My marathon: ‘I almost died. The last 10km were the worst’

Runners in Dublin’s 38th marathon recount personal bests and the buzz from the event

Teija Avila from Finland

Teija Avila from Finland

 

 

Teija Avila (Finland)

“I almost died. The last 10km were the worst. It was my first marathon and I made a classic mistake of going too fast at the start and then I hit the wall at around 30km. My preliminary time was three hours and 28 minutes. I don’t think I am happy now but I will be tomorrow. Right now I can barely walk and I just want to have something to eat and then a shower and then sleep so I can recover. I was raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières where I work and I have signed up for another marathon next May – I may be crazy. The crowd was great all the way along the course and so supportive. They kept me going for some of it, but it was still really hard.”

Tatsuya Okamoto (Japan)
Tatsuya Okamoto (Japan)

Tatsuya Okamoto (Japan)

“I am from Japan but am working in London. I ran it in 2:46 and that is a personal best so I’m really pleased with myself. It is the first time I have run a marathon outside of Japan but at home I have run 10 already. Why did I pick Ireland? Well, it is close enough to me in London and because I’m crazy about Guinness. The sandwiches I have just been given will give me a lot of energy and keep me going for the rest of the day and tonight too. My plan is to go to an Irish pub and drink lots of Guinness.”

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James Cottle (Wales)
James Cottle (Wales)

James Cottle (Wales)

“I’ve just run 3:03 and think I might have won the over-60s category. I’m 62 and I ran the Berlin marathon six weeks ago. I became an Irish citizen earlier this year because of Brexit originally but I’m really delighted and proud to be Irish. I don’t actually know if I won the over-60s category but I think I was one of the fastest so it will be close. This is my 50th marathon. I started running them 22 years ago, on this day in fact, in the US. Running in Ireland is adorable and the Dublin marathon is the best marathon I have run. It is the friendliest and I know everybody on the course and I know all the runners. It’s my 14th or 15th time running it and I love it and I’m absolutely delighted to be running it as an Irish citizen now as well.”

Thomas Jezicvski
Thomas Jezicvski

Thomas Jezicvski (Poland)

“This is my fifth marathon and I think running has changed my life, it has saved my life in fact. Before running there was always drink and parties. There was wine and beer every Friday night. It was just party, party, party and it got so boring. But my daughter was born five years ago and I wanted to change my life so I joined a club and I started running and everything is better now. I have done the Dublin marathon once before and have a tattoo to mark it. And I have done Iron mans and triathlons. It is just so important for me and I am happy enough with my time of 3:56.”

Shirley Coyle
Shirley Coyle

Shirley Coyle (Clontarf, Dublin)

“I’ve just done 3:05 but I’ve done 3:03 before so I suppose I am a bit disappointed. I was hoping to cross the finish line in under three hours but it wasn’t to be this time. It is my 10th marathon but my first one in six years and since my last one I have had three children. I really love doing it, it’s kind of my escape. After this I am just going to go home and relax, maybe have a cup of coffee. I signed up for the half marathon in three weeks time so I have to keep my training up for that.”

Ariana Ball
Ariana Ball

Ariana Ball (Navan, Co Meath)

“I am delighted with myself and I have run a personal best of 3:15 although I have yet to have that confirmed officially. I took a full six minutes off my personal best. It’s my fifth marathon and sure what else would you be doing on a bank holiday weekend? I’m probably a bit crazy but there is no buzz like a marathon. Why am I in the pub now? Ah sure, you have to rehydrate and there’ll be a few of us here from Donore Harriers. And my Dad is running the marathon too. He is in the over-65s category so I guess you could say it kind of runs in the family.”