From Spectator to Sub-3: Ian Egan's Accidental Triumph at the 2007 Dublin City Marathon

May 23, 2024

Ian Egan's road to the Dublin City Marathon (DCM) 2008 began serendipitously at the 2007 event. His journey to discovering his marathon potential is a tale of spontaneity, determination, and an unexpected triumph.

October 2007 was marked by disappointment for Egan, who had just completed a less-than-satisfactory Galway Bay 10-mile race with a time of 1:01:53. However, the final weekend of September had shown promise with a solid double: a 17:00 5k in Loughrea on the 29th followed by a 27:54 8k the next day. Despite these performances, there was no indication of the marathon success that lay ahead.

Egan originally traveled to Dublin that marathon weekend with no intention of running. He was there to support his friend and training partner, Mike O’Connor, who was a strong contender to be the first Irish man home. Despite having logged 55 miles the previous week, Egan found himself contemplating the idea of participating rather than spectating. This thought solidified en route to Dublin, somewhere around Athlone, and a flurry of texts and calls ensued, ultimately securing him a race number from a Mayo runner who couldn't compete. In retrospect, Egan acknowledges the potential impact such actions could have on official race results, a caution he shares for future participants.

Arriving at the start line with plenty of time and no fear, Egan was only planning to jog some of the race. He soon encountered a group of Galway runners aiming to break the 3-hour mark. Hesitant at first, Egan decided to join them, finding the 6:50 per mile pace surprisingly comfortable, likely due to his recent 5k and 8k races.

The group reached the halfway point in 1:29:50, demonstrating masterful pacing. Around mile 18, Egan felt a surge of strength and began to drift ahead of his group, who were starting to struggle. As he pushed through mile 22, he witnessed other runners walking or shuffling with heads down, while he remained tired but strong.

Crossing the finish line in 2:55:51, Egan shocked himself with a performance far beyond his expectations. His friend Mike also had a successful race, being the first Irish man home. The unexpected marathon not only proved Egan's capabilities but also ignited a newfound passion and confidence in his running.

Egan's previous marathon experiences were from his youth in the mid-80s, where he jogged to raise money for Conquer Cancer. The 2007 Dublin City Marathon, however, was a turning point. The journey home was filled with thoughts and plans for what could be achieved in 2008, setting the stage for a dedicated and purposeful pursuit of that particular marathon 12 months later.

Ian Egan's serendipitous marathon in 2007 is a reminder that sometimes the best experiences and revelations come unplanned, and they can open doors to new aspirations and possibilities. 

Stay tuned to Run Republic as we shall soon tell the story of Egan's 2008 Dublin City Marathon.

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