Headed to Cork on Sunday afternoon, hoping that my run the next

day would be better than my first marathon in Dublin 8 months

before. I had a poor back and should have stayed at home but

decided to run nonetheless: got half way, broke down and limped

home somewhere over five hours.

The same injury re-occurred after the 5k in Dangan (Galway May

Series) but not as bad, so I thought I'd be OK for Cork. Dangan

was less than a week before Cork. The day before the marathon, I

still had discomfort after a short run in the morning, but I was

hoping for the best (as always - see above).

I picked up my race number and headed to the B&B, which was a

five minute jog from the race start. It was about the only good

thing about the place: no curtains on the window, to start with,

or no TV. When I ran a bath to soak the muscles, the water was a

dark brown colour so no shower either and you needed several

languages to talk to the staff. Be very careful when you book

accommodation on the web! Any way too late to move now! Slept

till five the next morning, when the sunlight coming through the

netting woke me so had loads of time to prep for the race.

Got to the start at 8:30 AM. Met Ian and joined the queue for

the start. Met James and Mark on the first mile. I was going OK

for the first 5/6 miles - 8.15s slowing to 8.30s until mile 12.

The back was working OK and I was in good shape, although it was

pretty hot. The crowd were great with loads of support.

I hit a low point at mile 18, which also happened on the few long

runs I had in training. The usual stuff:

* Am I mad?

* Take up card playing instead of this crack!

* This is my last race!

* Never running again - I never liked it anyway.

I guess this is the mental part of running a long race. Took a

Power Bar and a drink and worked on my running technique and pace

to take my mind off things. Got to the 20 mile marker around

2:55 and if I could keep this pace i.e. ~10min a mile I would not

only finish but get home under the 4 hours. Miles 20/21 were the

hardest - all uphill but the legs were good. Had never run past

23 miles but clocked the last few miles at 9.30 and finished in


Had a banana and some water and headed back to the B&B after 20

minutes. Got some tea and toast (sorry tea, they had no bread?)

Didn't fancy going back to room 6 so got in the car had a

Supermacs in Limerick and was home at 5.30 PM.

Happy to have run the distance for the first time. Getting it

under 4 was a bonus!