Cork City Marathon 2019

10 Things I Think About The Cork City Marathon 2019

1. It Began in Boston

I think that it is Viv’s fault that I ended up running the Cork Marathon. Viv loves running marathons so I knew that he couldn’t resist Cork. When I found out the day after Boston that he was going to run I had to run as I get great enjoyment from beating him badly. 


I think that Garmin Connect is an excellent tool for psyching out your enemies like Viv before an important race. I knew that he would be stalking me on Garmin to see how my taper was going so I used Trump style TREMENDOUS titles to make him think that I was having an excellent taper. In reality I was going through the usual pre marathon random unexplained worrying and feeling apocalyptically awful on every run. Dwell times increased even for a 6 mile run and I was worried a lot about my wisdom tooth. 

3. Hangry

I think that food timing the day before a marathon is vital. A pizza takes approximately 12 hours to be processed so the last significant food intake before the marathon needs to be around 7pm for an 830am start. I’m normally not very hangry but when pizza is delayed until  8pm I get a little very fidgety. I think it was just in time as everything was perfect on Sunday morning stomachwise. 

4. Operation Drop Viv 

I think that my plan to do everything that was necessary to drop Viv before 10 miles was executed perfectly. I didn’t think that he’d go with 5:50 pace but he did. He was still perched on my shoulder like an unwanted parrot at three miles so I pushed a little harder to try and shake him off. I didn’t look at the watch or at Viv but just increased to a level that felt just about tolerable until I could no longer hear him or his supporters shouting “Go Viv”

5. Tailwinds

I think that you had to take advantage of the tailwinds for the first half of the race, it was idyllic running out to the tunnel, my favorite race conditions, a big tailwind. I’m very good with a tailwind because I’m snapped like a sail so I catch the wind and get blown along. I was at the tunnel without every thinking about how horrible running at marathon pace is. I knew it wouldn’t last but it was so nice. 

6. Negative Feedback 

I think that giving people negative feedback works. It’s a very good idea to ensure that when someone makes a mistake that you ensure that they know that their mistake was unacceptable. Two years ago John gave me very warm moldy water by Brookfield in the marathon which I can still taste to this day, I have reminded him of this on many occasions. Proof that my negative feedback works came at Blackrock Castle where Hop handed me a nice chilled bottle of fresh water, definitely the best water bottle of the day, it was at least Ballygown quality. Abuse works. 

7. Familiarity Breeds Contempt

I think that the section of the marathon on the path by Blackrock is the worst. I run that route way too often because I like it so I know what it looks like at 7:30 pace. For some reason it looks exactly the same at 6:00 pace. It’s very concerning and there’s no one there to tell you that you’re doing ok and not slowing dramatically. Then I met Ian at the rowing club who told me I was 7th, 7th meant money, Alan and Ronán confirmed the money on the John Buckley loop which amplified my motivation, I’d forgotten about Viv. 

8. Headwinds 

I think that the second half of the marathon was worse than normal. The course is bad enough without 5 miles of twisty turny hills with no one about. Up by Turners Cross was very lonely and very windy. Then the twisty turny bits start. Turning is not exactly my strength, turning and running uphill into the wind is definitely not my strength. I was getting very worried when after the thirteenth uphill twisty turny bit I suddenly heard footsteps behind me, I didn’t look back for fear that it might be Viv, then Mike Corbett powered past, this made me happy as it was 6 miles further into the race than last year. 


I think that I love the pain at the end of the marathon, it’s very pleasant pain, if my toenail hadn’t exploded again I’d have had the perfect amount of pain for the day. Unfortunately my toe nail went pop at about mile 24 which meant 2 miles of real pain, real pain is ok but it’s not happy pain. I prefer happy pain. Cork is a very good marathon to run for happy pain. 

10. Caddies

I think that I have perfected gels, I took 5 gels, the Cliff Lemon and Lime ones with caffeine. The only issue with gels is that you need someone to give them to you. Fortunately I had an excellent gel caddies. Even though I was administering a bad beating to his father Viv’s son Gavin handed me three gels. Hop gave me one at Blackrock and Rhona had one for me at the Lough and another at Victoria Cross which I didn’t take. The only issue is that technically my support team are entitled to 10% of my winnings. I’m not sure if Hop deserves his yet as that moldy bottle of water was only redeemed today. I’ll think about it.