So yesterday was the big day and wasn't it glorious out! To be honest it was a little bit too glorious for us mini marathoners. While it is nice being out in the sun the heat is just killer and can make it twice as hard to make it around the course.
The day was great as usual, I got into town at about 12:30 and the festivities were well underway! Crowds were gathered, people were enjoying the sun while the still could and there was just a great buzz about the place. I have to say fair play to all the organisers and volunteers. They did such a wonderful job manning the bag drop, directing people to their start point, handing out water while people were waiting to start and just generally making sure things ran smoothly. Elverys were also out with warm up sessions for anyone who wanted to join in!
I have been doing the mini marathon with my friend clare since 2006. We haven't always run but until this year my fastest time was 1hr 8minutes. Last year when I was halfway through my weight loss journey we managed to run every second kilometer but this year I was really determined to run the whole thing. My pet hate about the mini marathon is all the people who sign up and start in the joggers pen who have no intention of jogging at all. It is incredibly frustrating when you want to get a good start having to dodge people who are just ambling along. There is nothing wrong with walking the 10k - that is not an easy thing to do either. But please please if you plan on walking start in the walking pens. You may get to start the race 5-10 minutes quicker but it really does hold people back who are trying to get a good time. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.
Despite the crowds, we did manage to get off to a good start. I probably added at least an extra kilometer to the job with all the dodging we did but we were going well for the first 4k. Then Clare made me leave her behind. I had said at the start that I wanted to run the whole thing, but we have always run it together and if one of us needed to stop we both would. She was having none of it though and told me that if I stopped and walked with her she wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the 10k. I was very conflicted and only had a few seconds to make up my mind. I ended up running ahead - and I am going to be honest I ran the rest of the 10k feeling very very guilty (Clare if you happen to be reading this, I still think we should have stuck together). Anyway off I went, now even more determined to get a good time! I think I was a little over eager and ran a little too fast for the next kilometer and before I knew it I was at the UCD flyover feeling very very tired with the sun seriously beating down. I just about made it to the 6k mark and then I had to walk for a small bit. For anyone who knows the route, I started walking at 6k point, just at the bottom of the UCD flyover and started running again at the next set of traffic lights, so I walked for less than half a kilometer. I then powered through and focused on the next half kilometer. The water stop at Donnybrook bus station was a great help (not that I drank it, went straight over my head to cool me down). When I got to the Donnybrook fire station I was so disappointed to see that the firemen were not out, as despite just passing the water point I was roasting again. At that point they were giving out cans of red bull and I needed something, so I grabbed a can and walked for about 200m while I drank about half the can.
Probably in my head, but that gave me the power boost I needed to really push through the last 2.5k which seemed to go by really quickly. By the time I came up to Leeson St I was in bits but determined to make it. The last little sprint as I turned the corner from Leeson St onto St Stephens Green was tough but I picked up the race and pushed myself as hard as I could to get past the finish line. It was a little but bitter sweet, it felt amazing to be done, I hadn't got a personal best time wise, but all things considered 1hr7mins was fairly good going - but I had nobody to celebrate with. So I found the water stand on my own, wandered over the bag drop and called Conor while I waited for Clare. It was nice though watching everyone who had finished, seeing them celebrate and compare times. All the lovely husbands/boyfriends waiting for their ladies at the finish point, some with bunches of flowers. It really does make the day so special.
In the end I was hardly waiting for clare any time at all and here we are with our medals! These are our 6th medals for this race and I am already looking forward to getting number 7 next year!!