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 Dublin Marathon - 29th October - Mission accomplished

 Clare Horsley completes her first Marathon

I had been training with my friend Marion since the beginning of July, Andy had written us our training schedule for us to follow. The training had gone well so when the big day final arrived we were ready. We had to find our own breakfast in the morning as the hotel staff said it was to early for them and being bank holiday they couldn’t help so my breakfast for that day was two Yum Yum cakes from good old Marks & Spencer. Marion found some Ready Brek.

So with breakfast inside us we walk to the start line with Andy and Jerry as they too were running.  We had about an hour to wait so that means it gives you time to think, ‘Why am I doing this, I could still be laying in a nice warm bed and having a cooked breakfast?’

The hour soon passed we took our layers of clothes off, put them in the bags provided and handed them over to the baggage people and made our way to the start line.  We then separated from Andy and Jerry, they went nearer the front as they were going to be under 4 hours.  Marion and I stood on the start line just taking in all the people surrounding us, some looking confident, some looking as nervous as us, as this was our first marathon. We had covered 22 miles in training so we both knew we should be fine, we had both had some little niggles, I had been having a problem with my hamstring and Marion had been having a problem with her neck but we had been having treatment and were feeling fine now.

The crowd was noisy so we didn’t hear a man shout ‘Go!’ (Andy told me later that is how the race started) we just saw the crowd started moving forward and we knew then that we were off,  neither of us could believe we were really there. I think for the first time we both were speechless, just taking in the atmosphere and the crowds around us. We have never been in such a big race before. We saw our support crew for the first time at about 2 miles (Michelle, Bill, Jo and Christian).  We had our names written across our t-shirts and it was great hearing our names being called out by people you didn’t even know, kids were high fiving you, sometimes the miles went by so quick. There were water stations every 3 miles and toilets, not that the men used them - oh how I wished I was a man.  We were going well until about 10 miles when I could feel my hamstring hurting, which worried me, but it didn’t seem to get any worse. All I kept thinking was please let me get to the finish - Marion’s neck and shoulders started to hurt as well but we just kept going.  We saw our support crew again around 10 miles and it was great to keep seeing them pop up. When we got to about 23 mile we were telling ourselves just think it’s our 3 mile run on a Monday night - we couldn’t believe we only had 3 miles to go and still feeling good. When we got to 25 miles we saw our support crew again we both found this emotional I think because we were nearly there, but the best bit was hitting 26 miles. The last mile was just lines of people shouting our names, it was brilliant and turning that last corner and seeing the finish line was amazing we both had tears in our eyes but the first thing we said was that we would do it again.  Summary of the race the crowds are great loads, of toilet and water stations and the course takes you through Phoenix Park which is nice. There are not too many inclines and at the end you get a great goodie bag with a medal and t-shirt. I can recommend it and you can party in the evening in the Irish bars and join in with the Irish dancing.  I would like to say thank you to Andy for the training plan it worked really well and to Marion for being my training partner I couldn’t have done it without her.

Clare Horsley

Results were:

Jerry Shield (272)           3:02:29
Andy Horsley (1058)       3:28:40 - PB
Clare Horsley (6814)       5:11:06
Marion Main (6815)        5:11:07

Clare and Marion’s are raising money for ‘Jane’s Appeal’ – the paediatric cancer charity set up by the inspirational multi-marathon runner Jane Tomlinson. If you would like to contribute visit Clare and Marion’s website http://www.justgiving.com/marionandclare

Latest total is £1,386 raised, not bad for a target of £1,000 and they only started a month or so before the marathon.

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