Running in the summer in Ohio is really tough. It’s usually way too hot to run outside on a regular basis, and there are almost no half marathons offered anywhere nearby. Which usually means I take the summer off from running. It just so happens that the Rock-n-Roll marathon series was going to be in Dublin the same time I was there for work!!! SO I just had to sign up ! ;)
In the days leading up to the race, I probably talked myself in and out of actually doing it 10 or 15 times. The race started at 8:30, and my flight out of Ireland left at 2:40 … It sounds like a lot of time, but when I broke it down, I had a window of about 15 minutes to spare before I would miss my flight to Paris, and subsequently my flight to Warsaw. I was nervous. And up until race morning, I wasn’t sure if I was really going to go through with it. I went to the expo for the goods just in case. (By the way – expo SUCKED … There was nowhere selling KT tape or anything similar.) I properly hydrated and ate the appropriate pre-race foods, packed all my bags up so I could get in and out of the hotel quickly after the race, and went to bed early on Saturday night.
Sunday morning rolls around, and I decide to go for it. I met a nice couple from Texas in the elevator at my hotel and we walked in the rain to the start line together. Compared to all of the bigger races that I’ve run recently, this race was TINY. Like, I think I heard them say there were 5,000 participants. The “corrals” were really just “suggestions” of how to line up. I was assigned to corral 12, but ended up going off with 4 or 5. It stopped raining right before the gun went off, and I sped off toward the finish line.
Mile 1 is always my fastest, but this day it was FAST… like, definitely less than 10 minutes. Too fast, IMO… So I slowed down a bit to 12 minutes or so. One thing that was really bizarre about this race was the water stops … They were handing out FULL water bottles, instead of just cups. The stops were more spaced out (like, one every 2-3 miles), but the empty and half empty bottles lined the streets, and I was constantly fearing that I was going to trip over one.
Mile 3 ran past my new favorite place on earth; the Guinness storehouse. :) Also – next time I decide to run a race in a country where deodorant is considered “optional”, talk me out of it … SO MANY SMELLY PEOPLE.
It stayed pretty dry for miles 1-9. There were a few sprinkles here and there, but my rain jacket stayed wrapped around my waist for most of the trek.
There was a group of people running the race dressed as the band KISS, including full face paint and wigs. I would pass them, then they would pass me for 6 or 7 miles. At mile 9, I saw them taking a break, drinking beers, and SMOKING. I think I’ve seen it all, folks. If you need to take a smoke break in the middle of a half marathon, you probably need to re-think some things. Similarly, I saw an older lady vaping mid-race. SMH, y’all.
Miles 7-13 were all in Phoenix Park. It’s a beautiful walk, but MAN, so boring. I would have liked a change of scenery or a bit more running around the actual city.
Around mile 11, I started to get really nervous about my time. It was nearly 11:30 and according to my time-table in my head, I needed to be on my way back to the hotel by this point. As we turned the corner to see the finish line, I was (once again) audibly talking to myself, and one girl thought I was encouraging HER, so we both picked up our pace and sprinted across the finish line.
This is where the luck of the Irish, or some kind of divine intervention, came in. There were NO cabs around so I was going to have to take the shuttle bus, which would take longer, and I would have an extra 10 minute walk to my hotel. I was headed toward the bus pick-up when I saw someone getting out of a taxi about 30 yards away … I FULL OUT sprinted (faster than I ran at any point in the race), dropped my banana, all to catch this cab. And the driver told me I was a lucky lady as we drove past the long line of people waiting to get on the shuttle (no doubt filled with smelly people who decided not to put on deodorant).
I made it back to my hotel, showered REALLY quickly, and ordered an uber to take me to the airport. Thank GOD for Sky Priority – because I walked right up to the counter, checked my bag, walked right up to security, and made it through with enough time for lunch and a pint of Guinness. (Happy Jess!!)
Overall – I really enjoyed the race. The medal is a little underwhelming, especially compared to some of the other RnR medals I’ve seen from past races. I don’t know that I would do the Dublin one again (mainly because I don’t know if I’ll ever be in Dublin in August again). But I’m already looking forward to the Rock-n-Roll New Orleans in February!
But next up – the Queen Bee Half Marathon in Cincinnati in October! :)
21 more to go!!