Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Report on the 2012 Dingle Marathon...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Report on the 2012 Dingle Marathon...

There was a huge turnout of roughly 2,300 runners for this years Dingle Half, Full and Ultra Marathon. The last time I took part in this event was back in 2009 when I ran the inaugural Marathon. This year, I was back again as one of the pacers for the full Marathon (3:45) and it allowed me to make a direct comparison.

First off, some stats.....back in 2009, the numbers for the half and full were 1355 and 348. In 2012, it was 1750 and 496 which is up 29% and 42% respectively. When you consider the increase in the number of other events on offer, it has shown a healthy growth in numbers despite the competition.

For the town of Dingle itself with a resident population of roughly 2,000 people, having so many people in the area obviously has a significant economic impact on the area. Between the 2,300 runners and the additional friends and family, a significant amount of money was no doubt spent locally on accommodation, meals, etc.

So what of the course? It was a lot tougher that I had remembered! There seemed to be no end to the amount of small pulls even for the first half of the race. It's certainly not a course for running a fast Half-Marathon time but anyone who does set a personal best time on that course can be justifiably proud of it. What sets the course apart of course is the scenery. There really is something magical about running around Slead Head and looking across to the Blasket Islands. The weather was a bit overcast and windy and a small bit of sunshine would have made things all the more spectacular however by the same token, it could have been a lot worse. The strong south-westerly breeze made things a bit challenging on the early uphill sections.

At the 13 mile mark, the Half-Marathon runners peeled off to their finish line while the full Marathon runners continued on. Back in 2009, I can remember that the course seemed to get very quiet when that happened. This year with the extra numbers, there was still plenty of company. It wasn't just the fact that I was pacing 3:45 and there were people trying to stay with me but up ahead, I could see that the road was full of runners. Even at the out and back section around 20 miles, the gaps between runners seemed pretty small.

The big test in the full Marathon is of course the hill at roughly 21 miles. Even though I had built up a cushion of two minutes going into the hill and gave it back by slowing down on the uphill section, it was still a challenging section for most runners. At one section where there was a bad bend, there hardly seemed to be much difference between the people running and walking. A really tough section and was no doubt the most testing part of the course. Once over the hill, there was of course a payback in the long downhill section towards Dingle.

In terms of organisation, it seemed to go pretty well. They had plenty of those small water bottles that people seem to like although it is a bit disappointing to see some dope up ahead throwing them over ditches into fields when all they have to do is leave them at the side of the road so that the organisers could pick them up. In the second half of the race, there did seem to be a lack of any energy drinks. In that respect, the Longford Marathon the previous week was better organised. The finish line was well organised with water, tea, coffee, biscuits, etc available for anyone that wanted them, a change from some other big events where you get a bottle of water and that's it. was it? Comparing it to the Longford Marathon the previous week, it really is a different type of event. Longford was a bit more like a very long road race. People went there for the race and the race only. Dingle was one for the scenery and the area in general. The whole event in Dingle seemed to go well and it is now a firm favourite with many runners. As long as they continue to get things right and improve, then it should continue from strength to strength.

Did you take part in the Half? Full? or Ultra? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below...

Dingle Half-Marathon
Pl.    Name     Club     Cat.    Subcat.    #    Net    Gross   
1 John Meade             M     MS    (1:14:38)     1:14:38   
2 Gary Hynes             M     MS    (1:15:19)     1:15:19   
3 Donal White             M     MS    (1:19:16)     1:19:16   
31 Gillian Cotter             F     FS    (1:31:16)     1:31:20   
43 Fiona Devane             F     FS    (1:31:27)     1:33:39   
67 Caitriona Barry             F     F40    (1:36:30)     1:36:37   

Dingle Marathon
Pl.    Name      Cat.    Subcat.    #    Net    Gross   
1  Eoin Sugrue     M     MS    (2:48:13)     2:48:18   
2   Roman Soltys   M     MS    (2:50:26)     2:50:35   
3  Jeremy Curran   M     MS    (2:52:11)     2:52:13   
34  Nora Barry      F     F40    (3:22:21)     3:22:29   
40  Aisling O'Donnell   F     FS    (3:22:18)     3:23:58   
48  Marion Buechner    F     FS    (3:26:21)     3:26:37   

Dingle 50 mile Ultra-Marathon
Pl.    Name        Cat.    Result   
1   Keith Whyte             M    5:59:25   
2   Raymond Lanigan         M    6:11:57   
3   Ivan Slovak             M    6:23:07   
14  Amy Masner             F    7:36:33   
16  Caroline Cahill             F    8:03:36   
18  Jenny Gough             F    8:06:01   

Results for all three events can be seen HERE

1) Mick Hanney has a gallery HERE


Thomas said...

I did the ultra and could not find anything to fault the organisers (I won't hold them responsible for the 30 miles of headwind).

I think the race has the potential to become a real classic.

Anonymous said...

Well organised but no bananas as advertised on mile 9

Ian... said...

Hi John,

I really enjoyed your comments on the Dingle Marathon. There is no doubt that this is one of the most scenic runs in Munster if not the country. If its too long for your followers to run, they should try cycling it, its spectacular.

I did the half in 2010 and found it very well organised and very well supported by the people of Dingle. It seems to have very much progressed from a "Fun Run" to a serious Marathon for the serious runners. Well done Ken and Gang.

I thought your comment regarding the "DOPE" (I think you were too kind to him) throwing his bottle is not an isolated incident. I've witnessed it several times and I commented on this happening before on your blog ( after Blarney last year).

People need to be "Named and Shamed" and not given an official time. Its simply not acceptable...

Roll on Sunday.

Rgds. Ian

Anonymous said...

A great challenge and very enjoyable.Having done Longford last year andmanaged pb I would have to say I prefered Dingle.Sometimes its just nice to forget about time and achieve satisfaction of completing a really tough course.Would have liked an energy drink in second half of marathon.Overall an enjoyable day.

Anonymous said...

Hello John,

Did you notice that the winner of the women's marathon had a slower chip time than the second placed woman.

John Desmond said...

Ref : First woman having a slower chip time...

With all races, the final positions are determined by whoever crosses the finish line first.

Anyone expecting to run 3:22 on a course like Dingle should be up near the front of the field. The winner lost 8 seconds getting to the start line which is about right. The second woman started back too far, took 100 seconds to get to the start line and lost the race as a result.

I have seen it happen in the Cork Marathon as well before with some of the minor placings.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of you John in the Kerryman's coverage of the Dingle Marathon.