For many, the Irish Runner 5 Mile in the Phoenix Park is a traditional mid-summer milestone.
So it seemed fitting that the weather had everything we’ve come to expect from a typical Irish summer’s day: wind-whipped rain, blazing sunshine for a while, followed by monsoon-style downpours.
Staying under the duvet was a dangerously tempting option. And with the latest advances in chip timing, it’s possible to follow the progress of runners in real time – with details such as time and pace – from the safety of bed.
But, for the thousands who made the effort, they were treated to seeing the Phoenix Park glistening in the intermittent sun-shine.
With numbers so big these days, competitors began in a series of waves, which helped ensure the course wasn’t too congested, though there were a few bottle-necks along the way.
The Phoenix Park is always a challenging course – but it can lull you into a false sense of confidence. There’s the flat first mile followed by the thrill of a downhill section along the Khyber Pass. But then come the hills. First, Military Hill, which is short but steep. And the real tester is longer hill on the Upper Glen Road.
This, of course, wasn’t a problem at the elite end of pack. Gary O’Hanlon was the first man to cross the line in a very impressive time of (24:52), followed by Brian MacMahon (25:00) and Peter Matthews (25:28).
Among the women, Siobhan O’Doherty took first place (28:02), followed by Niamh Devlin (28:57) and Annette Kealy (29:11).
As for me? Being the not-so-elite athlete, I arrived ten minutes late, still breathless after cycling furiously across town. After joining the third wave of runners, I kept running as hard as I could, finishing in a personal best on the course (32:45).
A generous goodie bag was on hand afterwards (though there were a few grumbles about ill-fitting t-shirt sizes). But overall, this was yet another well-organised run from the folks who will bring you the race series that includes a 10-miler and half marathon in the park later this summer.
It all culminates in the daddy of them all, the Dublin City Marathon in October.
How did you get on? Let us know! And send any pics to email@example.com
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