[Race Report] Dublin Marathon 2017 – the BEST crowds!

Running Dublin Marathon 2017

We ran the Dublin Marathon! On 29th October 2017 we ran our first marathon in a sunny & hilly Dublin with the most incredible crowds cheering us on. Here is our experience of running this fabulous marathon – I am so glad to write positively about this!

Training

Read my training recap here, our marathon training definitely wasn’t perfect and I had to fit it in around a lot of travel and I know I need to try harder next time.

Pre-race

We flew from Dubai to Dublin on Friday 27th and after checking in at our hotel we headed off to the race expo at the RDS to pick up our race bags with timing chip, bibs, etc. We walked quite a lot around Dublin on Friday afternoon and Saturday before an early pasta dinner at the hotel. We tried to have an early night and thankfully had ear plugs as our hotel was next to a club and it was a bank holiday weekend in Dublin so the party went on next door until the wee hours of the morning. We were also worrying about what time our alarms would go off and if our phones would update automatically as the clocks were going back the night before as well. Combined with pre-race nerves it was a restless night!

We’d gone to the supermarket on Saturday to buy bread, jam and nutella which we had for breakfast on Sunday morning after waking up at 6:15am, and a camomile tea to try calm my nerves! We set off at 7:40am and were just 10 minutes walk away from the start area. The weather was nice and clear and after bag drop we had a banana each and made our way to our start wave, via the toilets which had a massiiive queue. By the time we’d finished queuing we made it to our wave just as it was starting to move.

Race

Miles 1-7: Rhys and I had already decided to run together since our goal was just to finish and still be in good shape so we started off nice and slow. I was super excited to have started and feeling so happy to be running and kept telling myself to remember this feeling later! I didn’t see the 1 mile marker but just before mile 2 we spotted our cheerleading squad (my dad, stepmum, little brother and sister had travelled down from Northern Ireland. Then we experienced the first hill, of which we didn’t have many during our training in super flat Dubai.

Just after 3 mile we entered Phoenix Park and were overtaken/swarmed by a pacer group, the path then narrowed and a loose deer came running through the crowd! It was lovely running through nature in the park with the sun out after treadmill and indoor track training in Dubai. Every 5 miles I plan to eat some of a date bar I have and have been drinking water only. We left Phoenix Park around 6 miles and there are loooads of people lining the streets cheering us on. At 7 miles we had a quick portaloo break.

Miles 8-19: Through miles 8 – 12 we were back in Pheonix Park and were overtaken by someone in a minion suit! The 13th mile seemed to take aaaages but we spotted our cheerleading squad just before the hill up to the 13 mile marker and got some high 5s to power us up the hill. After the hill I am feeling good and thankfully better than I have after my previous 3 half marathon races. Mile 16-17 was a bit tough, I felt such an urge to walk (but didn’t) and thought it might be time to put earphones in but as soon as we passed 17 miles I felt OK. Mile 18-19 passed very quickly and then we were counting down in single figure miles again!

Miles 22-26.2: The water stops were every 2 miles but then nearly every 3 miles after mile 16 and I had delayed eating because I needed water at the same time and by mile 20 I was feeling hungry and take wine gums and jellies from the amazing crowd. So far I’d only had water but at mile 22 had some Lucozade sport. At this point “the race has started” but we thankfully didn’t hit the wall! My right calf and inner right thigh are sore but the crowds were great and kept us going, shouting our names from our bibs which was awesome! Mile 20-21.5 seemed like one long hill and then there was a little respite before Dublin Marathon’s Heartbreak Hill at mile 22. At mile 23 we heard S Club 7 “Reach” blasting out from a pub or the crowd and it powered me on for the final 5k.

The last 800 metres were a straight stretch to Merrion Square and lined with lots of people. We were looking out for the cheerleading squad and spotted them with less than 200m to go and divert our course so we can get a high 5. Then we sped up for a final push and had our fastest split on this stretch before crossing the finish line hand in hand and collected our wonderful medals.

Post-race

Overall we still felt good after finishing and were pleased we had taken it easy to be able to enjoy the race and incredible support. We finished in 5:12:43 and were so happy to have completed the Dublin Marathon and have run our first marathon together. I was really happy that I enjoyed it because even before running this I was hoping to go on and run more marathons in the future.

We headed back to our hotel with my family to have a Guinness and some food before heading home for a family feast & reunion and then spent the rest of the week using the stairs as little as possible :) Have you ran a marathon, where was your first and/or favourite?

Running Dublin Marathon

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