Why Do You Run? - A New Series by Run Republic

November 07, 2023

This year's Dublin Marathon saw a tremendous crowd, with fresh faces who faced this challenge for the first time in their life. Run Republic turned to the community to hear the stories - good and bad - about first time marathon runners experience and what made them run.

A woman named Kizzie commented on my post in her Facebook group saying, “It was my first time, I came over from Wales for it and have raised 4.5k in doing so” and she immediately grabbed my attention. With that, I messaged her, and she told me her story; “It was my first marathon that I’d ever run. It’s always been a lifetime ambition, and after several half marathons I finally bit through bullet. Apart from becoming a mother and a Wife, it was the best experience of my life without a doubt! Personally, I found the weather conditions to be perfect, the support was also unreal! I wanted to complete under 5 hours, and if possible, to avoid hitting the wall! So, I took it really steady throughout and finished comfortably at 4:45:45 and crossed the line with my 7-year-old boy!”

I couldn’t leave the conversation without asking her about the funds she had raised for charity, and she explained to me that “It was for Wales Air Ambulance! Basically, it can only operate on charity donations, so that’s the main reason. Also, I live in rural Wales where everyone knows someone, whether they are friends or a family member, who have had to use the air ambulance at some point in their life! Without a doubt it’s a complete lifeline for people in our rural communities, and a charity that’s close to many people’s hearts!”

Kizzie’s story was amazing, from the emotion of crossing the finish line of her first marathon with her 7-year-old son, to raising funds for a great cause like the Wales Air Ambulance, it really showed me the incredible stories that lie within this famous marathon.

I received a response that included a breath-taking time for a first marathon which read, “1st marathon and couldn’t have gone better. Wanted sub 4 and got 3:44”. I had to ask for more, and Chris obliged. He really painted a picture of the support and how encouraging they are on the day. “Out on the course, I found the support phenomenal! It was overwhelming at times the cheering, the signs, the high 5s, the kids handing out jellies, and so on. Even in the rain at points it was deafening and really passed the miles. The stewards, volunteers, and Gardai all cheering on really helped everyone too and overall, I thought it was a super day! That was my first marathon, and it passed all expectations. I’ve signed up for next year already.”

With many more first time Dublin City Marathon runners responding at the time of publication, stay tuned for more tales from first time runners and their experiences! If you were a first time participant and want to reach out, feel free to contact us at Run Republic here: [email protected]

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