The 4 Best Bits of Running 26.2 Miles

Having just completed my 2nd marathon in Dublin this weekend, these are my 4 best bits.

Best Bit #1 – The Start Line

The excitement is palpable, there is alot of nerves bouncing around, everyone is super keen to start running but you have to have a calm head and avoid sprinting out of the traps, there is a long road ahead. You have spent 16 weeks and ran over 500 training miles to get to this point and it is a super experience to soak up.

Best Bit #2 – The Supporters

I have never ran another marathon anywhere but I think Dublin is pretty special in that so many people come out to support the runners on the day. The streets are lined with people, all shouting encouragement and offering sugary treats. It can carry you through the dark patches.

Best Bit #3 – The Fundraising Experience

This time out, I chose to use my experience and challenge to raise money for a children’s hospital to help them continue to provide their life-saving work for the kids of this city that need it the most. I did it because I owe them one, a big one called Benjamin. You can read more about my story here and if it resonates with you, you can donate to this very worthy cause. I managed to raise over €3000 for this cause in what was a very humbling and rewarding experience.

Best Bit #4 – The Finish Line

There is nothing quite like the pain you go through when you put your body through those 26.2 miles, all of which disappears the minute you clap eyes on the finish line. Every step is a step closer to it but for most of the 4 hours I was out there, it felt a long way away. You can literally feel the rush of endorphins when you cross that line and give yourself permission to stop running. It is incredible.

Best Bit #5 – The Food and Drink

I know I said 4 but probably the best bit of all is the guilt-free eating and drinking that you can indulge in after this event. Eat and drink whatever you want, you have earned it!

A few photos from around the day.




Mind Over Marathon

With only a few days left before I embark on my 2nd marathon, I am trying to pause to reflect on the journey so far.

Training for a marathon will take you about 16 weeks and you will run over 500 training miles in the process. Your body (especially legs) will change over time, muscles become used to the impact of the movement and you will find yourself with a clearer head and better sleep. These are only a few of the benefits but the ones that I have felt most clearly.

I view it as a gift. To be able to complete this training is a gift. To have a body that can endure the miles and recover for the next run is a gift (note there was a time not so long ago where the most I could ever manage was 5km). To have access to a world of nutritional information at our finger-tips is a gift. There is a lot to be grateful for. The reason I say this is because I am a firm believer in the idea of how you view something has a great impact on the result.

Do you generally view things as obstacles or opportunities? Most of us might say the latter but the reality might be the former. Viewing hard tasks as opportunities to learn and grow certainly does not come naturally to me, I have to make a very deliberate and conscious decision to view something this way.

The lens you choose to look at the world through has a big big impact on your level of enjoyment and fulfilment in your life.

I will be resting up for the next few days, with no running whatsoever, to be fresh and energised come Sunday for the marathon. While I do hope to better my time from last year, my primary goal is to raise funds and awareness for a Dublin children’s hospital, to which I owe a great debt of service. You can read about mine and Ben’s story here.

Benji Wonder Boy


When the legs give up, the mind takes over. Mind over marathon. Bring it on!