Saturday September 20th was my third half marathon. It was part of the Dublin Race Series. The series consists of the Irish Runner 5 Mile, the Fingal 10K, the Frank Duffy 10 Mile and the Dublin Half Marathon. It’s a great way to begin your journey towards completing a Half Marathon and putting the full Dublin Marathon in your sights.
Despite my good intentions to train really hard and beat my last half marathon time of 1.56 which was in Wicklow, the lure of good food and drink kept me far too occupied to get any training in. Given that I had already signed up to do it and received my race number in the post, I figured what the hell I’ll give it a bash anyway. Besides I had told people I was doing it so the shame of not competing would be too much.
I think I managed to do about two runs in prep for it, which is not something I would recommend. Pushing your body to run 21k should be taken a bit more serious than that. If you don’t train properly you are leaving yourself wide open to injury, some of which can take a long time to recover from. So if you do want to run that distance, build up to it and train properly for it. Ignore the part where I’m telling you I went against my own advice.
On the morning of the race I drove to town, parked in Trinity College and got the Luas to Heuston Station where the organisers had a shuttle bus to take runners into the centre of Phoenix Park to the start line. It was probably only a twenty minute walk and the wait time for the bus was about the same. The irony of the situation was not lost on me. There were thousands of people signed up to run and plenty more out supporting family, friends and strangers alike.
There was a great atmosphere at the start with runners broken into waves based on their intended running time. This gives everyone the chance to come off the start line and start running rather than waiting for thousands of people in front of you to move first. Despite my lack of training I joined the group with pacers who were aiming to complete in two hours. I knew this would be a fairly good guideline for me having already completed my first half marathon in 2.07 and my second in 1.56.
The course covered quite a bit of the Phoenix Park with one small stretch running outside the grounds along Chapelizod Road and back in Chapelizod Gate. The Phoenix Park is an absolute pleasure to run around I have to say. The majority of the course was quite flat as well which is always a good thing.
As it turned out a friend of a friend was running with a group of girls beside me and managed to snap my picture a couple of times along the way.
There were of course also the usual professional photographers along the route. I don’t think its possible to look your best when you are running as you will see from the pretty awful looking pictures of me below. As it got quite sunny I’m also donning a pair of shades.
Even with the lack of training I managed to get a chip time of 2hrs 3 mins and 45 seconds. Not too shabby at all. I have to admit that my legs were a little tender for a day or two after the race so I won’t be stupid enough to skip training before a half marathon again.
Next on my race list is the Clontarf Half Marathon which takes place on November 29th 2014 and I’ll definitely be making a point of training for this one. I might even try beat my personal best time.