Tuesday 26 September 2017

Marathon runners told to relax, enjoy the day

Gareth Naughton

THOUSANDS of runners will face the dreaded wall today as they take part in this year's Dublin Marathon.

The race is set to be the biggest in the event's 33-year history with more than 14,400 people registered to take part.

The 26-mile course starts off at Fitzwilliam Street Upper and circles the city before returning to the finish line at Merrion Square. Assistant race director Eugene Coppinger advised participants to arrive early, stay relaxed and, above all, enjoy themselves.

"Savour the atmosphere. There will be a crowd out there and all around them cheering them on so they should enjoy the day. Dublin has a reputation for being a very friendly marathon. It should be good craic," he said.

Thousands are expected to line the route, with designated cheering zones along the course.

Mr Coppinger said if runners stay hydrated and keep their energy up when they hit the wall, they should make it to the finish intact.

"What you hear after people cross the finishing line is 'never again' and an hour later they are planning their next one," he said.

Racing begins at 8.55am with the wheelchair participants. They will be followed by the elite runners, including defending champion Geoffrey Ndungu from Kenya, at 9am. The rest of the field is staggered over the next 20 minutes.

"We have some really good quality athletes taking part this year," said Coppinger. "If the weather holds up, we could see the first two-hour-and-seven-minute marathon in Ireland."

Irish Independent

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