On the 29th October myself, Clive, Ian and Stuart (a Norwich Road Runner, but also a regular Brundall parkrunner so we’ll let him off) were lucky enough to fly across the Irish Sea to take part in the 38th Dublin Marathon.
Almost on cue, the sun broke through the clouds as we arrived at the start line around 9am, with our wave setting off at 9:20am. Clive and Ian headed towards the front of the wave as they were running for a time and wanted to get off to a good start. However, Stuart and I were there to enjoy the experience and soak up the awesome atmosphere the Irish had on offer. We progressed through the start and our first couple of miles before crossing the main waterway through the capital, the River Liffey.
Shortly after mile three we passed by Dublin Zoo and unless my eyes deceived me, a waving rhino… We then took in almost 5 miles of the gorgeous Phoenix Park, one of the biggest enclosed parks within any European city, and on towards the half way point. Mile 13 appeared just after the bridge that crosses the Grand Canal and is a popular point for crowds of people cheering on the runners.
We continued on through the Perrystown & Terenure areas of Dublin, suburbs outside of the city centre, but with some of the most amazing levels of support I have seen on any marathon – the local residents vocally urging runners on, offering water, jaffa cakes, bags of sweets.
At mile 22 we reached once of the most challenging parts of the route, a stretch of road officially called Roebuck Road, but aptly re-named by a large banner emblazoned with “Heartbreak Hill”. It is not the steepest of hills, but after 22miles and with tired legs it certainly provides a physical and mental challenge.
Before long we found ourselves running past the site of the pre-marathon expo the RDS Hall, and into the final straight alongside Merrion Square park – where crowds of supporters more than three rows deep created a wall of noise urging the runners towards the finish line.
It turned out to be a weekend of celebrations with 3 out of the 4 of us bagging a new PB. Not only are the Irish by far the friendliest, loudest, and most positive supporters in the world, but they literally came out in their thousands to line the streets for this amazing event. The Dublin Marathon is superbly put together, highly organised, has one of the best pre & post run goodie bags, plus an awesome medal and finishers top to boot. I am so extremely proud of the three guys achieving new PB’s, they worked really hard to get them.
I would definitely run this event again, and would recommend it to others. A superb experience!