Record 14,500 runners to brave a stormy marathon
A RECORD 14,500 competitors competing in the Airtricity Dublin City Marathon tomorrow will have to brave a storm.
A large section of Dublin will be closed to traffic over the weekend for the event, which has attracted a record number of overseas entries.
But runners will need all their resilience to cope with what are expected to be the worst weather conditions for the big run in years.
Met Eireann said that while Ireland would escape the worst of a storm forecast to hit the UK tomorrow, the weather will be miserable for runners.
And there could be some disruption to ferry crossings and flights for a period tomorrow.
A Met Eireann spokesman said: "We'll have that storm. It will come in north of the Bristol channel and over the Welsh mountains, and tomorrow will have the strongest winds from the north-east. While the heaviest of the rain should be gone by the afternoon, there will be cold, blustery winds.
"You might have some flights delayed for an hour or two, but it will move away very quickly. Any disruption will be short-lived."
Gardai will implement rolling road closures from 8.55am to 4.45pm tomorrow along the marathon route, which will snake from the city centre to the Phoenix Park, through Inchicore and Crumlin, and back to the city centre via Terenure and Rathmines.
All inbound traffic from the southside via the Stillorgan Road will be diverted through Ringsend, while inbound traffic from the northside, from the Finglas and Ballymun roads, will be diverted to Dorset Street and Gardiner Street.
The Road Safety Authority said motorists should take extra care, exercise caution, and reduce their speed today and tomorrow.
"It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front," a spokesman said.
Latest garda reports suggest motorists are heeding the warnings.
As part of Operation Slowdown, results of speed checks from 7am Friday to 7am yesterday on 96,838 vehicles showed just 364 were detected travelling in excess of the speed limit.
However, there were a couple of examples of dangerous speeding. On the N20 near Buttevant, Cork, gardai picked up a vehicle travelling at 92 kmh in a 50kmh zone and in Kildare on the R418 a vehicle travelling at 139kmh in an 80kmh zone was detected.
During the previous Operation Slowdown over the June Bank Holiday Weekend, the speed of 53,469 vehicles was checked. Of these, 321 were detected travelling in excess of the speed limit.
Competitors and supporters of those competing in the marathon should be aware that Dart and commuter services in the capital will be severely disrupted because of engineering works.
There will be no DART services between Pearse and Howth/Malahide stations, while commuters using the Northern Commuter line from Drogheda and Dundalk will have to disembark at Malahide before taking a bus to the city centre.
DART services will operate between Bray/Greystones and Pearse stations only. There will be no services between Pearse and Howth/ Malahide, but Dublin Bus will accept tickets.
Connolly to Belfast services will involve bus transfers between Connolly and Drogheda, with a train service to Belfast. Rosslare Europort services will operate to and from Pearse station, instead of Connolly.
All Maynooth services will operate to and from Connolly only, and will not continue to Pearse and other stations.
Iarnrod Eireann said there would be a Sunday service in operation tomorrow.