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Limerick Marathon – 1st May 2011

Joy notches up her first sub-four-hour marathon.

First Name Last Name Bib No. Race Finish Time Marathon 10k Marathon half Marathon 30k
Joy Furlong 2910 Marathon 03:58:48 0:56:05 1:55:43 2:46:40

[Joy Furlong reports on her first marathon, well done from all your club mates]

My day started off very nervous but with just enough belief that I would do it. Whistle went and I settled into a nice steady pace, clicking each km off one by one and holding the pace. But it was definitely a tale of two halves.

The first half of the course proved to be flat and easy going allowing me to settle into a rythmn and stick with it. We started in the city centre and the route brought us past UL and back in along the canal heading back towards the city again for the half way marker. I felt good going through here, having found the previous 20 km enjoyable. The sun was shining and we got great cheering on by the locals.

We headed out of the city again, running on some quiet country roads. All was good here. Even though we were running away from the city I knew once we turned right we would be heading back into the city and nearer the finishing line. But that right turn took its time in coming and at about 30 km I could see my pace was slipping. I quickly told myself to hold this steady until 32 km and sure its only a 10 km race after that.

Through 32 I began to feel tired and my pace became slower. This part was more challenging. We ran into a head wind and some slow drags but I took them all on and kept running. Back in the city centre the crowd was swelling, a definite buzz in the air, but yet again we were directed away from the city for the final few miles. Past the Treaty stone, Thomond Park , a pull up past the Gaelic Grounds and right at the Union Cross all very famillar territory for me, with my gang cheering me on at just the right moment.

I could feel it in my grasp here as the four mile pacers were still be hind me and I could hear them shout. Turned onto Clancy strand with the city in sight, a man I spoke with at mile three ran past me giving me a pat on the back egging me on telling me that the four hour was there for me, he reckoned it was only 0.5 of a km away from the finish outside Savins shop which I knew to be on a hill and I thought no way not on a hill, but a marshal on the bridge shouted just around the corner to the line and on I went. Turned on to O’Connell street and I could see the finish line and the clock.

A chap flew past me making for the line and as I saw the seconds ticking I too made that dash, only 100 meters to go, the crowd cheering and at last I was there. Bragging rights won, plan achieved, I did it. Yipee!

It was a good day, I didnt suffer too much and hey I think I will have to do another one and get it just right. As always you have to thank the support team and on the day that was left solely to David who seemed to be everywhere and at just the right moments too giving me those much needs words or encouragement.

Race Info

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