With just a week to go until the Dublin Marathon, we have been talking to some runners about why they are running the Dublin Marathon, as well as some questions about their running journey.
First up is Evan McCormack from Mullingar Harriers in Co. Westmeath.
Hi Evan, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 43 years of age father of 2 girls. I work permanent night shifts so running for me is massive as it grounds me and keeps me focused especially when the tiredness kicks in. I’m running since June 2013 and Dublin Marathon 2022 will be my 15th marathon.
I ran my first Dublin marathon in 2013 in 4hr14mins. Doing it over the following years I have managed to take my marathon time down to 2hr46min in 2019. In April of this year I became one of the coaches for the Mullingar Harriers Masters/seniors group. So for added pressure for me this year I have about 15 people from this group undertaking the marathon too!
With so many marathons to choose from, why are you running the Dublin marathon?
Out for a run on New Year’s Day this year, I decided I would do one more marathon this year to bring my total up to 15 marathons. Initially Dublin Marathon wasn’t the planned one as I hadn’t entered. Later in the year the Galway Marathon was picked as the one. The plan was drawn up and training started. Then Dublin marathon released more places and with a number of people from the club doing Dublin I decided I would join them.
You have done a few marathons as you’ve said. Can you remember the moment when you decided to run your first marathon?
This is probably explain more below. I have ran the Athlone flat-line the previous Saturday and Dave Kennedy my coach floated the idea of attempting the marathon distance. I jumped at it. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been thinking about one while doing the long runs for the half marathon.
Have you run many marathons before? Have you any run this year, or planned for next year?
Dublin marathon 2022 will be my 15th marathon and Dublin Marathon number 8. I have ran Dublin every year since my first in 2013. I have also taken part in the 50km national championships in Donadea in Feb 2020. Currently I have no plans for any other marathons but I definitely will do some others especially a couple of ones abroad. I also feel I have some unfinished business in the 50km in Donadea so that will be tackled again In the coming year(s)
How did you get into running?
In June 2013, weighing just under 16 stone I was picked for a spot on a 6 month operation transform type program. This involved circuit training 3 times a week, an eating plan and some CBT session.
The initial fitness test involved a 1km time trial. I struggled big time and couldn’t even run the full 1km. At the end of the first month, Dave Kennedy our coach gave us a 5km run/walk to do. I had worked hard for the month so my target was to run the 5km regardless of time. The buzz of finishing that 5km having ran it all I will never forget. 4 nights later I went out again for a 5km and bettered the time. This is where it all started. With in 2 weeks I was up to 10km and by the start of September, Dave registered me for my first half marathon in Athlone.
By this stage I probably had last 3 stone and Dave floated the idea of running Dublin Marathon. He had awoken a beast in me by this stage and I was all up for it. One of Gerry Duffy’s plans was down loaded and the work started. I finished the Dublin Marathon that year in 4hr14 weighing near 4 stone less.
How do you find the time to train? And how do you cope with missed sessions?
As I work nights the whole time I am fortunate to have a bit of time in the afternoon before my girls come home from school to do my sessions. Some days I will also do a double session where I will run around the fully lit up car park in work at 2/3am.
Missing sessions is never easy but you need to look at it from the point that it’s only 1 or a couple of runs out of 100s. If its a missed long run or tempo there is ways of fitting these into other runs if it eases your mind. If you need to miss a run because your tired or a niggle then you need to tell yourself you’re making the right call as your body needs the rest.
How has your preparation been for the marathon? Have you run other races, or shorter races? Have you had injuries?
My preparation has been fairly good. I have been fortunate that has stayed niggle free for this training block. I feel I have put in a good shift but ideally in my head I would have liked to probably given another couple of percent.
For this training block I have only ran 2 races which was the national Half marathon in Ratoath. I ran a 1.19 half that day which was about 30secs outside my PB from 2019. My other race was the Westmeath Cross country champs on October 9th which I ran as part of a 20mile long run. I ran 4mile before the race, the 4mile race itself and then 12mile home after.
Everyone has a different method of training. Do you train with a club or on your own? Tell us about your training plan
I predominantly train by myself. My long run and tempo runs are by myself. On a Wednesday some weeks i will sometimes do my speed session during the day and then coach the club session that evening running a few mile too. Other Wednesday I will do the session with group.
Over the years I have more or less always trained by myself so it doesn’t really bother me. I actually enjoy the long run by myself.
What is your goal time for the Dublin marathon?
My main aim for Dublin in sub 3hr. This would be my 5th sub 3 if I achieve it. In saying that I’m experienced enough to know anything can happen on the day. So to finish knowing I gave it my all and “enjoyed” it has to be plan B!!
What would your advice be to runners heading into the marathon?
My main advice is to back yourself. You have done the training so trust in it and yourself. Pace your own race. The marathon doesn’t really start until the 20mile mark so be disciplined in the first half and you will reap the rewards. And enjoy the bloody thing. You trained hard for it so savor it up.
Do you have any techniques to motivate yourself when the going gets tough?
There will always be sticky spots in a marathon so you need to be ready for these.
One thing I do is I break it into sections. From my house I know where 1mile is in every direction so I picture myself on those sections heading for home. It passes a couples of mins at a time