|The Bogside from the walls
I loved this race last year and had entered it very early. Fortunately my good friend Joe lives right on the marathon route and had plenty of space so I stayed with him. I went up the day before and collected my number. I noticed there was the facility to pick up your number on the day in the hall at the Everglades so I will keep that in mind for the future. Either way I had a lovely evening catching up with Joe and having again my now favorite meal of Pulled Pork Burrito from Wetherspoons. There was a nice old atmosphere around Derry City the night before.
|This is always a worry for Lundy's
The weather forecast was not good with 25-40mph Westerly winds forecast and showers. The wind was to be the challenge today. As usual there were many familiar faces at the start with Roger and Jack making it over from from the 100mc club to celebrate Rich Holmes 500th marathon. Rich was there with the no 500 bib. I congratulated him and met loads of people and spent an hour chatting and taking photos. Martin Mc Guinness was there to start proceedings and we were off.
|Rich Homes at 500
|In the waterside
|lashing rain in the Waterside
By the time I passed Joe at 16.5miles I was 100m back but still well ahead of plan. At this time the heavens had opened and it lashed for about 10 minutes. At last we got to the top of the hill and had a lovely downhill section with the wind in the back for about half a mile. We turned left onto the greenway beside the Foyle and hit back towards town. The wind was dead in the face as we wound our way towards the city. We came through a nice park and in front of us was the peace bridge. I could see the 3:30 pacers already on the bridge and I was a couple of minutes down and visibly slowing. This was the 20 mile mark which I came though in 2:41 which was about 4 minutes up on Newry. The wind was brutal on the bridge but the welcome from the supporters on the far side was awesome. It helped that we had our names on our bibs and they all shouted your name. We turned right at the bridge and headed along the Foyle into the industrial and park section of the race. I didnt mind this section too much this year and for a couple of miles just kept plodding and it was over. It was very very quiet though.
|Celebrating with Leslie
Again Derry proved one of my favourites and is in my opinion the best Irish City Marathon outside of Dublin.
photos courtesy of Joe McEvoy
Click here for Polar RC3 stats for the day