The Roscommon massive.

Stablemate John “the Farmer” Faughnan fought against the heaving and retching to smash 18 minutes off his best at the Dublin Marathon, clocking a muck-chucking 2:55:40!

Stablehand Ally “the Chin” Smith harvested Faughnan at the finish:

AS: Ya beauty, Johnny boy! Well d- … Jeez!

JF: WATCH OUT! Hhhuuuurrrrr, huuuuurrrr, urgh, urgh. Alright, Ally … Had to get off my chest.

AS: What in the heck?

JF: Oof, let me explain. My race followed the well-worn path of first half feeling super, second half a form of torture! 

AS: I can tell.

JF: However, it wasn’t the schoolboy error of running the first half too fast and then dying. Instead, I made the mistake pre-race in making up my Maurten drink with bottled water that had more than 40mg of calcium present. 

AS: Johnny, Johnny, Johnny! 

JF: I know; Coach has warned us numerous times of this, which made it all the more sickening (see what I did there, Ally!) 

AS: Pun-derful.

JF: I knew it tasted grainy while heading into the starting area in the taxi, but thought it was because I had made it up an hour before starting to drink it. I was in Wave 1, but intended to let the crowd go and head off myself about six minutes after them. Delayed it too long, and stewards closed the starting area off, so I went from the front of Wave 2. 

AS: Inconvenient, but not terrible.

JF: I had a great first half passing the back markers from Wave 1. but it felt like an embedded chip in my stomach had been activated as soon as I passed the halfway marker. Dry retching (does spitting up foam count as dry retching?) from that point on. Managed to limit the losses in the second half, but it still felt like a long Japanese death march to the finish.

AS: And we all just witnessed what happened next, ha! 

JF: Oh, God, don’t remind me. It just kept coming like that scene in Team America: World Police!

An unedifying spectacle.

Hopefully, I’m just out of the FinisherPix range of those people who finished right after me!

AS: I think you’re fine, mate. What’s next?

JF: I’m going to negotiate with Maurten to use my image as a warning on checking the calcium content of water before making up their products, like those pictures on the side of packets of cigarettes!

Obviously, I have unfinished business with this race, so have signed up again for 2024. Planning a HM on Good Friday next year; hopefully, it’s a very Good Friday!

AS: I’m sure it will be, mate. I’ll let you get on, and hopefully, the jelly belly can handle a few jars. Until next time, John.

JF: Cheers, Ally; see you later.

Coach Stazza had just received a text message on his Nokia 3310 from the Farmer when the News dialled in: 

“What’s this nonsense?40mg of calcium! … Argh, you didn’t, John … Silly billy … But never mind … You had all that to deal with, and you still scalped 18’ off your PB … Unfinished business is right … We’ll be back in Dublin for a sub-2:40! … Good man.”