The last weekend in October was a bank holiday weekend (meaning a Monday off). That Monday, the 27th annual Dublin marathon chose to start in our front yard (literally). The main start was on the east side of Fitzwilliam Square, so the runners lined up in front of our house as they sorted between their start times.
I’d never been to a major race before. The start times were a bit staggered (elite women at 8:45, wheelchairs 10 minutes later, then the main start a bit after nine), so I dragged Will out early. It was like a small carnival outside our door — skinny people in trash bags, not so skinny people in trash bags and others in more normal running clothes. They were all over — some already lining up to get into the stalls, others wandering around talking to friends and family, still others making use of our park for a public toilet….
Will and I headed up to the starting line. It was a cool morning, only in the 40′s, but that is the perfect temperature for a long run (or so I’m told). It was so emotional and exciting to be at the start and I didn’t even know anyone running. Watching the runners throw their extra clothes and trash bags off right before the start, seeing the runners bounce and bob as they get ready for the start, feeling the large group pass you by as the main start happens…. it is a overwhelming experience. I can’t imagine how much more so it must be for the runners.
The most amazing part is how fast the city of Dublin cleans up after these events. The streets around our square were wrecked with clothes, wrappers, bottles and floating trash bags, but within a couple of hours, the city workers had the square looking like normal again.
Take a look at our photos of the event at Flickr: Set of Marathon Photos