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Sub 4 Hour Marathon Race Report Thread

  • 25-03-2020 9:52am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,176 ✭✭✭

    As we find ourselves with no races on the horizon for the foreseeable future & taking a retrospective look at sporting events seems to be en vogue right now, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to take a look at some of the many race reports that have graced these pages over the years.

    I'm going to start a Sub 3, Sub 3:30 & Sub 4 hr marathon thread, but if folks think of other times/distances then fire away with a thread for those too

    I think that, if possible, we'll keep the thread for reports only and save any comments for that posters log (where applicable of course).

    Also, I know that I've read a raft of race reports on various logs and threads from posters who are on a sabbatical, so if people want to hunt down some reports from yesteryear and throw them in, I'm sure it would make for good reading.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,475 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Absolutely brilliant idea for a thread & I have loved reading all the reports on the other threads :D
    I know mine is relatively new but definitely one of the best things i've ever done, both in regards to the hard work in training & in achieving a time i dreamed of!!

    DCM 2019

    Should i be in bed asleep...yes but for some reason i can't sleep so will get my race report up!

    I think it was safe to say i was pretty excited about running my 1st marathon...think i may have mentioned it once or twice 
    I went to bed about 10 conscious that the clocks went back. Woke at 1, 2, 3 & 4 but thankfully it wasn't a problem falling back asleep! Got up at about 6.15 & went to make my porridge & the kids 'hilariously ' had left this bloody scary looking Halloween woman decoration right at the kitchen door which scared the life out of me! Put it in the group whats app & got some very funny replies...mainly god the marathon training has really affected you & even braver was 'is that a mirror
    Made my porridge & drank some water with a zero tab in it! Got dressed & headed off to meet my work mate at the luas! He was on his 3rd Dublin marathon hoping for a sub 4 this time. Was a relief going in with him as i have been known to get lost so was nice to be with someone who had done it all before. Dropped off our bags went to the loo then headed off to our wave 3. Thankfully there wasn't much waiting around, we wished each other the best of luck & headed off. The excitement was unreal - finally i was running my 1st marathon!

    Miles 1 - 7 8.58,8.32,8.57,8.44,8.44,8.39,8.45

    Started off fine, slow but steady. It wss very congested for a couple of miles but wasn't too panicky about time as i wanted to e marginally slower for my 1st half. The weather was fab, discarded of my home made arm warmers & gloves fairly lively. I took a water at the 1st station handy enough & put half a zero tab init & just sipped on it, never through it away. Took a gel at 30mins & decided to go with this the whole way around. Going through the park was nice, a fair bit of support so the smiles & high 5's began  Read somewhere about little things bothering the park a man in front of me was running his marathon with lots of coins bouncing around in his back pocket!! Very very annoying, who the hell brings a load of change running a marathon???? I really really wanted to go behind him, open the zip & watch the coins fall out one by one but i didn't instead i got ahead of him!

    Miles 8 - 14 8.31,8.12,8.18,8.37,8.21,8.18,8.36

    The buzz & support in Castleknock was amazing!! Who ever thought of getting your name put on your top is pure genius! People called my name & cheered, keep smiling elaine, great pace elaine, amazing charity elaine! It really was a lovely boost & did make me grin from ear to ear! Passed through inchicore & got an almighty cheer from a friend in work which meant the world to me!Had to use the toilet as my bladder felt so heavy, was raging as I'd never had to stop for loo breaks on my training runs but felt so much better when i came out! Continued on through Crumlin & felt good, it actually just seemed to pass so quickly & all of a sudden i was at walkinstown roundabout being called again by friends with their kids who all got high 5's & smiles! Honestly i couldn't believe i was half way there & practically spot on timewise

    Miles 15 - 21 8.25,8.24,8.30,8.15,8.14,8.09,7.55

    Again the crowds & support along the whole way were amazing! I ate quite a few jaffa cakes along the way which was a nice alternative to the gels! I took a water at almost every station and added half a zero tab and carried it with me till it was gone, constantly sipping it! Got to Milltown & still felt very comfortable, ran up the hill & some woman commented my god elaine thats some pace coming up that hill, was straight away worried i might pay for that later on! Headed on up to Roebuck road where my hubby said he'd be with my son, frantically scanned each side but couldn't see them.

    Miles 22 - finish 8.26, 8.39,7.42,7.59,7.49,3.07

    Continued on still frantically searching. My heart was thumping, i felt like crying! My boy has Sensory processing disorder & anxiety issues a long with it so up till a few weeks ago getting him to willingly want to come to a crowded area with lots of noise would have been impossible. He worked so hard on his signs & i knew he'd be heartbroken not to see me. The smiles & high 5's stopped, i couldn't even hear if people were calling my name! I hoped & prayed i would see him but nothing. All of a sudden i felt so deflated! After the Stillorgan road i thought nope you're not gonna see him i ran with a heavy heart but knew i had to snap out of it! I had trained hard so had to keep going! Then i thought the quicker i get to my phone the quicker i can speak to him. I seen Skyblue again here & he gave me a few words of encouragement so I started picking up pace & smiling again as the cheers from the crowds also spurred me on! Great pace Elaine keep going, strong running almost there it truly was amazing. I seen the finish but my god it felt like the longest mile ever!!! Finally i got to the blue mat & smiled the biggest smile ever when i seen my time!! Holy s#@t 3:42:47...i had smashed it!!! I'd achieved my dreamtime & more 

    I kept walking towards the medals & burst out crying, all i wanted was my phone! I meet passinginterest here & i was so happy to see a friendly face!! We chatted while i composed myself & congratulated eachother before heading off

    I got to my phone & rang my hubby they were all in the car! I lied & told my son i seen him because he cried when he didn't see me! I got them to send me pics of the posters & i described them to him so he was thrilled & i could hear the excitement in his voice My smile was the biggest it had been all day & when i put the phone down it hit me properly...holy s@#t i just ran a marathon!!! My marathon training song was one moment in time & i truly felt this was MY moment in time 

    I headed off then to meet my daughter her boyfriend & some other friends including Sandra for whom i was running for her choosen charity...well i presume yis can all guess what happened next...yep i cried again!

    Once they left i headed off with my Google maps to find McGrattons. Was so nice to finally meet so many people. Treviso can i just say i absolutely love Fiona & tell her i told Scott about the superpowers & he loves the idea!

    For my very 1st marathon physically & mentally most of the way I felt great! I am so grateful to have had such an amazing experience as i know how easily things can go wrong!

    I would like to thank the mentors & every single person who helped me along the way. I was truly humbled by the messages of support & well wishes from people...all it takes is one kind gesture 

    DCM 2019 you were amazing!! Will i be back for more...hell yeah 

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46

    So here we are...Race Report time. How in the name of God did I get here? How does a man who never ran a step in his life until a Couch to 5k in October 2014 get here? The same man who ran 300 miles in 2015 and 120 miles in 2016? Was it a reaction to a TIA last year and the unexpected passing of my mother a couple of months later? Was it the fact that my SO was already signed up for DCM '17? Who knows, but in March I decided I'd try to get running again. Wish I had done it in my 20's, 30's or 40's but such are the twists and turns of life. On a weekend away in April I decided, to myself, that DCM was a goal for me. I just got out for a few runs a week following a HH plan for 5 miles with the intention of running the Irish Runner 5 Mile. After that I Googled marathon training plans. Not sure how but I ended up on boards and so began an 18 week journey with a special group of novices. This is probably going to go on forever so I'll skip forward in time.....

    The Day Before
    Well this was tough. As is my way I was overly thorough in my preparation and the central part of prep for the few days beforehand was carbo loading. By God did I load...650g of carbs a day. Bagels, rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, veg, quinoa...the list went on, my stomach bloated and....well there is no delicate way to put this.....flatulence became an issue. I feared for both myself and those around me! Apart from that all gear was set aside, watch cleared down and charged, pace bands done and throwaway clothes on standby for any type of weather. Got a decent nights sleep until my phone beeped at 5am with Lazare's wake up message to the whatsapp group

    Pre Race
    Met some other novices for a quick photo. Have to say all were very relaxed. Yes there was a sense of anticipation, a sense of excitement, maybe a hint of apprehension but little or no fear. This group, myself included, was raring to go. Went down to the back of wave 2, had a last little study of my 'secret' 3:52 pace band. It was one of the ones specifically for Dublin with gradient built into the mile splits. Plan was for a slightly negative split, 1:57:10 and 1:54:50. The atmosphere around the start area was more muted than I expected with very few spectators. The wave started to shuffle forward and next thing a slow walk became a slow jog and I passed under the START banner.

    Mile 1
    Planned split 9.03 Actual 9.25
    Yes I was clock watching already. It's what I do. Every training run I'd be looking at the watch every 250 metres or so and working out pace. I'll seek treatment for this!!! The warning about congested start didn't prepare me for how congested it was. The first special moment was when Leeson St meets the Green. This was where it hit me...I'm running a fooking marathon!! I got a bit weird inside, almost as if I had emotions End of mile 1 and I'm 22 seconds down on target pace. Not to worry, it's to be expected the lads said, plenty of miles to get it back.

    Mile 2
    Planned 8.59 Actual 9.06
    Not much to report here. Gently shuffling along, great buzz and lots of heels being stood on! Lost another few seconds to the plan but whats half a minute between friends?

    Mile 3
    Planned 9.21 Actual 9.20
    First water station was chaotic. It was as if people had never seen water before! I had spent days hydrating, had water before the start so gave this one a miss. Turned left into Aughrim Street and what a bottleneck. Watch showed pace at 11mins per mile...a wall of people in front of me...losing time...nowhere to go...Calm down you dope, not even 10% of the way yet. Turned on to the NCR, it widened, I sped up, mile target hit!

    Miles 4,5 and 6
    All through the park. Roads I know well and did most of my training on. Settled into a nice rhythm, felt ridiculously relaxed but stuck to the plan. Started to regret putting my name on my number. Couldn't resist turning my head and looking whenever I heard my name called. Pulled back a few seconds on my target and was about 20 seconds behind at the 6 mile marker.

    Mile 7
    Planned 9.11 Actual 9.05
    This was truly awesome! The crowds and atmosphere in Castleknock was a credit to the locals. The music, the noise, the cheering, the blue plastic hand was unreal. Some other places came close but this one wins my award for best support. Lots of runners stopping to meet and hug friends and wellwishers. The water station here was the first to show signs of what was to increasing become a problem during the day, namely discarded water bottles. You had to tread carefully to avoid standing on one. Another few seconds pulled back on my target time, loving the support and loving the sunshine. All was well in the world!

    Mile 8
    Planned 8.37 Actual 8.38
    This was a special mile for me. I knew from Strava that this would be where I would pass 1,000 running miles for the year....little old me 1,000 miles....who woulda believed it? It got me a bit emotional to be honest. Still a tiny bit behind plan but nothing to worry about yet.

    Miles 9 & 10
    Lovely downhill miles, freewheeling along. This marathon lark is easy isn't it? Not a bead of sweat or a deep breath yet. Sub 4..I think I'll contact Nike about Sub 2 Now where did that Craig lad say he'd be? Just after the 10 mile marker was it? I'll keep my eyes open for this flame haired Scotsman. Turn left in Chapelizod, sun straight in the eyes, everyone is just a silhouette. Soon after I pass a guy on the side of the road wearing a black? shell jacket. I think there's a hint of red in the hair but I'm past him before I'm sure. If it was you Craig I'm sorry for not giving you a shout. Too relaxed through this section and lost another 20 seconds to my target so nearly a minute down.

    Miles 11, 12, 13 to half way
    These are not roads I am familiar with at all. The crowds in Dolphins Barn and Rialto were great. The long drag up the Crumlin Road wasn't a problem at all after all I had heard beforehand. Got chatting to a lovely man from Monaghan which helped pass a couple of miles. Was picking up the pace to regain lost time and doing it comfortably. Passed under the halfway banner, glanced at the watch 1:57:10...bang on target! What sort of a feckin genius am I?

    Miles 14 & 15
    So it's decision time. What to do? I feel good and want to pick it up a bit. I remember all the advice from those who know better. Some said pick it up at 15 miles, some at 20 and others at 22. I decide to just let the legs guide me and do their own thing. Starting to come upon more and more walkers and crampers. gave my bottle of water to a guy I overheard ask someone where the next water station was. He was grateful beyond's the little things isn't it. heard my name being called out by the DJ at Walkinstown roundabout and got a buzz out of that to be truthful. Miles of 8.55 and 8.43 had me a few seconds ahead of schedule.

    Mile 16
    Planned 8:43 Actual 8.30
    A slightly downhill mile and for the first time I was feeling grateful for it. The first sensations of all not being swimmingly perfect in my legs were starting. My right quad was trying to tell me something but what was it. Was it warning me of impending cramp? Was it threatening me with a pull or a tear? Oh God why do I run with such a dominant right leg. I leave it to do all the work on every run I take and use the left leg only for balance! It's payback time! Luckily I hear a shout from the side of the road just before the KCR. It's my Da!! Holy bejaysus. My Da who is religiously out hillwalking every Sunday. He cycled over from the Northside to see me! Fook me, that is uplifting! A few more seconds gained on target time.

    Mile 17 & 18
    Planned 8:50/ 8.37 Actual 8:30/8.21
    Great support where you turn left at Fortfield Road and then that downhill...oh how I love downhill. Is it all downhill from now except that bugger Heartbreak Hill? I like this. Quad is getting tighter, feel great otherwise but afraid to push it too much.

    Miles 19 & 20
    Planned 8:40/ 8.41 Actual 8.25/ 8.39
    So it has happened. They say a marathon only starts at mile 20, well mine started a mile earlier! Did someone flick a switch? Have I short circuited? I'm keeping the pace ok but suddenly it's an effort. What's going on? Is it the wall? Oh no, I'm doomed. Calm down, it's not the wall, it's what happens after nearly 3 hours of running. Keep the pace steady. Yes my son you're going to have to work for this! Then I hear my name being called again. I'm getting a bit fed up with strangers calling my name but at the last second I turn. It's Leesider, one of the novices, the one who couldn't start because of injury, the one who continued to support us all, the legend who will have her first marathon some day soon. It as a great pick me up when I needed it. Getting a half zero tablet from the tin foil I wrapped it in becomes a whole new challenge to that presented earlier in the day!

    Mile 21
    Planned 8.51 Actual 8.18
    OK this is getting serious. What the hell is happening to me? My left knee starts paining me something rotten. A few hundred metres later it buckles under me. I take a couple of steps trying to get my balance, a bit like bambi on ice, and recover my stride. I can feel a weakness in it. It just doesn't feel secure under me. I'm running faster but I think it's panic about finishing or is it that I find a stride pace and pattern that my knee likes? I'm having a full blown conversation in my head. If it's so bad why doesn't it buckle completely? Shag it, I'm not stopping! Time checks have ceased to exist, it's survival mode. Beeps from the watch are ignored. All times from here are courtesy of Strava cos I was too out of it to pay a blind bit of attention!!

    Miles 22 & 23
    Planned 8.57/ 8.35 Actual 8.04/ 8.13
    So war is declared! It's me against my knee and DCM! Twice or three times a mile the knee half buckles but I'm expecting it now and it doesn't throw me too much. I'm running hard, I know it and I feel it but slowing down doesn't feel like an option. I'm hyper sensitive and getting crankier by the minute. Why don't walkers walk on the left? Is every walker intentionally positioning themselves to be an obstacle to me. Get out of my way, if I stop I won't get going again!! I think I'm losing it Those bottles on the ground aaaarrrggghhh! My runners feel like they are sticking to the ground on the road beside the last gel and lucozade station. I'm so aware of the noise as they pull off the ground but at this stage oblivious to spectators. Honestly I don't know how but I powered up Heartbreak Hill.

    Miles 24/ 25
    The downhill stretches here bring some relief to the legs if not the fear of the knee giving way. I'm now in a world of my own. I don't feel like I'm running well but I'm passing loads of people, almost barging through them. If you were one of those please accept my humble apologies, I think I was demented. On Nutley Lane I take my first goodie from a spectator of the day, 2 quarters of fresh orange. It was perfect, I sucked it dry in a millisecond. I don't know why as I had plenty of water, knew it was too late to be an energy benefit but it was just the right thing at the right time. To you my friend I will be eternally grateful!

    Mile 26
    For the first time in ages I actually looked well ahead of me on the road. I spotted the 3:50 pacers in the distance. I knew they had gone out a bit before me. If I could only catch them I'd be sure of sub 3:50. I summonsed the last reserves I had for one good mile. After a few hundred yards the number of people shouting support multiplied times over. Must be near the end! "Only 800 metres left" I heard someone shout. Thank fook I thought. I heard all the shouting and cheering but couldn't look left or right. On and on I trundled like the Bunny without Duracells, just some cheapskate alkaline battery. Nearly there now! And then I saw it can't be...800 metres to go official sign...they lied to me back there... can't do another 800...I don't want to walk....Oh yesss!! There's the 26 mile marker! I've done it!!

    Mile 26.2
    Wait..i haven't done it. There's the .2 left to do!! WTF is that finish line doing all the way up there? That's not .2. They've made a mistake. Bring it closer please!! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The noise seems deafening but I still don't look...eyes on the prize! On the line I catch the 3:50 pacers...YESSSSSSS!! Sub must be! I look down at my watch. I don't remember stopping it but I must have using some stored reflex action. 3:47:20.! And then it hits me....

    The Aftermath
    I'M A MARATHON RUNNER!! The emotions took over. I welled up inside but managed not to turn on the waterworks. First thought was to my Mam, as was the second and third. Then the happiness, excitement and contentment took over. The medal being put around my neck was such a great feeling. It was like my own Olympic medal, honestly that was how it felt.

    After collecting my bag it was back to McGrattans. Two of my sons were there waiting and I got the biggest man hugs ever. They're not remotely interested in running but they know how far I have come and what I put into making this day possible. It was a fantastic moment.
    A few of the novices arrived in and there was joy and happiness abounding. Targets met, negative splits, getting around...the buzz was unreal. WW made an appearance and we spent a couple of relaxing hours over a few pints. Great pints, great company. It was only when I stood up to leave that I was reminded that my knee is fooked! I can barely put weight on it. Maybe rest will fix it, maybe it won't. Might need physio but who cares. It lasted the distance.

    Beforehand everyone said it's your first marathon, enjoy it, take it all in. I did...for 20 miles. Then something strange happened and I ended up facing the beast that is a marathon. It was tough, it was painful, it was horrible in those last 6 miles but do you know what...I wouldn't have it any other way! It was a perfect day!!

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 873 ✭✭✭Casey78

    Followed the 4hr pacers from start to finish.
    Finish Time 3:59
    The End.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,365 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Dublin Marathon 2013

    The build-up to DCM 2013 feels endless. I’ve tweaked a muscle in the lower back, and with a slight knee pain in the last couple of runs, I take it very easy in the final week. Just an easy 8k on Weds and 3k the day before the race. Try to concentrate on being relaxed, hydrated and properly fed. Haven’t been sleeping too well but that improves on the Friday and Saturday nights, so I wake up on Monday feeling fresh and have a good 6am breakfast of porridge and bagel. A cup of coffee does its magic and when I pull on the Boards shirt I’m at fighting weight and raring to go. Pin on the number, rub some Voltarol into the lower back and get a lift right to Merrion Sq. from Mrs. M. At the Davenport, a guy in full race gear is having a smoke. “That’s the way to do it, boy”, he says, catching my eye, but I don’t think so. The bag drop takes seconds, and I enjoy the atmosphere as I walk around to Baggot St. and enter the Wave One corral well before 8:30am. It’s not as cold as last year, and there’s plenty of room for a little warm up. The pacers stream in and I say hello to meno, who gives me some last minute advice. “You know what you’re doing”, he says, which is a great encouragement.

    I drop to the back of the wave and finally, it’s on. I love to run through the city centre and try to soak up as much of the occasion as I can. The crowds are in fine form, my 8:32 pace seems ridiculously easy and before I know it I am high-fiving Mrs M and my sister at the turn onto North Circular Road. At Hanlon’s Corner, the sun comes out, something that seemed very unlikely 24 hours earlier. I chat to a guy wearing a vest that says “100 Marathon Club” but it turns out this is only his fourth. There’s no congestion – maybe a little too much room as we enter the park and feel the headwind up Chesterfield. One of my pins has come undone and is stabbing me in the stomach. I fix that and go through the 10k point bang on time at 53:09. So far so good.

    Miles 1-6
    8:30 8:34 8:27 8:21 8:29 8:48

    As we near the park exit I consider a pitstop but decide against it. The feeling soon passes. Great support outside Donore Harriers and through Chapelizod. On the bridge, I am passed by a guy dressed as Sonic The Hedgehog. For a hedgehog he’s going at a nice even 3:45 clip so I use him as my pacer for the next five miles or so – a good strategy as he’s getting a great reaction from the crowds. All well through Inchicore, SCR and Dolphins Barn and onto the Crumlin Road.

    Miles 7-12
    8:24 8:23 8:19 8:33 8:29 8:39

    As meno had warned, there’s a bit of headwind through Crumlin and Drimnagh so I lose a few seconds here but nothing to worry about. By the half-way point, I’m back on track and over the mat in 1:52:11. Huge crowds at the Walkinstown Roundabout. I hear the first of many “come on Boards” shouts somewhere around here. They all help. Sonic is starting to fade (don’t blame him, the suit looks uncomfortable and the sunshine isn’t doing him any favours), so I leave him behind. Soon I can hear shouts behind of “C’mon Batman” and for a few minutes I think I might have another costumed pacer but alas, the Caped Crusader never overtakes. By now, there are plenty of us at the same steady pace so it is relatively easy to settle in. I’m trying to be careful about not depending on the Garmin for pace so doing the arithmetic at the various mile markers is a good distraction as the legs start to tire. My lower right calf starts to ache slightly around Kimmage which is a slight worry. Lovely running though through KCR and down to Bushy Park. Through Terenure village, I spot Mick Dowling in the crowd; so another high five is in order. A respite from the noise through leafy Orwell Park but the legs are definitely protesting now. The downhill grade to the Dropping Well provides some welcome relief. I’m still more or less on time, but there’s nothing in the bank.

    Miles 13-18
    8:51 8:38 8:30 8:39 8:23 8:26

    Clonskeagh Road doesn’t feel too bad. I’ve been pacing myself for a while off a woman called Faye but she stops to fix her shoe. My right foot is starting to feel a bit funny - like it’s hitting the road at an angle. Calves getting sorer, quads fine, but hamstrings tightening a little. This section broke my sub-4 attempt last year, but this time, it feels much less difficult (although the Garmin data suggests I am definitely starting to fade). Through the 20 mile point about 25 seconds behind schedule. It will have to be some final 10k, but the downhill on Fosters doesn’t offer as much relief as it should. Then it’s into the wind again on the dual carriageway as we head for home. I pop a fifth and final gel at the end of Nutley Lane, and just about manage to keep it down. On Merrion Road, my least favourite part of the whole course for some reason, I just put the head down, eye the road, and try to keep it together. By now, it’s very tough indeed.

    Miles 19-24
    8:42 9:03 8:50 8:38 8:48 9:00

    I run with a guy in an Ironman shirt and his GF for a while but she’s struggling and I push on again at Shelbourne Road. The spirits lift a little. I know the Mrs is waiting on the bridge at Grand Canal St., and spot her from a way off. Lots of encouragement, but all I can manage to say is “I’m struggling”. By now the 3:45 is definitely gone but the crowds are amazing and somehow I manage to up the pace a bit for the last couple of miles. The crowds spill out into the middle of the road on Fenian Street and Westland Row, but Pearse St. and the stretch around Trinity feel endless. I try to stick with a guy called Sparky but he has a better kick than me and leaves me in the dust. On Nassau St. I try to relax a little and enjoy the atmosphere, which is really electric. I applaud the crowd as the finish line comes into view at last. Mrs M has made it over to Clare St. for a final shout – fair play to her. Over the line in 3:46:15 for a 16-min PB.

    Miles 25-26.2
    8:40 8:40 (2:27)

    Despite being a bit over target I am pleased with the fast(ish) finish. The atmosphere was terrific - even better than last year. I didn’t leave much out there, and was passing people consistently over the last eight or nine miles. The Merrion headwind made for a difficult finish, for me at least, and under the circumstances, the last 10k of 54:30 wasn’t too bad. So all told, a great day and a very satisfying PB – ample reward for a long year of solid training and great mentorship from menoscemo and all the “Class of 2012” group.

    Headed into McGrattan’s for some very enjoyable pints indeed. Nice to meet up with some of the Boards crowd: Runchick, meno, MiketheMechanic, Woden, tomred, blockic and Killerz who I know from parkrun. (Apologies again for messing up the tokens on Saturday, J!)

    Off to the West of Ireland now for a few days recovery. Will take a little break and think about what’s next: probably the Aware 10k in December, Raheny 5-mile again in Jan and think about a target for next year. But for now, I’ll enjoy the recovery.

    Oh, and the fact that apparently my 3:46 equates to an age-adjusted 3:21.

    Previous PB: 4:02:26
    Target: 3:45:00
    Time: 3:46:15

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,138 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil

    Third crack at DCM brought me into sub 4 territory.

    DCM 2018 - Back on familiar ground.


    Didn’t sleep very well despite going to bed at 10. However, I am a morning person and things were OK on that front. Alarm, followed by breakfast and Vaseline. Parked up as usual and got a taxi into the city. Saw some seagulls picking away at rubbish bags on O’Connell St. Didn’t feel as cold as here as it has done on previous DCM mornings. Toilet and sit down stop, then went up to say hello to a few internet folks. On the walk up Grafton St I heard some fella talking with what I thought was an Eastern Europe inflection. On getting closer it was probably more Cork/Kerry. More on this sort of thing later. :p Dropped the baggage and went through. Toilet stop within the wave area - this year they put them in blocks of 6 rather than side-by-side. This worked well, there were still loads free. Moved up and waited. The sun was intermittent. There was a chap nearby wearing a serious long winter coat, that'll benefit someone if the charity pick up is where these things go.

    The Garda chopper hovered a few times. I thought its side door was open and wondered what it would be like to be up there observing thousands. Wave 2 started and us from 3 land started to move forward. I disposed of my throwaway layers as we got closer to 9:30am, was freezing where there was no sun…my teeth were chattering until we got under way. There was a good buzz here. My pre-race mood was a bit flat. I wasn’t very psyched up for it, but wasn’t fearful of the event. Training had gone well, made a chunk of the year go by in a flash. I had a little wristband for Georgia and was trying to keep my eyes peeled for glittery and colourful stuff on others too. Later in the pub skyblue46 had the same one.

    Race is a go

    Ticking through those familiar streets, happy to let the balloons set the tone, they were a decent bit ahead early on. Congestion's just that. Didn’t notice the marker signs for miles 1 and 2. Mile 3 I'd have missed only another runner shouted it out. I was surprised to see people fall - one in Stoneybatter and the other bloke around mile 4. Could have been the congestion, bottles and an unfortunate step or two. Both fell nearby and it was a little alarming to see it happen. The two of them got back up OK. Quite lucky, if you're not careful you could easily wallop into a metal bollard.

    The park was enjoyable, as usual. I let the 4 hour pacers keep motoring away up ahead. During the previous years it's around here where I saw a bearded, grey haired bloke wearing a yellow 100 marathon shirt who seemed slightly hunched. Didn't see him this time. The best entertainment moment was from 3 kid supporters who got super excited about something, brought smile to the faces of many of us running. Not clear what, it just was behind as we were going past. Beautiful morning through the park, sun was perfect, Autumn and lots of banners and support. I was reminded of the that aerial photo that was floating around days before the race.

    After the great cheering zone at mile 7 is where there's a little break in the support...the downhill part, with a wall on the left. I say this not to complain, it was actually rather funny because all you got to hear was hundreds of feet pounding away. I enjoyed that because of the collective effort and where else are you gonna notice it? Anyway, amusement continued - someone pointed out how quiet we all were, whilst another quipped the inevitable 'are we there yet?!' Saw no need to catch pacers based on the existence of the downhill. Back into the park and this was the most overcast and coldest part overall. I was thankful not to have to hang around here. One of the 4 hour pacers had a quick toilet stop, as did a few others. I wondered if some deer might show up. I don't remember a lot about the next few miles, still, there was good support as we moved to the half.

    It was nice to get through the half largely in step with the pacers. This was the closest I was to them all morning. Going through the half at 1:59 or so meant a negative split was possible. Have I got that right? I'm not an expert. :D Anyway, the half - I've a feeling around here is where I may have partly lost the battle in the past, with the 4:10s last year. Mile 14 was a curse in 2017, so in advance my mind jumped forward with slight worry only this time it made no dent in me at all. That was a relief. After 15 or so I saw a Scottish woman with a 100 marathon shirt, had to say hello and welcome. Not a first time tourist to Dublin, but first DCM. It was somewhere here too where I saw a guy with a cancer t-shirt about his late father. I mentioned this in the pub later - the RIP date was 18/10/2018. It's hard to find words for something like that, whilst there were similar illness/serious shirts through the race, this is the only one I saw with a date. Onto Terenure direction and I knew from a 7:30am text that my aunt would be out somewhere. Got the shout out, cue internal JFDI and sub 4 seemed doable.

    Mile 20 onwards is definitely where the level of walking goes up, this was very noticeable. I can only imagine what it's like to be in this position, it must feel crappy. Was there a sign about eyeballing the wall or did I see that online, or in the magazine? I did hum and haw here about whether to get closer to the pacers and to crack on overall, but decided keep it handy. Stick to the plan. AKA the house that nop built. :pac: Miles 21-23 were awful last year. Would that happen again? 2018 version says no. :cool: There was no wall on my horizon, thankfully. The watch - I hadn't paid regular attention to much overall. Sometimes it was saying 8:55 min/mi and the pacers were ahead. It did throw up the question of whether I was at risk of going wrong and potentially throwing away a sub 4. At the same time, I trusted the training, believed in the pacers, and myself. I knew there was the odd bit of 8:40 I might be able to call on later, hopefully. At occasional points during the race, the right leg did pop up to say 'hello' now and then, - was this a call back to the post-FD10 soreness or just the grind of 26.2? And at other times the physicality of the tarmac was eating away at ye too.

    Fairly late on (maybe mile 24/25?) I said thanks to one of the 4 hours and moved ahead. I knew sub 4 was achievable. I heard another pacer give encouragement to two people who were walking in the middle of a lot of positive to see. Again, it must be crap to be a mile or two from home, feeling alone with the legs or something not working. I really enjoyed those last couple of miles and was expecting my breathing or something to become laboured. Didn't happen. As we passed the 800 metres sign I spotted another British visitor with a 100 marathon shirt and made myself audible enough over the roar of the crowds - welcome to Dublin. The finish is still a jot or two to go, it better come soon. I could finally see the official clock up ahead - would I squeeze in under 3:58, put last year's 4:11 out of the picture?

    Official tracking spec

    10k - 56:29 at 9:06
    Half - 1:59:23 at 9:08
    30k - 2:50:35 at 9:16
    Finish - 3:57:25 at 8:50
    @ 9:04 min/mi avg

    Slight confusion here. On the 28th it said my average was as above, 9:04. Now it's saying 10:14. I've refreshed the browser and compared it to one of the 4 hours whose is more accurate re average. Doesn't matter much now anyway. Looking back the whole race seemed to go by pretty quickly as an experience.

    Garmin stuff.
    26.46 miles at 8:59.
    Splits 9:13, 8:41, 9:15, 8:45, 8:51, 9:02, 9:09, 8:45, 8:48, 8:57, 9:08, 9:10, 9:04, 9:21, 9:19, 9:16, 9:17, 9:05, 9:09, 8:53, 8:52, 9:16, 9:10, 8:35, 8:39, 8:27 (and 7.18).
    HRM 148 avg, 178 max
    I didn't really look at this in detail after syncing, only seeing it now. It says training effect 3.7 - er, seems a bit light. Garmins be Garmins.

    Fuel - belt with water and electrolyte tabs (x2), bar every 5 miles or so and gels every ~ 6, save for the few miles where I tend hold off on the food side. Grabbed water everywhere bar station 1 which I always ignore. Did grab a cup of Lucozade at one point, much of it went down my shirt.

    Post race

    Got my medal, t-shirt, etc. Shook Jim Aughney’s hand too. After that area you are then directed left, most of us were not walking normally here. :D Couple of people getting medical help. Got changed, dollop of wet wipes (forgot to fix my hair :pac:) and up to McGrattans to see some new and familiar faces. Right leg was a little hmmm like it had been occasionally during the race. Pomplamousse asked if I was going to do anything to treat myself due to the sub 4...after some food, the easiest thing to do at home was simply lie down. :o Also thanks to those said kind things, I hadn't thought about being proud of it, really. Wouldn't have been possible without the interaction on here. Lazare, sir, you have a hand grip that should probably be patented! It was good to meet aquinn briefly, great 2014 novices t-shirt. WW started trying to put 5k PBs in my head, and Inishbofin. :pac: At my bus stop I got talking to two lads who had also raced. They were from Derry and mother of Jaysus, if could understand half of what they were saying. OK, OK...have to apologise now to people from both ends of this island. :pac:

    Days later

    I noticed on the interwebs that I missed the Connemara stand at the Expo, dammit. On Tuesday, I had to drive into the city for work and got a warm feeling driving the streets. Almost felt like I was out there again which is a testament to the race itself. The training is long (but enjoyable) and it's mental how it's all over in a few hours. I can't say enough about the support on the streets, it was unbelievable. Body feels good and no little or lingering problems, so far. Just been reading up on the other reports and how the novices got on...well done to all, whether there were more lows than highs, Oct 28th was still yours. Also on the interwebs I saw a video where they let kids hold the tape (with supervision) as the winner came through, nice touch. Same last year too.

    What worked? I won't repeat what I've yapped in the sub 4 thread (in response to Murph's query). This report is long enough. PMA definitely helped. 'Sub 4' as term in itself I feel weird about on a verbal and gut level, hard to explain why. I've done another marathon and it just happened to be 3:57. I was probably more invested in the training and hoped I was prepared to take whatever DCM was going to throw at me.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Another one summoned up from yesteryear... :D
    I had a go at sub 3:30 in 2017, but since that turned out to be a DNF, it can stay where it is :pac:

    Bit of editing - I've added the "soundtrack" at the end, in place of the "Where Do We Go From Here" section.

    This report originally appeared in the DCM 2016 Novices Thread. It was the first of what would be numerous novellas in the 3 years plus since. In other words, grab yourself a cuppa, a beer, whatever's handiest :D and continue....

    Sun 30/10/2016 - Dublin Marathon, 26.2 miles @ 8:49 min/mile

    Pre Race

    Ok so I wasn't a marathon novice, but I was a Dublin marathon novice! So many things were different this time compared to Paris 2014; for example, my training had a proper structure, I wasn't playing football, and I didn't happen to move house the week of. In addition, being able to sleep in my own bed this time was another plus. I got most of the long runs done, but had been struggling with hip flexor, hamstring and ITB issues the last few weeks, plus I was sick for a few days over the last week or so.

    All the gear was packed the day before. On a beautiful red sky morning, my wife dropped me to Leeson Street bridge shortly before 7:30. Even at this stage there were lots of runners heading in the general direction of the baggage area. I found a shop on Mount Street, where I snagged some paracetamol for use later if needed. Got around to baggage and saw Firedance (she didn't cop me at first without the shades ) so we had a chat before I continued on. Lots of waiting around ensued, but I had a heavy enough fleece on so wasn't cold at all. Eventually we were called forward, I left the top on the railings and tucked in about 20 yards behind the 3:40 pacers.

    Miles 1-3

    "This is your life, your time,
    You gotta make it"

    Boom! We were off! I saw a few people tearing up the road, but I was sticking to strategy; keep the balloons in sight, if you're still there at 22, give it all you've got to the finish. Simple enough, right? Straightforward Mile 1, if a bit fast, before we turned onto Patrick Street and up the hill towards Christchurch. I spotted TFGR here and gave her a high five. Super fast downhill to the quays, where I kept the handbrake on before we started the long uphill drag on crossing James Joyce Bridge just before the 2 mile marker. A Porterstown parkrunner caught up to me just before Kavanagh's pub (caught out by the water being positioned here btw!) so we kept each other in check and the pacers at a safe distance.

    Miles 4-6

    "A rebel without a clue"

    The entrance to the Phoenix Park was a major bottleneck as we passed Garda HQ and made our way around the back of the azoo, where a bit of downhill took us to the 4 mile mark. However, I knew there was a lot of hard work to come immediately afterwards. As well as that, the ITB was starting to act up majorly as we turned onto the open road of Chesterfield Avenue. There was a lad along here with about eight gels and a water bottle hanging off the back of him. Was he doing this as a warm up?

    Meanwhile, as we approached Áras an Uachtaráin, I was feeling a lot of pain. The water station was badly needed, as I managed to extricate the paracetamol from the pocket of my gel belt before washing them down. Could I get through another 21 miles like this? If it was just another LSR, I'd probably have pulled the plug here. But it wasn't.

    Miles 7-9

    "And I thank you,
    For bringing me here,
    For showing me home"

    As we exited the Phoenix Park just before the 10k mark, we were coming to what would for me be one of my favourite parts of the day. Coming into Castleknock, there were lots of friends from MSB and Porterstown parkrun out among the massive support. Best of all, my wife was on the corner at Myo's, and I managed to get over to her briefly before continuing up the hill to the highest point of the course. My leg seemed to be behaving normally again, which was a massive relief. We caught the guy carrying the Eiffel Tower just before the crossroads at Castleknock College and some badly needed downhill past Mount Sackville and into the Phoenix Park again at 8 miles. The pacers seemed to be well ahead of schedule, but I was holding up nicely as we headed for the Chapelizod Gate.

    Miles 10-12

    "It's been one hill after another,
    I've climbed them all one by one"

    After nearly two miles of continuous downhill, the fun was to be begin once more as we crossed the Liffey and swung left. I watched hundreds of runners making their way up the hill towards Ballyfermot, before my turn came and I kept it nice and steady without (as far as I could tell at this point) too much damage being done. There were quite a few people walking already! Another hill soon followed as we left Ballyer and headed up to the 11 mile mark at the start of Inchicore. Still in the game here though. Passing Kilmainham Gaol felt special for me, especially in this year with so much history attached to it, but would I be wearing that medal at the end? Downhill and uphill before turning left and heading for St James's Hospital whacked me harder then expected. Pacer balloons were still at a respectable distance however.

    Miles 13-15

    "We gotta get out while we're young"

    Myself and parkrun buddy were still tipping along reasonably well, as we turned out of Dolphin's Barn, and onto the long slow drag through Crumlin. I was passing a lot of people here who were feeling the pace, but at the same time resisting the tempatation to get too close to, let alone pass, any of the pacers. It was feeling tougher overall though; my eyes were just zeroed in on the balloons in an attempt to maintain focus and stay in the game. Shortly after we passed Our Lady's Hospital, I turned around and my parkrun buddy was gone; I didn't see him again (since found out he finished in 4:03). Surprised at no water just after the Walkinstown Roundabout, coming to the 15 mile mark.

    Miles 16-18

    "Down down deeper and down"

    It was round about Kimmage that I could feel the 3:40 plan perhaps not being quite so "straightforward". Even with a lot of downhill going through Kimmage and Terenure, I could see the balloons edging ever so slightly further away, without me being able or willing to respond. Only a few seconds a mile at this stage maybe, but enough to put the doubts in my mind. Milled the little bag of jelly beans I'd brought, but to be honest I needed a bit more than a sugar kick.

    Miles 19-22

    "First it giveth then it taketh away"

    Downhill again onto Orwell Road, and through the 30k mark at the start of Orwell Park. The marker for Mile 19 was waaaay off here though. Thankfully I remembered it should have been at the end of Orwell Park. I deliberately slowed on the downhill approaching Milltown, then kept it at a slow but steady pace up the short but steep hill towards where the old Shamrock Rovers ground used to be. I still had the balloons in sight, as I turned the corner towards Clonskeagh, and passed nop98 and Firedance out with their banners I'd love to say my pace picked up subsequently, but sadly it didn't happen like that through the up and down Mile 21. In fact it totally knocked what was left of my pacing; at this stage I was counting down the miles and minutes and everything else I could think of to keep going. And my leg was acting up again. At the start of Roebuck Road, I found an empty toilet for a badly needed call of nature. As I sat down, I felt a bit woozy, so took my time while I had a gel and a bottle of water to get my head together. On emerging some 2-3 minutes later, the pacers had long since vanished. I didn't care about that any more. I just wanted to finish.

    Miles 23-26.2

    "I know that I can make it"

    To be honest, I thought I handled "Heartbreak Hill" fairly well. Lots of people walked up, but I at least ran up it without stopping, slow as I was. So only 4 miles to go now, and no more hills? Unfortunately it wasn't quite as simple. By now, I'd had to slow right down to find a pace where at least I was running as opposed to walking, that I could hopefully maintain to the end. As we crossed the UCD flyover, even the thought of "only a parkrun to go" felt like forever! As we turned down Nutley Lane and reached the water station opposite the Merrion Centre, I grabbed more water and walked as I drank. Only about 2 miles when I turn! "Is féidir liom, beidh sé go hiontach!" Thanks to RedRunner for the shout with about half a mile to go, just after I saw a guy's legs go from under him after the Lansdowne Road junction. I resolved that I wouldn't have that happen to me. Dozens of runners were passing me now. I didn't care, I just wanted to make sure I finished. Having said that I tried to pick up the pace just after passing the 26 mile marker. A bolt of pain through the leg instantly put an end to that strategy! Great support all the way to the end. No sprint finish or anything, I just crossed the line arms aloft with a smile on my face. I was officially a Dublin Marathon man in 3:49:01; a PB of just under half an hour.

    Post Race

    I got a badly needed rubdown in the massage tent before taking an age to put on my clothes and head for McGrattans. It took a while, but I eventually found the boardsies meetup (or rather Firedance found me). Well done to all, great to meet so many of you! I also ended up making a presentation to nop98 at a moment's notice (thanks kin9pin!) Fair play N, well deserved and a wonderful job over the last six months. Also special thanks to Firedance, aquinn, Myles Splitz and all who contributed to the thread. I should also mention TFGR made an appearance in McGrattans with flapjacks. Beautiful stuff! Best wishes to aceygray, who made an appearance with her sister and H2B before heading off into the sunset just 4 days before her wedding. Lots of scoops here, followed by more celebratory pints in D15 later.


    1-3 Aslan, "Gotta Make It"
    4-6 Tom Petty, "Into The Great Wide Open"
    7-9 Depeche Mode, "Home"
    10-12 Elvis Presley, "You Gave Me A Mountain"
    13-15 Bruce Springsteen, "Born To Run"
    16-18 Status Quo, "Down Down"
    19-22 Queens Of The Stone Age, "First It Giveth"
    23-26.2 Labi Siffré, "Something Inside So Strong"