Who's ready to run?! The forecast is for heavy rain so instead of shorts I go with capris and arm sleeves. I sorta love this outfit!
We slide out of the apartment into light rain to catch the LUAS, huddling under trees with fellow runners. It is the first train of Sunday morning and totally packed with a combination of people returning home from a night out and excited RnR runners. The first lot seem thoroughly bemused by the second lot. It's rainy and windy as we all pile out at the docks.
Mostly everyone is wearing shorts, we may have overreacted to the forecast.
We have plenty time to visit the portaloos, take off raincoats, check bags in and gather in our start corrals. The rain has stopped completely. I can see a lot of runners in athletic club singlets, quite a few in charity shirts and Elvis. Every race needs Elvis.
I start in corral 12 (I think) as 10 is just a bit too crowded. Kev is in 2 near the front. We edge toward the start then set off running a fair bit in advance of the timing mat. It is quite lovely as we head into warm and grey mile 1, surrounded by chattering runners.
Fellow Father Ted fans will also love this sign!
The route heads through Dublin next to the River Liffey, roads are wet but it's actually warm and humid. We pass the bar we had lunch in the day before and the Ha'Penny Bridge. It is all very interesting and there's plenty to look at which is helping me keep up a much better pace than I've managed lately.
There are 2 hills in the first half, the first at Christ Church, it's very beautiful and not-awful to run. We pass a water station right after which is perfect timing. There are bottles instead of cups which means a bit of waste and issues if the cap isn't off. The volunteers are doing a great job of helping us out with that. The next hill is near the art museum shortly after the Guinness factory. I'm still running it's all good.
I have a tough stretch as we approach the halfway point so I just focus on running to the next water station. And then the next one. There are some great support groups out and the bands on course are EXCELLENT. This is the best group of bands I have ever heard at an RnR race. Way to go Dublin.
Soon after we enter Phoenix Park and I just keep my feet moving. There will be no walking. After we turn left past Wellington Monument I feel a good bit better and have some strong kms. The park is green and lovely and guess what - it's still not raining!
After mile 9 oh crap, there are 2 big hills happening. I walk parts of both of these, cursing the time it's adding on. Let's get this done. When I'm not cursing the hills I find I can breathe easily today, a big improvement on recent runs.
We pass another great band between miles 12 & 13 and I feel absolutely brilliant for no particular reason, just because I'm running (or maybe the band is that good). Soon I can see the finish line and start picking it up, the last 300m is at 5:22km/pace. Running is bloody brilliant!
After I collect my medal I can't find anyone so I grab a packet of crisps and a bottle of water then head over to listen to the band for a bit.
This is the first Half I've run this year where I felt strong and crazy happy. It's amazing to finally feel like myself again. Final time 2:27 an overall 6:59/km pace. Hurrah for under 7! Jet lag officially vanquished.
Stay tuned for my next post about the Expo & Fun Run - and all the medals!