Report by Anthony Gillen
Thanks to Peter Knaggs for sending in the photos.
Monday evening the weather is somewhat poor so rather than go for the run that’s on the training plan I stay in and watch some darts. That same evening a friend from Lanesboro phones me offering an entry to Wednesday’s Run into the Dark 10k. Initially I wasn’t very enthusiastic as not only was I looking forward to Tuesday’s hills and sprint session in Rathfarnham, but I reckoned it would also be difficult timing wise to get home Wednesday and then gt into the city in time.
The Run into the Dark is an event held in over 50 cities worldwide where tens’ of thousands of runners (and walkers) join with the Mark Pollock Trust to support ongoing research to find a cure for spinal cord injury. A charity well worth supporting.
So Tuesday evening I gave hills and sprints due respect and crawled home.
Wednesday after arriving home at 6:15pm there waiting for me was an envelope with a race number, bag tag, an armband with LED sparkles on it and a page giving all the necessary event details. Race start time is 8pm and bag drop closes at 7:20pm. Hmmm, sore legs and not much time left to get there so decision made. After a quick change, off I cycle the 15km to the bag drop area.
First impression is that this looks well organised and there are a lot of marshals on hand to help.
The evening was windy, cold but at least dry. I didn’t bother with a token warm up and headed to the race start area where I met two fellow club mates Peter Knaggs and Noel Lynam.
Noel, Peter & Anthony
We chatted a bit giving advice to each other – mainly don’t start too fast. When 8pm approached we danced on the spot a bit probably copying everyone else. 15 minutes later we were still dancing and wondering whether to put long sleeve tops back on. The MC was still winding up the crowd in the background so at 8:15 long sleeve tops were back on.
The race started at 8:16 in front of the Custom House along Dublin’s north quays and headed out in the direction of the Three Arena. I was nowhere near the front, so the first 500m was spent dodging slower traffic. The next 500m was spent trying to get to my target average km pace for the first km. So first lesson learnt, I must get up to the start line for the next race. Long sleeve top is now back off. And legs feel sore already and I had to force myself to think ahead and not about the previous night.
At this point we are turning left at the Three Arena and then it’s upwards to the next roundabout to return back the way we came. The route then takes us left over the Liffey via the Samuel Beckett Bridge and after a short loop we split from the 5k runners by going down Cardiff Lane, fortunately not left down Misery Hill, but left on Pearse Street and then onwards to Ringsend. The support from locals on this stretch was fantastic. I am sure a few were wondering what madness had gotten into us given the inclement weather.
So I soldier on sound in the knowledge that I was under my target time for the distance. Around 8km I found the going a bit tough and when my watch broadcasted the latest lap time it was time to dig deep and stay on the heels of some runners trying to edge away. Onwards towards the Eastlink Toll Bridge and over the bridge to the Three Arena turning left for the home straight.
At Samuel Beckett Bridge the 5k folks join us so the possibility of a fast finish is denied and the dodging match resumes. Finally the finish line appears and a token 25m sprint ensues taking me over the line in 39:39. My first sub 40 minute 10k!
Following the organiser’s instructions I kept moving back to the CHQ building picked up a goody bag containing some candy, picked up my bag and cycled home, uphill and against the wind, with the excitement that one feels from achieving a career milestone. Hooray for someone else’s entry. Thanks Marie!
3773 runners – Full Results
Sportsworld Results (Apologies if anyone’s missed)
64 Anthony Gillen 00:39:39
136 Peter Knaggs 00:41:35
183 Andrea McNamara 00:42:28
239 Stephen Willougby 00:43:37
423 Naoise Waldron 00:45:47
481 Noel Lynam 00:46:16