Dublin Marathon International Breakfast Run 2013

The International Breakfast Run the Sunday morning before the Dublin Marathon was a fun experience.

It was also a good reminder for me not to start out too fast on race day. I headed out with the main pack, and felt just fine for the first kilometer or so. Then I started to slow waaay down. Later that night, my leg muscles were kind of sore. (Uh oh! Maybe skipping those last two training runs on the calendar was not such a good idea …)

Note: the enroute pictures won’t be all that great, as they were taken with my cell phone camera while I was in motion.

Here's the route map of the 2013 run from the race program.

Here’s the route map of the 2013 run from the race program.

At the head of the pack were kids with international flags.

At the head of the pack were kids with international flags. It was pretty windy, so those kiddos had a challenge keeping hold of the flags at times. Behind them in this photo (not really visible) is the replica Jeanie Johnston “famine ship” – the only one to have had a zero mortality rate whilst transporting to North America the people fleeing the mid-1800s potato famine.

There were lots of runners in funny, colorful, or patriotic getups. This photo includes a couple of colorful South Africans and an American with Halloween devil horns and tail (American devil, eh?). I was passed by a runner carrying the flag of the Philippines, and just behind me someone called out "Philippino invasion!" I was then passed by two runners carrying a Philippine flag between them.

There were lots of runners in funny, colorful, or patriotic getups. This photo includes a couple of colorful South Africans and an American with Halloween devil horns and tail (American devil, eh?). I was passed by a runner carrying the flag of the Philippines, and just behind me someone called out “Philippino invasion!” I was then passed by two runners carrying a Philippine flag between them.

We passed the 1880s London and North Western Hotel building on North Wall Quay.

We passed the 1880s London and North Western Hotel building on North Wall Quay.

Westbound on Upper Sheriff Street, with St. Laurence O'Toole's Church in the distance. At left is a billboard for the Bram Stoker Festival, of which we partook the previous evening with readings from "Dracula" in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Westbound on Upper Sheriff Street, with St. Laurence O’Toole’s Church in the distance. At left is a billboard for the Bram Stoker Festival, of which we partook the previous evening with readings from “Dracula” in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Here comes my favorite part of the run, on Hanover Quay, on the block containing U2’s former recording studio, all done up with (mostly) artful graffiti.graffiti around U2 studio graffiti 1 graffiti 2graffiti 3

Westbound on Sir John Rogerson's Quay: view of the Samuel Beckett bridge over the River Liffy.

Westbound on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay: view of the Samuel Beckett bridge over the River Liffy.

Many thanks to the Gardaí and volunteers who kept our breakfast run safe!

Many thanks to the Gardaí and volunteers who kept our breakfast run safe from traffic interference!

Yes, we did get to meet U2. And Bono. These costumes were pretty funny, given the comment a friend heard from an Irish tour guide our her visit to that country earlier in the month "does your country want to adopt Mr. Bono? His head is too big for Ireland now."

Yes, we did get to meet U2. And Bono. These costumes were pretty funny, given the comment a friend heard from an Irish tour guide on her visit to Ireland earlier in the month “Does your country want to adopt Mr. Bono? His head is too big for Ireland now.”

We got a technical t-shirt for completing the breakfast run. I only just realized as I was taking the photo of the shirt that the logo was a fried egg. Which is kind of funny because the run's breakfast consisted of a bottled smoothie, a pre-packaged muffin, and an apple.

We got a nice technical t-shirt for completing the breakfast run. I only just realized as I was taking the photo of the shirt that the logo was a fried egg. Which is kind of funny because the post-run bagged breakfast consisted of a bottled smoothie, a pre-packaged muffin, and an apple. (Not that I expected anything more substantial. I had taken the precaution of eating a light breakfast at our hotel before the run.)

As we sat on the floor and ate our bag breakfast while listening to live Irish traditional music, we had our Monument Marathon t-shirts out, ready for exchange. A Frenchman traded for Bugman's shirt. While the Irish dancers were clogging about onstage, I wandered around seeking a non-US exchange partner. I was unsuccessful in that regard, but wound up getting a t-shirt from Rhode Island, which is kind of like a foreign country to a Nebraskan.

As we sat on the floor and ate our bagged breakfast while listening to live Irish traditional music, we had our Monument Marathon t-shirts laid out, ready for exchange. A Frenchman traded for Bugman’s shirt. While the Irish dancers were clogging about onstage later, I wandered around seeking a non-US exchange partner. I was unsuccessful in that regard, but wound up getting a technical t-shirt from a 5K in Rhode Island, which is kind of like a foreign country to a Nebraskan.

Lastly, a couple of notes on things that could be improved.

A-number one suggestion: get more information out there.

There is nary a detail about the event on the official marathon site. I happened to learn about the breakfast run informally through web searches, and confirmed the 2013 time and date by posting a question on the Dublin Marathon Facebook page. (There was a nice, prompt response on the FB question.) I’d wanted the information well ahead of time, to plan our limited time in country.

I’d hoped there would be more information in our packets at the race expo, and there was a map of the course, start/end locations, and start time listed in the race program in our race packet. However, that information indicated only that the race would start at the Jennie Johnston, not that everyone would be meeting at the Convention Center ahead of the start. It would have been nice to know that, and to know ahead of time that there would be toilets as well as a gear drop available at the CC.

Had I known about the gear drop, I would have brought a change of clothes for the chilly walk home, and I would not have run with my trade t-shirt clenched in my hand. And I bet others would not have traded their smelly t-shirts right off their backs. (Ew.) Or maybe they were trading the shirts off their backs because they didn’t know about the trade and had not brought an extra shirt.

Another plus would have been a “t-shirt swap area” sign, or some timing on when the swap was to begin. I know the organizers don’t want to have anything to do with the exchange, as it’s a “between runners” kind of thing, but a little organization would help. As it was, people wanting to trade just kind of wandered around holding their shirts in front of them, ignoring the music and dancing. One Canadian had brought several shirts to trade, and laid them all out on the floor – a good strategy for getting noticed.

A note: the most sought-after shirts seemed to be those from a country not your own (the more exotic-seeming, the better), with strong graphics, preferably made of technical material instead of cotton, and in like-new condition.

After the breakfast run, we didn’t do much sightseeing, preferring to rest up for the race the next day. We bought pastries and sandwich fixings, kicked back in our hotel room, and watched a couple of movies.

I’m glad for the stretch of the legs the breakfast run provided, and also glad for the tour of the dockland area, which I otherwise would not have seen much of. If I had to do it over again, I probably would dress a little crazier, and also have some kind of identifier of my home country.

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

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