Headed off bright and early this morning for the Dublin City Marathon. Just like last year. Only, this time, I would be standing at the sidelines with my camera and enjoying the sense of deja vu.
My choice of pitch? The Phoenix Park. Specifically, the Chapelizod Gate exit. Easy parking, maybe some autumnal background colour and a nice atmosphere are the big attractions here. At eight miles, the athletes wouldn`t be too spread out either.
First to pitch up on the route were these three wheelchair athletes. They were having a grand chat when I saw them and looked like they were enjoying every bit of their day out.
And it wasn`t too long before the leading trio of men came into view. This year`s, the marathon organizing committee didn`t secure sponsorship until later on in the year. Too late, apparently, to pay the Ethiopian and Kenyan elites to join the field. No bad thing for the Irish though, as that meant they had a better chance of leading the field.
Damned if I could get a decent shot of the leading lady at this point. I think I was too distracted by the sheer absence of any body fat anywhere on the poor creature.
It was interesting to see how the race really comes along in waves. When I was in the thick of it last year it felt like one vast corridor of bobbing people. But, from the sidelines, I`d a grand view of the breaks in the pack.
Some packs were smaller than others, of course. And it was also interesting to see that some folk were really chilled and chatting as they went along the route.
One guy even peeled off to take a pee in full view of everyone. Including my camera. Honestly, I didn`t even notice until I was looking at my pics later. Er, no, I won`t be uploading it yet. Guess you`ll just have to keep an eye on my picture gallery later on…
Gotta love the runners who sport highly uncomfortable and amusing outfits, all in the name of charity.
My favourite was an astronaut-Chris Hadfield, maybe? He actually wore the astronaut`s head gear and suit down to his short and was carrying his astronaut legs as he ran. Nope, I didn`t get a pic. He was too damned fast for me.
But this guy wasn`t.
Twenty six miles in a Big Bird Suit? What a guy!
Lots of cheering and shouting from the crowd as the athletes left the park. Luckily the temperatures were perfect for running. That didn`t stop men running in full thermal gear-yes, even the damned tights I hate so much. And one guy even had a rain poncho over his thermal gear. Even though there wasn`t a drop of rain in sight.
I`m going to head over to my picture gallery later on with some more pics which may be of some use to some of the 14,500 brave souls who ran today. But, for now, I leave with my favourite wave of all…
I left the Phoenix Park with the 4.30 wave this time last year. Ah! good times. In this pic, they had just left the Phoenix Park at the Chapelizod gate and are heading in for the final sixteen miles into the city.
I left the park today full of admiration for the very hard working,motley crew that makes up a marathon pack. And kinda hoping I`ll be with them again next year. Kinda.
Hey! Big shout out for fellow blogger Aidan Curran who was running the marathon today! Can`t wait to read his marathon report. Hope it went well for you, Aidan.
Cheers for the winners-Maria McCambridge-Women`s Title : 2 38 53 Seán Hehir-Mens Title: 2 18 19.
Paul Hannan -Wheelchair category