Fun in the sun in Dublin’s fair city

Bogusboy reports from the Dublin Marathon 2016

dublin_2016_nacConditions were perfect for the 2016 SSE Airtricity Dublin City Marathon on Sunday 30th October. The temperature was a little above the seasonal average and there was neither wind nor rain in sight. The event had captured the imagination of the populace for arguably a number of different reasons. The race was on a Sunday in a departure from tradition and the commemorative medal had received rave reviews. Additionally, the support on the streets has increased significantly in recent years and the course itself, while challenging at times, is good. All of these factors have resulted in an increase in numbers to the point that for the first time the race sold out weeks in advance. Dublin now ranks as the fourth largest marathon in Europe after London, Berlin and Paris. It will only get bigger in the future based on the reviews currently trending.

The Newcastle AC athletes had been in training since the end of July; marathon training is a long journey for a single day. We had been to Scarva twice (admittedly once without Ronnie!) and Dundrum too many times to recall! With the hard miles covered the runners were filled with optimism as race day approached. All had their minds set on personal goals and the ever wise pundits had their own views on how things might transpire. Some were more accurate than others.

An impressive PB
dublin_2016_jackLeading the way for NAC was Patrick Higgins, looking to build on and improve his 2015 time. This he achieved with ease, going through halfway in an impressive 1:19. Despite tiring a little in the last three miles he maintained a steady pace and came home in 2:44, 3 minutes inside his PB. With London to look forward to in the spring, a sub 2:40 is a very real possibility. Next home and the only other NAC runner in the illustrious sub 3 club on the day was Jack O’Hare. Again a strong first half (1:25:52) laid the foundation for a top 500 finish out of almost 18,000 finishers. Jack was delighted to cross the line in 2:58:53 and such was his joy that he returned to the city 48 hours later to relive the moment again. Sure as Christy would say, ‘everybody needs a break…’ Some of us enjoy more breaks than others!

26 tough Mileys!
Kieran ‘Miley’ Morgan was making his marathon debut and his 3:15:40 is an impressive first outing over the 26.2 miles. Former marathoner Paul Rodgers, a man with a 2:49 in his diary, albeit written with a quill, was impressed by the effort of the ‘marathon newbies’ as they rose to the challenge. He was followed closely by Mari Troeng (3:16:03), who finished 30th lady overall – no mean achievement. Mari had a relatively uneventful race compared to 2015, when she had fallen foul to the initial thundering stampede after the gun. Niall King was next home in 3:23:28, considerably under his previous best. His next aim is to go to Las Vegas and lose 10k – surely he means run 10k! Aine Gosling had suffered from a recurring injury in the final build up, but managed to make it to the line and run well, recording 3:27:05 – a sign of what can come in the future. Rita Devlin was next home in 3:32:52. Uncharacteristically Rita got caught up in an early pace that was too quick and this led to a slower second half. Rita is usually one to scythe through the field in the last 6 miles, but regrettably was not able to do so on this occasion. Nonetheless, it is a lesson well learned and something that will definitely not happen in London on 23 April when normal service will be resumed. Ashlene McGeough and Ciaran ‘Wide Og’ Mussen arguably brought the largest contingent of supporters and did not disappoint their adoring fans with times of 3:35:16 and 3:44:00 respectively. Both were delighted with their performances citing the structured training programme as the main reason for their success (and the water provided every Sunday by the Prophet on the bike!)

Co-operation at its very best
In garnering a spirit of inter-club goodwill, Joe McCann and Ronnie Horrox were on pacing duty for close neighbours Murlough AC. Both did their job to the letter with McCann taking Nicola Mathers home in 3:46 – 23 minutes inside her previous PB and with a 2 minute negative split, enabling them to gain over 1800 places in the second half of the race. Horrox was equally impressive taking Michelle McCann home in 3:52 in her debut, 8 minutes inside the sub 4 hour target time. Steady pacing and even running throughout enabled them to impressively gain over 1400 places in the second half. As The Prophet pointed out, ‘it’s a 20 mile warm up for a 6 mile race. There are two halves to the marathon; the first 20 miles and the last 6!’ Wise words indeed!

The butcher, the baker and the copper pipe maker!
dublin_2016_ciaranmorganJohn ‘Butcher’ Kelly left the gelatin for one day to compete in his first major race since his heroic sub 3 hour marathon in London in 2015. He put all the injuries and niggles out of his mind for one day and completed the course in 4:02:12; remarkable for a man who has ran little for 20 months. He was extremely pleased with his medal and his day improved when the magpies pulled away to record a fabulous victory later that afternoon. The marathon can be a totally unforgiving and humbling experience – when you go you are gone and there is no recovering no matter how you try. This is true of Jerome Farrell. Jinxy had trained well and followed the programme, but alas it was not to be on the day. Just before halfway he began to cramp and that was that. However, he ‘manned up’ and despite the pain made it to the finish when others may have pulled the plug – for this he was admired by all when the 4:30 balloon led him safely to O’Donaghue’s where the rehydration could begin in earnest. The Newcastle contingent was completed by Paul Fitzpatrick who came home in 5:10:37 declaring, ‘that was tough.’ More wise words! All enjoyed the experience and some have already hotels booked for the weekend of 28/29 October 2017, when the race will probably be even bigger and even better.

Phenomenal support
A lot of factors have to come together to run a marathon; the training has to be good, the taper effective, the eating sensible and the hydration appropriate to name but a few. However, arguably the biggest factor on the day is the support of the crowd and in particular that of those club members who appear along the road at crucial moments to proffer words of wisdom and advice. We are extremely grateful to those who encouraged us at vital moments and certainly helped us to keep going when the legs were sending mixed messages to the brain! Such a momentous occasion needs a song; a fact that Horace De Courcy-Wheeler will attest to as we once climbed Slieve Loughshannagh together!

Sunday in Dublin – the 2016 remix of a classic!
Take me down to the city and lead me to where I won’t be on my own,
I wanted to run it, and now that I have, I just want to run one in Rome.
I’ll always remember Frank’s kind words, and Patrick just about remembers his name, But I’ve seen you changing from mile 20, and I know that was a world of pain.

I remember that Sunday in Dublin, the road rising as we climbed like hell,
And the young people cheering on Leeson Street, and everyone running so well,
I was chanting a phrase I heard somewhere, ‘the body does what the mind lets’,
When my thoughts were smothered by a 46a and the scream of a Balbriggan Jet.
So I picked up my pace at mile 13, taking anyone willing to come,
And a man on the road told me how to improve.
I was glad we weren’t going that far.

So I’m leaving on Monday morning, going home to a place where I can hear
the tunes of the birds and the sea on the rocks, where open roads always are near.
And if sometimes I tire of the rest, and I want to run back up Heartbreak Hill,
I’ll just get on the road and devise a new plan and I know that you’ll be waiting for me.

Dublin Marathon Results

Name Gender Position Category Position 10K Stage Position Halfway Stage Position 30K Stage Position Gun Time Overall Position Chip Time Chip Position
Patrick Higgins 82 33 00:37:39 86 01:19:18 92 01:54:08 89 02:44:49 92 02:44:47 90
Jack O’Hare 391 81 00:40:37 269 01:25:52 287 02:03:00 270 02:58:59 411 02:58:53 415
Kieran Morgan 1097 321 00:46:37 1648 01:36:52 1511 02:17:17 1325 03:15:40 1158 03:15:01 1138
Mari Troeng 63 29 00:43:28 891 01:32:52 1006 02:15:17 1150 03:16:09 1181 03:16:03 1209
Aine Gosling 172 48 00:49:32 2937 01:42:29 2593 02:24:47 2187 03:29:24 2259 03:27:06 2098
Rita Devlin 270 53 00:49:32 2935 01:42:43 2650 02:28:27 2804 03:35:13 2904 03:32:54 2786
Ashlene McGeough 312 106 00:50:15 3606 01:45:51 3736 02:31:19 3514 03:37:32 3166 03:35:13 3016
Ciaran Óg Mussen 3538 840 00:51:26 4441 01:48:25 4430 02:35:11 4209 03:44:05 3996 03:44:01 4115
Joe McCann 3920 563 00:54:56 6636 01:54:07 6223 02:41:15 5406 03:47:45 4463 03:46:16 4381
Ronald Horrox 4710 689 00:55:32 7263 01:55:39 6920 02:44:29 6297 03:54:16 5493 03:52:47 5444
John Kelly 5942 166 00:58:05 9753 02:03:57 10087 02:56:19 9171 04:04:07 7235 04:02:13 7145
Jerome Farrell 8350 1987 00:50:14 3592 01:49:33 4857 02:44:27 6282 04:34:05 11189 04:31:45 11067
Paul Fitzpatrick 10024 1619 00:55:52 7595 02:07:54 11215 03:31:41 14426 05:10:47 14383 05:10:35 1440