!So while I was happy with my result, I was even more happy with my now complete race reporting career!

Deirdre O’Connell


Sandymount Night Run 5 & 10km results are here: