I arrived on Friday early in the afternoon in Ireland's self proclaimed oldest City Waterford! I was here twice before and I must say just like it's near neighbour Kilkenny it is worth a visit. There is a nice atmosphere in a city that is so obviously proud of it's medieval history. Evidence of that past seems omnipresent. The Marina Hotel was really easy to find and comfortable with very friendly staff. In fact everyone I met in Waterford was really friendly.
I decided to walk to the Waterford IT Sports Hall to collect the number as it was fairly warm on Friday and it was only just over 2 Miles of a walk :) Again the volunteers in the Hall were very pleasant, informative and professional. A theme that runs through this Marathon. Well organised, well informed volunteers, upbeat marshals en route and loads of water and sports drink stops. This makes for an event you will tell others about and as a result I will return.
We started Saturday morning at 9am on the Mall together with the 1/4 and Half marathon participants. This made for a crowded yet good humoured and pleasant first few miles through the City Centre. The 1/4 runners split away after about 5 miles that went very smoothly. I passed the 4hr30 pacers then the 2hr10 Half Marathon pacers and settled with the 4hr15 pace group. The 1/2 Marathon runners split from us at mile 10. During this time I met up with Shane and Declan from our Club and we would run together until we reached the wonderful Tramore Beach front at mile 15-16.
Thanks Helen Richardson for the action picture!!
I still felt OK so I went and followed the superb pacers (thanks Ger Donohoe) of the 4hr15 all the way until Mile 20-21 when the ankle suddenly played up and the humidity got to me at the same time. I had to let them go but kept a pace about 1 minute slower than them for the 5 remaining miles.
It was the first time I have run a Marathon were the finish is on an athletics track in a sports ground. It was great fun running into the RSC and run a lap of the track to finish in 4hrs20mins. For cycling enthusiasts I felt like finishing an epic Paris-Roubaix in the Roubaix Vélodrome.
There were so many members of the Club at the Finish that saying hello to all nearly took more energy than the last 5 Miles. What a Club MCI is!! In fact we took 1st place in the Women's Club competition and 2nd in the Men's!! Go Marathon Club Ireland!!
So that's that then. The 3 Milestones have passed. 3 Marathons in 1 calendar month. Done. Beating the record of 7 Marathons in 1 calendar year. Done. Running 25 Marathons. Done.
What's next? Portarlington Marathon des Escargots in 12 days for number 9 with a view of completing and beating the 12 marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. Reaching the 50 Marathons Milestone by end 2016. Running my first Ultra in 2016. Running a Back to Back. Starting Core work and speed sessions. Improving Nutrition.
Why? Because I like pushing limits. Because I can. Because I want to do this to the best of my ability.
And that's the trick to living your passion, whatever that may be. Simply doing it to the best of your ability. 24/7. To the best of your ability. Irresistibly relentlessly moving forward! To the best of your ability!!
You can sponsor me for the Challenge on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015