Sounds like the stalwarts are keeping up the miles and remain highly motivated - great to hear!
Martin, impressed with 26extreme's attitude to you having to pull out of Tollymore. Fancied doing it myself but nursing a wee bit of an Achilles issue at present. I'm entered for this Saturday's Seeley Cup - anyone else toeing the line?
Jason, bad luck on Berlin ballot. I wonder how many applied this year with the revised 'if you're drawn, we take your money' rule?
I lost out again on our club London ballot. Contemplating Connemarathon as an endurance test ahead of WCM at end of May. In fact, I'm going to enter WCM anyway so need to get my finger out and just do it!
Anyone fancy a road trip to Connemara weekend of 12th April??
Congratulations to all on their Dublin runs! Especially Jim and the London GFA!! Will remain my 'A' goal for next season!
Thanks for the kind comments about my own performance but I'm struggling, even with 24 hours reflection, to find too many positives in it. Tried to go out conservatively, stayed behind the 3:30 pace group for first 5K and then went ahead of them as the road broadened out entering Phoenix Park. Reached halfway in 01:41:34 which is the slowest Half I've run in 3 previous Full-distance attempts and was bang-on the 01:41-01:42 I'd planned. In hindsight, should have stayed behind the 03:30 pace group for longer ... and maybe been strong enough to stay with them/get just ahead of them before the Finish. Then again, given how quickly my battery drained short of two-thirds distance, it may not have made a big difference to the hellish final 8 miles I endured yesterday! 4 weeks between Berlin & Dublin and the chest infection that refused to budge inbetween times proved too much for me. On the plus side, legs stiff & sore today but not as bad as post-Berlin and ironically chest feels absolutely clear for first time in a month!!
Kenny, I thought the LUAS-work enforced changes were overall a good thing. Yes, the first couple of miles were even more congested as the course twisted & turned down narrower streets but I liked the changes in Phoenix Park, running right through the Park up the main avenue and then looping back around - with a nice downhill bit - before re-entering the Park for a really nice stretch. For most people it was probably psychologically beneficial to then be hitting familiar landmarks a mile closer to the Finish than previously (though I was going through my personal hell and beyond such minor feel-good encouragements!). The main benefit, I thought,then came with the Finish, where turning left off Shelbourne Rd and then right with a 800m straight run into the Finish line was better than running parallel to and away from the Finish before looping back round Trinity - having said that I was pretty delirious at that point!
Despite my negative experiences on the day, the support around the course was again brilliant. A few more stretches of sparser support than I'd experienced in Berlin but still lots and lots of very loud 'cheering sections' and when I say loud, I mean LOUD! Kept me putting one foot in front of the other when I could easily have sat down on the kerbside and taken the trainers off.
Ok, one positive thought, that's 3 Dublins in a row for me and (apart from the fact that my times keep getting slower!) I love the event and hope to keep a run of consecutive appearances going for several more years to come!
Jason, Good Luck with the Berlin ballot! A brilliant city, superbly well-supported marathon and a great course. I will definitely be entering again sometime in the next few years. I believe just over 70k entrants in last year's ballot for 40k places and then you had a second chance when the ballot-winners didn't pay-up within the deadline. I see they've changed the rules this time so that you have to submit bank details at registration and if you're drawn, you're in - ie. they take your payment! Should mean less ballot entries and a higher chance of success for you hopefully!
The Skyline race in the Mournes seems to have "impressed" the top-notch overseas entrants with the combination of terrain and challenging weather! Reading the leading lady, Stevie Kremer, describe it as the "hardest race I have ever done!" speaks volumes!! Check out the amazing photo taken by TalkUltra's Ian Corless of her that accompanies the race report on nirunning ... brutally beautiful, I'd describe it as!
My Dublin prep continues to be frustrated by the lingering effects of my chest infection. Ran 2 x 5k yesterday (with 2 min recovery ) at slightly faster than my target MP ... chest still felt tight and I decided against a third and (optimistically beforehand) fourth 5k interval. Will try one more 5k at target MP this midweek and, if still not right, I'm thinking of revising my target time upwards and running with a couple of clubmates on the day.