No more planning.  Tick, tick, tick.  Time is here.

Late 9am Start.  Extra hour of sleep (clock fell back last night).  Long corral walk, 30 minutes+ after the Elites.  Same elite Africans I rode the elevator with this morning (GREAT hotel choice, Sis! – my 2nd floor accommodations like the Olympics).

No Half, no 5K – thousands lined up ALL running 26.2 miles.  Always a bundle of nerves.  Not so much today.  3 of us marathoning, walked to the Start with Sis & husband Paul.

4th largest race in Europe, 2nd biggest field of participants EVER – for me, only 2015’s New York City Marathon larger.  Much more a fan of smaller races (crowds make me claustrophobic) – but this, magic #100.  Go BIG or Go Home, no regrets 🙂

Irish weather?  Not this day.  Cool sunshiny start.  Winds gusted time to time, skies waffled between overcast & sunshine – pretty much PERFECT.

Today, would run with Sis.  She’d keep me motivated/stay upbeat.  Sis’ GAME plan: Galloway’s Run Walk Run method, attempting a 2nd Half negative split.

Wall of people.  Gun start, moseyed slow thru downtown Dublin.  Crowds thinned after Phoenix Park, Europe’s largest public grounds. Sunshine, manicured lawns.  BEAUTIFUL.  So much GREEN.  Exited before mile 10, climbed the largest of the day’s hills.


Run Walk Run.  Timer rang, we’d walk.  Ding again, back to running.  Just dumb luck…but felt a bit jinxed with today’s hills.  UPHILL we’d charge, then her watch would alarm. Downhill’d all the walks.  Coincidence?  Hmm…thinking: childhood payback.

Castles & commuter trains, AWESOME crowd support.  2nd Half & next slog of miles: 15-seconds faster.  Sis like the Energizer Bunny.  AND that attitude.  2018 goal: I will someday/somehow/somewhere be this upbeat 17 miles into a run.

[Sis’ suggestion] iPhon’d today’s marathon experience.  More payback?  Smiles, chitter-chatter, laughs then the 2nd Half.  Like watching a train wreck – you just can’t turn away.  Laboured breathing, lack of coherent conversation, nonstop mileage updates.  Repeated words like a trained parrot.  Telling ya, I’m a hot mess.  HA!

THEN somewhere in the 20s (mile marker), Sis kicked it up another 15-seconds.  Ok fine, I’ll admit it.  My YOUNGER sister beef’d up our pace another 15-seconds, somewhere in the 20s & I faded.  Like the end of Titanic, I begged her to let me go – sure I was dying.  ‘No, no I’ll wait’: she said.  Then just like the film, they tear your fingers off the door & let you sink to the bottom of the Atlantic.  Yep, just like that.  LOL>

3 STRONG!  Think Sis took a coffee while waiting, but was there when I FINISHED #100.  Blanket-wrapped, awaited our family’s 3rd finisher, my brother-in-law Paul.  That’s how we roll.  THREE MARATHON FINISHERS in this clan.

100 marathons.  Who would’ve guessed THIS 4 years ago, after running my first 26.2 in Anchorage, Alaska?  Lucky in life.

Colorado-bound in the early a.m. – outta vacation days.  Good problem to have, 2017: WOW whatta year!


SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon


K R Haga  Marathon Maniacs  4:46:57



Dublin Marathon 2017



After a FULL day (& a half) of Hop-On Hop-Off, met up Sis & husband Paul – just in time for a whirlwind trip to the US Embassy.  Poor Stephen…unfortunately, this wasn’t a tourist stop.  Good news: following day his wallet was recovered, just the passport lost.  Whatta sport, personally would’ve freaked out.  Foreign country, no cash, no credit cards, no identification – yikes!

[side NOTE: they don’t actually allow Americans inside our Embassy.  We did see trick-or-treaters come-n-go, but the 3 of us with US passports were left outside/looking in, barred outside the gate.]

Lemons into lemonade.  Sis noticed folks walking with swag bags.  We asked, they pointed.  Bib pick-up just a half-block away.  Sooooo while Stephen secured an emergency passport, the 3 of us picked up our Sunday marathon bibs.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

Another positive?  Only 2 blocks away: Dublin’s DART [train station].  Stephen’s extended family (whole lotta Irish cousins) would be greeting us in Bray, 30 minutes away.  Dinner alongside the Irish Sea.  Drinks & LAUGHs at the Golf Club.

What a welcoming posse of peeps!  The Irish O’Sullivans (& Byrnes).  Not MY Irish family but I certainly left Bray feeling that way.  Chatted it up with 2 family marathoners.  Stephen’s cousin Jane – ok, not actually Jane (my fave of the cousins) but her daughter Claire & son-in-law.  So many laughs (& tall tales) this nite – glad I packed the pigeon shirt.  LOL>

Hug-n-kiss goodbyes, late-night train home, brunch in the a.m. – that’s the correct term when you sleep past 10 🙂

Hearty bowl of Guinness stew, Saturday half-day walked the City.  Grafton Street, Ha’penny Bridge, the river Liffey & Temple Bar.  Italian feasted for dinner, marathon #100 tomorrow – IN IRELAND.  How CRAZY is that?  WOW, WOW, WOW!


Marathon #100 Bib Pick-up

O’Sullivans & the Byrnes

Saturday city walk



Denver to Boston, Boston to Dublin.  Almost a year of talk, talk, talk – Marathon #100 here at last.

Long travel day…but not like New Zealand long.  All ‘bout perspective.  Met up with Stephen in Boston so had a travel mate for a leg (‘though in reality, slept the entire 2nd flight).  Early 5am touchdown. Ireland’s morning, my 11pm.  Ugh.  Gonna be rough Day One.  Taxi’d downtown THEN best luck ever – super early check-in at The Conrad.  Room available.  FAAAANNNNTASTIC!

11am sleeps, quick shower, sit-down breakfast off St Stephen’s Green.  GREAT holiday start!

Walked 5 streets to find pedestrian-friendly Grafton.  The Plan?  City sightseeing.  Specifically, thinking double-decker tour bus.  Did that in Auckland, good way to get acclimated.   But first, an Irish haircut.  New town, new country.  Why not?  Located a trendy spot on Grafton.  Waited my turn, greeted by possibly the oldest coiffeur in Dublin.  Been working at this SAME location since 1964.  9-to-noon/3 times a week; wife’s in a nursing home.  Other than that – no idea, [I’m] horrible with accents.  Just smiled & nodded.  It’s only hair – luckily I packed a cap 🙂

Hop On-Hop Off, bought a 2-day bus ticket.  Trinity College, National Art Gallery, Phoenix Park, Glasnevin Cemetery.  I’m sure I passed all these stops.  Reviewing my pics: old churches & beer.

Appears I was completely fascinated with the art of brewing (‘though I don’t booze beer these days).  And when not focused on fermentation, I snapped pics – tens & tens of pics – of Catholic cathedrals (nope, not Catholic either).  An unlikely combination, both found in abundance in Ireland’s capital.  Not making excuses.  HUGE FAN of both history & science.

Gothic cathedrals founded centuries ago, end of the Roman Empire.  Hops, natural spring water from County Wicklow.  Churches & beer.  Aside from the science of making beer, spent an hour+ viewing old-era advertising.  ‘Whistling Oyster’, a bicycling fish & Guinness’ lovely day Toucan.  A lifetime past, I worked in New York media.  But never ever, a bicycling fish.  LOL>

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, the Dublinia.  Finished the day walking Dublin Castle.  Bus-abandoned somewhere near the river Liffey, service stopped at 6pm – who knew?  3-mile walk thru city neighborhoods & 2 seedy back-alleys (alive with drunks & shouting police).  Picked up the pace, made no direct eye contact…a Google-map death wish.  Yikes!

Tomorrow, Sis is arriving from St. Louis.  Let the games begin ❤



Bicycling Fish & a Whistling Oyster (Guinness Storehouse)




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