*** Thank you Dublin - Marathon no.3 ***

What a day today was.  It started in the Fitzwilliam hotel at 7am for a nice breakfast in St Stephens Green.  The hotel was buzzing with all the would be marathoners eating their porridge, toast, eggs and getting fuelled up for the challenge ahead.  It was great to see a lot of children running around with smiles on their faces.  I wasn't to know at that time but this set the template for the rest of the day.

At 8am my running buddy Gerard called for me and both of us headed over to the starting line for what was going to be my 3rd marathon in 3 years.  As we mozied through the thousands of runners to take our position, I was feeling relatively calm, and looking forward to getting going.  The starting gun sounded and off we went.  Right from the start, the people from across the country and lots of Dubs in their thousands, lined the streets the whole of the 26.2 miles.  For those of you who have ran a marathon before, the crowd is a very important element to keeping your spirits high and really driving you on when you are on the floor.  Well fair play to them all, as they roared their hearts out and clapped us the whole route.  The amount of children who watched on was incredible, many handing out sweets, drinks and oranges - remarkable effort. 

The first 10 miles were good as we settled into 8.30 minute mile pace.  G-Mo (as many know him) and I have been training together most of the year and it was superb to have him alongside me to keep me going.  Every mile we ventured into the race we seemed to be passing more people like a hot knife through butter at one point ( sounds good) which was great for the mind set. 
Mile 20 came and I started to get a little uncomfortable - in fact, I was busted and the wee green man on  my shoulder was telling me to slow down, to stop and basically taking the piss out of me for even running at all.  However the other boy on my other shoulder was telling me to drive on, put one foot in front of the other and to never give up. That's what I did.  Mile 22 came and went and my legs were starting to ache, but we continued on with the run as we were very close to home.

Today I was hoping to achieve a new personal best as my last marathon in New York last year, was an unofficial 3.59minutes.  At the rate we were moving we were on track to smash this, with only one problem, the pain was starting to intensify.... really intensify  As I put the head down and banged the last of the six gels into me, I started to get a little dizzy, but there was absolutely no chance I was going to stop.  However I was slowing a little and as we hit mile 24 we were now down to 9 minute miles and it was at that point I told G-Mo to go on and I would see him at the finish.  Like the proper champ he is, he was having none of it, so I got my focus back, put one foot in front of the other, clenched my teeth and every other part of my body that was still alive and drove hard for home. 
As we ran around the back of Trinity College the crowd were tremendous with their encouragement, lifted everyone of us and spiritually carried us all over the line, a few hundred metres up. It was over and at 3:53minutes, I had achieved a new personal best, which was a tremendous feeling for me.
Smiles everywhere, wrecked bodies everywhere, pain everywhere, but you know what - that's what life is about yeah.  Challenging your mind set, challenging your bored chemistry, getting out of your comfort zone and raising the bar.

Well I did it and that is the last major challenge in the bag for 2013 - Its been a tough year in lots of ways but a great year in many more ways and physically, I am in the best shape of my life.  MS has made me stronger and I am looking forward to working hard and building on the foundations I have set out for myself in 2014.

Finally I would like to thanks the organisers of the event today who had it down to a tee, and again the thousands of supporters who made today a very special day that 15000 of us runners will never forget.

Thank you very much!

Remember all - --  #Attitude Is Everything 
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