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Yvonne's Dublin Marathon 2018 Experience

I can honestly say if you are thinking about doing the Dublin Marathon, don't think just sign up as it is an amazing experience from start to finish.

So it all started on Thursday 14th June at Heathrow Airport...

After checking in and going through security for the final part of the 2018 Three Land Challenge, 2 of my Walk the Walk sisters, Adrijana Owen and Christelle Challinor, both asked... do you fancy doing The Dublin Marathon this year? Straight away “yes” came out of my mouth, to be honest, I had been thinking about this for a couple of years. We went to have breakfast and before it even arrived all 3 of us had signed up.

My Walk the Walk journey started in June 2009 when I completed my 1st Full Moon at The MoonWalk Scotland, I have now done The MoonWalk Scotland 10 times, The MoonWalk London 3 times and The MoonWalk Iceland twice. Dublin, however, is a Marathon during the day and has a time limit of 7 hours, I have only completed 1 MoonWalk in under 7 hours and that was in Edinburgh in 2013. Iceland this year was completed in 7hrs 10 mins, surely I could knock off 10 mins?

Before I knew it, Friday 26th October was here...

... and there I was sitting at Edinburgh airport having breakfast thinking to myself... what have you done, are you mad?! Then whilst going to check what gate I was flying from I heard a voice shout… Yvonne! I turned around and there was another Walk the Walk sister, Tammany, we were both on the same flight to Dublin. When we arrived in Dublin we waited for our other Walk the Walk sister, Adrijana. When we arrived at the stunning Conrad Hotel (the elite athletes stay here as well) we were greeted by the lovely Lisa from Walk the Walk, we dropped our bags in our rooms and headed out for a wee wander.

The wee wander took us to the Temple Bar where a couple of Guinness's were consumed and a bite to eat. We then headed back to the hotel to meet the rest of the 2018 team, which actually looked like a 2017 3LC reunion. Afternoon tea was served, which was delicious and we got to know the rest of the team. After tea, talk turned to what will be done this evening, it was decided we would go to Expo to register and collect our all-important numbers and goody bags. Once we all had our numbers and bags we had a walk around the Expo until we got thrown out. We headed back to the hotel to drop the bags off then head out for a few more pints of Guinness (we were in Dublin so it had to be done). Once back at the hotel our tummies were rumbling so we had a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant which was lovely then headed to bed as some of us had the Guinness tour on Saturday afternoon.

After breakfast on Saturday where we were all watching what the elite athletes were eating and taking note for Sunday morning and all headed out and went our different ways. We headed out for a walk to the shops and to explore Dublin and ended up having a coffee in the "bank of Ireland" then a bite to eat in The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin, before meeting up with some fellow WTW family at the Guinness tour, where we learned how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and got a certificate to prove it. We then headed up to the 7th floor to experience the panoramic view of Dublin which was amazing. After the tour, we all headed back to the hotel to prepare for our "pasta party" at the nearby restaurant Hugo's. After a fabulous meal, we all headed back to the hotel as we had an early rise in the morning (some of us had a wee nightcap).

Sunday morning was an early breakfast...

I won't lie I was a bit nervous but the nerves soon eased as we all met for our all-important pre-walk photocall, then we were off for the short walk to the start, it was a cold morning but the walk warmed us all up. We were all in the purple wave, the last to go but wow what can I say the atmosphere was amazing, the support from everyone was just amazing, the walk itself was just stunning, passing the oldest pub before crossing the river Liffey and then heading towards Phoenix Park and walking through it with the trees taking on their autumn colours was stunning.

The support all the way was fabulous all you hear is "good on yeah" "fair play ta yeah", the Irish certainly know how to cheer everyone, at mile 24 I was told "2 miles to go, you've got this" I wasn't really looking at my watch as I didn't want to add extra pressure if I was behind schedule. I just dug deep and had a few jelly babies and on I went, I crossed the Finish Line in 6hrs 52 mins and was delighted, I had done it and a new PB. I waited and welcomed Lisa from WTW who was just behind me and then the amazing Adrijana who took over an hour off her PB. We then headed back to the hotel to meet the others and have some well-deserved bubbles. After we had all showered we had a meal in the hotel which was lovely and a few more drinks.

Monday morning was here before we knew it...

... after a late breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to those that were on early flights, a few of us were on flights around the same time, so we headed back into town for last minute shopping, which included buying the newspaper as we all made the centre page!! We headed to a pub for a couple of Guinness's then it was back to the hotel to collect our luggage and then the bus back to the airport.

I can honestly say if you are thinking about doing the Dublin Marathon, don't think just sign up as it is an amazing experience from start to finish. I would just like to thank Walk the Walk, my Walk the Walk family and especially Lisa for making this a truly amazing adventure.

If you're feeling inspired and would like to join Walk the Walk for the Dublin Marathon in 2019, Register your Interest now! 


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