Marathon Date: October 30, 2000
My Age: 64
My Finish Time: 4:09
My Marathon Rating: Worst weather
Memorable Moment: Walking Pneumonia
1. Ensure you have rain gear to run in if you are running a marathon in a rainy climate.
Dublin Marathon selection and registration: I decided to run my 2nd worldwide marathon, and 2nd continent, for kidney cancer research in Europe but before I selected the country I needed to renew my passport, which took about 2 months until I received my new passport. After checking out the many European marathons that would be held in the September to November time-frame, I selected the Dublin, Ireland marathon that would be held on October 30, 2000. The reasons that I selected the Dublin marathon was because it had been running for about 21 years, it was well managed, and there would be a large number of US runners entered in the marathon – and what better country to celebrate the start of the new millennium than Ireland. I registered for the marathon in March of 2000, 7 months before the marathon, by mailing in my check for the $50.00 registration fee. About a month later I received my registration confirmation and my Bib #489.
Dublin Marathon Training Program: All of my Dublin marathon training was done while I was living in Lexington, Massachusetts. During 2000 I ran a number of races to give me a sense of my readiness for the marathon and to estimate my marathon pace. The races and results were:
04/30/00 — 10k race – finish time = 52:17
05/13/00 — Queche, VT ½ marathon – finish time = 1:50 *4th in age group
To prepare for the Dublin marathon I used the same 18-week 750-mile training program that I used for the 1999 USMC marathon. I ran into a medical problem in the 4th week of my Dublin training, when I had my yearly physical examination, my doctor found a slight spike on my EKG and would not let me continue my training until I had passed a stress test. The test results were okay and I was back training again in a week’s time. I went through the rest of my training schedule without any injuries and met all of my training goals. My only concern was that my weight when I left for Dublin was 164 pounds – 9 pounds over my Dublin marathon goal of 155 pounds.
Dublin Marathon Travel:
After receiving my marathon registration confirmation and my Bib# I made my hotel and air reservations. My daughter Lisa would be traveling with me for the marathon and we would be spending 5 days in Dublin [10/27-10/31] and 3 days in London [11/01-11/04] after the marathon. We flew Aer Lingus from Logan airport on October 26th at 7:30pm – it was a good flight and I met a number of people on board who would be running the Dublin marathon. We arrived at our hotel around 11:00 am on Friday the 27th. After settling in our rooms we went out to do some sightseeing and get something to eat.
While in Dublin we stayed at an excellent hotel, the Shelbourne Dublin, a national treasure built in 1824. A luxury 5 star hotel in Dublin City Center overlooking St. Stephen’s Green, Europe’s grandest garden square. It is close to Dublin’s cultural and historic buildings. Near majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, and the shops on Grafton Street. The hotel was only about 15 to 20 minutes walk to the marathon start line.
After the marathon, we flew from Dublin to London on 11/01 to spend 3 days sightseeing prior to returning to Boston on 11/05. During the taxi drive from the airport to our hotel I really felt sick and had aches and pains everywhere – didn’t know what was ailing me – took some Advil – didn’t help. While in London we stayed at the Royal Lancaster hotel and did some sightseeing, took in a musical – my daughter Lisa did some shopping at Harrod’s.
The day we were to leave for home from London I became really sick and couldn’t wait to get home. The flight home was the worst flight I had ever taken, I had a constant headache, every bone in my body was aching, and I had trouble eating any sold foods. When I finally got back to Lexington [11/05] I went to see my doctor, he took a chest X-ray and found that I had Pneumonia [left side] and gave me an antibiotic. He told me that I could not exercise for 2 weeks and I had to cancel a trip that I was going to take to San Diego. Fortunately after taking the antibiotics, and resting, I was okay and could resume my training for my next worldwide marathon in 2001. . On my first week back from the marathon I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a reporter for the Lexington minuteman newspaper had heard about worldwide marathons for kidney cancer research and wanted to interview me. The worldwide marathon story was featured in the newspapers 11/30/08 edition.
Dublin Marathon Highlights:
The day we arrived in Dublin the weather was cloudy, cool with a light mist of rain and the marathon day weather forecast was for heavy rains, cold, and windy – “welcome to Dublin, Ireland”. We spent the rest of the day doing more sightseeing and shopping on Grafton Street – I was in bed by 10:00pm. The next morning I got up early and took a taxi to the marathon Expo and even though I was early there was a very large crowd of people waiting in line to get into the Expo. It took me another 2 hours of waiting in line to finally get my Bib# and chip – a very confusing Expo setup. That evening we went out for my pre-race Past dinner – had a great meal at a restaurant around the corner from the hotel – after walking around for a while we went back to the hotel – I was in bed by 10:00pm. I woke up at 6:00 am and got dressed in a heavy long sleeve jersey, gloves, and hat – after a light breakfast my daughter Lisa and I walked the 15 minutes to the start of the race.
Marathon day found the weather to be the worst weather in the 21 years that the Dublin marathon has been run. The weather forecast for the marathon was heavy rain, cold and 30 mph winds throughout the race. I arrived at Ormond Quay, the start of the marathon, about 45 minutes before the start of the race and found that most of the 9,000+ runners were already there for the start of the marathon.The street for the start of the race was not very wide which made it difficult to get into your designated projected race finish time position. The rain went from a light drizzle to a heavy and cold rain, which made for a very long wait for the start of the race.
Finally the race countdown began, accompanied by very loud cheering from the runners and the crowd, and then the 9,000+ runners started walking toward the start line when the start gun went off at 8:30am. It took me about 10 minutes to cross the start line but I was now on my way to running my 2nd worldwide marathon for kidney cancer research. Miles 1 to 8 were quite flat with a few rolling hills along the route. The first mile took me almost 12 minutes to run because of the many runners and the streets were not very wide – there were a lot of people cheering you on even though the rain was pretty heavy.
Once I got to Dublin’s bustling O’Connell street I was able to increase my pace to 9:45/mile because the street was wider and it was not as crowded with runners. At Miles 2 and 3 we past Trinity College and the American Embassy, at mile 3 there was a water station where the runners were given 20 oz; plastic bottles of water. It was difficult opening the bottles and holding them as my hands were really cold and I had gloves on. From miles 4 to 8 I increased my pace to 9:40/mile as we ran past The Elm Park golf Course, around Dublin College, and over a bridge on the Dodder river. There were very few people along miles 3 to 8 because of the weather and at mile 8 I found myself starting to run against the steady and cold rain as well as some strong headwinds.
Miles 9 to 19 were flat with no rolling hills with hardly any people cheering you on as the weather went from bad to worse keeping everyone indoors. Between miles 10 and 11 we went past University College and St. Stephen’s Green. At mile 13, the ½ waypoint in the marathon, we crossed a bridge over the Grand Canal and went past Harold’s Cross. My overall time at the ½ waypoint in the marathon was 2:06[9:35 pace]-If I kept up my 9:35 pace I would finish the marathon in about 4:12. Miles 14 to 19 were very flat and the route took us South along a highway and past a number of parks and Kimmage Manor.
At mile 19 it stopped raining, and the sun came out, which gave me that extra “boost” to continue running at my 9:35 pace. I knew, at this point in the race, that I was going to finish the marathon by running all 26.2 miles and would break my USMC finish time of 4:39. Miles 20 to 23 is where the “dreaded wall” appears in a marathon but at this point in the race I felt very strong and I knew the “dreaded wall” would not get me in this marathon. The 3-mile route was flat and ran mostly along a highway where there were large crowds of people cheering the runners on. The sun was now shining, the wind decreased dramatically, and the weather was no longer a factor in the race. I stopped looking at my watch to check my pace and just focused on keeping a steady 9:30 pace throughout the rest of the race.
Miles 23 to 24 took us across a bridge on the river Liffey and then onto a highway heading to the finish line. From miles 25 to 26 the road started to narrow and the crowds were the largest I had seen throughout the race. The crowds kept urging us on and that we only had a short ways to go. The last ¼ mile took us to a point in the road where we had to navigate through the huge crowds to get to the finish line- this is where I saw my daughter Lisa cheering me on. It seemed like it took forever to cross the finish line and when I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch I was elated to see that I had finished in a time of 4:09 and I had beaten my USMC time by 30 minutes. When I crossed the finish line I was very surprised, and upset, to find out that they were not giving out medals to the people who finished the marathon.
After walking around and doing some stretching I looked around for some food that is normally given to the runners when they finish a marathon – I couldn’t believe it when I found out that all the runners were given only “tea and candy”! Fortunately I found my daughter Lisa in the crowd she had some food that she brought for me along with some dry clothes for me to change into. It was about 2pm when we started walking back to the hotel – my legs were really sore and I was starting to get a sore throat. It took about an hour to get back to the hotel because it was very painful walking after running the marathon in the rain, wind, and cold.
That evening we went out to eat and stopped by a couple of the many Pubs in the area, there were a lot of marathoners at the Pubs celebrating finishing the marathon under very difficult conditions. The day after the marathon I bought the local newspaper to read about the marathon and the paper called the 2000 Dublin marathon “The marathon of suffering” because of the weather. We spent our last day in Dublin taking in the sites and in the evening we went out to eat. I was starting to feel quite sick with a sore throat, high temperature, and many aches and pains. Little did I know that what was wrong with me was that I had Pneumonia.