For future runners….. This trip went just about as smoothly as I could have hoped! I landed in Dublin around ten on Friday morning and within an hour had purchased a bus ticket for less than ten Euros that would drop me off right on the perimeter of Trinity College. Following a map from a guidebook, I was able to locate my hotel and check in. It was too early to go to my room, but they kindly held my bags for a few hours as I walked around downtown Dublin, exploring Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and some of the surrounding museums. There are beautiful green spaces and museums that were free of charge, although many of them ask for a donation at the door.
Prior to leaving the states, I had purchased AT&T Passport, which allowed me to text and communicate over Wi-Fi from abroad. Every other corner seemed to have a café of sorts with Wi-Fi, and this allowed me to communicate with my family and friends. I happily sat myself down in a number of these cafes, ordering a coffee and baked good or porridge and touched base with whomever I needed to. I was able to check in mid-afternoon and that is when the overnight flight began to set in. I decided to eat at the hotel, and after an early dinner, fell asleep at an absurdly early hour.
The next day was filled with more tourist activity, and I was also able to walk to the running expo and get my race packet and check out all of the vendors. The walk was about half an hour from my hotel, although the way there took a smidge longer because I did not have a map that showed the entire route to the expo and had to keep ducking into cafes in order to look at a map over Wi-Fi. If I had been smart I would have printed off a map prior to coming to Dublin! The expo was great! Very well organized and a massive number of vendors and speakers.
The race itself was very well orchestrated. If you are planning on meeting people after the race, it is a smart idea to pick somewhere away from the finish line, as spectators are not allowed at or immediately near the finish line. I also recommend bringing clothing to wear until the start time that you can discard right before you begin your race. There were no shelters or indoor facilities, and if the weather is cooler or wet, it would be a long time to wait around without warm clothing. The fans were great along the course! My parents and I designated a place around the half-way point that they would be cheering for me, and they were able to walk there and then back to the finish line.
The Dublin Marathon was a great race and being a foreigner made no difference in my comfort level being an entrant in the race. Dublin is a wonderful city in that it was easy to walk around, and there was plenty to do that was low cost and accessible to someone without a car or bus pass. It was a great trip overall!! Thank you Pub 317!