The Dublin Marathon 2009 story as told by sportsworld members so stick on the slippers, make a cup of tea, grab the digestives, sit back and enjoy!
|Dublin Marathon 2009 Photos|
Sportworld Photos via racePix365
Apologies for the late post but think got food poisoning after the marathon (that night) and had few blurred memories that are coming back.
Marathon day is not a typical start (up at six, 15 minute run, breakfast of porridge dates and figs, Berocca and back to bed for an hour), but by Dublin marathon 5 it is almost a ritual. Off to the start and a few familiar faces, smiles and good lucks and off we go. By now I have it chunked down to manageable segments – make it past GPO, to the park and round the back of the zoo (lots of support from the howling monkeys), 10k, 10 mile first hill gone, ½ way, 7 more tough miles and downhill to the finish – in my head – the 7 tough ones are the ones were the Sportsworld support team are most needed – more on that later. Up the hills past UCD and downhill all the way.
Thats how it the talk goes in my head…as well as phrases such as:
“Ahhhh”, “noooo”, “oh my god, @$!/”£”, my legs, my knees my feet…and these are the voices that become stronger as the race goes on, and where the support comes in…
In reality you listen to the shouts of encouragement, your name being called, “come on Sportsworld/Ed”, “Your doing great” and this is what you focus on. A familiar face, a smile and a clap all of these take you out of your pain and you feed from the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Thanks to all, from Sportsworld, Pulse and everyone else who make it a race and an event and not just a 26 mile grind. On days like this I am (particularly) proud to wear the red and white of Sportsworld. Well done to everyone who were there and who ran, won’t even try to name everyone – you know who you are.
Must give a few special mentions – the psychological boost of getting to Michelle (first support role.. full marks) at mile 10 and 20 with the sports drink, Phil appearing beside me on the bike beside me just as I hit the wall, nothing said but the rythmn did not slow. Emily popping up seemingly everywhere as if co-ordinating a F1 race – times, stats and advice.. both seen and heard.
The post marathon wind down that night was also a memorable (?) event…great to be in a club that knows how to work hard and relax after.
One couldn’t ask for a better day, weatherwise, especially after the two days beforehand……some say having it on the Sunday would at least give us all the chance to hit the town on the Sunday night (me also) but if I had to run in that wind on Sunday I think the clock would have gone like a car in reverse.
One of the greatest things about the Dublin Marathon has to be the crowds. Only raced in one other marathon outside of Dublin and certainly Dublin kicks their butts when it comes to great supporters, they really help you through the 26.2miles…..aaaaggghhh I’m running the race in my head now.
Also having the club members along the route was a massive help, cheering you along, offering encouragement and advice (Emily), Phil for nearly getting me disqualified (only messing Phil, cheers for the support) and to everyone else who helped along the way (the water bottle in Ballsbridge being one to mention). I like the fact that the water comes in bottles rather than cups….and most of all, that it’s finished for another year.
Congrats to everyone who participated in the marathon, both runners and stewards.
It was a 9am start for the volunteers, slightly later then the runners. My first thought was please, please don’t let it be raining. I felt guilty for weeks last year seeing volunteers from the club half frozen standing at the junctions trying to be enthusiastic for the 4 hours. A free jacket is little compensation for frost bite. I then thought this is perfect for the marathon runners. The winds that weekend looked like ruining people’s times. An extra training session every week can take minutes off you marathon time, a strong head wind can add minutes back on. The Gardai this year where very help although the volunteers at some of the junctions would question if being able to do a U turn in less then 10 movements is still on the driving test and if you ever arrive at a junction and a Gardai with a Cork or Donegal accent tries to give you directions around a Dublin marathon more then likely they don’t have a clue and they are just trying to push you on to the next junction.
Looking at the runners you go from amazement seeing the Ethiopians and Russians push through the miles like there doing a 5000m sprint not a marathon. You then recognise people from other races you ran with and think with envy I could be doing that time in this race why didn’t I enter (completely forgetting all the punishing long Sunday runs that you skipped). You then look with amazement again at people who have suffered strokes, battled cancer, people who have obviously never run much before but are doing the marathon to raise money for charities or family members and think how hard the marathon must be for them. At the end of the day 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles regardless of the time, even though it hurts (a lot) I don’t know how any one cannot look at the marathon and not think I want to do that.
Its Bank Holiday Monday, and as on this day quite a number of times before, I wake up after a fitful sleep at the ungodly hour of 5.45 to prepare for another marathon. First things first – check the weather which thankfully seems runner friendly. Now get the porridge and banana into the old system and try to fool myself that I am ready for this. This year for the first time my long suffering other half ,Anne, is saved the trouble of driving me in as my older lad now has his licence so off we go, picking up ‘the brother’ Killian on the way.
The increased numbers are clearly in evidence as we get the bags in before heading up to meet the sportsworld crowd – we are a bit late and they are heading down torwards us – get to say a quick hello and wish good luck to Dave, Jakub and a very sprightly looking Lucy who looks like she is well up for this. Finally after a rousing version of the national anthem and rather an aborted attempt at
Molly Malone we are off.
Perfect day for it – must be sure not to go off too fast. The right calf has been playing up the last couple of weeks so I am nervous of pushing it too much. However by the time we get out of the park I am ahead of my planned schedule and feeling strong. My target was to get to the halway in 1 55 but the way things are at this stage it could be closer to 1 50. Then suddenly at the 10 mile mark I get this crippling pain in the calf and I am in serious trouble. I am thinking I wont get past the halway mark – Now I have no choice but to slow down then I remember I have a couple of nurofen in the pocket of my shorts and I take these at the next water station at 12 miles. I go through the halway mark in my original target time which gives me a lift. Gradually the pain eases off although the tightness remains. Then as we get into the Terenure / Walkinstown the spirits are lifted by the sight of a succession of smiling cheering faces from the club and this good feeling works like a magic remedy to lift the spirits. The last few miles are tough but bearable, helped along by my sons supplying bananas and sweets at 17 and 21 miles. Then the finishing straight in Merrioin square and finnally its all over – no more pain – only relief and sheer delight to be finished. The watch says 3 51 – that will do nicely.
Later on I hear of some fine performanes by sportsworld – many fine times are recorded – the ones that strike me of the ones I hear about are Lucy’s magnificent 2:51 and Louise’s 3.33. The day is rounded off by 1 or 3 pints at the post race party at the Hilton and finnally a hobble out to a taxi to get home to sleep after a great day.
Pain….torture….runners amnesia….signed up for next year.
Over 25 athletes from the club took part in the Dublin Marathon this weekend. For some it was their first marathon, for others it was another toe to the line experience, knowing what lay ahead on a gruelling 26.2 miles stretch. For all, it was time to put all the hours and miles of dedicated training into action.
On a bright, sunny morning, perfect conditions for marathon running, they set off at 9 am from Merrion Square. Watching firstly at the two mile mark, everyone was chatting and smiling (none with a bigger smile on their face than Lucy!!) Then it was on to the 12 mile mark where everyone looked very comfortable.
First to pass us for the club was Ed McEntee, who makes marathon running look so so easy. Ed is a seasoned marathon runner and despite struggling to shake off an injury just a couple of weeks ago ran a stormer of a race to come home in 2hrs 45 mins, a top class performance.
Next up was Trevor. Trevor was flying and looked like he was taking every step in his stride. Not a bother on him! Trevor was well on his way to an incredible time of 2 hrs 48 and well deserved after his serious training over the last few months which has certainly paid off.
Lucy was not far behind and still smiling, Paul O Connell, Eoin O’Brien, Dave, Orla Jordan, Louise Bruton all flew by us with the half way point almost reached.
Feeling very lazy, we took a lift over to Ballsbridge and watched from the 24 mile mark. The Sportsworld contingent were still going striong, and with the end in sight, all were on target for fantastic times. Ed sailed by, Trevor looked like he had just started his run and then came Lucy who was on her way to smashing her PB by an incredible 8 mins.
Orla Jordan sailed by, so did Joe Byrne, Eoin managed an impressive wave which was unfortunately not caught in camera, Louise Bruton looked comfortable, Cillian and Enda McMorrow flew past as did Jakub, Sean, Dave Clarke, Dave Trimble, Aideen Downes, Anne Sweeney, Irene O’Connor and Siobhan Bradford.
Performance of the day had to go to Lucy who would entice anyone to do a marathon, she makes it look so easy! A massive PB and first in her age category showed that she really is on top form.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, its a huge achievement and certainly not an easy one. A special word of thanks must go to Emily for all the training programmes and guidance given over the last few months!
Surprisingly warm morning. Warm enough to start the race just in a singlet. Previous years I took off a long sleeve top around 15th mile. A lot of people – no point slaloming at the beginning.
Difficulties to find my own pace – the 1st mile with Liam and Eoin was too fast for me and then next 8-9 miles much slower than my target (partly because I accidently stopped my watch on the first mile and started it again on 2nd mile/ partly because I talked too much).
I realized I’m going too slow and started to pick up speed. My legs started to get tired and I started to actually sweat.
When I saw my half-marathon time (about 1:39) I was sure it is almost impossible to do my PB but decided to push as hard as possible and maybe catch up with Liam.
Sean had a banana for me. I wasn’t hungry but ate it just in case. Sportsworld fans gave great support near Terenure. Tony took pictures from a middle of the road in Rathgar.
I must have switched off as I can’t remember much.
Phil accompanied me for about a mile. I could hear him but all I could see was tarmac that I was staring at as I climbed the hill near UCD. I asked him if Liam was far in front and he replied that he hasn’t seen him at all. I thought that meant he’s out of my range.
I started to set my eyes on a white lines on the street and just followed. Some people called my name others called the club’s name. Both helped as I knew they were trying to make last miles easier.
Back to town, back to crowds – a sign that it’s almost over. The last mile is always the best. I saw a clock and crossed the line. Another one finished. Not much excitement this time but not much pain either. Satisfaction that I did probably the best I could that day and didn’t give up but also dissapointment it’s not a new personal best time. Maybe next time, next year.
Well, the endless months and weeks passed as summer turned to autumn and D-day was upon us. The blood sweat and tears shed around Boharnabreena and the phoenix park would now bear fruition. On a beautiful October morning a large crew from sportsworld took on the punishing 26.2 miles around the streets of Dublin.
For all the talent on display and training miles clocked up, experience is crucial in the Theatre of Marathon. And so it came to pass…Lucy Darcy and Ed McEntee had the X-factor, producing the performances of the day. Lucy cruised around the course, looking as if she was just at line-dancing practice on a mondat night in Navan. She finished in an awesome 2.51, smashing her PB. Trevor Sweeney lead out the men’s contingent at 5 miles, followed by Paul O’Connell and Ed. Paul picked up the pace in the coming miles, looking comfortable at half way. Trevor worked his way back to the runners ahead after becoming isolated around the ten mile mark. Ed was patience itself, nestling among a nice group at this point. This was the scene up to 21 miles. But then nothing is won at that stage. Ed was having to dig deep from Rathgar through Clonskeagh, but pulled it out from those famed reserves and dug deeper again. All the while he was hauling back runners includin
g Trev and then Paul. Rumour has it, Trevor’s cheerleaders slowed him down while negotiating his way around the city centre streets in the final mile. A day in the life……..While all around were running into the Wall, Ed charged through it, finishing in a storming 2.45. Trev wasn’t far behind (2.49?) with Paul coming in shortly afterwards. There was talk of an assault on Myles Nuggent’s Club Recoord of 2.36, but this will have to wait. If this time is to be beaten, the protagonist will have to go some. Myles isn’t a living legend for nothing.
This stretch at Clonskeagh cwith heart break hill between mile 20 and 21 can make or break you. Following Lucy; Joe, Jakub, Liam, Eoiny and Dave fought the good fight – conquering it and pushing threw the last 5 miles to the glory and acclaim at the finishing tape. An epic battle indeed and we are proud of you all.
Don’t forget….Hills and Sprints on tuesday.
There was a carnival atmosphere in place as the Marathon passed through Bushy Park – The home of running. Sportworld had huge numbers involved as competitors & volunteers alike took to the streets. With Sportsworld responsible for a stretch just short of two miles from Fortfield road to Terenure crossroads there was much stewarding to be done.
The Gardai also played their part & a dear nice lady kept one particular rather large Garda supplied with tea through out the morning. A perk of the job he told me later. Local supporters lined the streets to support their Sister, Brother, Mam, Dad, Daughter, Son or friend as they took on the 26.2 miles in aid of their chosen charity. Indeed many a person could be seen wearing a T-shirt in memory of loved one. This is the real marathon. Forget the elite they have their days in the sun. The Marathon is about ordinary people taking up the 26.2 mile challenge for their own personal goals.
The nature of the competitive spirit was evident in the members of sportworld watching as we all looked in awe as 19 year old Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa looked comfortable as he passed by Bushy Park. The flying angels of Phil & Emily took to the bikes to offer advice & support to our club mates at different stages of the 26.2 miles. Many who took part later said that they got a huge lift at this stage just as the race began to take its grip & the pain could be seen on the faces running.
Every year the marathon throws up runners who want to make the challenge more difficult & this year was no exception as one man did the Marathon running backwards. Celebrities ranging from Des Bishop, Ray Darcy, Johnny from the Saw Doctors & Superman also added to the carnival. Moving towards 1pm the crowd began to thin out & the roads reopen to the car. The Marathon of 2009 was over.
Roughly where I stopped feeling the love. 8 miles from home, calves started aching and jasus I was starving. Facing into the sun the sweat was dripping in my eyes and blinding me….I wondered if this counted as self harm???
With a hunger on me I trotted on knowing that my younger brother’s apartment was just up the road. We’d gone over the plan on many a smoky night whilst playing cards. A banana half peeled and a bottle of water with the seal broken at the ready. No amount of coaching or training could predict that he’d have the mother of hangovers and hadn’t any intension of wandering to the shop for me. Instead he used his intuition to go to the nearest water station to scavenge a bottle of water….which he subsequently drank whilst waiting for me. But he clapped as I ran by so….
Stumbled up through Clonskeagh still grumbling about me banana. Straightened and up picked up the pace at the corner of Roebuck Road to keep up appearances for the parents watching there. Got out of sight and I got back to my blind-new-born-calf stumbling around technique. Thankfully Phil Kilgannon picked me up on his bike and kept me company knowing I was suffering and egged me (not with real eggs) up the final hill at fosters avenue. Luckily he backed off at the top because I was about ready to take that bike off him.
Got to the end of Fosters Ave and turned the corner. Only a short jog to UCD and RTE so I thought…wrongly. I looked up and the RTE antenna seemed to be poking out of the horizon. Was ready to jack it in there, go ask me b****x I’m running that far.
Wandered down towards the hospital. Only 4 miles to go. I’m hanging now, the kid on Nutley lane offers me some jelly babies, I take a swipe and miss like a jaded King Kong on the empire state building. But where King Kong didn’t get a second chance I run on a few meters then in delirium turn around and run against the crowd back to my jelly babies. I grab a handful of my prize (What? You tell me someone that can eat only one Jelly baby) from the poor startled kids blindside and head off again.
Ran forever and ever… and ever and ever and ever. 24 mile marker must be close. Glance at the watch but you know what they say about watching a kettle boil…..I was only 3min into the mile….when a marathon goes bad, it really goes bad. Not a jelly baby in sight either, spectators must have been forewarned or else my brother ate them to.
The head and shoulders had dropped, lights where on but nobody had been home for a while, actually the whole place looked fairly ramshackle and it would take more then a lick of paint to put this right. Then just before the Grand Canal bridge Crona “Vinny” Brady jumped out of nowhere with such venom I thought she was going to kick me again. Instead she really urged me along and as I looked up and there was Aoife, with her promised gramophone, and Cillian encouraging me on to. It was a huge boost to see the 3 of them at a poxey part of the course. I gave my best wave and got jump started again and had Catherine O’Neill cheering on the bridge to get me up and over the hump.
Right, this is it. Give it a lash and the crowds something to cheer about. I poured the last of my water down my back, threw the bottle away and took off, flat out. After 100 yards I decided this wasn’t the smartest decision I made…its bleedin miles to the finish. As my fuel gauge was plummeting faster then a hummer doing a school run, Mark Kelly is there to give a timely shout out. In the blur of faces I manage to catch sight of my Auntie Maureen who’d organised for myself and Jakub to pick up sponsorship for a Zambian Children’s fund she represents. I carry on with the timeless classic “thats it sportsword” ringing in my ears.
Got to the line after the 200 yards treadmill. I was wandering around back stage bemused with my medal and Spar lunch box when Emily called me over to the fence and had nothing but praise for me. She was also visibly ecstatic for Lucys astounding time of 2.51 which was the performance and story of the day I reckon.
A big thanks to Myles for all the advice and encourgement and for all the other cheers during the day, if they weren’t acknowledged they where appreciated and great work by the gang stewarding on Sportsworld Boulevard!
Many thanks to Ciara Foster and Racepix for the great photos!
Also 30min and 1hr highlights shows are been shown repeatedly on Setanta Ireland this weekend, some are late so be sure to get permission to wait up –
Thurs 28th 10:00 & 21:30 (Both 30min)
Fri 29th 08:00 & 11:00 (30min & 1 hour extended version)
Sat 31st 11:50 & 20:00(30min & 1 hour extended version)
Sun 1st 07:00 (1 hour extended vers
Mon 2nd 00:00 & 20:00 (Both 1 hour extended version)
Full Sportsworld Results (If I missed anyone let us know and we’ll update the list – sorry in advance!!!)
Ed McEntee 02:45:36,
Trevor Sweeney 02:48:48,
Lucy D’Arcy 02:51:33,
Paul O’ Connell 02:57:01,
Joe Byrne 03:09:53,
Jack Tyrell 03:10:09,
Jakub Splawski 03:14:15,
Liam McFadden 03:19:32,
Ruth Kelly 03:20:45,
Eoin O’Brien 03:22:20,
Orla Jordan 03:29:12,
Aideen Downes 03:30:11,
Louise Bruton 03:32:59,
Dave Clarke 03:46:46,
Hugh “The Doctor” Kearney 03:50:26,
Irene O’Connor 03:51:05,
Enda McMorrow 03:51:39,
David Trimble 03:55:25,
Sibeal Waldron 03:50:19,
Rory Flynn 03:52:55,
Karen O’Connor 03:57:57,
Eilish O’Connor 03:59:34,
Siobhan Bradford 04:08:29,
Patrick Kilian McMorrow 04:19:06,
Claire Harrington 04:29:52,
Anne Sweeney 04:49:55,