Sunday 19 April 2015

EOi Clontarf

Marathon #87   Clontarf 3:57:11

This was the 7th time that I have run this course. Every time it is different as it is totally dependent on the weather or should I say wind.  So far I have a 1 in 3 record of breaking 4 hours in an event regardless of difficulty or weather but in Clontarf on this course before today it was only 16%. To say I was delighted to break 4 hrs today is an understatement.

This was my first EOI event of 2015 and my last one was on this exact course in December 2014. Today I was 49 minutes better.

It was a beautiful day in Dublin but the wind was forecast at between 15 and 20mph from the North East which meant that for mile 0-6.5 and 13.1-19.6 the wind was dead in the face apart from a brief rest-bite on one of the causeways. This wind will always slow the race down.

Early starters
109 finished 2 races on offer today. 32 in a half marathon and 77 in a full marathon. I did the full. The full was won in 2:56 by Andrew Greany with Kristy Ryan coming in as first lady.

Main start
There was an early start at 8am and a good crowd went off in breezy but nice conditions. I was in the main 9am start. The first 1/4 of the race was directly into the wind.  The tide was nearly full in which left the beach section in Dollymount quite narrow and had to be shared with lots of kite surfers and normal walkers. In particular the kite strings were everywhere and it became quite an obstacle course at times and there was more than one occasion I had to hurdle a string.  This got even worse on the second loop as the tide had come in further.

The beach itself was in the worst condition I have seen it with lots of exposed shells and stones and not a flat bit on it. Naturally it was very exposed to the wind.

I managed 55 minutes for the first 1/4 which was OK into the wind and I am normally over 1 hr at this point. It was so nice to turn and get the wind in the back.  I turned for half way in 1:53 which surprised me as I thought the second leg would have been faster with the wind. I was well down on my Brighton time at this stage (5 mins) so a sub-4 was always the goal from here.

Kristy (Ladies champ)
As I finished half way a lot of the half marathoners were finishing and it was tough to turn and go out again.  The third leg back into the wind was always going to be slower. I had found my place in the race at this stage following the Filipino boys who stayed about 1 minute ahead of me to the end. I got through the third leg in 1:01 turning at 2:54. At the turn I passed Collette who would go on to run a 5K race in Dundalk later that evening. WOW!

 This gave me 1:06 for the last leg for a sub-4. I was passed by a couple and passed a couple on the run in including Paddy Quinn who seemed to be struggling today (I never beat Paddy) but he still managed a 3:59.  I ran all the way to the finish with a last leg of 1:03 for a 3:57:11 overall finish and a 35th spot out of 77. That was good running by most in those conditions.

I was delighted when Kristy followed me in for first lady home and there was much jubilation at the finish line.

75th Momento
I got a lovely memento from EOI for my 75th marathon even though this was actually my 87th. It now has pride of place on my mantle piece.

Click here for Polar RC3 stats for the day

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