Reflecting on the Dublin Marathon of 1983

November 16, 2023

When I was searching for stories to come out of the 2023 Dublin Marathon, never did I expect to stumble across one quite like this. Michael commented on my Facebook post in the Dublin Marathon Runners group saying, ‘First time since 1983 40 years ago, a very different marathon now’. I had to dig deeper. This is Michael’s recollection of the 1983 Dublin Marathon.

‘There were no gels in use only carbo loading and water on the course. Possibly the elite athletes had some drinks set up, but the average runner did not. I wore a pair of runners bought in Dunnes Stores, cheap but not as good as the branded but even the branded were in their infancy compared to today’s shoes.

‘The route was completely different and most of it was on the northside of Dublin. From memory Phoenix Park to Finglas, Santry, Coolock, and on to Raheny and down Clontarf Sea front into Amiens Street.

‘Crowds were a lot smaller but still a great atmosphere especially Finglas, Raheny, and around the finish area. Probably more elite runners with Ronny Agten from Belgium winning it. From the 1980 marathon on there was a huge boom in running a bit like the last number of years with great numbers in 10k races on the roads (no 5k races back then either).

‘Of course, no social media apps etc so training was mostly in clubs or attached to clubs. I did the marathon because my flat mate wanted to train for it who didn’t really run much so we started training together with our longest run around 9 or 10 miles and about 35 miles a week. I ran 3hr 17 minutes, but I really felt the poor support in my Dunnes runners!

‘With the exception of the elites many were doing it for the first time so a lot of excitement around the start. Never thought I would do another one and I went back to the track at my specialist event 800m/1500m.’

Michael went on to tell me about his experience running the 2023 Dublin Marathon, which will be published in the next part of our ‘Why Do You Run’ series. Having spoken to Michael since and hearing more about his experiences, keep an eye out for more incredible stories from his running-filled life on Run Republic!

If you wish to share your Dublin Marathon experience, reach out to us at Run Republic here, [email protected]

Related News