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NEWS Dublin Marathon - Monday 31 October 2011

Dublin Marathon - Monday 31 October 2011 (Bank Holiday Ireland)
Time for my 2nd marathon after the first struggle at London this year.  Many lessons learnt from that and a better ‘distance base level’ built up over the summer that has included about 6 half maras.  I picked up my running number/chip etc from the Marathon Expo held at the RDS exhibition centre, despite being nearly distracted into an ‘Over 50’s show in an adjoining hall subtitled ‘time to take life easier’ !
Tremendous atmosphere with a record entry of over 14000, favourites being Kenyan men and Russian women, and 51 nations represented.  Had a steady pace strategy, comfortably clocking 1h59m at the halfway point, and still ahead of the 4h pacers before reaching a long gruelling incline around 20miles which took it’s toll resulting in a bit of a slow down with ever tightening hamstrings and a sickly feeling to the end, not helped by heavy rain.  Anyway, ran every step of the way and pleased to arrive in 4h12m34s (39min improvement) with minimal after effects.
Main lessons learnt this time were that the last mile seems to go on forever, and that never to book a hotel room with a second floor stair climb !
Had many great chats along the way but must make mention of two youngish girls (sisters) from Northern Ireland who I ran with for a long while early on who were doing their first mara – crossed the finish line with one of these (Debby) who then burst into floods of tears – I gave her a hug as she told me she had got cancer a few years ago and was so emotional and happy with the achievement  ….I think that moment will always be my best memory in running.
Joe Nolan