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Dublin Marathon 2009

2009
Oct
Fiona with a corker of a medal!
Fiona with a corker of a medal!

Congratulations and well done to Fiona Melvin on completing the 2009 Dublin Marathon. Despite recovering from a cold, and having a reduced training programme due to work commitments, Fiona had a great time on what is a very well organised, friendly and supported event. The race is known as the “friendly marathon” and if Fiona’s experience is anything to go by, the Dublin marathon should be on your to-do list. Highly recommended.

Place (10,446) Category Pos 10K Time Half Time 30K Time Time
Fiona Melvin 6,770 266/539/F35 01:02:06 02:10:05 03:10:10 04:31:55

Fiona said:

“I signed up for the Dublin marathon back in July when it seemed a long way off, choosing this event to coincide with a holiday in Ireland to catch up with family and friends.  As the October deadline got nearer and nearer I was rapidly regretting the decision that I had made – work commitments and holidays combined meant that my training plans were seriously reduced compared to what I had planned.  Fortunately I was able to tie some of my longer runs in with the Sunday ERN runs in the final few weeks and so I got plenty of encouragement to keep going (thanks guys!).  The marathon itself took place on Monday 26th Oct, which is a bank holiday in Ireland.  Unfortunately in the run up to the weekend I got a cold so when I arrived into Dublin on the Saturday morning my voice was completely gone.  So I spent a very quiet weekend catching up with family and friends around Dublin dosed up on whatever over the counter cold medicines I could get my hands on.  Fortunately by the time Monday morning rolled round the sun had come out and I was feeling a bit better. 

The race starts in central Dublin, just south of the river.  I arrived at about 8am as recommended, for a 9am start.  I was really impressed with the organisation at the start line.  The starting zones were set up so that entry for each of the areas was down a different street so despite the number of people (~12000) it was very easy to find your way around.  The baggage area was also really well planned, as you were supplied with a bag with your number on it the day before if you wanted to use this.  And of course the main concern for most people on the morning is usually toilets, and there was no shortage of these – really well organised on that front!  As we waited in our allocated areas for the race to start we were entertained by a DJ who got the crowd singing along despite all the nervous energy.  When the singing died down there was a ripple of excitement from another part of the crowd and shouts of ‘They’ve got engaged!’ – I couldn’t see who proposed to who from where I was standing, but it was a nice vibe to start the race on.  Finally the horn was blown for us to start the race, and it was time to get going. 

The first few miles took us across the river and up Dublin’s famous O’Connell St.  This was all nice running with plenty of crowds lining the streets, but thankfully also lots of space to move around.  This was the 30th anniversary for the Dublin Marathon, and amazingly there were 29 participants who had competed in all 30 events. After O’Connell St the crowds thinned a little but there was still plenty of support, and all of it very vocal and encouraging. We left behind the city streets to head west towards the Phoenix Park, which is a huge area of open space where you feel like you are a million miles away from the city (actually it was probably about 5 miles in reality!). From the Phoenix Park it seemed to be heading downhill a bit as we headed southwards through the residential streets of Dublin.  As we all know, what goes down must come up, and so it did over 3 or 4 hills of varying ascent in the second half of the race. The final hill was near the 20 mile mark when my legs had just realised how tired they were – I was so grateful to all those people who cheered me on with the promise that this really was the last hill, it kept me going. The last 6 miles just sort of happened, the support kept increasing as we approached the finish line and the last mile was just amazing. 

As I crossed the finish line I was buzzing with excitement, it had been a truly great experience. I didn’t have too much time to dwell on my happy thoughts though as an army of marshals guided me towards the various points to drop my chip and collect my medal, goody bag, t-shirt and lunchbox (again all really well organised). As I hobbled with my stash of goodies to meet my friends at the meeting point I was already thinking about whether I would be able to make it back next year!”

A Brief History Of The Event:  

The race was founded in 1980 by a group led by Noel Carroll, who persuaded the Business Houses Athletic Association BHAA to take up the idea. In the first year, 2,100 took part, of whom 1,420 finished. Dick Hooper of Raheny club Raheny Shamrocks Athletic Club claimed first place, in a time of 2:16:14. The women’s winner was Carey May who finished in 2:42:11. In mens second place was Neil Cusack, who returned in 1981 to post a winning time of 2:13:59.

The event record, shattered in 1982 by Jerry Kiernan in 2:13:45, is currently held by Aleksey Sokolov, a Russian national who ran the race in 2007 in a time of 2:09:07, the fastest Dublin Marathon since its inception. The women’s record is by Ruth Kutol (from Kenya), being 2:27:22.

By 1988 the number of participants had increased to 8,700; up from the 4,000 the previous year. It was 2000 before the 1988 participation record was finally broken when 8,900 took part.

In 2001 the marathon became part of the Adidas Marathon Series, which now also includes warm-up races of 5 miles, 10 miles and half marathon distance over the preceding months, all run in the Phoenix Park.

In 2008 a record breaking 11,700 participated in the race while in the 2009 race on Monday 26th Oct 2009 there where a record 12799 entries for the event with 10446 finishers.

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