Reflections on Dublin

Published in Reports on 31st October 2013

Pictured above are Caroline Mitchell, Yvonne Dowling & Sinead Reilly who were celebrating a 40min PB, a 10min PB & a first marathon respectively. More photos located here.

A few days on now & the excitement is dying down but the elation is still there. Below are report's from Claire Forde & Aaron Turner and a few more reflections on the day from our runners.

Claire Forde

I joined the club in June of this year to take part in the Jane-Ann sessions on a Tuesday evening in order to improve my speed; never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would participate in Dublin City Marathon 4 months later!! Wearing the Athenry AC bib makes you feel part of a team, and takes away the lonely feeling at a race as there is always another Athenry AC member there. 

I ran my first marathon on Monday after deciding at the beginning of September that I would do it. When I started marathon training - Kellies 10 minute mile crew, the initial plan was to get around it in under 5 hours.  When I broke the 2 hour in Athlone half marathon in September, then I hoped if conditions were good, I would aim for 4hrs 30mins in Dublin.  I was delighted when I completed it in 4hrs 23mins,way better than I ever thought possible. 

I enjoyed the training journey to the marathon so much.  I met and talked to fantastic people on our early Saturday morning long runs.  We had a great crew - Kellie (our leader) who unfortunately due to injury was not able to make Monday, Peadar Nugent (an absolute gentleman), Annette (the German who made sure we did not get lost in Esker!!), Marie Cronnelly (who also did not make it due to injury), Senan Coffey, and also those who just came out just to run with us, Sheelagh and Assumpta. 

To meet up and get the photo taken on Monday morning was a great start to the day, it meant you met with fellow runners and joined the start line with them - took away the lonely feeling.  The start was magical, I just felt so lucky to be there as two of the girls who I had trained with were unable to be there due to injury.  They had the hard work done but unfortunately could not turn up for the prize.  

I enjoyed the run through Phoenix Park so much and the cheers from the crowds were amazing. I caught up with Elaine Quinn at about mile 8 and we ran the next 10 miles together.  She was brilliant, me being a first time marathon runner, I was going too fast and it was only because of Elaine that I finished where I did.  She was running a consistent 10 minute mile pace.  All we could hear was "Come on the Galway Girls" and "Up Athenry" 

I got a bee sting at about mile 20, typical, but my left knee was beginning to give a little trouble at that stage so it was a case of which hurt the most!! Patrick's sisters and families were on mile 21 so that perked me up and gave me the incentive to stay going.  The support from Athenry Members along the route was fantastic, thanks to Ann who took my hoodie and to all members for the cheers of support. 

From mile 25 to mile 26 is a bit of blur. Ifelt totally disorientated, but kept going to cross the finish line in 4hr 23mins. 

I was asked by a lot of people when I finished was I okay? I felt like I drank a few bottles of wine and definitely would not have passed the Garda test of walking a straight line!!!  It was only when I came out at the end after a half hour, my son Michael ran up to me and said "mammy your lips are blue!!"  I must have looked a funny sight. Thank God I had no mirror in my bag!! I got such hugs and kisses from my husband and kids it took away the pain in the body and made it all worthwhile.  Patrick & the kids have been a huge support over the last 9 weeks - we will get back to normal living now!! 

It is just sinking in now, 2 days on and after a dip in Loughrea lake on Tuesday night, what I have achieved.  Patrick always said that there is a marathon in everyone, well mine is now out and done but I won’t say never again.


Aaron Turner


Wasn't sure what kind of form I was in for this one. My pace had improved over the last few weeks and having done a 30:16 in the 8KM in NUI Galway on the 12th I was thinking that a PB was achievable. Unfortunately it didn't turn out like that.

I managed to get fairly near the front at the start and was just behind the sub 3 pacers although it took me until the 2nd mile to pass them and I was running hard. Not really into my rhythm yet but kept thinking "it will come just keep this going". Into the phoenix park and I was starting to feel a bit better. Check my time at the 5 mile marker, sub 2:55 and a bit of change, good stuff don't relax now. Keep pushing through Chapelizod and under the bridge at mile nine. I've got the pace down to 2:54. Good, keep it going. Halfway point comes at 1:26:37. Some quick sums means if I can do the 2nd half in the same time it will be a PB but starting to feel this pace now. The good angel on my shoulder is saying keep it up to 18 and see how you feel then. The bad angel is advising me to slow down that I haven't got it today.

The support is great as always and the names on the numbers make a difference. Starting to grit my teeth now. Keep telling myself just one more mile just one more. Pace is falling, the PB isn't going to be today. Go through 20 and I'm trying to hang onto 2:55 but I know I've run my race. Down Nutley Lane people start moving past me. Have a bit of craic with one of the Garda's running it. He looks in rag state & I don't feel much better. I try to gee him up but he reckons the wheels have come off. 2:55 is gone now, I start thinking of just jogging it in. The bad angel saying you have sub 3 anyway enjoy the last few.

Brian Bruton roars out my name and it gives me a lift. I hear Ray O'Connor outside the RDS and I start to grit the teeth. "Come on lad no one said it was going to be easy" I get through 25 in 2:45 unfortunately that’s on my Garmin not the marker. Tell myself to empty the tank and finish strongly. Going down Pearse St I've quickened my pace now and start passing people trying to urge them on. A couple of lads stick to me and we are racing down around Trinity. One runner ahead has both arms in the air urging for support from the crowd, they respond with a huge roar & as we come onto Nassau Street the noise is deafening. I tell myself, one last dash and I'm home. I pick an Eagle AC runner ahead of me and make him my target. The 26 mile marker takes forever to arrive. 386 yards & I give it everything to the line. Finally it's there 2:55:55 & Job done! No PB, no sub 2:55 but’s it 4 minutes better than last year.

Now into O' Donohues's for a pint.

Darina Keating

It was my first marathon, time was 5.29 & I am delighted with it. What a day it was, the support was fantastic from the club with thanks to Mairead and Jane for the extra support and push, my family must have been driving all over Dublin, I kept meeting them (I was blessed). The emotions, the pain, all worth the effort to cross the line :) 

Jess McKillop

Many thanks for your support at DCM. I really appreciated it and was lovely to see a familiar face during the run - however I don’t think I was making much sense as I was getting pretty overwhelmed at the thought of finishing my first marathon.  As a first timer it was great to have so much support from the club and I felt very proud to be wearing my Athenry colours. 

I got very emotional towards the finish and Jane Mangan got me to the line and over it, she was super. Again, many thanks to all of the Athenry team. 

Martin Keane

Alas it didn't work out for me on Monday and being 34mins back on last year, it’s just hard to explain. I knew I wasn't going to get 4 15 again but at least I thought 4 30 was within my capabilities. To sum up, when the wheels decide their going to fall off the wagon, well then they will. It’s just disappointing (when it’s) the day you want everything to go right……..thanks for all the good wishes. 

Martin Hynes

For the last 2 weeks I got it in to my head that if I got close to last years’ time or at least under 4 hours I would be happy. Got under the 4, just, but could have done better. I did not put in the effort I had put in last year, lesson learned & new target for DCM 2014.  Thanks to all the supporters from Athenry and public in general for their encouragement, thanks also to Kenneth O'Hara for the freeze gel and flat coke at mile 23 when legs needed a kick start. 

Yvonne Dowling

I had a great first half, even passed the marker for 4 1/2 out in the Phoenix Park. Then at mile 19 all the energy went. I had to take myself aside and give a good talking to. Then the above marker passed me out and I couldn’t keep up so I thought it would be over 5 when I would get in. I kept plodding along. No clue how I did until one of my family who was tracking me told me it was 4.39. I can tell you I was over the moon (10 min quicker than last year). My goal was to reach the finish line for Joshua and I did it. The support was fab. We could sell Athenry singlet’s with all the support we get wearing them. Thanks to all the Club members for all the support, Flat coke, and encouragement. You are a great bunch of people and I keep telling people the best thing I have ever done is join Athenry AC.


Well done everybody - great to read all the different reports. Sounds like it was a huge success, yet again, for the club!