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Well, with everything else going on it was almost a relief to be lining up in Dublin Docklands last night for the Docklands Fun Run. I ran this race a couple of years ago, and its an early evening city centre start and a run around the quays, on a flat course, over a very unusual distance - I mean, how many races are there I can PR over 7.75Km?<br><br>
Obviously my training has been intermittent of late, so I was not coming in with any expectations at all, just a nice run, complete the course, and gauge where I am, and what I have to do over the summer months. Two years ago, I ran this race in 35:43, although that was run over a slightly shorter course and distance, so not truly comparable. Knowing the level of fitness at present, I was aiming for somewhere between 40 and 45, depending on how I felt on the night. Having had a good run on the Monday evening, I was feeling confident of being at the lower end of the target, but you never know until you get out there.<br><br>
It was a lovely evening, a light breeze, but sunshine and temps around the low 60's, and around 1000 runners were out, in all shapes and sizes. Recognized a few of the front runners, but mainly this is a race for fun, so a good turn out of ordinary people <img alt="smile.gif" src="">. The race was started by Keith Duffy, he of former Boyzone fame, and we were off right on time, running through the heart of the Financial District, then over the Liffey and along the quays, heading towards my apartment!<br><br>
The race settled down pretty quickly, the usual barging and weaving in the early stages, then a rhythm was reached, and I plodded along at around 5:15 pace per kilometre (sorry for you imperial readers, the race splits were in Kilometres), and the race turned off the quay at 2K and ran up Grand Canal Square, right outside my place, which raised a smile from me. Turned back on ourselves and a couple of bridges to cross as we dropped into Ringsend (apologies to those unfamiliar with Dublin) - These little climbs were felt in the legs, but I relaxed on the down sides of the bridges, and kept a steady rhythm. Just kept going really, picking off a few runners here, then turning back into the breeze as we ran towards the East-Link bridge and the Point Depot. Then it was back across the Liffey and down the quay back towards the City.<br><br>
There were to be no heroics by me over the last K or so, I just kept my head down, increased the pace after the 7Km marker, but it was marginal, and everyone else was doing the same. There was to be no Kick finish tonight, just a gradual increase with the knowledge that nobody came past me in those last 400m, and I finished in 40:50, or thereabouts, an average pace of 5:16. Not a great time, but happy enough, I was at the lower end of my target, and I completed the race in one piece. It was a short walk/jog home and a very welcome soak in the bath, a bite to eat, and an excellent nights sleep. - Where's the next race?.....
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