|Start at City Hall|
Number in hand and tired legs from Limerick particularly the first half, I picked up Kris early and headed for Belfast. 90 minutes gets you there nowadays and with the new services in Lisburn you can get to the city well prepared. The forecast was for a glorious 16 degrees, light winds and dry. It turned out quite a bit warmer.
Parking up in Castlecourt, it was a 10 minute walk to city hall and the start area. Getting there early you get quick use of the toilets and a chance to catch up with everyone. Between EAMS and Limerick and Ballyhoura there were a lot of tired legs around. EAMS as is their way had decided to go with a smurf theme this year and there was a lot of blue around.
|Kathleen as a Smurf|
Turning down to Gideons Green on the steep downhill section, I caught up with Linda Cunningham still well on her quest for 100 marathons and we chatted for a while about running and running partners before I took a walk break. It was at this time I noticed my leg play up. It was in the same spot that I hurt when I fell in Ramscombe and it did not go away. It was to plague me for the rest of the event and no doubt slowed me down no end forcing me to walk a lot. Coming through the Green onto the tow path it was busy with fresh relay runners but fortunately there was a slight breeze in the back pushing us along. I was struggling but forced myself to run this section with the 5hr goal in mind and passed Linda fiddling with her Ipod. It seemed like forever before we exited the Towpath (no water stops for a long way) to the industrial estate. This is the worst section on a marathon course in the world and it stretches for a few miles winding its way past lorries and factories. At least today it didn't smell.
Coming back into the city we passed through a building site (seriously) before coming onto the main Lagan towpath that brought us to the Ormeau Rd. I was at 23 miles at 4:17 and was comfortable enough for a sub 5 from here and plodded on with my sore leg. The support picks up here and there was lots of joviality at the Pavillion and Errigle pubs on the long drag up the Ormeau Rd. Turning for the last 1.5 miles (mostly downhill) was a relief and I kept it going all the way to the finish. Coming across the line in 4:57. Picking up the medal and T my leg stiffened up immediately and I hobbled to see the McVeighs who were running in one of the relay teams. They looked as if they had done a parkrun. It being a point to point event there was a shuttle bus back to the start where the car was parked and in no time we were on the road back to Dublin. Kris did great again following her sub 4 with a 4:05 for an average sub 4 b2b.
I went to the Physio the next day who thankfully confirmed there was nothing serious on the knee and some rest and massage should sort it out.
Stats for today