Our intrepid roving reporter, John Grimshaw, is continuing his journey around the British Isles sampling 10K events. Here is his report from Dublin:
Stepping up the level to an international leg of my 10K races in Dublin.
Dublin is a city and Southern Ireland a country that I have never visited before and as we arrived late Friday night, once we had checked in to the hotel on the edge of Temple bar, we went straight out for food to a South African burger joint and the burger and sweet potatoes was just what the doctor ordered (as a night before pre race meal!)
The race was held in Phoenix Park, unlike the Dublin marathon which is held later in the year and in the city centre. Phoenix Park is the largest city central public park in Europe, according to the taxi driver!
It houses a zoo, the american embassy as well as the home of the Irish prime minister apparently!
The race was an early afternoon race (1:30pm) which was proceeded by junior and toddlers fun runs.
Having fuelled up on a cheese and ham toastie and black coffee it was a short taxi ride from the city centre. We were dropped off on the edge of the park which meant a good 30 minute walk to the start area! DOH
At the start area, as you would expect from a major event like this, there were plenty of well signposted areas with plenty of toilets, bag drop and refreshments. The race start was cordoned of with Elite/club, orange/white/green/pink waves, in the white wave section was a saissor lift platform used for the mass warm up team. There was a great tannoy system that either played music or useful information.
Despite plenty of friendly support staff there were a number of runners in the wrong wave.
The elite and club runner women were first of at 13:15 then all the other runners were invited to take there places for a mass warmup lead by enthusiastic trainers, because they were on the sizzor lift most people could easily see them.
The Elite men were next to go, followed quickly by the club runners and then orange wave, there was then a 5 minute wait before our wave (white) again a further 5 minutes to the Green and then finally Pink.
The start was orderly and whilst you had to walk almost all the way to the start line you did manage to start running before the start line.
There was a well supported straight for nearly a km allowing the field to thin out before the turn at the top of the park. The route follows two main roads so there was plenty of space and they were closed to traffic, and pleasingly, from my point of view, there were only a few slow runners and even fewer walkers!
It was an undulating but main flat first 4 km before a long graduate decent to the water station just before 5km.
As by now the field was well spread out so no problem getting water.
Straight after the water station was the first of three fairly gradual but significant climbs and I still felt strong (these are normally my nemesis!)
The weather was generally good sunshine but a bit windy, that said we did have a brief hailstone shower just before the start! The wind was quite cutting but by the middle of the race this was quite a relief!
The race was televised and there were plenty of TV cameras around the course.
The 2nd half of the race was more up hill but nothing too hard, my second schoolboy error was for some reason thinking my running app would work when I didn’t have any data! (What was your 1st one?) I had switched it of being abroad, so I was not able to hear my pace or race time, so I had to go with how I felt, also I had been feeling a tight left calf before the race so I didn’t know how it would stand up to the race, pleased to say there was no reaction! Around the 8-9 Km mark I was still feeling strong and powering past a lot of people.
One guy I past asked if I minded if he ran with me, no problem I said…. Less than a hundred metres and he couldn’t keep up… Was feeling strong still running down the 800m home straight and there was one guy that tried to pass me …but not today burners on and at full speed it was hurting but was enough to burn him off and pull away, crossing the line I was so glad to see there were plenty of first aid and support staff to guide you of to the goodie bag collection point. Due to the last burst of exertion at the end, I did feel sick after I crossed the line but after a couple of minutes I started to feel fine and collected the goodie bag which included two drink bottles, various food bars, a T-Shirt and medal. You were then shown to the exit into the main spectator area and there were alphabetical flags which were arranged as meeting points which made it easy to find our friends after the race.
I came 840th out of approximately 6000, 39th in my age group and 1st in all waves except the elite/club runner/orange wave… Yeah I’ll take that… Not a PB but the fastest time this season at 47:18.
So a very pleasant and friendly race with the added value of a night out in Dublin with a few Guiness!! Just to replenish my iron levels of course (medical advice!).
I would definitely recommend the race and city (expensive but worth it!)