Bogusboy reports from the Dublin Marathon 2016
Conditions 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
Leading 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!
John ‘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.
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|
|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|