Friday 24 February 2017

Marathon runners braced for rain

Downpours forecast for holiday weekend

Fiona Ellis

Runners in this year's Dublin Marathon will face heavy rain when they tackle the 26-mile course this bank holiday weekend.

Forecasters have warned that rain is expected to hit holiday plans this weekend, but insisted there would be no repeat of last week's torrential downpours.

Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said the worst hit parts of the country would see about 30mm of rain fall over the entire weekend, in contrast to the 100mm plus of rain that fell last Monday.

"It's a normal rain event; there is nothing abnormal about it," he said. "It's going to be a wet weekend alright, but it will be normally wet."

The predicted rain may reduce the numbers turning out to support Monday's National Lottery Dublin Marathon but it is unlikely to deter the record 14,000 athletes taking part.

However, there will be widespread travel disruption in the capital when road closures are put in place along the course from tomorrow for the race.

Nor is the weather likely to dim the culinary zest of the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, also taking place this weekend.

A top New York food writer told Irish chefs at the festival yesterday that bacon and cabbage, and not pepperoni pizza, was the food to win tourists' hearts here.

Colman Andrews said chefs must explore their roots, instead of pushing European food, if Ireland is to raise its profile as a culinary destination.

Mr Andrews flew into Ireland to take part in a debate entitled 'The Great Irish Food Fight' as part of the festival, which runs until Monday.

Mr Andrews is blaming the Celtic Tiger for international dishes that dominate menus in many Irish restaurants and believes the boom caused us to turn our backs on staples such as spuds.

In general, the weekend weather is to be mild, according to Mr Eagleton. "You might not feel the warmth but temperatures will be up about 11, 12, and 13 degrees."

However, independent forecasters Irish Weather Online is more pessimistic and has predicted 85mm of rain by Monday.

The fallout from the recent floods is still ongoing and national insurer Quinn-direct has said 88pc of its policy holders affected by the floods were in Co Dublin.

The company inspected 95pc of their customers within 48 hours of Monday's flooding.

Travel will also be affected this weekend. Some 200,000 passengers are expected to travel on Irish Rail routes; however, bus services will be in place today and tomorrow for many routes as there will be essential repair works taking place.

There will be disruptions on the Dublin/Cork line and the Limerick/Galway line. Other services disrupted are Rosslare/Gorey services and some Dart and commuter services.

Irish Independent

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