Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Limerick

#184 Limerick  4:08:12

With the Cru 6 mile fasties
Limerick is my PB course and the weather forecast was awful. Traveling down early from Galway it didn't seem too bad and arriving very early it looked positively bright. As it turned out the weather was perfect.

Start
Finding parking just a few minutes from the finish area (advantages of being very early) a short 10 minute walk had Kris and I at the baggage area maybe an hour early. It was a perfect opportunity to meet people as they arrived and use the toilet facilities before they got busy. Quite a big crowd were in Belfast already with EAMS putting on a pre-event event. In Limerick MCI were putting on an post-event event the day after. I met most of the pacers whom I knew and there was a great atmosphere at the start.

Limerick is a big event with 9000 taking part in the very popular 6 mile race, half marathon and full marathon. This year there was a relatively small relay event in the marathon as well.  Ronan was there looking for a sub 3:30 and Kris was ever present coming off a great b2b in Longford.

Finish area
Loads of medals
At 9am we were off and I settled in with Dipak and Declan in the 3:45 pace group as we did our first small loop through the city centre. I have to say I struggled with the 8:30 pace and dropped off by maybe 50m at 2 miles. I made the decision to catch them up again with a 8:13 3rd mile and settled in. Limerick is quite undulating with some very long drags and the hill up past the University to the 7 mile turn around point is such a drag. 26 mins brought us through 5K and I decided to try and stick with them to 10K. 51 mins brought us through 10K and I was still in there. From the turn around point at 7 miles it was a gentle downhill into the university and I was now comfortable with the 8:30 pace.  The "living bridge" in the university was very bouncey and soon we were at the river on the newly refurbished towpath and 10 miles came and went. I then decided to try for half marathon at this pace. As we came into the city centre and half way in 1:51 I was totally done and it was very soon that I went "BANG!" and effectively stopped. Everyone had concern for me but I had just gone out too fast.

And Home
From here on in I struggled and managed the big loops at 10-12 minute pace losing time all the time. When the 4 hr pacers came past at mile 19 it bucked me up a bit and I started to pick it up again. It was great to see Paula on her 50th marathon who would break 4hrs for the second week in a row and Angela still struggling with her feet from Longford.

Its a bit weird coming into the city centre at 21 miles as its as quiet as anything as all the action is at the finish line one street up. We were well merged with the half marathon and at mile 23 the leaders in the 6 mile race came past which included many Cru! who gave great encouragement. I really tried the last couple of miles to get under 4:10 and managed it in the end with ease in 4:08:12.

A quickphoto op with the club afterwards and a pick up of the very nice medal and it was back to Dublin. Ronan didnt make his 3:30 but did manage a 3:44 and Kris did fantastic with her first sub 4 of the year and best results since Dublin in 3:48. It was then back to Dublin for the night.

Stats for today

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