The young man’s running shoes pond the streets as he sprints through the pain, chasing his dream of finishing his first Dublin City Marathon. Thirty four years earlier another man was setting out to fulfill his own dream.
Noel Carroll was an Irish middle distance runner who set European and World Records in the 1960s. In 1980, with the help of the Business Houses Athletic Association fulfilled his dream of setting up a Dublin Marathon. He was among the 2,100 people who competed in the race that year. The first marathon proved such a success that it has been an annual event in Dublin ever since. The Dublin City Marathon is very much a people’s race. The reaction and enthusiasm of the spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners are fundamentally responsible for the success of the race and it has become known widely as the Friendly Marathon. Some run to win, some compete in wheelchairs, but for most people it is not about individual competition but about personal achievement and human endeavor.
This year on October 30th 14,000 will run on the streets of Dublin, most without any hope of winning but all with the same aspiration of reaching the finishing line. It is a challenge anyone can undertake all you need is a good pair of running shoes and a whole load of determination.
As the finishing line comes into view, aching, shattered but elated one mans dream becomes another mans triumph.