Dublin is one of the places Jenn has always wanted to visit. To make the experience even more
memorable, she registered for the October, 2014 Dublin Marathon. She
planned ahead to take her mother and spend some time after the race to really get to know Ireland.
The Dublin Marathon’s reputation for excellent support from a very friendly staff and outstanding
spectator participation along the course were also factors that prompted Jenn to decide to run the race.
She was not disappointed. The streets were lined with supporters cheering from start to finish. There
were lots of aid stations along the course. And, there were lots of porta-potties that surprisingly had
Race Travel Planning to Ireland
Helpful to anyone planning a European marathon is Jenn’s schedule prior to the race. Flights from the
US east coast usually leave in the evening and land the next morning. Jenn arrived in Ireland on Friday
morning for her race on Monday—it was a bank holiday—one difference from races in the US.
Pre Race Preparation in Dublin
Before the marathon, Jenn didn’t do any running to save her legs. To keep from getting stale, she did do a
reasonable amount of walking. She picked up her race packet and enjoyed the Expo on Sunday and took
it easy most of the day.
Dublin Marathon Race Course
Monday was a perfect day for a marathon—high in the 50’s and low 60’s (10 to 20 Celsius). The skies
were overcast but no rain. The course is relatively flat and point to point. It starts in the middle of the
city at Fitzwilliam Square and finishes several blocks away at Merrion Square. There are no shortage of
green areas in Dublin and the marathon makes the most of them.
The course takes runners for about a mile along the River Liffey, crossing over to Phoenix Park, a
beautiful park almost 3 square miles in size and one of largest walled parks in Europe. From miles 3.5 to
6, runners traverse the north side of the park and from 8 to 9.5 run along the south side. From Phoenix,
the course takes runners through residential areas, then through Bushy Park to the perimeter of
University College and back downtown to Merrion Square. Jenn really enjoyed the course and seeing all
At the finish line, there was plenty of food and continuation of the friendly atmosphere that
characterizes the Dublin Marathon. The local pubs are crowded with runners after the race, and the
celebration continues all afternoon and into the evening.
Points of Interest in Ireland
After finishing the marathon, Jenn started the second part of her trip—to see more of the country and
some of the points of interest she had heard about. As a true traveler, she didn’t hesitate to rent a car
and take her chances driving on the left side of the road. She drove with her mom all over the west and
south, making a stop in Galway, Dingle, and Waterford to see the Waterford Crystal factory. They particularly enjoyed the
Dingle Peninsula, and traveling along the water. Like any good runner, Jenn is interested
in food and found the pub food was better than she expected. That made the trip a real success.
What’s in the future for Jenn? It will be a busy year. Her favorite “hometown” race is the La Jolla Half
Marathon, which is held in April, and she plans to run that race again. Her travel/racing plans include
Rock-n-Roll Half Marathons in Washington, DC in March, Chicago in July and Vancouver in October.
We hope to catch up with Jenn during the year for more race reports from the road.
Jenn is an avid distance runner and traveler from the San Diego area. She enjoys racing and running on
her own when she visits different destinations. Overseas, she has run the Rome Marathon the Dublin
Marathon, and locally she tries to run the La Jolla Half-Marathon every year. Recently I had a chance to
catch up with her and talk about Dublin and some of the races she plans for the upcoming year.