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Limerick 2013 Half Marathon report

Great Limerick Run

Great Limerick Run

May 5t 2013, Limerick Half Marathon race.

We decided to drive down, from Dublin the day before. Registration and race number collection are done the days before hand. Our hotel of choice is the Travellodge just outside of town, at 45 euro per night a steal. The room is big and most important, a very nice bathroom with powerful shower.

Finding and getting to the Expo is difficult and I can imagine that an out-of- towner without transportation would be looking at an expensive trip by taxi.

The expo itself is well organized with great info on running, training and the focus seems to be on kids running and motivation. Blanaid (my running partner) was yet again disappointed at the shortage of small tee shirts-fourth year in a row, going home with an XL shirt-despite marking ‘small’ on the application form. It is an expensive race and attention to detail is important. An email was sent to the organisers, we will see if anything comes of it. Not much sports gear on display except a massive booth by Sketchers. They are offering the new GoRun 2 at a discount price so Blanaid and myself try them on and choose our color.

Race day.

Wonderful dry and sunny weather, at 9 degrees cool to start. Prediction is a maximum of 14 so that sounds perfect. We have studied the course and know where the climbs and the drinks’ stations are.

Starting slow at the back allows us to avoid the pushing and adrenaline fueled sprint so many seem to take and after an initial climb the road winds through a country road with trees and hedges at both sides. Where there are houses people are standing outside and cheering everybody on. Great atmosphere.

For us it is all about pacing and we keep a steady 6:05 minutes on the Garmin. As the miles climb we start moving through the field, catching up with the early sprinters and halfway we are at 1h05. A bit slower than planned but we will try the negative split. Mile 8 brings us back across the start line and there we cross the river to run past the rugby stadium and then circle back. At mile 10 I hit an energy wall and tell Blanaid to keep going. I see her bright orange T-shirt disappear as I take my time to eat the last energy gel and drink lots of Gatorade. After only a minute or two I can feel the flow of sugars and start running again. My Garmin shows 6:13 and I know 2h10 would still be possible.

A long-ish downhill get my moral up and I push it now. 612 changed to 6.11 before I reach mile 12.

Did I see a glimpse of that orange T-shirt in the distance? I dare to push a bit harder and when I reach the river banks my Garmin encourages me with a 610 changing into 6.09 before I reach the bridge over the Shannon. Only 500 meters to go. No more orange t-shirt but I am happy knowing she will have beaten 2h10 for sure. At the last corner the clock show 6.08 and as I sprint the last meters I try to make out the clock at the finish. 2h10m05 and still 100 meters to go….!!!! Then I remember our late start and when I stop my Garmin it shows a cool 2h09m34.

The finish area is very well organized and before the exit I catch-up with little B. She did it in 2h08m08. A PB of over 10 minutes! Impressive.

Overall a very good race, well organized with lots of drink stations but not many gels. So make sure you had a good breakfast and bring plenty of energy yourself.

contributed by Lucas Verbist

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