The day started well an extra hour in bed thanks to day light savings. Got up to a simple breakfast of wheatabix’s and zero tabs. Meet up with a few from Celbridge AC for the bus into Dublin. As we neared Westmoreland st we could see all the runners heading to the start. In what was a first we arrived before the gate was open so we waited around for a few minutes till we were sent to a different gate to get in. While waiting I bumped in Liz O’Neill so I was talking to her before we went to drop our bag in. After dropping the bag in I chatted to some of the parkrunners who were working the bagdrop. After waiting around for a few minutes and bumping into Neasa Ni Dhoibhilin I went to warm up then was time to get into my starting place.
The plan was to set off with the 3:40 pacers but could not see that at the start so I set off near the 3:30 pacers but planed to go at my own speed. My average time needed was 5:12/km first km was a little slow at 5:24 so i sped up and a bit to much and did the next one in 4:45. At 10k I knew I had not had a big enough breakfast as my stomach was rumbling so I took a gel to fill the gap. For the 1st 18k I was between 4:44 and that 5:24 from the 1st km. My left ankle was a little dicey from 11k I was walk running but more running then walking. At 10k I was 90 seconds up on my expected time. 19-21k went 5:24, 5:45 5:55 meaning at the half way stage while I was on 3:40 pace it would not finish near it.
My 24th km time of 5:57 was the last sub 6 minute km in the race the 25th km to 33rd km floated between 6:10 and 6:41. The 34km was my first to be over 7 minutes. 4 of the next 5 were in this range. At this stage I saw a sign saying 5 miles left by now i was walking more then running. I messaged the girlfriend who was meeting me at the finish to say I had 5 miles left but they would be 5 slow miles. At this stage I was trying to stay positive and try to give a thumbs up to anyone to shouted my name but inside I was struggling I knew that if needed I was walking to that finish. At this point I was only able to run maybe 200/300m before the ankle was flaring up and walking continued. Some people have done lamp posts. I was doing bus stops then again I was also different, Starting to run at one stop and continue to the next. I was starting to see the regular places I knew which helped me alot but I dont think I have ever been smiling come UCD this year was no different 200m was all I could run at this stage and was very much gritting my teeth to continue.
As the numbers went up I was getting a little more positive knowing I would complete the course. Come the RDS I was not well I was maybe able to run 50m in one go. Just after this I meet my sister, brother in law and nieces. My sister admits she nearly cried at this point as I did not look well. As I nearly the 2k remaining mark I was running as much as I could it was a mixture of the crowd support and determination getting me to the finish even as I saw the 400m to go sign I tried to run but even at that only got 100m running so I walked a 100, jogged lightly for 100 and ran the last 100 to cross the line in 4hrs 11 minutes 47 seconds. This was my 4th Dublin and 7th marathon but easily the hardest one since my first in Dublin in 2013. Now rest up and see what the plan is and my journey for a Sub 3:30 will go into 2018. I’ll take the winter now to allow my body to be pieced back together. Thanks to all the support along the route especially Sharon Ashmore, Alicia Ashmore, Joan Ryan and Niamh Adams. right now i say i’m done with Dublin but next year ill be back at that starting line.