Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dublin City Marathon

At the end of October I was back in Dublin again as an official pacer for the sub 4:30 group along with three other pacers which 2 of them had also paced the previous year and we had all done quicker and this race a number of times.

At the expo we staffed the meet the pacers stand where we were giving out pace bands from 2:30 to 6 hours which had times at each mile split based on an even pace. I even had to remember some French from when I did GCSE’s!!  One of our pacers had also made up a pacing band which also had the water and gels stations marked, this could be useful.

On the race day it started quite surreal. As we meet at the official race hotel (5 star) where the elite athletes stayed. We all then boarded the cold local double decker bus for the less than a mile journey to the start. What was strange was we had an official police (garda) escort on motorbikes which blocked of each intersection all the way to the start!!

We then warmed up in the elite section before getting our (weather) balloons and a photo at the front of the race. We then walked through the lined up runners to our estimated starting area. Along with the pace bands we each had at least a watch and/or GPS devices to help with judging pacing so amount the 4 of us which should get the right targets. It also helped that we had 2 big pink weather balloons and a sign for the pace so we could pass them around mainly when a comfort break was required or aid station was coming up. We all had official race kit with our pace time on the back.

For the first 10 miles or so up to the park was a lot of people following our pace but as we got further in to the race the numbers gradually decreased. When we got about 2 miles from the end we were encouraging those with us how had any energy left to push on for the finish, some did and others stayed with us.

At the end with finished about 25 seconds under our target with fairly even mile splits and was congratulated by the race organiser, then by some of the people who had followed our pacing.

It was a grand day and a great friendly marathon.

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