May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide, and may your pockets always have a coin or two inside. – Irish Saying
I’ve got tons to tell you about Ireland, but let’s start with my birthday, which happened to be race day!!!
When I selected this race in Dublin it was for 2 reasons:
1. Last year we had a tripped planned to Ireland, but cancelled once we bought the house and wanted to get settled.
2. It seemed like a great potential PR course…clearly I didn’t think my knee would still be out of commission.
It was still a great race choice and though I had to downgrade to the 10K for fun, it was indeed a race I’d recommend. I like giving race reviews because they’ve certainly helped me know what to expect and the recap this time is just for fun.
Waking up on my birthday, I slapped on the knee tape and realized that while the recommended hotel was outside the main area of the city that meant that we were literally looking at the start area from breakfast.
That’s right, we had time to leisurely enjoy the full buffet breakfast and then mosey over to the 8:30AM start. Having let go of any need to PR, I was determined to simply focus on enjoying what this race would bring and the fact that my knee was allowing me to run in any capacity. Plus, honestly, I haven’t run “just” a 10K in ages, so my brain kept saying “hey this is a walk in the park“. Even if I haven’t been able to run that far lately! Amazing what years of running does for perspective.
Which made it all the more ironic that my knee felt ok, but by mile 2 David was starting to limp. Apparently not running at all between races is not the ideal training plan.
Per usual, we settled in to a pace and I rocked that pace from start to finish…I don’t know why I’m so consistent, but once I find a pace it’s really hard to get me to switch it up. This time we settled around a 9:10 mile, nothing outstanding, but for dealing with an injury since January I’ll take it.
One of the strange things this time was they handed out bottles of water rather than cups. I like the idea from a be green stand point…but runners weren’t green. Instead of holding on to that bottle and sipping, they took a swig and then the road was littered with full bottles.If nothing else, it was something else to ponder as we ran which always makes the miles fly by. I was also impressed with the path of the course which lead us through a lot of the key downtown areas and gave you some great views of the river, Guinness Brewery, important buildings and finally the huge Phoenix Park.
When doing a destination race it’s a bummer to find they’ve shuttled you off to the back roads, so it was great to really enjoy the city…of course I wasn’t trying to get around the city by car, train or bike… that was probably horrific.
In the end we finished with big smiles and headed on our merry way to see more of Ireland.I love this photo because it sums up our running… I have a plan…he doesn’t really know what the plan is, but is always attempting to calmly come along for the ride. Love.
Final time: 57:49
Previous PR: 51:15 in 2009
Last road 10K I ran: 2012 as part of the Runner’s World Hat Trick
Months Injured prior to race: 8
Point-to-point: This is a pro and a con for me. I love that you get to see different areas, but they didn’t make it all that easy to get back to the start. As noted we started right outside our hotel and thus finished about 6 miles away. At which point, we had to catch a shuttle from the 10K finish to the half marathon finish for the actual finish area…then walk another 1/2 mile to shuttles to the main part of the city…then pay for a train or a tram to get to your next point. None of which was terribly clear for people not from Ireland.
Runners: Roughly 9,000 runners in the half and the 10k, which means a wave start and lots of people lined up in the wrong corals. I’d say if you are going for a PR then fudge your time by at least 20 minutes to get farther to the front or you’ll be stuck for the first portion of the race. The course remains fairly crowded, though not uncomfortable, for the entire race.
Expo: For such a large race, this was the tiniest expo I’ve ever seen. All good by me, but I do remember how exciting it was at my first race so maybe a little bit of a let down for some folks. One local running store, one vendor with juice, packet pickup and a couple shirts for purchase…that’s it.
Pros (great course to see Dublin)
- Running through some beautiful areas of Dublin
- Cool finisher medal and good shirt design
- Extremely well marked with lots of people at intersections keeping the course clear
- Rolling hills, nothing intense
- Great temps for a good race
- Finish line beer if that’s your dream race reward
Cons (poor details on website caused some confusion)
- Many international runners opt for RNR because they are well run…this one was lacking in information
- Finishing the 10k, you take a shuttle a mile to the finish area of the half marathon, walk a half mile and then can buy food
- 10K finishers got banana and chips, fine for me, but when you have all the other stuff more food might be nice
- No Full marathon option could be a drawback for some
- 5K is on Saturday and all other races on Sunday – I believe this is due to size of the 5K, but I like when they’re all the same day
Overall, I loved the course and really my only complaint was the lack of info on the site and maybe the sad little expo.
Let’s talk some gear because you know I love gear!!
The technology, the feel, the testing…seriously I’m always trying to figure out what feels best and why. Armpocket: I’ve written a full review and done a video on this because I keep getting questions about how I carry my phone! I love this because I was able to put in my hotel key, money for the tram post race and my phone. Nothing was drenched in sweat and I wasn’t worried about anything falling out. It’s comfy to wear and this time around, I was taking lots of photos, so David actually snagged my Armpocket to put his Samsung Galaxy in for the race.
MapMyRun: I decided to use this app for tracking to eliminate the need to look at a watch or worry about HR, since this was more of a survival mode race. However, it does actually have a feature to give you an update.
Under Armour Women’s Threadborne Trainer Shoe: Ok, ok this shoe isn’t a runner, but it’s so freaking cute and comfy….I knew I could wear it around for vacation and race day comfortably.
Under Armour Heat Gear Ankle Color Block Tights: I was sooooo resistant to the idea of capris that came to my ankle, but I was wrong. Even for someone tall like me they make your legs look even longer! I’m a fan and they go with everything, plus capri’s on race day eliminate the worry about thigh chaffing.
UA Find Your Tribe Tee: Come on it was just perfect to run in this on race day, cause YOU crazy runners are my tribe.
Have you ever done an international race?
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