#254 Dundalk 5:30:43
At the moment I think I am only in 5:30 form and so it turned out to be. I entered relatively late for Collette's MCI event at the Sportsman in Dundalk. The last time I did this event 2 years ago I was under 4 hrs. I only dream of that now.
I arrived early and registered. €25 on the day and €20 in advance. There was lots there but 100 would stop at half marathon and 47 go on to do the full. The route had changed significantly from 2 years ago and it was 2 x even 13.1 mile loops. Even though the route covered some of the same roads as last time it was significantly different.
At the start Roger Biggs did a lovely presentation to Collette for her 500th marathon and we quickly made our way to the line to start. Roger was running his 900th marathon today.
There from DBRC was Dino (eventual winner) and Greg (4:08 despite a mile detour). A lot of the usual MCI runners were there and I chatted to Jill (after her Florence Court win) and many others.
We were off at 8:30 on the button and headed south on the old Dundalk road from the Sportsman inn. I started at about 9:30 pace. After 1 mile of gentle down hill we turned left and headed on a back road that eventually joined with the Omeath road. This quite busy road passed the Ravensdale and eventually Fitzpatrick's pub. Jumping off the road onto the footpath we struggled on for about 5K.
I ran this section with Ivan from the 100 marathon Club in the UK. Ivan holds the current record of number of counties completed in the UK and Ireland which is over 100. This was his first run in Louth. Turning left we hit the back roads again towards Ravensdale village. At 10k we came through in 1hr dead.
Immediately we hit the signature hill on the course which was an electric bray and I walked it (I'm not for running that). It was steep up hill for the guts of a mile before turning and coming straight back down again in a spur. Reaching the main back road again we turned right and followed the undulating road for another mile. I met loads of people I knew from the circuit. It was great to see Eimear out again after EP and I spent some time with Liz Morrin who has been running great recently.
Turning right up the hill again we did a small detour off the main back road (to make up the distance) and continued on our way in the direction of Ravensdale Forest and the Carrickdale. Before reaching the forest we turned left towards the motorway and followed the slip road up towards the sportsman and about 800m after the slip we were at half way. I came through in 2hrs 28 mins. 2/3rds of the field stopped at this distance.
On my own now I started on lap 2 and kept an OK pace for the first 6K. I could see in the distance Lynda from Downpatrick but never got close to catching her and she eventually finished a few minutes ahead of me.
The weather was lovely and I tried my best all the way round. A toughed it out for a 5 hr 30 finish as expected. That was Road marathon 92 and ROI marathon 95 as I close in on a couple of significant milestones.
A fine spread of cakes and sambo's with a cup of tea afterwards was great. I chatted to Catherine Guithie and the ever improving Paula Wright after before saying my goodbyes and headed for the 40 minute drive back to Dublin.
Stats for today