Saturday, 1 October 2016

Dublin Half Marathon, Ireland Sept 2016

The Dublin Half Marathon, not to be confused with the RnR Dublin Half Marathon, is part of a race series that leads up to the Dublin Marathon in October. The races go all the way from 5 miles up to the half marathon in an effort to give people some good milestones during their marathon training. Entry for the half marathon was 30 euro (around $34) and I think you can get special prices if you register for the entire series.

When I realized I was going to be there at the same time as the half marathon was on, I decided this was as good an opportunity as any to finally run a half marathon in Ireland. The race registration was surprisingly cheap. The packet is mailed out, so no expo, or if you don't register on time I saw some people picking them up that morning. Despite the excellent price, I still got a nice tech t-shirt and medal.
The race was on my last Saturday in Ireland and of course that day was part of a Dublin Bus 48 hour strike. The easiest thing to do was to get a taxi out to the Phoenix Park (where the race was). Unfortunately, I was super stupid ( I blame jet lag) and despite reading multiple things with the start time on it I somehow got it into my head that the race started at 8am. It didn't start until 10 am because you know in Ireland any time is good weather wise for running. We arrived in the park at 6.45 with nothing to do but watch the sunrise (it was really pretty), and try figure out why no one was there. Martina was not impressed...I wasn't either but all you can do is laugh.

Eventually the race start was set up and people started to trickle in and before we knew it the place was overrun with 9,000 runners. 
Around the start area were port-a-potties, not a whole lot but just about enough and a really nice touch was The Last Lap Cafe...hello coffee (as soon as it opened) and last minute tea and granola bar when my tummy started rumbling about a half hour before the start. They had wave starts after the elites and I put myself into wave 3.
It was pretty crowded for most of the race but after the first mile or two it wasn't bad. It was also rainy for most of it...welcome to Ireland he he!  I saw Martina around mile 7 and I was already suffering by then. I was slightly under trained for this race and my hips and back were not in good shape after traveling so my IT bands played up big time after around 5 miles. The scenery in the park was really nice and one of my favorite moments was seeing the parks' herd of deer at around mile 11. Another nice moment was chatting to a older man who has run all the marathons to date (since 1980). He eventually kicked my ass but it was a nice distraction for a while.
The course was a little hilly but none of the hills were bad except for a really long one close to mile 12.
There were aid stations every 3-4 miles. Most handed out little bottles of water, weird after so long in the US where everything is cups, and one handed out Lucozade sport which is like orange gatorade.
What really surprised me was the number of people who I saw with real medical problems, not just sprained ankles or a bit tired. I saw at least 4 people being tended to and I know one person had heart failure but luckily was reached in time to be revived and taken to the hospital. At one point we had to make way for the ambulance for that. That definitely made me feel a lot less sorry for myself!

By the end of the race I was alternating between running, walking and stopping to try stretch myself out. I was very happy to see the finish! After crossing the line I got a bag with a few sports bars etc. and my t-shirt. Further along the finishers shoot I got my medal and some food. 
We had a long hike back home as we used what little public transport was available that day (normally great). That evening, holy crap, my knees hurt. A bath and ibuprofen got rid of that by the next day, still I wasn't entirely in good condition for 16 hours of traveling :) That night Martina's mom made us a huge dinner and dessert in honor of Martina's brothers birthday...the perfect finish to the day!

Finish time: 2:17
Country No: 2
Half No: 32


  1. Wow, 10 am does seem like an odd start for a race!!! At least you didn't get there PAST the start time though, heh.

    I hope you are 100% recovered by now! I bet that delicious meal helped ;)

    1. I know...I just felt really bad but the longer we waited it just got funnier. I think it was so late because the whole race stayed in the park (its huge) and the weather doesn't get hot.
      Def recovered still a bit off from traveling (stupid back lol) but I'm mostly back to myself.