Last Monday in October, Dublin Ireland
App and info: Click on Dublin above.
Our lovely Colleen, Julie O'Miller has this to report:
On a day sent from marathon heaven 8,000 plus runners took off from Nassau Street next to Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The course is beautiful, and so was the crisp fall weather.
The runners start in cold (low 40s, but no wind) weather. The race turns up O'Connell Street and into the lovely Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in the world, where fall is turning the tree bright orange and gold in a country that contains every shade of green. Water is provided every three miles by friendly volunteers who hand out cute little water bottles.
The course itself starts on the narrow Nassau street, right next to Trinity Collage. It's mostly flat but there are hills at mile 10, and then a series of rolling hills at mile 18. There are lots of twists and turns and narrow streets while you're in the city too.
Here are my complaints. First there weren't enough porta-potties. Now this is no problem for the men, but I had to stop wait 5 minutes at mile 8, where there were only two porta-potties, with line of females waiting to use them. Second, there wasn't any chip. This year the race organizers decided to use a new scanning system, and your bib has marks like at the supermarket. A race organizer told me to be sure the scan mark showed as I crossed the start and the finish, so that they could calculate the net time. It didn't work, so the posted times were gun times. If you started at the back of the pack as I did, this added a good ten to fifteen minutes to your time.
The medal is new this year. In previously years, Dublin gave out plaques. The medal has with three little castles on one side, with a teal ribbon. The free post-race massages a great. Given by physical therapists (not massage therapists).
Dublin is held on a Monday, which is a bank holiday. So, make your reservations early, particularly if you want to stay at the Jury's Inn Christchurch. Dublin is preceded by a 3k International Breakfast Run, held on Sunday, the day prior to the race. Runners can bring t-shirts for the t-shirt exchange. I found that my California shirts (like Baldwin Park, Palos Verdes) with anything California, like palm trees, where hot items. You get a t-shirt for running the breakfast run.
Dublin is also the home of Guinness, which tastes better in an Irish pub than one in the U.S. I was informed my cab driver that Guinness doesn't travel well. I highly recommend staying at the Jury's Inn Christchurch as it has an excellent location, right across from historic Christchurch, and easy walking distance to everything. Most important, Jury's Christchurch is next to the pubs in the Temple Bar area, shopping on Grafton Street, and Trinity College. I highly recommend that you take the musical pub crawl tour. This tour is highly entertaining, and leaves at 7:30 p.m. from Gogarty's bar in the Temple Bar area. You get to listen to, and learn about traditional Irish music, while you quench your thirst at three different pubs. My friends and I liked it so much, we went on the similar literary pub crawl tour, where we listened to a couple of actors talk about Yeats and James Joyce while taking us to 4 different pubs. And if you Guinness isn't to your taste, try a Shanty - which is a lemonade and beer mixed and is actually quite good. These pub tours a good because the music in the pubs doesn't start until 9:30 or 10 p.m. So, you can have an early dinner (catch the early bird specials and save money), take a pub tour, and be right where the action is at 10 when the music is just starting up, or call it a day.
Finally, for a post-marathon celebration, Trocadero's is the place to go. Make reservations, because this place fills up early. Tel. 01/677-5545.
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