Saturday, 25 August 2012

Nipping over the Irish Sea

The Frank Duffy 10mile race in Dublin was my first chance to wear a Scottish vest in a roadrace, so I jumped at the opportunity, especially as I hadn’t run a 10 mile race for a couple of years. Flights were booked for us by Scottish Athletics and we checked in online, so it was funny to play “Spot the Runner” in the airport as none of us on the team knew each other very well.

We had all googled the hotel before leaving….and let’s just say that appearances can be deceptive!!! Sarah Inglis and I had a few comedy moments trying to turn our old key in the lock of our room, and listening to the alarms clock next door going off every 15minutes from 6am the next morning.

We had a good evening team “bonding” in the bar after checking in, though it meant I only managed a short catch-up with an old Irish friend living in the neighbourhood who popped round to the hotel to say “Hello”.

Niamh and I after our cool-down jog/gossip

It was a great shame that we couldn’t do justice to the full Irish breakfast pre-race the next morning, but headed off on the bus to the race in good spirits (if not in matching kit)!

There were over 6000 entrants in the race, so it was actually nice to get there early and use the portaloos before the rest of the field arrived. An announcer was telling us to “inspire a generation” that day, on the back of the Olympics, which brought out a smile as we warmed up. I thought I’d been very cunning in spying a large tree to hide behind before the race (and so avoid the portaloos), but the small “lake” on the far side of it, showed me that many others had had similar ideas!

Spotting my friend Niamh on the startline, who was also aiming for the same time as me, was a great bonus and we ended up actually pushing each other to the fastest times we’d ever run, with me finishing just 3 seconds behind. I’m not used to running with others, and so appreciate the opportunity to run in big races with others of a similar speed. I guess it was a compliment that my friend ran on my shoulder for the first 5 miles as she thought I’d be good at pacing the race. She then passed me, which I’d been expecting right from the start, but trying to keep with her spurred me on, and I guess the same applied to her through the hilly second half of the race as our 10th mile was the fastest of them all! We were both so happy to finish well under our estimated times, and I actually PB’d by almost 4 minutes.
Hmmmm.....getting the flowers back safely might be harder than running the race!

It was a great day for Team Scotland, as the men finished 1st, 3rd and 5th, with the ladies 3rd and 7th (so taking the team victory in the Home Countries International), so we celebrated together with a drink at the airport bar….which led to a very giggly flight home from some of the junior team members!

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