My marathon: ‘I’ll be standing in Rialto proffering bananas’

Martin Clancy misses running the Dublin marathon – the nerves, the bin liners, the crowd...

Snack in hand, Martin Clancy runs the Dublin Marathon.

Snack in hand, Martin Clancy runs the Dublin Marathon.

 

I’ll be standing by the roundabout in Rialto proffering bananas. You will be 12 miles into your journey. Go on. Take one. And then go on.

I can’t run marathons any more. I should have been devastated when I was told, but the physio broke it gently, and gradually.

Still, I miss it. The nervous thrill of the day before, drinking as much water as my body will allow. Checking and rechecking my kit, with one eye on the weather forecast. Gels and energy bars packed into my pouch. A couple of paracetamol tablets, just in case.

I miss the morning of the race. The long wait for the run to start, wrapped in a heavy bin liner for warmth with a snack in my hand. Hungry and not hungry.

The knowing nods and handshakes as the journey begins.

Moving at a pace that feels too slow, but is always fast enough.

Peeling off the extra layer as the body warms to the task.

Breaking the course, gently and gradually.

The sound of thousands of running shoes beating a tremulous pattern in the quieter parts of the Phoenix Park.

Enduring the hill from Clonskeagh to Roebuck Road 19 miles in.

Turning for home, from Foster’s Avenue on to the Stillorgan Road. Just over three miles left. A short training run.

The crowds taking me to the finish. No earphones for me. In the early miles they would shout: “good running”. By the end, I’d hear: “you can do it”.

I did it. And so will you. I’ll be cheering you on, bananas in hand, round about 12 miles in.

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