First things first, THANK YOU PUB 317 and RUN TO THE PUB! Not only do you (and your awesome, altruistic, and I’m sure strikingly handsome/beautiful anonymous donor) put on one heck of a Saint Paddy’s Day half marathon, but you give people the chance at an experience they will remember and talk about for a lifetime. I mean honestly, who could possibly pass up this opportunity!?! I had tons of excuses not to go...new kiddo (big shout out to my wife, Courtney, here for letting me leave her alone for a week with a 4-month old); moving to Texas three weeks after the race date (big shout out to my wife, Courtney, again here because I left her alone for a second week as I went house hunting in Texas two days after getting home from Ireland...I love you honey); and I had only run one other marathon before in my life (and with a newborn, who has the time to log the miles to run a marathon, amirite?) It would have been easy to call Tyler and make up some excuse why I couldn’t go: “I have to shave my cat,” “I broke my fourth toe and can’t run on it for approximately 18 years, doctors orders,” “I can’t remember how to walk,” anything really...but this is a freaking trip to Ireland people!! They offer it...you take it! Sidenote here: Stick around after the Run to the Pub people! You can’t win the trip unless you’re there to hear your number called. Grab yourself an extra beer at Pub 317, get yourself a bite to eat, or maybe buy some new running gear at Bozeman Running Company while you wait. Do something to occupy your time, but wait! It’s worth it. So after you brag to your friends for 7 months, chalk up 228.8 miles in training runs and travel for 18 hours, you get to Dublin and it’s race day. Fifty-two degrees...winds in excess of 15 mph...running in the rain for 4+ hours...26.2 miles...it was perfect! The course is relatively flat, the Irish people are lined up throughout the entire course to cheer you on and you just never know what you will see in the crowd (we ran next to a guy wearing a cardboard DeLorean and slick Marty McFly vest.)
Go ahead and treat yourself to a couple extra days in Dublin since you’re already there. The city is small and easily walkable with a ton of history packed around every corner. Pop into the numerous pubs to hear traditional Irish and replenish all those calories you run off. There are also a ton of day trips to be had for under $75. You can see and do so much in just a week. It was definitely a trip I will treasure always. I highly encourage every Montanan, or anyone within driving distance, to participate in the Run to the Pub! You get to start shaking off winter with a well organized half marathon (with a free beer!), you get to see some of the beauty that is Montana and most importantly you get the chance to take the trip of a lifetime. Thanks again for the opportunity!