Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you like large races?

Communal warm-up

I spent the day at one of my favourite parks yesterday watching healthy people (no envy!) running in Ireland's largest 10k. Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed green space in any European city so it's the perfect place for a race, although I'm not sure what the deer made of it 11,000 people racing through their area.

One of the great things about these large community races is the atmosphere - shining example this time was the group warm-up and cool-down. Sunshine, music and thousands of people doing aerobics together, great.
Some of the great people I met included a 55-year-old Dublin woman. She took up running about four years ago and is clocking in at 44 minutes which is not bad at all. And as with so many women who do sport when they "shouldn't" she didn't anywhere near that age. A few of the women I talked to had made New Year's resolutions to get fit so the race was their first step at proving this - great way to start. 
And they're off ... almost
And then you had the professionals, the folk lined up at the start of the race, warmed up and looking for records. A different race but hopefully they still had time to enjoy the weather and the park views. You can read up on the elite runners including winner Charlotte Purdue on the Spar Great Ireland Run site here.

Do you like big races? Some of the elite runners I talked to were not impressed with the crowds!



Emmet Ryan said...

Well the elites mightn't like the crowds but without our entry fees their prize money would evaporate :)

I love large races although anything that get me out of the Phoenix Park tends to trump the ones in it as I'm so familiar with the place by now. That's why I love marathons, they're a great way to see a city.

The mini-marathon sort of has that benefit for women/men in drag, only the sheer number of bodies makes it tough for people to get space to run.

a runners' life said...

Large races are great. It's so nice to see everyone getting into the spirit of things, and 11,000 is a good turn out.

The more people get into sports like running, the healthier our communities are going to be. And I agree wtih Emmet on the prize money coming from the entry fees - they should be happy so many people attend (unless they fear the competition from amateur runners?)

The largest race I've taken part in had about 15,000 participants plus about the same amount of supporters, and it was an awesome day. People smiling, making friends, and having a love of running in common.

niamh said...

@ Emmet - yes, met a few elite runners complaining as the Championships are now part of this race, they weren't happy at running with the hoi polloi at all! Makes for a better atmophere I thought though, less serious

@ a runner's life - there was a great atmosphere yesterday, no idea why some runners were a bit grumpy as they ran before the ordinary folk. Organisers were very happy anyhow!

Emmet Ryan said...

Well the elites don't have to put up with the amateurs after about 10 seconds of racing so it's really just needless whining on their part.

The uber-nerd in me feels a need to point out that there's no need for a 'the' before hoi polloi as the term includes a the in the orignal Greek.