Dublin. The home of Guinness, Europe's biggest city park, Trinity college and me. Well for 18 months about 5 years ago, but it will always hold fond memories for me and a place I was once proud to call home. Before living in Dublin I used to visit so much that my friends would say 'why don't you just move there'. So I did.
And so the seventh leg of our journey takes us to the Emerald Isle to take part in the Rock & Roll Dublin Half Marathon. Ireland is famous for its music so it's fitting that this race will have a band at each mile point to cheer you on.
We continue to be blessed with support on each trip we take, with 7 of our 8 trips we have been supported by friends, family or both. We can't put into words our appreciation for this support. Joining us this leg was my girlfriend Jess & Cameron's friend Ruth, who will be running with us.
In fact, Ruth's story is quite inspiring. Having quit her job in central London, Ruth decided to go and explore Ireland. After living in Dublin for a month she walked past a bike shop, brought a second hand bike, then set off cycling around Ireland. She has taken a break from her adventure to join us this weekend.
When not listening to Ruth's fascinating stories of 'one woman, one bike, many roads' (you can use that title for your book Ruth!) we were exploring Dublin's many great eateries, their amazing food, brilliant service and great craic. When people ask what I miss most about Dublin, other than the people, it's definitely the service. Or the Guinness. Or the Fish Chowder.... OK, I can't just pick one!
This was Jess' first visit to Dublin so we were keen to show her the best sights and have an all round great time. This generally involved soaking up Temple Bar and its great live music scene, sampling the smooth taste of Guinness or catching up with my friends who couldn't help but ask 'What the f*ck??' when referring to our year challenge.
You have to admire the Irish honesty, saying what they think.
And you've got to experience our weekends to understand it, that's the f*ck.
The race itself was tough. Both Cameron and I had a difficult time but for very different reasons.
After setting off at a fast pace and feeling generally quite good, I realised halfway through that I was on to beat my PB time. This was however before I entered Phoenix Park. The last 5 miles of the course were mainly up hill and extremely difficult, despite the beautiful setting.
I finished 7 seconds off my PB... and I've pretty much been walking with a limp ever since.
My difficulty was nothing compared to Cameron's however.
Running quite comfortably until mile 11, Cameron was crippled by the injury which had been plaguing him for the four weeks leading up to the race. A tight ass. No seriously, he had a pain in his ass.
He had to limp the final two miles to the finish showing unbelievable spirit and resolve to finish the race running, no matter how much pain he was in. He was on course to finish in a time of 1:40 but finished in 2:00, just to show much my it impacted his run.
We've always said this year, no matter what, we will finish every race. Not just for the medals, we should add.
This is the first time this has been really been tested and I take my hat off to the strength shown by Cameron, truly inspiring!
Ruth finished the race comfortably in the 1:50 bracket and Jess was an amazing supporter, cheering us at mile three, eight and at the finish line.
No matter how difficult, this was another great weekend!
Eight memorable runs down, time for us to saviour the remaining four.