Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Spar Great Ireland Run

Hello Fudgey Friends,

Sorry it's taken a couple of days - we were shattered after our mammoth journey back & I've not been feeling too great at all today - though much better now.

As promised a review on The Spar Great Ireland Run.

It was a perfect day for running on Sunday in Phoenix Park, Dublin. The previous 2 days had been gloriously sunny & on the Saturday I had even had to apply sun cream so I was anticipating it being hot on Sunday & was prepared for that, however it was dry but a little overcast, there were sunny intervals but never enough to be uncomfortable - perfect running conditions.

There were apparently 11,000 registered runners but I think only about 8,200 ran in the main event - the 10k.
This was the first run that I had been to with this number of runners, not to mention all the supporters. I actually found it quite intimidating & queuing for the portaloos wasn't much fun, but hubby seems to think that other people liked the anonymity that such a large field provided.
The race was meant to start at 1.05pm but for some reason was put back to 1.30pm - this meant I had to go join the toilet queue yet again & wait about 25 mins to reach the front.
Once lined up for the start the warm up was pretty impossible, there were too many people bunched up in the start area & a wee shortie like me couldn't see the person leading the warm up - I just vaguely followed the crowd - it was still fun, it was a bit like a Mexican wave as people copied those in front of them!
Once the gun went off it took around 7 minutes for me to actually get to the start line - where I started my garmin.
A lot of people had obviously not started in the correct waves as a many people were already walking - I had been in the 55 minute to 65 minute section but was very quickly moving past people. I resigned myself to the fact that hubby wouldn't be able to get a picture of me, there were just too many runners & then I saw him - so I shouted & he got some fantastic photos. Then I was off - I felt great but was minorly concerned I was running too fast but just stuck with it as it felt good. The crowd moved really well & there wasn't too much congestion on the course, only a couple of times did I get blocked in. Just before 5km there was a water stop - it wasn't the best organised - the volunteers were trying to get the bottles out of the plastic wrapping to hand out, they were behind a railing & it got very congested & with the number of runners you can imagine that part of the course becoming littered with bottles very fast - I tried to make sure I threw mine onto the grass verge after a couple of mouthfuls. Just beyond the 5km marker I had an energy gel. I have to stress though that as always I'm incredibly grateful to the organisers & volunteers - these events just couldn't happen without them.
It was amazing looking ahead & seeing runners stretched out so far ahead it was like a flowing river of runners. I loved the fact as well that there were runners of all ages, shapes, sizes & abilities just enjoying the day.
There were supporters all round the 10km course.
I found km 8 & 9 the hardest they were slightly uphill though I hadn't realised how much till the downward section. I just dug in though as I knew by that point I was on course for a good time & that I didn't have far to go to the end.
Phoenix Park is lovely - I wish I had had more chance to enjoy the scenery but I was so focused on my running & on trying not to get blocked in, cut anyone up or block anyone else in.
When I got to the home straight I was astounded to see Mr Fudgey again & he got yet more photos of me. I started to sprint at the 200m to go marker but had to ease up a little with about 50m to go as I'd gone too early & too fast but I was still running & as I crossed the line I shouted Woo Hoo!
As with most races I've been too there was a little bottle neck getting out of the finishing / exit area but I was soon tearing into the powerade & heading off to the meeting point to find hubby.

Garmin Results
According to the Garmin the course was 10.19km & my total time was 58 minutes 27 seconds. I was delighted with my pacing as I was really concerned I'd set off too fast but I kept the pace up well till the 8th & 9th km which also happened to be the 2 steepest.
1st km 5 mins 48 secs
2nd km 5 mins 40 secs
3rd km 5 mins 36 secs
4th km 5 mins 42 secs
5th km 5 mins 33 secs
6th km 5 mins 46 secs
7th km 5 mins 41 secs
8th km 6 mins 01 secs
9th km 6 mins 02 secs
10th km 5 mins 32 secs
194m 1 min

Official Chip time
confirmed as 58 minutes 25 seconds. A new personal best :-)
The fastest I had run 10km before this was in training when I ran 58 minutes 50 seconds - so I was more than a little pleased.

The Goodie Bag

Great run as always provided a fantastic goodie bag. Every runner had received a technical running top before the event & then on the day a cute red drawstring bag with a medal, a bottle of powerade, a space blanket, a sample of vaseline healthy feet & legs. an eat natural bar, a power bar energy bar, a packet of chocolate eclairs, a packet of chocolate covered raisins & of course a bottle of water.

I'm really pleased we made the journey to Ireland for the run in spite of the volcanic ash chaos. I had a lovely few days with Mr Fudgey & a great run.
As I said in my post on Sunday - Mr Fudgey is the best - he deserves a medal too.

We also need to say Thank you again & again & again to Mr Fudgey's dad for taking us to & picking us up from the ferry - it wouldn't have been possible without him. Thank you xxxxx

So that was the end of week 7 of the EHM countdown, less than 5 weeks to go till the half marathon now.

So the Stats for Week 7
Distance run this week 36.13km / 22.45 miles
Time running 3 hours 45 minutes 27 seconds

I should have ran 35 minutes easy today but as I've been feeling quite sicky & never ate all day I didn't even attempt it. I'll be back on the training regime tomorrow though.

Take Care everyone


  1. Well done Claire, glad you are enjoying it all...Keep up the training and tell Hubby to keep the photos coming.....Wishing you all the best for the half marathon.

  2. Well done Claire! A great report :)
    I've never heard of a race starting so late in the day - good job it was a bit overcast else it would have been peak 'sun' time!
    A brilliant finish time as well - very speedy. :)

  3. Thanks Gary & Rachel.

    Yes Gary - hubby is uber talented - don't tell him I said that though - he'll get a big head!

    Rachel - I'm delighted with my time. Got the Edinburgh 10km on 2nd May & think I'll be hard pushed to match it but I'll have a go :-)
    Not long till the HM now. When's ur next run?